Stunning Barkley strike keeps Everton rolling

, 22 December, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent
Swansea City 1 - 2 Everton

Everton extended their unbeaten run to 10 games and moved back to within two points of the top of the table thanks to a magnificent free kick from Ross Barkley.

The Blues had seen Seamus Coleman's 66th-minute strike, a moment of brilliance itself, cancelled out by an unfortunate own goal for Bryan Oviedo with 20 minutes left of a second half that had been a marked improvement on the first, as Swansea threatened to grind a out a draw.

But when Ben Davies chopped James McCarthy down to end the Irish international's surging run with six minutes left, it set up a chance for Barkley with a dead ball from 25 yards. And the emerging midfield star produced the goods with a stunning shot that flew in off the underside of the crossbar.

The goal was a fitting winner based on the 20 year-old's performance to that point and only a combination of the slick turf and Gerhard Tremmel in the Swansea goal had prevented him from opening his account earlier in the half.

Barkley slipped at the crucial moment with just the 'keeper to beat in the 56th minute before Tremmel pushed his stinging left-foot drive onto the crossbar 9 minutes later.

Those two incidents were indicative of how the game had been warming up after a pedestrian and fairly dour first half and Coleman rewarded Everton's improvement by lighting the contest up with a terrific goal. The Irish defender unloaded a wickedly swerving drive from well outside the penalty area that left Tremmel with no hope before celebrating defiantly in front of the travelling faithful.

The goal roused Swansea, though, and they began to ask more questions of the Blues' back line, no more so than when Davies crossed from the left and Dwight Tiendalli stole and made contact with the ball ahead of Steven Pienaar. It was heading wide of Tim Howard's goal but bounced off Oviedo and into the goal to make it 1-1.

Roberto Martinez's side had caused Swansea's defence with plenty of surging runs throughout the game but they lacked composure with the final ball. Barkley produced the goods with a sumptuous dead-ball finish, though, and Howard would make an excellent late safe to deny Roland Lamah and put Everton back into the top four pending the result of tomorrow's clash between Arsenal and Chelsea.

Quotes or other material sourced from ToffeeWeb Match Reports

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