Everton midfielder Ross Barkley ended a difficult week off the field by inspiring his team to an eighth straight home win with a 3-1 Premier League victory over Burnley at GoodisonPark on Saturday.
Barkley’s shot, deflected off Burnley defender Ben Mee, put Everton 2-1 up in the 71st minute, and the league’s top scorer Romelu Lukaku made sure of the win three minutes later with his 24th strike of the season.
England international Barkley had been the victim of an assault in a bar on Sunday, and was then at the centre of a controversial column in The Sun newspaper.
He was given a standing ovation when he was substituted in the final moments.
A 52nd-minute Sam Vokes penalty had brought Burnley level after Phil Jagielka had scrambled Everton ahead three minutes earlier.
* French striker Etienna Capoue pounced on a defensive error just before halftime to give Watford a deserved 1-0 win over struggling SwanseaCity.
Swansea defender Alfie Mawson was caught in possession, and though his goalkeeper Lukas Fabianski managed to block Capoue’s first shot with his legs, the Frenchman slammed home the rebound to give Watford the lead.
In bright sunshine, Swansea had more than their fair share of possession in the second half but created little, their best chance a stoppage-time header by Gylfi Sigurdsson that flashed just wide.
A sixth straight away defeat left Swansea in the bottom three on 28 points, while Watford are in mid-table on 40.
* Xherdan Shaqiri scored a stunning goal as StokeCity beat HullCity 3-1 to end a run of four successive defeats and increase the pressure on their relegation-threatened visitors.
Stoke had fallen four places in the table since late March, but started brightly and Marko Arnautovic beat two defenders and held off a third before blazing a powerful shot in off the underside of the crossbar in the sixth minute.
Hull, vastly improved since the arrival of manager Marco Silva in January, registered a deserved equaliser when Harry Maguire finished via a deflection in the 51st minute.
Peter Crouch’s accurate low header restored Stoke’s lead in the 66th minute before Shaqiri settled the result, cutting in from the right before unleashing an unstoppable, dipping shot into the top corner.
Stoke, in 11th, have 39 points from 33 games. Hull are two points above the relegation zone with 30 points.