Creeping up the table in the final stretch of the season, Everton pulled out a gritty 3-2 victory over Swansea City and moved up to fifth place on Saturday afternoon at Goodison Park.
A full team effort was needed to smother the pesky Swans, with Everton leading scorer Romelu Lukaku providing his 11th goal of the season, Ross Barkely creating some breathing room in the 58th minute, and Leighton Baines giving his squad its first lead of the game. Midfielder Kevin Mirallas would also assist two of the goals, moving his total up to seven on the season.
The three points gave the Toffees momentum to leap past Tottenham, albeit for a one point lead on the table and a chance at Europa League play. Swansea remains in 15th place.
After 20 scoreless minutes, the match opened up with Swansea defender Chico committing a misguided foul against Barkley in the box, which allowed Baines to convert the penalty for a 1-0 lead.
The Swans wouldn’t remain down for long. In the 33rd minute, midfielder Wayne Routeledge stretched the Toffee defense with a deep pass to Angel Rangel in the corner, and Rangel slung a through ball to the streaking Bony for the equalizer.
Mirallas came to the rescue with his playmaking in the 53rd minute, finding Lukaku with the cross for a left-footed strike and the lead at 2-1.
Five minutes later, Mirallas launched a corner cross to Barkley for a header and the match was in hand.
Swansea defender Ashley Williams scored in extra time with a header, but the valiant effort proved too little too late.