Blues see off Villans to climb to tenth in league standings.
Aston Villa 1 (0) – (2) 3 Everton
Gestede 79′ Funes Mori 5′
Villa Park (Attendance: 29,755)
Everton’s impressive away form has continued with a 3-1 away victory over the Premier League’s bottom club Aston Villa.
Ramiro Funes Mori, Aaron Lennon and Romelu Lukaku were all on target as the Toffees did enough to complete a league double over the Villans in the Midlands.
Rudy Gestede headed home a late consolation goal, but the damage had already been done by Roberto Martinez‘s men long before the Frenchman’s strike.
Fresh from a 10 day warm weather training camp in Dubai, and the fantastic news of investment from new majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, the Toffees looked to transfer the feel-good factor onto the pitch.
It took just five minutes for such a transition to occur.
Kevin Mirallas – in for the ill Tom Cleverley – whipped in a delightful corner and Funes Mori, unmarked in the six yard area, powered a header home for his fourth goal of an impressive debut campaign in England.
But instead of pinning the hosts back after that whirlwind start, the Blues allowed the Villans time and space to worm their way back into proceedings.
Before the clash with Roberto Martinez’s men, Villa had only had two shots on target in their past two outings.
In the space of five first-half minutes, however, they doubled that tally.
Joel Robles denied Gabby Agbonlahor after Funes Mori had cleared a through ball from Jordan Ayew onto the England striker, before Ashley Westwood forced the Spanish keeper into a diving save to tip his effort around the post.
From the resulting corner, Micah Richards sent an acrobatic shot wide of the right hand post, while Leandro Bacuna produced another routine save from Robles after curling a shot towards the 25 year old’s near post.
And Everton made the home side pay for that glut of missed opportunities with a second goal from a devastating counter attack.
Ross Barkley found Mirallas with a perfectly weighted pass and, after looking up to see what was on offer, the Belgian’s first time low cross was tucked home by Lennon via a deflection off Richards.
It was the winger’s fourth goal in six starts – Lennon’s smile clearly indicating his delight at such a golden run of form in front of goal.
The Toffees almost made it three moments later, but Mirallas, Lukaku and Bryan Oviedo were all denied in the same passage of play by Brad Guzan and Joleon Lescott – the latter clearing the Costa Rican’s acute shot off the line.
And it was soon three-nil 15 minutes after the restart, with the goal signalling a landmark occasion for striker Lukaku.
The Belgian initially saw a bullet header turned around the post by Guzan from a Lennon centre, but there was nothing the American goalkeeper could do to prevent the 22-year-old notching his 22nd of the campaign from the resulting corner.
Lennon picked up the pieces after Guzan had half cleared Mirallas’ set piece, played in Funes Mori down the right channel, and the centre half picked out Lukaku with a succinct dinked cross – the forward prodded home to do the rest.
And, in the process, Lukaku became the first Everton player to score 17 goals in a Premier League season.
Westwood saw two efforts fly wide of the upright as Villa fought for pride ahead of a walkout by home fans on 74 minutes to protest the way the club was being run by its owners.
And substitute Gestede gave the home crowd something to cheer – albeit ironically – when he powered home Jordan Veretout’s deep cross with 11 minutes remaining.
It mattered little, though, as the Blues saw out late pressure to secure victory and rise to tenth in the Premier League table.