Belfast Telegraph

Everton at double to make late push for Europa League place

Everton 2 Burnley 0

Get in: Seamus Coleman after putting Everton 2-0 ahead
Get in: Seamus Coleman after putting Everton 2-0 ahead

By David Charlesworth

Everton kept their slim hopes of a top-seven finish in the Premier League alive as they recorded a fourth consecutive victory at Goodison Park by defeating Burnley.

The Toffees have seen off Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United on their patch recently - by an aggregate score of 7-0 - and two goals in three first-half minutes proved decisive against the Clarets.

Burnley defender Ben Mee got a telling final touch to Richarlison's strike while Seamus Coleman headed in on the rebound as Everton ran out 2-0 winners in both sides' penultimate fixture of the campaign.

The win moved Everton up to eighth and to within a single point of Wolves in seventh - a position which will seal a Europa League berth next season if Manchester City beat Watford in the FA Cup final later this month.

Wolves could extinguish Silva's stated aim of European football with a win over already-relegated Fulham today but this was, nevertheless, an impressive way to sign off at home from Everton.

Silva said: "We lost confidence earlier in the season in some moments but we reacted as a team and we have finished the season in the right way.

"We have finished well and next season we have to put our targets high. When the fans realise how important they can be for us then we are really strong here at Goodison.

"The players have been doing well and we have finished in the right way. The last 10 games we have had eight clean sheets and have been playing offensive football."

Just as it seemed the visitors had weathered the early onslaught, they fell behind in the 17th minute as their backtracking defence gave Richarlison an invitation to rifle beyond Tom Heaton. The Brazilian's left-foot strike from the edge of the area took a slight deflection off the unfortunate Mee, and Burnley's luck worsened as Everton increased their lead moments later.

Lucas Digne's rasping effort from a similar distance was parried back into the danger zone by Heaton, allowing Republic of Ireland star Coleman, just onside, to stoop to head into an empty net.

But Everton's second seemed to rouse Burnley, who thought they had pulled one back when Ashley Barnes expertly steered Robbie Brady's ball into the area across Jordan Pickford, only for the assistant referee to flag for offside.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph