Read how Steven Pienaar scored with his first touch on his return from injury to earn Everton a 2-1 victory over Hull at Goodison Park.
By Joe Fish, Reporter Filed: Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 14:05 UK
Last Updated: Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 16:04 UK
Everton welcomed Hull City to Goodison Park this afternoon looking to avoid an international break hangover.
Bayern Munich were the only European side to have more players representing their countries in World Cup qualifiers this week than the Toffees, who went ahead on Merseyside courtesy of one of their international stars.
Kevin Mirallas struck an eighth-minute opener for the hosts, but his 20-yard effort was cancelled out by Yannick Sagbo on the half hour, who came off the bench to net his first Premier League goal since joining Hull in the summer.
Making his comeback following a six-week injury layoff, substitute Steven Pienaar scored with his first touch on 57 minutes to continue ensure that Everton, unbeaten on their own patch throughout 2013, continued their great home form.
Below, you can read how the action unfolded, courtesy of Sports Mole's live text coverage.
2.07pmAfternoon, all! So, England will be at the World Cup in Brazil next summer, but the international break is now over, and the Premier League is back. There's nothing quite like it, is there?
2.09pmOne of six 3.00pm Premier League kickoffs this afternoon is at Goodison Park, where Roberto Martinez's Everton side, formidable at home, play the so-far impressive Hull City.
2.21pmJust the one change for Everton, who recall Gareth Barry - ineligible for the game against Manchester City as part of the loan agreement that has brought him to Goodison Park.
2.24pmSteven Naismith, a goalscorer for Scotland in their 2-0 win over Croatia in midweek, is demoted to the bench, which means that Leon Osman will probably be shifted out to the left flank.
2.26pmIt is now a very recognisable Everton back five, and two of them - Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines - played 180 minutes for England in midweek to help the Three Lions reach Brazil 2014.
2.28pmRomelu Lukaku was also celebrating World Cup qualification in midweek, and he again leads the Everton line. What a masterstroke by Martinez, bringing the Belgian in on loan from Chelsea.
2.30pmThe striker has scored four goals in four Toffees appearances, and is justifying Martinez's claim that he was 'the missing link' that was needed to make Everton a real Premier League force.
2.32pmNow onto the visitors, who are unbeaten in five matches in all competitions, and also make just the one alteration to the starting XI from their last outing.
2.34pmIt is an important change, though, as Steve Bruce welcomes back top scorer Robbie Brady, who has made a remarkably quick recovery from a hernia operation.
2.36pmThe Republic of Ireland international has found the net three times in the Premier League so far this campaign, which is half of Hull's overall goalscoring tally.
2.38pmHis contributions have been particularly important considering that Danny Graham has gone 22 Premier League matches without a goal, but Bruce persists with the Sunderland loanee today.
2.40pmGraham forms part of a strike pair as the Tigers go with an attacking formation away from home. Sone Aluko, who scored a wonderful winner in Hull's last match on the road - a 3-2 victory over Newcastle United - is his partner up front.
2.43pmRESULT: Everton's Merseyside rivals Liverpool were in action in this afternoon's early kickoff, where they were held by 10-man Newcastle at St James' Park. The final score was 2-2, with Magpies youngster Paul Dummett grabbing his first Premier League goal.
2.45pmBENCH WATCH: Martinez has as strong a bench at his disposal as Everton fans will have seen in a long time - especially in terms of attacking options. Nikica Jelavic and Arouna Kone are ready in waiting if the Toffees need an extra body in attack.
2.47pmSteven Pienaar's presence on the home bench will be a welcome sight for the Everton fans. The South African playmaker did not feature for his club throughout September with a muscle injury.
2.49pmSTAT: As well as their strong bench, this is an indication of the depth in Everton's squad this season - Bayern Munich were the only European team that had more players representing their countries in World Cup qualifiers this week.
2.52pmThe points have been shared fairly evenly between these sides when they have met in the Premier League. Back in the 2009/2010 season, Everton were 5-1 victors at Goodison Park, while Hull scored three goals in the opening half hour to beat the Toffees at the KC Stadium.
2.54pmONE TO WATCH: Kevin Mirallas - Lukaku and Ross Barkley have perhaps made the headline-making contributions to Everton's cause this season, but Kevin Mirallas is a very important part of their attacking setup, too. The Belgian winger is a great source of width on the right flank, and is due a goal, so I'm backing him to find the net this afternoon.
2.57pmPREDICTION: Hull's bright start to the campaign has surprised many, and I expect them to make it difficult for Everton this afternoon. Having said that, the Toffees have been terrific at home as of late, and I think they will edge this contest in the second half. I'll plump for 2-0.
3 minHull are first to open up their opposition's defence as Huddlestone slides in Graham with a threaded through ball. The striker can't quite sort his feet out and Distin comes across to block the shot.
4 minCHANCE! From the resultant corner, Huddlestone floats the ball into the area and Davies shakes off his marker to attack the ball, only to glance the effort a few yards wide.
6 minSAVE! We see the first evidence of Lukaku's strength this afternoon as he shrugs of the challenge of Davies with ease, before shooting low towards the near post, where Alan McGregor parries the ball behind for a corner.
8 minEverton lead and it is Kevin Mirallas with his first Premier League goal of the season. His clever interplay with Leon Osman had earned the hosts their initial corner, which Hull failed to clear properly on numerous occasions. Eventually, Baines pulls the ball back for Mirallas to side foot from 20 yards beyond McGregor and into the bottom corner. The Hull goalkeeper may have been unsighted, as he barley moved an inch once the ball had left Mirallas's foot.
10 minI did point Mirallas out as the one to watch this afternoon, and tip him to score. Sorry Hull fans, but in this case, I love to say I told you so! Some useful fantasy football points for me, too!
12 minGraham is down receiving treatment following a collision with Barry. The Everton man left his foot in pretty high on the Hull striker, who is clearly in some pain. Barry lucky to escape unpunished.
15 minSUBSTITUTION: This looks like a pretty bad one, unfortunately. Play has been stopped for three minutes to allow a stretcher to come on to take Graham off the pitch. He is replaced by Yannick Sagbo, whose Hull career has yet to really get going following a three-match suspension.
17 minEverton are given a free kick 10 yards off the right touchline for an apparent handball by Figueroa. Baines is on the set piece, but he overhits his delivery, which McGregor comes off his line to claim.
20 minSHOT! Barkley picks the ball up in that number 10 position in which has been so impressive this season. He spins and shoots, but fairly tamely and into the ground, allowing McGregor to gather easily.
22 minCHANCE! Set pieces appear to be Hull's most obvious threat of a goal. Huddlestone floats a corner deep to the far post and Faye, who is in plenty of space, is there to meet it, but he powers a header some distance over the crossbar.
24 minExcellent Hull pressure forces Distin into a wild pass back to Howard, who, with the ball coming to him at hip height and at some pace, hacks a clearance out for a corner. Distin waves an apologetic hand.
25 minCLOSE! Another Hull chance from a set piece, and this is the closest that they have come! This time, Brady's left-foot whips in the delivery and Faye rises above Jagielka to head into the ground and just over the crossbar.
26 minBaines takes a free kick short to Osman, whose attempted shot on goal from about 25 yards out is always going wide, but Lukaku stretches out a leg to nearly divert the ball towards the net.
28 minBOOKING: Foul by Barry, and this time he is punished. Aluko muscles McCarthy off the ball and Barry tries to intervene, getting some of the ball but going over the top of it on the follow through, catching the Hull striker forcefully on the ankle.
30 minAll of Hull's previous chances had come from set pieces, but this goal is a really well-worked move. They keep the ball well before Rosenior plays in Aluko down the right, who performs a little step-over to wrong foot Barry and cross for Sagbo. He meets the ball with an emphatic first-time finish into the roof of the net, leaving Howard with no chance. His first Premier League goal...
33 minUpdate on Danny Graham - he has been taken to hospital for treatment and a scan on his knee. That will worry Steve Bruce, whose concern about that news may be somewhat calmed by the fact that the striker's replacement this afternoon has just netted Hull's equaliser.
36 minBLOCK! Baines pings the ball into the feet of Barkley, whose superb first touch sets him up for a well-timed volley that Davies dives to block in front of his goalkeeper.
38 minEverton are enjoying a substantial period of position since Hull levelled the scores, but the visitors are defending well. Davies is staying very tight to Lukaku and is doing well to prevent him from turning and generally force the Belgian away from goal.
40 minSHOT! Mirallas spins after collecting a pass from Barry and immediately looks to get a shot away. From all of 30 yards out, the Belgian unleashes a powerful swerving effort that didn't quite have enough dip on it to test McGregor.
43 minExcellent work from Baines on the left, but his cross just evades Lukaku in the centre of the goal and Faye turns the ball behind from a corner. Moments later, Osman heads a Baines cross wide.
45 minThe Hull physio has been a busy man this half. Elmohamady is the man requiring attention on this occasion, after he was caught by the follow through of McCarthy's sliding challenge. Bruce may be forced into another substitution here, or at the break. We are now entering first-half stoppage time.
45+2 minElmohamady has limped back on, and is moving pretty gingerly. We shall have to wait and see if he emerges for the second period.
45+4 minCHANCES! Jagielka tries to bring the ball out of defence, but slips under no real pressure, allowing Hull to launch an attack. Livermore passes to Aluko, whose shot is partially blocked by Distin as it loops over the crossbar. From the resulting corner, Faye again wins the initial header, nodding the ball in the direction of Aluko, whose flick-on looked to be goalbound before it went behind off an Everton body.
3.58pmAn excellent start for Everton, with Mirallas netting the goal (that I predicted he would score) that gave them an eighth-minute advantage. It was the Belgian's first goal of the season, but Yannick Sagbo trumped him by opening his Premier League career account for Hull with a well-struck equaliser.
4.02pmHalf-time parity is no less than Hull deserve. They have been a constant threat from set pieces, with Abdoulaye Faye seemingly getting the better of Phil Jagileka in the air from every corner. On two or three occasions, the Hull defender has either come close himself or set up a teammate by climbing above the England international centre-back.
4.04pmThe statistics will tell you that Everton have enjoyed much more of the possession, and while that is true, they have not created as much as they would have liked. The passing style that Martinez is trying to implement at Goodison Park certainly broke down following Hull's equaliser. The Toffees had a lot of territory, but there was little quality or composure to their final ball.
4.06pmSTATS: Here are those possession figures, then. Everton enjoyed a massive 69% of the ball in the first period, but Hull matched them in terms of efforts on goal . Hull had five corners, and if they have the same amount in this second half, Faye may well make one of them count.
46 minThose first-half injuries, and thus the five minutes of stoppage time, have delayed the start to the second period, which is now just underway, Both sides are unchanged...
48 minLivermore shows some smart footwork to wriggle away from Barkley and lay the ball back to Huddlestone, whose ambitious 50-yard pass over the top is just intercepted by the head of Phil Jagielka. The two summer arrivals from Tottenham Hotspur have settled in very nicely at the Tigers.
50 minOsman plays a give and go with Lukaku down the left channel before standing the ball up towards Mirallas. Davies comes across and makes a headed clearance on the stretch.
53 minRosenior went down on the right touchline and stayed down for a couple of minutes, while Everton played on. He eventually got up and then made his way back into the box to make a crucial intervention as Barkley dribbled dangerously towards goal.
55 minSUBSTITUTION: Osman is yellow carded for a cynical trip on Sagbo, who was threatening to sprint away from him on the break. That will prove to be his last contribution to the action, too, with Steven Pienaar replacing him to a warm reception from the home faithful.
56 minCHANCE! Rosenior plays a long ball forward and Sagbo lays it off perfectly for Livermore, whose shot from the edge of the box on his weaker left foot may have been sneaking into the bottom corner had it not taken the slightest of deflections off Distin's leg.
57 minWith his first touch since returning from injury, Pienaar has restored Everton's lead! Barkley releases Mirallas on the right wing and he crosses first time for the substitute to guide the ball into the bottom corner with the calmest of finishes. What a way to make your comeback!
63 minEverton still have not figured out how to stop Hull threatening from corners. It is the same routine every time, with Faye heading across goal from the back post and this time Sagbo tries to divert the knockdown towards the net. Coleman makes the block, but the Tigers can try again...
65 minCHANCE! A lovely delivery from Huddlestone, as he mixes it up and instead fizzes a flatter corner into the centre of the box. Again, Hull win the aerial duel as Davies jumps above Distin, only to glance his header a few yards wide.
67 minSUBSTITUTIONS: A change from either manager. Bruce swaps Rosenior for George Boyd, which means Elmohamady will drop into right-back. For Everton, Arouna Kone comes on in place of a tired looking Lukaku, who has not had much joy this afternoon under the watchful eye of Davies.
70 minSagbo clatters into Jagielka with a reckless challenge that leaves the Toffees skipper requiring treatment. The Hull forward is a lucky boy to go unpunished, as he flew across the rain-soaked Goodison Park service and thumped into Jagielka at an awkward height, and at some force too.
73 minSUBSTITUTION: Hull makes his final change of the match, taking Aluko off for Stephen Quinn. That will mean some more tactical tinkering from Bruce, with Brady going to play through the middle.
75 minLivermore shifts the ball out to Sagbo on the left wing, and he cuts inside before crossing towards Brady, but the ball is in the air for some time and Howard comes off his line to make a simple catch.
77 minWOODWORK! Everton should have put this game to bed. It is a glorious opportunity for Kone to get off the mark for the Toffees, as Coleman picks him out with a low cross. Kone comes back inside and takes his time before attempting to bend the ball into the far corner, only to see it rebound off the post.
78 minSAVE! Kone is sent clear on the counter, but again he cannot wrap up the points for the hosts! He runs at Distin before wrong-footing the Frenchman. He tries to give McGregor the eyes, but the Hull goalkeeper does brilliantly to stay big and then react to make a fine save with his feet.
80 minSUBSTITUTION: All three available substitutes have been made by both managers now, as Martinez introduces Steven Naismith in place of Barkley for the final 10 minutes of this contest.
83 minUPDATE! Not many signs of a goal here, but there has been one at Old Trafford, where Dejan Lovern has scored for Southampton to snatch them what looks like being a late point at Man United.
86 minEverton seem to be in relative control here, but that does not stop Martinez from looking a nervous wreck on the touchline. He must be wondering how Kone has not already secured his side victory.
90 minBOOKING: Huddlestone picks up a late yellow card as we enter the first of FOUR minutes of second-half stoppage time. There is still time for Hull, but they don't look likely at present...
90+2 minDavies makes another vital interception, stretching out a leg to prevent Mirallas, who was looming unmarked at the back post, getting on the end of Kone's square pass.
90+4 minBOOKING: Baines follows Huddlestone into the book in added time, and surprisingly it is for simulation. He is dribbling into the box and brushes Stephen Quinn on his way to going to ground, too easily according to referee Neil Swarbrick.
5.00pmEverton fans will be glad to see Steven Pienaar back. The South African came off the bench to make an immediate impact, scoring the winner with his first touch since returning from a six-week injury layoff. Yannick Sagbo had earlier netted his maiden Premier League goal to earn Hull parity after Kevin Mirallas had given Everton an eighth-minute lead.
5.04pmSubstitute Arouna Kone should have made the final few minutes a bit more comfortable for his manager Roberto Martinez, but, in the end, it was three more home points for the Toffees, who are now level with fourth-place Southampton in the table.
5.05pmThat is it from me for today. Be sure to stay tuned to Sports Mole for live coverage of this evening's Premier League clash between West Ham and Man City at Upton Park. Thanks for joining us this afternoon.