EPL: Romelu Lukaku’s hat-trick as Everton beats Sunderland 3-0

_91172819_lukaku_getty3 (1)

Romelu Lukaku ended his goal drought with an 11-minute hat-trick to send Everton third in the Premier League with a 3-0 win at Sunderland.images (3)

The Belgian striker had last scored for his club in March and looked to be floundering once again when he had a header saved in an even first half.

If there had been one negative during Ronald Koeman’s impressive start as Everton boss it was the continued poor form of the club’s formerly prolific leading marksman Lukaku.

Since scoring twice in the FA Cup quarter-final against his former side Chelsea on 12 March, the 23-year-old had gone 1,139 minutes without a goal, despite 40 efforts.

This time around he struck three times in 11 minutes after the break, however, as the magnificent Idrissa Gueye then Yannick Bolasie set him up beromelu-lukaku-sunderland_3785127fore Kevin Mirallas released him for his clincher.

Everton could have gone second in the table with a fourth goal but are tucked in just behind Chelsea on goal difference.

Sunderland remain second bottom, with David Moyes losing for the third time in as many games against the Merseysiders since he left Goodison Park for Manchester United in 2013.

images (12)Moyes’ pre-match request to fans for patience as he bids to get things right at the Stadium of Light will have carried more weight initially as his side contributed well at first.

The Everton boss Ronald Koeman heaped praise on match-winner Lukakuimages (8)

Everton always looked a little more likely to score, but Jermain Defoe should have had an opener 10 minutes into the contest.

Adnan Januzaj showed great feet on the edge of the area before Defoe was fed via a deflection and he lifted a sloppy effort over the bar.

Everton had already had one attempt through Gueye but their next attack was much better, with Lukaku’s header saved well by Jordan Pickford after Bolasie’s right-wing cross.

Jermain Defoe missed a good early chance in a more even first half

Lukaku had another go soon after as he and Jack Rodwell traded opportunities at opposite ends before Lynden Gooch also forced Maarten Stekelenburg into a decent stop.images (3)

Everton made a tactical switch at the break as Ross Barkley was replaced by Gerard Deulofeu and the change brought rewards as the tempo increased and they began to dictate much more.

Pickford was equal to a wicked dipping effort from Bolasie then Deulofeu and Lukaku both went close in a move which had players queuing up to tap in.

It took an hour for the away side to make their breakthrough and when they did, it was through Lukaku.images (11)

David Moyes admitted his side were poor at the Stadium of Light

Gueye’s lofted ball to the back post was perfect and Lukaku rose to nod in and end a run of 1,139 minutes without netting.

Just eight minutes later, he had his second, supplied this time with a sumptuous cross from Bolasie which he again headed over line.romelu-lukaku-sunderland_3785127

By now, Sunderland were in disarray and Everton were given far too much space in central midfield with Mirallas eventually threading through Lukaku, whose stroked finish was emphatic and drew little effort from Pickford.

Sunderland face a tough trip to Tottenham on Sunday (4:30pm), while Everton are at home against Middlesbrough a day earlier Saturday (5:30pm).

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Sport writer based in lagos. Cool and easy going guy, like meeting and influencing the lives of people positively. Fun loving and takes life easy. You can follow me on twitter @Emmycool4u or www.Facebook.com/Emmy4real

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