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Toffees find groove to secure top spot in style

Everton are through to the Europa League knockout rounds as Group H winners with one game to spare after pulling off a fine 2-0 away victory over Wolfsburg.

The Toffees' qualification for the next round was actually confirmed during half-time of this match due to the other game in the pool, Krasnodar against Lille, finishing in a draw.

And Roberto Martinez's men - already 1-0 up by that point - then secured the bonus of top spot by finishing off their job in Germany, a Kevin Mirallas breakaway strike adding to Romelu Lukaku's effort before the interval to wrap up a hugely impressive night's work.

Everton took the lead when a breakaway move saw Mirallas feed the ball to Lukaku, who got the better of Junior Malanda and slotted past Diego Benaglio.

They struck again in the 75th minute as Lukaku returned the favour to strike partner Mirallas, feeding his fellow Belgium international, who produced a composed finish.

There could have been other Everton goals when Sylvain Distin hit the crossbar and Aiden McGeady missed a sitter, but as well as posing a threat on the counter-attack, the Merseysiders defended bravely throughout as second-placed Wolfsburg applied considerable pressure.

There was also some luck for the visitors, with a first-half Ivan Perisic effort being ruled out for offside when it should have stood while the score was still evenly balanced at 0-0.

Overall, though, they certainly deserved a result that maintains their unbeaten run in the group, taking them to 11 points from five games.

Belfast Telegraph