LIVERPOOL (AFP) – Ross Barkley produced a sublime solo strike as Everton cruised to a 3-1 win over struggling QPR at Goodison Park on Monday.
Barkley’s first goal of an injury-hit campaign was well worth the wait as the England midfielder broke the deadlock with a 20-yard thunderbolt after a driving run from inside his own half.
The 21-year-old’s moment of magic once again prompted comparisons with former England great Paul Gascoigne and proved the catalyst for Roberto Martinez’s side to secure their first win in four Premier League matches.
Kevin Mirallas doubled their lead before half-time and Steven Naismith added the third, with Bobby Zamora’s late goal offering little consolation for outclassed QPR.
Everton had the added pleasure of moving above Merseyside rivals Liverpool into 10th place, while QPR remain in the relegation zone after losing their ninth successive away game in all competitions.
“It was a really important win. In front of goal we were clinical and full of quality,” Martinez said.
“There were pieces of individual magic. The way Ross Barkley opens up the defence and hits that quality of strike is outstanding.”
The only worry for Everton was a late injury to Mirallas that saw the Belgium winger carried off on a stretcher.
“It’s too early to make any sort of assessment of Kevin Mirallas. It’s a bad ankle injury, we will assess in the morning and take it from there,” Martinez added.