Ross Barkley’s sublime solo strike set the pace for Everton to cruise to a 3-1 win over Queens Park Rangers at Goodison Park on Monday night.
The English midfielder, who had battled injury of late opened his goal-scoring account for the season with a 20-yard thunderbolt after a surging run from inside his own half. His moment of magic propelled the ‘Toffees’ to their first win of the season.
Kevin Mirallas doubled the lead before half-time and Steven Naismith added the third, with Bobby Zamora’s late effort offering consolation for Harry Redknap’s side.
The win also saw Roberto Martinez’s side dispose their Merseyside rivals Liverpool into tenth place in the table, while QPR are ducked in the relegation zone after losing their ninth successive away game in all competitions.
The only dent on a worthwhile Everton performance was a late injury to Mirallas that saw the Belgium winger carried off on a stretcher.
Everton dominated possession right from the blast of the kick-off whistle, with Naismith’s half-volley blocked before Mirallas drove a powerful shot just inches over from the edge of the goal area.
Barkley broke the deadlock three minutes after the half-hour mark. The 21-year-old, who has earned much comparison with former England great Paul Gascoigne, received the ball just inside his own half, breezed forward with pace and vigour, exchanged a one-two with Romelu Lukaku before smashing a left-footed rising pile-driver into the roof of Robert Green’s net off a slight deflection from QPR’s Mauricio Isla.
Mirallas whipped in a free-kick that took a huge deflection off Eduardo Vargas’s head into the far corner past a flat-footed Green for Everton’s second in the 43rd minute.
The hosts’ third came in the 53rd minute courtesy of Naismith and a lackluster QPR defence. Green’s poor clearance barely crossed the half-way line where Richard Dune quickly collected the ball and played McGeady in on the right flank. The winger found himself in comfort zone; so much he could cross to the far post for an unmarked Naismith to guide his header past Nedum Onuoha and a helpless Dune on the goal-line inside the net.
Zamora tapped in from a rebound of Jordon Mutch’s shot to pull one back for QPR on 88 minutes.