Everton climbed out of the relegation zone in dramatic fashion as they beat Watford 3-2 with a stoppage-time winner at Goodison Park on Sunday.
Everton 3 Watford 2
Richarlison opens scoring after restart
Kabasele doubles Hornets’ lead
Niasse pulls one back for Toffees
Calvert-Lewin restores parity
Baines penalty completes comeback
The Toffees’ woes looked to continue when they went two goals down on Merseyside, but they fought back to score three times in the final 23 minutes and secure three vital points which lifted them out of the bottom-three up to 15th place.
Marco Silva’s side had a very late chance to salvage a draw but Tom Cleverley missed from the spot in the 12th minute of stoppage time, after Leighton Baines had just converted a penalty for the hosts.
The first half was a scrappy affair as both teams struggled to find their rhythm, which led to a subdued opening with no chances.
The game came to life midway through the first half when Baines connected with Wayne Rooney’s cutback inside the area to force a good save of out Heurelho Gomes.
After Tom Davies sent a cheeky lob well over the crossbar on 27 minutes, the visitors threatened moments later with a shot from Kiko Femenia that cleared the target.
Richarlison wasted the best chance of the half when he was played through on goal in the 39th minute, but after taking the ball around Jordan Pickford, the Brazilian fired into the side-netting.
Pickford was called into action two minutes later as he got down well to deny Abdoulaye Doucoure, but he was beaten in the first minute of the second half by Richarlison, who capped off a swift counter with a finish in off the post after going past the Toffees keeper.
Gomes then pulled off a double save to keep out Gylfi Sigurdsson from Omar Niasse’s cutback before parrying Rooney’s effort away from danger on the rebound from a tight angle on the left.
The Brazilian was injured in the process and had to be replaced after receiving lengthy treatment, with Orestis Karnezis coming off the bench.
The Hornets struck again on 64 minutes from a corner that was expertly headed home by Kabasele, but David Unsworth’s men responded quickly as Niasse beat an onrushing Karnezis to the ball outside the box and slotted into an empty net three minutes later.
Worse was to follow for the substitute keeper as he was blocked off at a 74th minute corner which allowed Dominic Calvert-Lewin to score at the back post with a header.
Adrian Mariappa went close to restoring the Hornets’ lead from an 88th minute corner that he headed just wide of the mark, but there was still more drama to come in the 12 minutes of injury time.
Aaron Lennon was brought down by Jose Holebas inside the area on the right to win a penalty that was dispatched by Baines to complete a sensational comeback, but the visitors were awarded a spot-kick of their own in the dying embers of the match, although Tom Cleverley fired wide of the left post.