Barkley free kick gives Everton 2-1 win at Swansea
Ross Barkley enhanced his ever-growing reputation by scoring directly from a free kick to move Everton provisionally up to fourth place with a 2-1 win at Swansea in the Premier League on Sunday.
Seamus Coleman put Everton in front in the 66th minute with a ferocious strike, although the visitors were pegged back when Bryan Oviedo put Dwight Tiendalli's off-target effort into his own net.
But Barkley stepped up in the 84th to beat Gerhard Tremmel with a free kick that came off the underside of the bar on its way in.
''It's a relief because I had a chance to score with 20 minutes to go and I slipped, so to see the free kick go in was a bonus and great for the team,'' Barkley said.
Everton moved a point ahead of Chelsea and a point behind Arsenal.
Arsenal and Chelsea play in Monday's only game.
Swansea is 11th after another frustrating match for the Welsh club, which lacked an end product after making a positive start.
''It was harsh and the least we deserved was a point,'' Swansea manager Michael Laudrup said. ''That's how football is. Their goalkeeper made a couple of great saves. I don't want to say Everton found luck, because it was a great free kick, but they found the three points.''
Everton had taken time to settle, and Chico Flores almost gifted them an opener when his slack pass was picked off by James McCarthy and moved to Kevin Mirallas, whose shot was held well by Tremmel.
Swansea defender Ashley Williams then made a crucial block on the winger after a misdirected pass by Jose Canas had allowed him to advance into the danger zone.
Barkley was the victim of a crunching tackle from Williams as he looked to get into the box, and the 20-year-old midfielder wasted the game's best chance early in the second half.
Passes from Oviedo and Steven Pienaar played Barkley in on goal as Everton broke, but he stumbled as he was about to shoot.
Williams made a timely challenge to deny a surging run from Coleman as Everton ramped up the pressure, before Barkley produced a trademark driving run to ghost away from Jonathan de Guzman and get away a rising shot that Tremmel tipped onto his bar.
The German goalkeeper's next action was to pick the ball out of his net.
Swansea failed to cut out an Everton throw and the ball was worked right by McCarthy for Coleman to produce a swerving strike that beat Tremmel at his near post.
The lead lasted just five minutes. Davies whipped in a cross from the left and Tiendalli got in front of Pienaar to get away a strike which deflected off Ovideo to leave Tim Howard stranded.
Oviedo's intervention meant Swansea had benefited from five own goals in the league this season, a higher tally than any of their own players have managed.
But Barkley made sure it was the visitors who took home the spoils, beating Tremmel with his superb strike to stun the Liberty Stadium.
There was still time for Hernandez and Alejandro Pozuelo to work Howard, but Swansea could not find a leveler.