Mirallas scores, Howard returns as Everton beats Stoke 1-0

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Everton's Kevin Mirallas puts the finishing touch on the winning goal against Stoke on Saturday.

Everton's Kevin Mirallas puts the finishing touch on the winning goal against Stoke on Saturday.

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) -- Kevin Mirallas scored a superb solo goal Saturday to give Everton a 1-0 win over Stoke in the Premier League that kept his team in the hunt for a Champions League spot.

Mirallas collected a clearance from goalkeeper Tim Howard in his own half and ran the length of the field, going between two defenders before slipping a shot beneath Asmir Begovic in the 28th minute.

Howard made his return to the starting lineup after recovering from two broken bones in his back and punched clear a cross from Marc Wilson, which ended up providing the assist for Mirallas.

Howard had to punch away Charlie Adam's last-gasp free kick as well to deny Stoke its final chance for an equalizer.

The win keeps Everton two points behind fifth-place Arsenal, and four off Chelsea in the last Champions League spot.