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Everton have made their best start to a season in 28 years after beating a blunt Middlesbrough side 3-1 at Goodison park.
Ronald Koeman set Europe as a realistic target following the Merseysider’s win over Sunderland on Monday night, and his players responded with another impressive performance, leaving them second, two points of leaders Manchester City.
Despite losing their first Premier League game of the season last week to Crystal Palace, Aitor Karanka's side settled early on and displayed confidence when in possession without causing the home team any real problems.
Maarten Stekelenburg was recently recalled to the Dutch National team after producing some instrumental performances, but the former Fulham man was at fault for the opener in the 18th minute when he was caught out by Álvaro Negredo’s strong challenge, before putting the ball into his own net.
Gareth Barry marked his 600th Premier League appearance with the equaliser, the former Manchester City player with a smart finish from Kevin Mirallas's corner in the 23rd minute.
Everton were on the front-foot after drawing level, and newly-appointed Irish captain Seamus Coleman put the Blues ahead when he produced a finish worthy of a striker in the 41st minute, after a wonderful flick from Romelu Lukaku played him in on goal.
Lukaku made it four goals in a week just before the half-time whistle after he got the slightest of touches from a well-timed Yannick Bolasie cross to take it beyond Víctor Valdés.
The Belgian striker was replaced in the second half by debutant Enner Valencia after it seemed the former Chelsea man picked up a knock.
Everton will travel to face Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth on the 24th of September while Middlesbrough will hope to get their campaign back on track when they host title hopefuls Tottenham Hotspur.
By Nick Royle
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