MX23RW : Thursday, September 24 04:22:26| >> :120:20626:20626:

Half-Time Report: Gerard Deulofeu fires Everton in front

Gerard Deulofeu marks his first Premier League start for Everton with a goal.

Gerard Deulofeu marked his first Premier League start for Everton with a goal, putting his side 1-0 up against Stoke City at the interval.

The Toffees started the match on the front foot, testing Potters goalkeeper Asmir Begovic with a curling free kick from Deulofeu in the second minute.

Deulofeu was a live wire in the first half, forcing Begovic into another save in the 15th minute, his effort going through a crowd of players before being smothered by the Bosnian.

Neat link-up play between James McCarthy and Romelu Lukaku carved out a further chance for the Blues moments later, but the former could only drag his shot wide.

Everton continued to up the tempo, with Leon Osman unleashing a vicious drive just before the half-hour mark, producing yet another impressive save from Begovic.

The home side took the lead on the stroke of half time, just moments after Jonathan Walters had missed a sitter for Stoke, Deulofeu rifling a shot into the top corner after Steven Pienaar and Gareth Barry played a neat one-two.

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Manager Roberto Martinez of Everton looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Everton at Selhurst Park on November 9, 2013
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