Kone hits hat trick as Everton demolish hapless Sunderland
Arouna Kone's hat trick saw Everton rack up their biggest Premier League win in eight years with as they demolished Sunderland 6-2 at Goodison Park.
Kone, whose partnership with fellow striker Romelu Lukaku continues to flourish, will claim the headlines -- but the influence of winger Gerard Deulofeu was key component in only Everton's second home league win of the season.
The win was the Toffees' best since beating the Black Cats 7-1 in November 2007.
Deulofeu opened the scoring and provided two assists before being withdrawn to a standing ovation just past the hour, while Kone remained to take the plaudits at the final whistle after bringing his tally to five goals in six league starts.
Everton were coasting at 2-0 thanks to Deulofeu and Kone but Sunderland, on the back of their first win of the campaign against arch-rivals Newcastle a week ago, clawed their way back with goals from Jermain Defoe and Steven Fletcher.
But they were ruthlessly taken apart in 16 second half minutes as a Sebastian Coates own goal was followed by strikes from Lukaku and two more from Kone.
In addition to their previous one home win Everton had managed just six goals in their previous five Premier League matches at Goodison but took full advantage of obliging and ill-disciplined opponents who had begun brightest when Patrick Van Aanholt smashed a shot against the post in the fourth minute.
Defoe was denied by the legs of Tim Howard, Adam Johnson hit the post and Fletcher's rebound was blocked by Seamus Coleman -- and that provided the wake-up call the hosts needed.
Kone's delightful flicked pass through Sunderland's newly-installed three centre-back formation allowed Deulofeu to fire through the legs of backtracking defender Billy Jones and goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon for his first league goal since returning to the club.
Kone, who turns 32 in less than a fortnight and is out of contract at the end of the season, scored his first with a fierce left-footed shot which took Pantilimon by surprise.
Defoe's volley in first half added time was soon followed by Fletcher's close-range header to level things up before Deulofeu came to the fore again as his cross was turned in by former Liverpool defender Coates, under pressure from Lukaku.
Belgium striker Lukaku got his goal six minutes later thanks to another perfect pass from the Catalan winger.
Two more goals completed Kone's hat-trick as Sunderland completely fell apart, underlining the extent of the task Allardyce faces to save them this season.