Everton beat Burnley 2-0 to maintain Europa League hopes
Everton beat Burnley to keep their Europa League hopes alive.
The Toffees, who move to within one point of seventh-placed Wolves, started brightly and led when Richarlison's 25-yard shot deflected in off Ben Mee.
Seamus Coleman headed in a second goal after Tom Heaton parried Lucas Digne's swerving shot.
Burnley struggled in front of goal, but should probably have had a second-half penalty when Michael Keane shoved substitute Matej Vydra.
Sean Dyche's side have already secured their Premier League place for next season and looked far short of their battling best.
Everton's top-seven bid will come to an end if Wolves beat Fulham on Saturday.
Everton continue decent form
The Toffees have found a good run of results in the closing stages of the season, with a fifth win in seven games.
Boss Marco Silva said his side have “finished the season in the right way” and that “we have to put our targets high” for next year.
But this season is not over yet. They can qualify for Europe, but it remains a long shot.
They need to finish seventh, which means they cannot afford Wolves to win either of their final games. And they also need Manchester City to beat Watford in the FA Cup final to ensure the seventh-placed team get a Europa League place.
Everton blew Burnley away with a quick start at Goodison Park.
They had five shots in the opening 10 minutes and 12 efforts in the first half.
Richarlison had an effort blocked and fired another over before his shot helped give them the lead. Gylfi Sigurdsson picked out the Brazilian and his long-range strike flew past Heaton – but it was registered as a Mee own goal as the shot took a deflection off the Burnley defender.
Everton continued their push for goals and Digne's effort from outside the box was saved with Coleman stooping in to head in his 20th Premier League goal.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin had several chances for Everton but failed to test Heaton.
The Toffees lost Richarlison to a not-too-serious-looking injury early in the second half. Their chances dried up after the break – until a wonderful Ademola Lookman shot from outside the box late on which clipped the top of the crossbar.
“The players have been doing well,” said Silva. “The last 10 games we have had eight clean sheets and have been playing offensive football. The players have been enjoying what they are doing and we have achieved three points again.
“We were always in control. We deserved those two goals in that moment. I didn't really like the second half. We were in control but gave some chances to them. We could do better.”
Burnley getting ready for their holidays
The visitors worked hard but looked, understandably, like a team whose season is over.
Burnley practically guaranteed their survival last month with three consecutive wins and a draw against Chelsea. A top-half finish is out of the question so Dyche's team have no real aim in the final couple of games.
The manager said after the game that his players are “human beings”, adding: “We've climbed a mountain in the second half of the season. We're safe, with not too much to play for.
“I won't over-question the players after what they've done recently but we didn't do enough to win the game. To us 1% is a big difference – we need all our players to be 100%.”
They managed only five shots – including a decent Johann Gudmundsson volley over the bar – while Chris Wood had their only effort on target, with a scuffed finish that Jordan Pickford easily saved.
Ashley Barnes did put a brilliant volley from Robbie Brady's cross into the back of the net – but it was rightly ruled out for offside.
They should have had a penalty when ex-Clarets defender Keane pushed Vydra, but a comeback rarely looked on the cards.
Man of the match – Lucas Digne (Everton)
Match stats – Burnley's May struggles
- Everton have kept five consecutive clean sheets at Goodison Park in the Premier League for the first time since September 2013 (a run of seven).
- Burnley earned 17 points away from home this season, 11 fewer than they managed in 2017-18, despite scoring a goal more.
- Everton have kept nine clean sheets on home soil in the Premier League this season. Only Liverpool (11) have kept more.
- Burnley have lost each of their last five Premier League games in the month of May, shipping 13 goals in total.
- Burnley have had just one shot on target in their last 203 minutes of league action.
- Burnley defender Ben Mee accounts for four of the Clarets' 11 Premier League own goals, no other player has scored more than once in this manner.
- Seamus Coleman is the 20th player to score 20 Premier League goals for Everton, and the third defender to do so for the club after David Unsworth (33) and Leighton Baines (29).
Everton go to Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley host Arsenal on the final day next Sunday (all games at 15:00 BST).
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