London, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – Ross Barkley scored a late game-winner as Everton barged into the top four of the Premier League via a 2-1 victory over Swansea City Sunday at Liberty Stadium.
Barkley’s stunning goal – his third of the season – ensured former Swansea manager Roberto Martinez enjoyed a winning return to his old club as Everton extended its unbeaten streak to 10 matches.
With the win, Everton moved into the top four with 34 points, just a point behind Manchester City and Arsenal and two points behind leader Liverpool. The loss kept Swansea in 11th.
“The goal from Ross [Barkley] gave us something to be proud of and something I want to savor. We have a real nice blend and what pleases me is that in the group, everyone is prepared to work hard for the team,” said Martinez.
Before the game, manager Michael Laudrup made five changes to the Swansea side that drew 1-1 at Norwich City last Sunday, putting Chico Flores and Wilfried Bony for injured Michel Vorm, Nathan Dyer and Michu.
Martinez made two changes from Everton’s 4-1 win over Fulham last time out with James McCarthy and Kevin Mirallas replacing Leon Osman and the injured Gerard Deulofeu, respectively.
After a goalless opening period, Seamus Coleman produced a sensational strike to put the visitors ahead in the 66th minute.
However, Swansea pulled level when a close-range effort by Dwight Tiendalli was deflected by Bryan Oviedo, who was credited with the own goal.
The encounter looked to be heading for a draw until Barkley fired in a wonderful free-kick off the underside of the crossbar from 20 yards in the 84th minute to snatch maximum points for Everton.
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice to lead Tottenham Hotspur to a 3-2 win at Southampton and give caretaker head coach Tim Sherwood his first Premier League win.
The 29-year-old forward had fallen out of favor under former head coach Andre Villas-Boas, but marked his first Premier League start of the season with goals in each half at St Mary’s Stadium.