LIVERPOOL: Everton’s revival under Sam Allardyce continued with a 3-1 victory over bottom club Swansea City helped by a stunning Gylfi Sigurdsson goal at a foggy Goodison Park as they moved up to ninth in the Premier League on Monday.
The hosts went behind after a sluggish start but goals from Dominic Calvert-Lewin before halftime, Sigurdsson’s outstanding strike just past the hour and a late penalty by Wayne Rooney, who hit the post with an earlier spot kick, secured the points.
The Merseyside club is unbeaten in four league games since Allardyce took charge this month and, while it was hardly a sparkling display by his side against the struggling Welsh outfit, the manager’s trademark organisation was evident.
Swansea, who have now lost six away games in a row, suffered an early blow when striker Wilfried Bony, their only scorer in the last seven games, limped off after four minutes with a muscle problem to be replaced by Tammy Abraham.
Despite that setback, the visitors went ahead in the 35th minute, taking advantage of poor defending as Leroy Fer lost his marker to slot home a Tom Carroll corner from close range.
Everton looked short of inspiration but they got on level terms just before the break when they were awarded a penalty after Aaron Lennon went down under Roque Mesa’s challenge.
Rooney’s spot-kick was pushed against the post by Lukasz Fabianski but Calvert-Lewin reacted quickly and drove home the rebound to the relief of the former England captain.
Sigurdsson’s move from Swansea to Everton in August, for a reported fee of 45 million pounds ($60.23 million), has been questioned, in terms of its value, by many observers but the Iceland forward showed his quality with a superb solo goal.
After Rooney found him on the left flank, Sigurdsson cut inside on to his right foot and unleashed an unstoppable drive past Fabianski and into the far corner of the net in the 64th.
Everton were awarded a second penalty after 73 minutes, which Swansea complained about with some justification. Martin Olsson was ruled to have tripped Jonjoe Kenny but replays showed the foul had been committed outside the area.
Rooney, undeterred by his earlier miss, strode up to blast the ball home from the spot and wrap up the points for Everton, who now have 25 points from 18 games.
The defeat left Paul Clement’s Swansea side rooted to the foot of the table with 12 points, four points adrift of the safety zone and facing a long battle for top-flight survival.