Friday 19 January 2018

Lukaku hat-trick after Sunderland meltdown

Romelu Lukaku hit a hat-trick for Everton against Sunderland Photo: PA
Romelu Lukaku hit a hat-trick for Everton against Sunderland Photo: PA

Romelu Lukaku ended an 11-game Premier League drought in style with an 11-minute hat-trick as he fired Everton to a 3-0 victory at Sunderland.

The Belgium international struck with 60th and 68th-minute headers and then completed his treble with 19 minutes remaining at the Stadium of Light to condemn former Toffees boss David Moyes, who lost his job as Manchester United manager after a defeat by the same opposition in April 2014, to a third defeat in four league outings so far this season.

Sunderland gave as good as they got before the break despite having to defend resiliently, but they were torn apart after it as Lukaku ran riot in front of a largely horrified crowd of 42,406.

Everton boss Ronald Koeman replaced Ross Barkley with Gerard Deulofeu at the break and the newcomer made an instant impact setting up a Yannick Bolasie chance. Lukaku stabbed inches wide from Seamus Coleman's driven 54th-minute cross, but he found the target five minutes later when, after Deulofeu had broken at pace from a Sunderland corner, Idrissa Gueye crossed from the right and he rose unopposed to head past the helpless Jordan Pickford.

The Belgian rattled the crossbar after turning smartly four minutes later, but made sure of victory with 23 minutes remaining when Bolasie picked him out unmarked at the far post once again.

The home side's misery was complete within three minutes when the powerhouse striker helped himself to a third after Kevin Mirallas had played him through on Pickford.

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