Lukaku and Barkley dis­play skills in the sec­ond round of this year’s English Premier League cam­paign, while The Saints go back to the draw­ing board

Im­pres­sive

CityPress - - Sport - – TEAMtalk Media

Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley starred for Ever­ton yesterday af­ter­noon as Roberto Martínez’s men de­feated Southamp­ton 3-0 at St Mary’s for their first win of the new Premier League cam­paign. Lukaku grabbed a first-half dou­ble in a highly en­ter­tain­ing match be­fore Barkley added a third in the clos­ing stages to cap off a lethal at­tack­ing dis­play from the Tof­fees.

Ever­ton looked dan­ger­ous early on and had a penalty ap­peal within the open­ing five min­utes when Lukaku was fouled by Matt Tar­gett just out­side the box, earn­ing him­self an early yel­low card.

The Saints got their first real ef­fort on goal in the 20th minute when Sa­dio Mané broke into the box and flashed his shot across goal, but it was Ever­ton that ben­e­fited from the re­sult­ing cor­ner kick.

The Tof­fees coun­ter­at­tacked from within their own box, work­ing it out to Arouna Koné on the right flank, and the Ivo­rian’s cross found Lukaku, who buried his header past Maarten Steke­len­burg to put the visi­tors ahead.

Ever­ton con­tin­ued to make chances af­ter tak­ing the lead, with Lukaku at the cen­tre of play. The big Bel­gian drib­bled his way into the box and cut it back for Barkley, who should have scored from just in­side the area and with plenty of space but could only pro­duce a weak ef­fort that was easily held.

Lukaku then dou­bled their ad­van­tage just be­fore half-time, again through a coun­ter­at­tack. This time it was Barkley driv­ing to­wards the Southamp­ton box and feed­ing the for­mer Chelsea for­ward, who took it in his stride and made no mis­take with a clever fin­ish past Steke­len­burg to hand them a healthy lead at the break.

Both sides looked sharp again in the sec­ond half with­out cre­at­ing many clear-cut op­por­tu­ni­ties. For Southamp­ton, Graziano Pellè and Mané both pro­vided some am­bi­tious ef­forts on goal and a gen­eral at­tack­ing out­let, while Lukaku and Barkley con­tin­ued to raid the Saints de­fence at the op­po­site end of the pitch.

That pres­sure paid off again for the Tof­fees late on, when Barkley picked up the ball on the edge of the box, cut in past his marker and on to his right foot be­fore curl­ing an ef­fort in at the far post to wrap up the points for Martínez.

The Tof­fees boss will be happy to leave the south coast with some­thing to show af­ter suc­cumb­ing to defeats the last two times they trav­elled to St Mary’s. They also have their two most dan­ger­ous at­tack­ing play­ers in scor­ing form as Lukaku and Barkley both have two goals to their name al­ready while the team takes sec­ond place in the ta­ble, al­beit for a brief pe­riod, with sev­eral more fix­tures to come over the re­main­der of the week­end.

Mean­while, Ron­ald Koe­man can take com­fort in the fact that he also started last sea­son with a loss and draw and still went on to qual­ify for the Europa League.

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