Barkley strikes to an­swer crit­ics

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Ross Barkley’s ex­cel­lent goal sealed an im­pres­sive 2-0 win for Ever­ton over West Ham in their Premier League clash yes­ter­day end­ing a four match win­less run in the league. For Barkley-who had been dropped both from the Eng­land squad and the Ever­ton start­ing line-up this sea­son as his form dipped-it was his first goal since the open­ing day of the sea­son against Spurs. Bel­gian in­ter­na­tional Romelu Lukaku-who set up 22-year-old Barkley for his goal-had opened the scor­ing for the hosts with his 50th for the club. It also main­tained his ex­tra­or­di­nary record against the Ham­mers as it was his ninth goal in as many Premier League matches against them since he moved to Ever­ton.

Ever­ton stay sixth, just five points off the top trio of Manch­ester City, Ar­se­nal and Liver­pool-West Ham stay firmly in the bot­tom half of the ta­ble three points above the rel­e­ga­tion places. Ever­ton man­ager Ron­ald Koe­man said he was pleased with Barkley’s per­for­mance but added he needed to be more aware on the pitch of what was re­quired of him. “It was a to­tal team per­for­mance to­day,” the Dutch­man told Sky Sports. “Ross Barkley had more im­pact in the last part of our at­tack­ing, not only in scor­ing but he was dan­ger­ous through­out.

“That’s what the team needs. He can be very good, but it is all about know­ing what you need to do. Some­times I have to shout too much, he needs to run more.”

West Ham should have gone one-up in the 12th minute as a deft pass by Dim­itri Payet slipped Pe­dro Obiang free in the box but he com­pletely mis­cued his shot as it bal­looned over the bar.

The hosts pro­duced some sparkling at­tack­ing foot­ball af­ter the early West Ham for­ays into their own half none more so than when Costa Ri­can Bryan Oviedo nipped in to win a ball that the West Ham de­fence should have dealt with. He looked up and found Barkley free in the box but his goal­bound ef­fort was bril­liantly turned away by goal­keeper Adrian.

Gu­eye, though, showed less alert­ness in de­fence as he had to re­sort to tug­ging at Obaing’s shirt bring­ing him to the ground and earn­ing him­self a book­ing which rules him out of next week­end’s clash with Chelsea. The hosts took the lead five min­utes into the sec­ond-half as Win­ston Reid’s poor clear­ance was played back into the Ham­mers box. Yet again the ex­tra hunger of the Ever­ton play­ers played a de­ci­sive role as Yan­nick Bo­lasie charged into the area and got to the ball ahead of Reid af­ter Adrian had saved Sea­mus Cole­man’s shot-his per­fectly de­liv­ered cross was headed into the empty net by Lukaku.

Robles then pro­duced a spec­tac­u­lar div­ing save to deny Mark Noble as West Ham turned on the pres­sure search­ing for the equaliser. That was as good as it got for West Ham as Barkley’s magic pro­duced the de­ci­sive sec­ond goal 15 min­utes from time. The Eng­land in­ter­na­tional gained pos­ses­sion looked up and saw Lukaku break­ing free down the right and found him with a per­fect long pass.

The Bel­gian dal­lied long enough for Barkley to make up the ground and then pro­duced the per­fect cross for the mid­fielder to beat Adrian with a half vol­ley, cel­e­brat­ing by beat­ing his chest and tug­ging at his shirt in an­swer to his crit­ics. — AFP

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