Toffees too strong for Stoke

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Stoke did their best to ruin David Moyes' seventh anniversary as Everton boss but remain up to their necks in relegation trouble following a 3-1 defeat at Goodison Park.

Everton cruised into a two-goal first-half lead through Jo and Joleon Lescott, but did their best to throw away victory after the break.

Stoke pulled one back through Ryan Shawcross and continually threatened to steal a point, but they are still without an away league win this term after Marouane Fellaini hit a third in injury-time.

Everton opened with a flurry of chances, created with pace and movement that worried Stoke's big defenders.

Only a fine saving challenge from Salif Diao stopped Steven Pienaar finishing off a Fellaini cross, the Belgian now sporting a surprisingly cropped hair-cut. Leon Osman then fired over under pressure following Leighton Baines' cross.

Stoke produced some difficult moments via Rory Delap's long throws, but after 18 minutes Everton were ahead.

Fellaini lifted a neat ball into the box and Jo evaded Shawcross' challenge to hit a low shot that Thomas Sorensen only half stopped, the ball dribbling over the line.

Stoke seemed visibly deflated, and after 24 minutes it got worse when Lescott side-footed home after Sorensen was only able to palm out a Tim Cahill header following Osman's cross.

But Stoke, who recovered from 2-0 down at Aston Villa recently to grab a point, looked to again be embarking on similar powers of recovery when Shawcross headed home from Liam Lawrence's corner after 53 minutes.

But in injury-time Everton sealed the points when Fellaini brought down a Baines long ball and guided his shot past Sorensen.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Leon Osman
Stoke City
Salif Diao
Ryan Shawcross
Premier League
Marouane Fellaini
Rory Delap
Joleon Lescott
Tim Cahill
Aston Villa
Steven Pienaar
Leighton Baines
Liam Lawrence
Thomas Sorensen

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