Everton secured a 6-2 win over Sunderland at Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon to ensure that Sam Allardyce suffered a significant early setback to his tenure on Wearside.
Arouna Kone ended the game with a hat-trick, with this effort arguably the pick of the bunch as he ran the Sunderland defence ragged throughout the game.
Gerard Deulofeu had given the hosts the lead before Kone scored his first to make it 2-0, but Jermain Defoe gave his side hope as he scored deep into injury time at the end of the first half.
After Steven Fletcher brought the two sides level, it appeared as though the game was back in the balance. However, Roberto Martinez’s side had other ideas as Kone added two more, Sebastian Coates found the back of his own net while Romelu Lukaku also got on the scoresheet.
Allardyce had secured a morale-boosting win over bitter rivals Newcastle United last weekend which seemed as though it could have been the platform to build on and work towards safety for the Black Cats.
However, their good work against Steve McClaren’s side was undone on Merseyside on Sunday as not only did they miss out on the opportunity to escape the bottom three, but their goal difference took a battering which could come back to haunt them.
Aston Villa face Tottenham Hotspur on Monday night, and although they have yet to appoint a successor to Tim Sherwood, they will prepare for the game knowing that they can leapfrog Sunderland and leave Allardyce’s side bottom of the table with a win.