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West Ham United
9 April 2012
• Goodison Park, Liverpool
Referee: K. Friend
• Attendance: 32249
M. Gueye 52'
S. Pienaar 75'
L. Osman 76'
V. Anichebe 81'
That's it and what a second-half performance by Everton they've been magnificent and truly deserve to win by this margin. When Gueye got the first goal they were able to hit the Black Cats on the counter attack and that's when the flood gates began to open as Pienaar, Osman and Anichebe hit wonderful strikes to give the Toffees the win. Martin O'Neill won't be happy with his side as they never really threatened the Everton goal.
Sunderland looked to get a consolation goal as Colback broke upfield he found McClean who won a throw. McClean and Wickham played a nice one-two before finding Colback again but he blasted his effort way over the bar.
I think Everton are quite content to sit on this lead as Sunderland have just capitulated here. There's been some quality finishes though and the Toffees are good value for their lead. They've been brilliant today and have out-competed the Black Cats in the midfield and have almost every second ball.
Yellow CardKieran Richardson
GOALL!!! Oh dear Sunderland are well and truly falling apart here as Victor Anichebe has added a fourth for David Moyes side. The ball came to him on the edge of the box and he swung a foot at the ball, his effort looked to have taken a deflection on his way into the net.
GOALLL!!! Anything Pienaar can do Osman can do better as he gets Everton's third as Sunderland are falling apart here. Osman gets the ball from Gueye down the left and he takes a touch inside and fires the ball over Mignolet into the top corner. Great finish.
GOALL!!! Everton have been looking to hit Sunderland on the counter and they've done just that as Pienaar doubles their lead with an fine finish from the left into the top corner. After Drenthe had broken down the left and found the South African in space.
Sunderland have a chance as Richardson knocks a dangerous cross from the left which isn't dealt with by Heitinga and Howard and Jagielka do well to direct the ball away from Ji Dong-Won as he lurked to put the ball into the net.
Everton are looking to hit the Black Cats on the break now. With the addition of Drenthe they've got tons of pace on either flank with him and Gueye. They just need to get the final ball right and they could double their lead. They look more likely to get a second then Sunderland an equaliser.
Sunderland are seeing more of the ball and are starting to look like creating something especially down the left with Colback whose raiding well and linking up with Sessegnon. Yet to carve out an opening yet though.
Everton look dangerous down the left hand side with Gueye and Neville. They managed to open up the left flank and find Fellaini in space but he fires his effort well over the bar when well placed outside the area.
A real chance for Sunderland as they raid forward through Larsson who finds McClean in the area, whose moved into a more advanced role, but before he can get his shot away Heitinga is in with a tackle to stop the attack. Great defensive work by the Dutchman.
The Black Cats look a bit shell shocked after Gueye's goal. Truth be told they've barely been in this game and need to do something to get back into this one.
GOALLL!!! Everton take the lead and it's been coming as Gueye scores his first ever goal for the Toffees and it's an absolute belter as lashes a shot past Mignolet after the Belgian had saved well from Osman. After the Black Cats had failed to clear their lines from a corner.
Better from Sunderland and Sessegnon as he beats Fellani before driving forward and finding Bardsley. The right-back looks to find Sessegnon again the area but his ball into the area is poor.
Strong start to the half from Everton. They're seeing a lot of the ball and getting in good positions to cross the ball in but are yet to deliver a quality ball into the area.
We're back underway at Goodison Park.
Half-time at Goodison Park and it's been a game that hasn't really had much in it. Both teams have had half chances but nothing clear cut. Everton have dominated possession but are facing some resolute Sunderland defending. Hopefully we'll see some better football in the second half.
Sunderland are looking dangerous on the break and have a chance of their own as McClean raids down the left and cuts inside onto his right foot but he can't get his effort on target as he blasts the ball over the bar. A poor effort as they were players well placed in the area looking for the ball in.
Everton are getting a lot of joy down the left as Gueye and Neville are linking up well and Tunrer has to be at his best to divert the dangerous cross from the former Manchester United man behind for a corner. A great defensive header.
The Black Cats almost went ahead in spectacular fashion when Bardsley raided down the right and crossed for Sessegnon who hit an over-head kick which flashed just wide of the post as he looked destined for the net. A really good effort from the Benin international.
Everton are getting chances now and the Sunderland defence is starting to get a little bit stretched. First Pienaart almost found room in the box after being found by Gueye before he was crowded out by Turner and Kilgallon. Then Fellaini turned and beat Kigallon but fired his hsot well wide.
Sunderland are trying to get James McClean into the game down the left but he's been well marked by Hibbert and Fellani coming across the double up on him. Colback's trying to get forward to support but he's wary of leaving space at the back. It's been a tactical game so far.
Finally a chance in this game! Everton break with Stracqualursi who finds Pienaar who drives at the Sunderland defence he then squares a pass to Gueye who fakes a shot and returns the ball to the South African who can only put his shot over the bar.
Both teams have been sloppy in the final third and have lacked that final bit of quality needed to carve out a clear cut chance. Neither keeper has been tested yet, so both sides need to be more creative in possession.
Everton are in command here as Sunderland are struggling to get out of their own half. Fellaini and Pienaart are showing a good range of passing but they're yet to threaten Simon Mignolet's goal.
Yellow CardLee Cattermole
Nasty challenge by Lee Cattermole as he brought down Steven Pienaar outside the area after Phil Bardsley had given the ball away in a dangerous area. James McFadden's free-kick can only hit the wall though and is cleared.
Here's one for you stat fans Martin O'Neill is unbeaten in nine Premier League games against David Moyes. Will that continue today?
Sunderland are having similar trouble holding the ball upfront without Nicklas Bendtner as Phil Jagielka and Jonny Heitinga are beating Stephane Sessegnon with ease at the moment.
Without Nikica Jelavic, Everton are pumping balls long to Denis Stracqualursi instead and he's having slight trouble holding the ball up with Matt Kilgallon and Michael Turner challenging him in the air.
Scrappy start to the game from Sunderland as they've yet to get going. Their passing is slightly out of sync and they're being pressed in posssession all the time by the Toffees. Good aggressive start by David Moyes' side.
Everton have started the game in control of the ball and are knocking the ball around nicely as Sunderland seem content to sit-back and soak up the early pressure from the home-side.
We're underway at Goodison Park.
Seventh place is up for grabs today if Sunderland can beat Everton for the first time in 16 attempts they will move above the Toffees however if David Moyes' side prevail they'll move five points clear of the Black Cats and four in front of Liverpool.
Martin O’Neill has made just one change from his Sunderland team that drew with Tottenham on Saturday with David Vaughan replacing the injured Nicklas Bendtner. As Stephane Sessegnon will play upfront supported by a five man midfield.
David Moyes has rung the changes today with perhaps with one eye on the FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool on Saturday. He's made five in total as Leighton Baines, Tim Cahill, Nikica Jelavic, Sylvain Distin and Darron Gibson miss out. While James McFadden, Jonny Heitinga, Denis Stracqualursi and Marouane Fellanini all come in.
Team News: Sunderland (4-5-1): Mignolet; Bardsley, Turner, Kilgallon, Colback; Larsson, Cattermole (C), Vaughan, Gardner, McClean; Sessegnon. Subs: Bridge, Wickham, Richardson, Dong-won, Kyrgiakos, Meyler, Westwood.
Team News: Everton (4-4-2): Howard; Hibbert, Heitinga, Jagielka, Neville; Pienaar, Fellaini, Osman, Gueye; Stracqualursi, McFadden. Subs: Subs: Gibson, Drenthe, Distin, Coleman, Anichebe, Duffy, Mucha.
This is the fourth time the teams have met this season with the Toffees registering victory the last time they played in a 2-0 win at the Stadium of Light in the FA Cup quarter-final. So revenge could be on the cards for the Black Cats.
Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! commentary of today's Premier League clash between Everton and Sunderland at Goodison Park. I'm Simon Sinclair and I'll be taking you through all the action as it happens on Merseyside. Feel free to get involved by tweeting me @Sinc90.
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