Everton 3-1 QPR: Ross Barkley the spark for Everton

Steven Naismith celebrates after putting Everton 3-0 ahead in the second half last night.  Picture: GettySteven Naismith celebrates after putting Everton 3-0 ahead in the second half last night.  Picture: Getty
Steven Naismith celebrates after putting Everton 3-0 ahead in the second half last night. Picture: Getty
Everton ended a run of four games without a win last night as QPR endured another miserable away trip.

Scorers: Everton - Barkley (33), Mirallas (43) Naismith (53); QPR - Zamora (80)

Rangers have yet to pick up a point away from home this season and never looked likely to end that sequence once Ross Barkley put Everton on the way to victory in the 33rd minute.

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The midfielder netted his first goal of the season in spectacular fashion and Kevin Mirallas made it two before half-time, with Steven Naismith adding a third eight minutes after the break.

Bobby Zamora’s tap-in for QPR ten minutes from time was too little, too late.

Boss Roberto Martinez had brought Barkley back into the starting line-up and, in an Everton side that looked to have lost confidence, he stood out from the start. In the 12th minute, the 21-year-old played a fine ball over the top for Naismith, and the Scot’s cross was just ahead of Romelu Lukaku.

QPR had arguably made the brighter start, with Matt Phillips guiding a tricky volley just over the bar and Junior Hoilett shooting straight at Tim Howard.


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However, in the 26th minute Coleman broke down the right and crossed for Naismith, whose shot was inadvertently blocked by Lukaku. And seven minutes later the hosts took the lead through a moment of individual brilliance. Barkley picked up the ball by the half-way line and drove forward before unleashing a shot that arrowed into the top corner via a slight deflection off Mauricio Isla.

If there was an element of luck about that one, there was a lot more about Everton’s second ten minutes later.

Joey Barton gave away a free-kick for catching Naismith with his elbow and Mirallas’ shot spun off the head of Eduardo Vargas and beyond Rob Green.

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Vargas had enough time to get a deliberate touch but he could not have directed the ball into a worse position as far as his team and keeper were concerned.

Everton almost managed a third before half-time but this time Aiden McGeady’s curling effort was just past the far post.

The opening moments of the second half saw Mirallas appeal for a penalty after Richard Dunne put his arm across the forward, but any real contact appeared minimal and referee Neil Swarbrick was not convinced.

The hosts remained well on top, though, and got their third in the 53rd minute after Green and Dunne had both made a mess of trying to clear the ball.

Mirallas played in McGeady on the right and his cross found Naismith in yards of space to head the ball in despite the efforts of Nedum Onuoha and Richard Dunne on the line.

QPR boss Harry Redknapp introduced Bobby Zamora and, with Everton looking like they thought the job was done, Rangers enjoyed a decent spell.

Leroy Fer and Jordon Mutch shot over but they got the goal they deserved in the 80th minute when Howard could only parry Mutch’s shot straight to Zamora, who netted his first of the season.

The game had a sour end for Everton when Mirallas was carried off after a poor tackle from Mutch.

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The Belgian’s ankle appeared to buckle and he was replaced by Kone, making his first league appearance for more than a year.

The Ivorian almost set up Samuel Eto’o for a fourth but his shot hit the far post deep into injury time.


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