Everton defender Seamus Coleman’s goal from the tightest of angles secured a precious 1-0 victory over fellow Premier League struggler Leeds United at Goodison Park on Saturday and moved the Merseyside club out of the relegation zone.
The decisive moment came after 64 minutes when Alex Iwobi sent Coleman clear down the flank and, with Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier expecting a cross, the right-back arrowed his shot into the net from virtually the byline.
It was a deserved win for Everton which created numerous opportunities but, as has been the case for much of the season, the league’s lowest scorer’s lack of quality in the attacking third meant too many shots, passes and crosses went astray.
Everton moved up to 16th place with 21 points from 23 games, a point above the drop zone, having taken six points from three games under new coach Sean Dyche.
Leeds slipped into the relegation zone with 19 points.
Leeds, which failed to get a shot on target in the 90 minutes, has now matched its club record of 10 Premier League games without a win and the result may hasten its search for a new permanent manager with Michael Skubala in temporary charge following the sacking of Jesse Marsch a fortnight ago.
Everton might also have had a couple of goals in the first half as Amadou Onana fired two shots wide from good positions, and Leeds midfielder Weston McKennie cleared off the line twice in a matter of seconds.