Premier League: Everton 2 Hull City 1
By Football News
Everton secured a third straight home win as they overcame a dogged Hull City 2-1 at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Kevin Mirallas gave the hosts the lead in the with a low shot that beat an unsighted Allan McGregor, but Yannick Sagbo hit back to equalise before half-time.
However, Steven Pienaar scored the winner just 10 seconds after being introduced as a second-half substitute to send Roberto Martinez's side into the top six.
Gareth Barry returned to Everton's midfield, having missed the defeat to Manchester City due to the terms of his loan deal, while Hull were boosted by top-scorer Robbie Brady's comeback from a hernia.
Curtis Davies headed an early corner over for the visitors while Romelu Lukaku tested McGregor and it was Everton who took the lead just nine minutes in.
A corner from the left was worked to Mirallas on the edge of the area and the Belgian's low shot creeped in at the near post past McGregor, who made no attempt to keep the ball out with his view blocked by a congested penalty area.
As Hull worked their way back into the contest, Abdoulaye Faye twice headed over from corner kicks.
The visitors' pressure paid off on the half-hour though, as Sagbo, who had replaced the injured Danny Graham, netted his first Premier League goal.
Sone Aluko burst past Leighton Baines down the right flank and cut the ball back to Sagbo, eight yards out, and the Ivorian firmly side-footed past Tim Howard to level the scores.
Aluko showed no ill-effects of a crunching tackle from the already-booked Gareth Barry to assist the goal and twice went close in the dying stages of the half, looping a deflected effort over before his close-range header was nudged clear by Baines.
After a quiet start to the second half, Everton regained their lead with Pienaar making a perfect introduction after replacing Leon Osman on 57 minutes.
A long ball from Howard was flicked into Mirallas by Lukaku and the Belgian tore up the right wing before crossing to an unmarked Pienaar, who flicked home neatly with his first touch of the game.
Faye again proved a threat from set-pieces for the visitors when he met Huddlestone's corner, but Barry was on hand to clear away, while Davies went close from the following delivery, nodding wide.
Everton should have put the game to bed with 10 minutes to go, but Arouna Kone inexplicably crashed an effort against the post when one-on-one before bringing a smart save out of McGregor.
That mattered little though, as Everton kept Hull at arm's length to secure a hard-earned three points.