By Burnley FC
April 15 2017
Everton 3 Burnley 1 - Burnley were unable to stop Everton’s Goodison Park charge as the fast-finishing Toffees made it eight successive home league wins.
The Clarets gave as good as they got for an hour with one of their most positive away performances of a season that is yet to yield a victory on the road.
But after Sam Vokes had cancelled out Phil Jagielka’s opening goal with a coolly taken penalty early in the second half, two goals inside four minutes via a deflection off Ben Mee and the lethal left foot of Romelu Lukaku gave Everton the win that lifted them into the Premier League’s top five.
The in-form Toffees were looking for the victory that would equal their best home run since 1990 as they pursued a place in European football for next season.
Lukaku’s personal record had already exceeded that stretch, with the Premier League’s leading marksman having found the net in his last eight Goodison appearances.
But the Clarets, having kept clean sheets in three of their previous four games, did a fine job of keeping the powerhouse striker in check during a first half where his only effort was an early shot at Tom Heaton as the best chances came Burnley’s way.
Michael Keane, fresh from his nomination alongside Lukaku on the PFA’s Young Player of the Year Award shortlist, saw a header cleared off the line by Ross Barkley from a Robbie Brady corner.
And Sam Vokes, recalled in place of Andre Gray, then had two opportunities within a couple of minutes just after the half-hour mark to repeat the goal he scored in a 2-1 win over the Toffees at Turf Moor in October.
Joey Barton, facing the club where he started his career, released the striker with a ball over the top which Vokes latched onto but couldn’t steer past Joel Robles, who saved with his chest.
And Vokes then intercepted a back-pass from Phil Jagielka but lacked the finish to beat Robles as his low shot was too close to the grateful Spaniard, who saved comfortably.
That summed up the Clarets’ approach as they pressed the home side to great affect and looked dangerous going forward.
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