LIVERPOOL, England (AP) Arouna Kone grabbed a hat trick as Everton went on a second-half goal frenzy to overpower Sunderland 6-2 for its biggest Premier League win in eight years on Sunday.
Sunderland had pulled level at 2-2 by the 50th minute but Sebastian Coates’ own goal then set Everton back on the path to ending a three-game winless run in the league.
Romelu Lukaku netted Everton’s fourth before Kone completed his treble, with two goals adding to his first-half strike. The opener for eighth-place Everton was provided in the 19th minute by Gerard Deulofeu, who went on to provide two assists in a game where the influence of the livewire winger proved decisive.
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It was Everton’s most emphatic win since routing Sunderland 7-1 in November 2007. The current Sunderland side remains in the relegation zone having lost two of Sam Allardyce’s three matches in charge.
Everton had managed just six goals in its previous five league matches at Goodison Park but took full advantage of obliging and ill-disciplined opponents who actually began the brightest with Patrick Van Aanholt smashing a shot against the post.
In the same attack Jermain Defoe was denied by the legs of goalkeeper Tim Howard, Adam Johnson hit the post and Steven Fletcher’s rebound was blocked by Seamus Coleman, which provided the wake-up call Everton needed.
Kone’s delightful flicked pass through Sunderland’s newly installed three-center back formation allowed Deulofeu to fire through the legs of both backtracking defender Billy Jones and goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon for his first league goal of the season.
Kone, who turns 32 later this month and is out of contract at the end of the season, scored his first with a fierce left-footed shot that caught Pantilimon by surprise.
Defoe’s volley in first-half added time was soon followed by Fletcher’s close-range header to level the score.
But Deulofeu came to the fore again as his cross was turned in by Coates, under pressure from Lukaku who finally managed to get his goal on the hour when another perfect pass from the former Barcelona player.
Kone was on target again in the 62nd and then after meeting Lukaku’s cross in the 76th as Everton underlined the extent of the task Allardyce has to save Sunderland from relegation this season.