Everton put in a fantastic first-half display to beat Burnley at Goodison Park on Friday night to boost their chances of qualifying for the Europa League.
The home side won their last three home games against Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United respectively and were quick out of the blocks once again.
The Toffees put the away side under relentless pressure and were rewarded in the 17th minute when Gylfi Sigurdsson laid the ball off to Richarlison, whose shot deflected in off Ben Mee.
They doubled their lead three minutes later when Tom Heaton seemed to misread Lucas Digne's swerving shot, parrying it into the danger area where Seamus Coleman was on hand to head in from close range.
The second half was much more subdued than the first, with Everton protecting their lead – particularly once Richarlison was forced off with a knock.
Key Talking Point
Everton came into this game high on confidence in front of their own fans and they made an electric start to the match – pressing, harrying and hassling the visitors, who were penned into their own half.
The opener came after 17 minutes when Dominic Calvert-Lewin received the ball on the half-way line and played in Gylfi Sigurdsson. The Iceland midfielder laid the ball off into the path of Richarlison, who launched a left-footed strike that looked to be going wide, only to take a deflection of Ben Mee and beat Heaton.
Starting XI: Pickford (6); Coleman (9)*, Keane (7), Zouma (7), Digne (8); Richarlison (8), Schneiderlin (8), Gueye (8), Sigurdsson (8, Bernard (7);) Calvert-Lewin (7)
Substitutes: Walcott (6), Lookman (6), Jagielka (N/A)
STAR MAN - Seamus Coleman delivered a performance of high quality, popping up with a goal as well being assured defensively as Burnley put Everton under pressure in the second half.
His lung-busting runs on the right flank caused problems for Burnley all night, and he found himself in an unlikely position in the penalty area after Tom Heaton failed to deal with Lucas Digne's swerving shot. He showed a striker's instincts and was quickest to react, heading in from close range.
The Irishman linked up well with Richarlison brilliantly until the Brazilian was forced off through injury. As some of his team-mates tired in the second half, Coleman kept his concentration and made some excellent tackles and interceptions to thwart the Clarets.
It was another excellent display by one of Everton's most consistent performers in recent campaigns.
Key Talking Point
Burnley struggled to deal with the initial onslaught from the home side but found their footing towards the end of the first half. They had an excellent chance to equalise towards the end of the half through Robbie Brady.
The Irish international escaped his marker and had free run at goal from a free kick, but could only head wide from six yards out. Burnley created further chances in the game, but will rue Brady's miss.
Starting XI: Heaton (5); Lowton (6), Tarkowski (6), Mee (5), Taylor (6); Gudmundsson (6), Westwood (5), Cork (6), Brady (5); Wood (6), Barnes (7*)
Substitutes: McNeil (6), Vydra (6), Hendrick (6)
STAR MAN - It was a difficult opening for Burnley's attackers, as their side struggled to keep possession and gain a foothold in the tie. As Everton eased off, Burnley started to grow in confidence and this was exemplified by Ashley Barnes.
In the 38th minute Robbie Brady delivered an excellent cross to the far post and Barnes brilliantly hooked the ball into the net, only for the offside flag to be raised.
He was later involved in another one of Burnley's best chances, flicking on a long ball to strike partner Chris Wood who could only muster a tame shot at Jordan Pickford. As usual, Barnes put in a performance full of endeavour and industry on a difficult night for the Clarets.