Everton defeated Middlesbrough 3-1 in their clash at Goodison Park to record their best ever start to a Premier League campaign.
- Stekelenburg palms the ball into his own net
- Barry scores on his 600th appearance
- Coleman puts the Toffees into the lead
- Lukaku adds a third before the break
- Barry gets a standing ovation when substituted
Middlesbrough opened the scoring via a Maarten Stekelenburg own goal on 21 minutes before Gareth Barry – playing his 600th top-flight game – equalised just three minutes later. The Toffees then took the lead through Republic of Ireland international Seamus Coleman three minutes before the half time break, with Romelo Lukaku on target as well a minute into injury time.
FT: Everton 3-1 Boro. Goals from Barry, Coleman and Lukaku give us our best start to a season since 1978/79. Up the Toffees! #EFCmatchday
— Everton (@Everton) September 17, 2016
Boro started well with Daniel Ayala coming close to an opener on just six minutes, but the ball just skipped away from him from a Stewart Downing flicked header after Gaston Ramirez's curling free-kick.
Phil Jagielka then shouldered a Kevin Mirallas corner over the target ahead of a good Ross Barkley effort on 19 minutes that was well saved by Víctor Valdes.
Mirallas had a low shot comfortably held by Valdes before Downing's deep cross was powered home by Alvaro Negredo – though the goal was awarded to the Everton keeper as Stekelenburg’s arm ultimately knocked the ball into the net.
The hosts were soon level as Barry fortunately picked up a loose ball on the edge of the Middlesbrough box before hitting the ball sweetly into the opposite top corner.
Barkley opted to shoot with Lukaku well placed inside the box, with his effort flying well over the Boro goal, before Yannick Bolasie headed onto the roof of the net from a looped Leighton Baines cross.
Everton were in the lead three minutes before the break as Coleman picked up an Idrissa Gueye pass just outside the area before racing through the away defence and firing into the bottom corner of the net.
There was still time for one more goal though as Bolasie swung in a curled delivery from the right that beat everybody in the box before Lukaku got the slightest of touches to put Valdes off.
Mirallas shot well wide of the target as the second half got underway ahead of a good chance for Barkley who forced Valdes into a low save to his right after cutting outside his man inside the box before firing goalward.
Valdes then had to be quick to gather the ball inside the six-yard box as Mirallas looked to react to the loose ball after Barkley had fed to Lukaku.
Ben Gibson denied Mirallas from racing through on goal after he had picked out an Ashley Williams ball over the top while Baines was well placed to deflect a David Nugent cross to his keeper.
Valdes collected a weak Mirallas shot inside the six-yard box before Barragan beat Barkley to an Enner Valencia delivery while Negredo was crowded out as he attempted to meet a Viktor Fischer ball on the edge of the box.
Stekelenburg had to then fist clear a Marten de Roon cross with Negredo waiting as Coleman blocked a goal-bound Fischer shot from range in the 82nd minute while the final act of the tie saw Ronald Koeman substitute Barry to a standing ovation.