• Romelu Lukaku headed Everton into the lead after 22 minutes following a blistering counter attacking move
  • He doubled Everton’s lead over Southampton on the stroke of half time after exchanging passes with Ross Barkley
  • Barkley then added a third six minutes from time with an assured finish to seal Everton’s victory

Sam Cunningham for the Daily Mail

If you believe in karma, then Romelu Lukaku was served a huge helping of it in Everton’s convincing win against Southampton.

During the warm-up, the striker smashed a ball which struck a Southampton fan in the Northam Stand, home to their more vocal supporters. But instead of the usual wave of apology — as is custom from players — or occasional display of ignorance, Lukaku climbed far into the stand to apologise and give the lady a hug.

A lovely gesture, no doubt, and what goes around comes around. By half-time, he had scored twice. With a return like that, strikers all over the country will be plunging into the stands pre-match at every opportunity. 

VIDEO – Scroll down to see Lukaku head into the stands to apologise for accidentally hitting a fan with a stray shot 

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku (centre) headed Everton ahead after 22 minutes against Southampton in the Premier League encounter

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku (centre) headed Everton ahead after 22 minutes against Southampton in the Premier League encounter

Lukaku (left) capped a tremendously swift counter attack from Everton after a Southampton corner, converting Aruna Kone's cross

Lukaku (left) capped a tremendously swift counter attack from Everton after a Southampton corner, converting Aruna Kone’s cross

Lukaku (second left) then linked up with midfield player Ross Barkley (second right) to double Everton's lead on the stroke of half-time

Lukaku (second left) then linked up with midfield player Ross Barkley (second right) to double Everton’s lead on the stroke of half-time

Striker Lukaku wheels away in celebration after scoring for Everton against Southampton in the first half at St Mary's stadium

Striker Lukaku wheels away in celebration after scoring for Everton against Southampton in the first half at St Mary’s stadium

Southampton could not handle Lukaku (right) in the first half and his two goals saw Everton surge into the lead

Southampton could not handle Lukaku (right) in the first half and his two goals saw Everton surge into the lead

MATCH FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS, PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE 

 

Southampton (4-2-3-1): Stekelenburg 6; Soares 6, Yoshida 5, Fonte 5, Targett 6; Davis 6 (Ward-Prowse 79), Wanyama 5.5; Tadic 6 (Romeu 46 6), Mane 6.5, Long 6 (Rodriguez 72 6); Pelle 6.5.

Subs not used: Gazzaniga, Martina, Reed, Juanmi.

Manager: Ronald Koeman 5

Booked: Targett, Pelle, Romeu, Davis

Everton (4-1-2-1-2): Howard 7.5; Coleman 7, Stones 7.5, Jagielka 7.5, Galloway 7 (Browning 88); Barry; Cleverley 6.5, McCarthy 7; Barkley 8; Kone 7.5 (Naismith 80), Lukaku 8.5 (Deulofeu 89).

Subs not used: Robles, Mirallas, Besic, Osman.

Manager: Roberto Martinez 7

Booked: Barkley, McCarthy 

Referee: Michael Oliver

Man of the match: Romelu Lukaku 

 Att: 30,966

The Premier League table after Everton’s win in the early game on Saturday

Lukaku's first goal was part of a stunning break by Everton. See more from MatchZone

Lukaku’s first goal was part of a stunning break by Everton. See more from MatchZone

A lovely gesture, no doubt, and what goes around comes around. By half-time, he had scored twice. With a return like that, strikers all over the country will be plunging into the stands pre-match at every opportunity.

The first, when Everton took the lead after 22 minutes, was against the run of play but a break of high calibre. Southampton had a chance down Everton’s end, but the ball rolled out of the box to Ross Barkley on the right. 

His pass down the line set Arouna Kone free, he dribbled towards the area and stuck the ball on to Lukaku’s head. The towering striker nodded it back in the direction from whence it came and the ball clipped the crossbar on its way in.

The chances had been all for the home side, leading up to then. After 12 minutes, the sprightly Sadio Mane broke in behind Everton’s defence but from an acute angle to the left of goal could only shoot wide. 

He had a similar chance nine minutes later, this time testing Tim Howard but the Everton goalkeeper threw a limb at the ball and diverted it wide.

Barkley (centre) lashed in from inside the penalty area for Everton's third of the game and his second of the season already

Barkley (centre) lashed in from inside the penalty area for Everton’s third of the game and his second of the season already

England man Barkley celebrates scoring Everton's third goal of the game at St Mary's in what was an impressive win over Southampton

England man Barkley celebrates scoring Everton’s third goal of the game at St Mary’s in what was an impressive win over Southampton

Barkley's goal capped an impressive performance from Everton, who have struggled against Southampton in previous seasons at St Mary's

Barkley’s goal capped an impressive performance from Everton, who have struggled against Southampton in previous seasons at St Mary’s

Barkley leads the Everton celebrations in front of their fans after scoring the third, while Southampton's players look dejected

Barkley leads the Everton celebrations in front of their fans after scoring the third, while Southampton’s players look dejected

Southampton's players look dejected after Lukaku proved too strong for them by scoring two goals in the first half of the game

Southampton’s players look dejected after Lukaku proved too strong for them by scoring two goals in the first half of the game

Attacking midfield player Ross Barkley (left) missed a good chance to double Everton's lead before Lukaku added his second of the game

Attacking midfield player Ross Barkley (left) missed a good chance to double Everton’s lead before Lukaku added his second of the game

In between those chances, Graziano Pelle nodded a cross back to Dusan Tadic inside the box but his effort was blocked, and young left-back Matt Targett shot powerfully from distance but Howard got his body behind the ball.

Then came Everton’s opener and shortly afterwards another almost — and should have — followed. Lukaku made a powerful run through the middle and played the ball into the path of Ross Barkley who shot first-time, from eight yards out. It was saved by the legs of Stekelenburg, but when the ball came back out to Tom Cleverley, slightly to the left of goal, he had just to send it on target to score, but dragged the ball wide.

But Everton and Lukaku got their second, a minute before the break, via another break. Lukaku won the ball in the centre of the pitch, passed to Barkley who raced through the middle, causing Southampton defenders to backtrack, then prodded the ball inside to his team-mate who swept a first-time shot into the bottom right of goal.

New signing Oriol Romeu was introduced by Ronald Koeman at half-time, in place of Tadic, for his Southampton debut and quickly picked up a yellow card for a foul on James McCarthy. 

His presence tightened up the middle of the pitch, which they left so bare in the first half, and the home side continued to create chances.

Everton's defence worked well to stifle Southampton striker Graziano Pelle (centre) during the game at St Mary's on Saturday

Everton’s defence worked well to stifle Southampton striker Graziano Pelle (centre) during the game at St Mary’s on Saturday

Everton defender John Stones passes the ball in his team's clash against Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday

Everton defender John Stones passes the ball in his team’s clash against Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday

Barkley (left) skips over the challenge made by Southampton and Kenya midfield player Victor Wanyama at St Mary's

Barkley (left) skips over the challenge made by Southampton and Kenya midfield player Victor Wanyama at St Mary’s

Southampton attacker Sadio Mane (right) jumps away from the challenge from Everton defender Brendan Galloway

Southampton attacker Sadio Mane (right) jumps away from the challenge from Everton defender Brendan Galloway

Pelle struck an instinctive half-volley on 53 minutes, cutting across the ball, but it was saved. Later, he powered a Steven Davis header towards goal but it went over.

With 10 minutes remaining, Phil Jagielka headed a ball out of his box and it fell to Mane who took a touch 30 yards from goal before driving an effort at goal, but it was was pushed wide.

But Everton made sure of the result in the 84th minute. Seamus Coleman played a one-two with Lukaku, then passed across the area to Barkley who had drifted in from the left and he took a touch before bending the ball sumptuously into the right of goal. 

Everton manager Roberto Martinez shouts out instructions to his players during their game against Southampton

Everton manager Roberto Martinez shouts out instructions to his players during their game against Southampton

Southampton boss Ronald Koeman was still on crutches after injuring his Achilles when the team was in Holland recently

Southampton boss Ronald Koeman was still on crutches after injuring his Achilles when the team was in Holland recently

A plane was flown over St Mary's before kick-off, protesting Everton chairman Bill Kenwright's ownership and the club's lack of silverware

A plane was flown over St Mary’s before kick-off, protesting Everton chairman Bill Kenwright’s ownership and the club’s lack of silverware

The England manager, Roy Hodgson, watches proceedings at St Mary's between Southampton at Everton in the Premier League

The England manager, Roy Hodgson, watches proceedings at St Mary’s between Southampton at Everton in the Premier League

 

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