Tue, Mar 09, 2010 - Page 20 News List

Toffees hit five to land Hull in a sticky situation

AFP , LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND

Hull City’s George Boateng, second right, blocks a free-kick by Everton’s Mikel Arteta, second left, during their Premier League match in Liverpool, England, on Saturday.

PHOTO: AFP

Everton pushed Hull City deeper into the relegation mire as Mikel Arteta’s double inspired a 5-1 rout of the Tigers at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Spain midfielder Arteta scored his first goals of an injury-hit season either side of Tom Cairney’s equalizer and David Moyes’ side wrapped up the points thanks to a Richard Garcia own-goal and late strikes from Landon Donovan and Jack Rodwell.

While the Toffees still harbor hopes of a European place, Hull have only a grim struggle against relegation to occupy their minds.

Phil Brown’s side would have moved out of the Premier League’s bottom three with a draw, but instead remain third bottom of the table.

Moyes handed defender Phil Jagielka his first start of an injury-plagued season, but midfielder Tim Cahill failed a late fitness test on a calf problem.

Hull had an early opportunity when Garcia controlled a high ball from Stephen Hunt, but the midfielder’s shot was blocked by Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Moyes’ men turned the screw after that and Arteta fired wide before Leon Osman created a golden opportunity for Ayegbeni Yakubu. Osman picked out Yakubu with a superb through-ball, but the Nigerian’s shot hit a post with Boaz Myhill beaten.

It was just a few moments before Everton were celebrating, though, as Arteta opened the scoring in the 17th minute. Yakubu found space on the left and delivered a high cross, which Arteta converted at the far post.

Yakubu had played his part in Everton’s opener, but he squandered a golden opportunity to double Everton’s lead from the penalty spot. Referee Lee Mason ruled that Yakubu had been fouled by Kamil Zayatte as the pair battled to reach Leighton Baines’ cross, but the Nigerian’s scuffed penalty was easily saved by Myhill.

Hull made the hosts pay as highly-rated young midfielder Cairney hit a superb equalizer in the 31st minute. Nick Barmby’s free-kick was headed out by Jagielka and Cairney controlled on his chest, before lashing a half-volley across Howard.

Hull had barely settled back down when Victor Anichebe crossed from the right wing in the 39th minute and Steven Pienaar’s backheel was calmly slotted home by Arteta.

Rodwell, introduced just before halftime for the injured Osman, had a strike deflected against a post early in the second half as Everton went for the kill.

Their pressure was rewarded with a third goal in the 51st minute. Myhill flapped at an Arteta cross under the crossbar and Garcia couldn’t stop the ball bouncing off his head and into his own net.

Donovan, on loan from LA Galaxy, rubbed salt into Hull’s wounds when the US winger volleyed in a Baines cross in the 82nd minute.

Rodwell completed the demolition job four minutes later with a cool finish from Donovan’s cross.

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