Everton's strong start to the season continued with a convincing 3-0 win Premier League win over Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.
Victor Anichebe opened the scoring on 22 minutes into a first half that Everton dominated before Kevin Mirallas gave the visitors a two-goal lead that did not flatter them just before the break.
Any hopes of a Swansea fightback were ruined when Nathan Dyer was sent off just 12 minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute.
Marouane Fellaini put the gloss on the victory with a header eight minutes from time to see Everton score three goals away from home for the second time this season.
The win puts Everton right up among the clubs at the top of the Premier League on 10 points from the 15 available to them so far this term.
After scoring 10 goals in their first three league games, Swansea have not netted in their last two as they have suffered back-to-back defeats.
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup started Wayne Routledge ahead of Dyer and Ki Sung-Yeung in place of Leon Britton, and right from the off he saw his new-look midfield overrun by Everton.
Both Anichebe – in for the injured Nikica Jelavic - and Mirallas had early chances to open the scoring but goalkeeper Michel Vorm was equal to each of their early efforts.
The pressure was beginning to show on Swansea and Ashley Williams was lucky to stay on the pitch after only 11 minutes when he brought down Anichebe on the edge of the box. Williams appeared to be the last man, but referee Anthony Taylor judged that Alan Tate would have been able to cover for his team-mate had Anichebe got past him, and the card shown was yellow instead of red.
The Toffees took a lead their performance deserved midway through the first half, although it came in dubious circumstances. Fellaini took the ball on his chest and turned inside the box. The Belgian stooped to head the ball across to Anichebe but ended up guiding it with his forearm instead. The offence was not seen by the officials, and Anichebe fired past Vorm for his second goal in a week.
Swansea began to see more of the ball but could do little on the counter-attack. Michu missed a great opportunity to level for the home side at a corner, but the Premier League's joint-top scorer sent his header over the bar.
Just before half-time Everton doubled their lead with a fine team effort. Phil Neville won the ball by his own corner flag and played it to Fellaini via Seamus Coleman. Fellaini threaded a fine through ball down the right flank for Steven Pienaar to chase, and the South African's low ball inside was met by Mirallas. After his initial effort came off the underside of the crossbar, the £6 million summer signing from Olympiakos beat the floundering Vorm to the rebound to head in his first Premier League goal.
Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard had barely had a save to make throughout the first half, but in the final minute he was called into action twice to deny Angel Rangel and Ben Davies with decent saves, although both players could have done better with their efforts.
At half-time Laudrup brought Dyer on for club record signing Pablo Hernandez – who was disappointing on his home debut – but he only lasted 12 minutes. Having picked up a booking just moments before, the winger picked up a straight red card for a reckless foul on Leighton Baines.
After that, there was no way back for Swansea, although the game began to open up more as the second half wore on. On several occasions Everton players were virtually queuing up to take shots at the helpless Vorm, who was finally beaten for a third time in the 82nd minute.
Baines curled in a typically inviting delivery from a set-piece and Fellaini found it all too easy to head home unchallenged. The Belgian registered three Premier League goals throughout the whole of last season. He has already matched that haul before the end of September.
Jonathan de Guzman had a well-struck free-kick rebound off the crossbar in the final minute of stoppage time, but Swansea's worst performance under Laudrup always seemed destined to end in a blank.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Marouane Fellaini - A typically domineering performance from the Belgian, who earned his late goal.
SWANSEA: Vorm 5, Rangel 5, Tate 6, Williams 5, Davies 6, De Guzman 6, Ki 5, Michu 6, Routledge 6, Pablo 5, Graham 6. SUBS: Dyer 4, Britton 6, Shechter 5.
EVERTON: Howard 8, Coleman 7, Heitinga 7, Jagielka 7, Baines 8, Osman 7, Neville 7, Mirallas 7, Fellaini 9, Pienaar 8, Anichebe 7. SUBS: Oviedo N/A, Naismith 6, Gueye N/A.
- Marouane Fellaini
- Premier League
- Swansea City