Doubles for rival pair but Okaka is happier one


Watford 3
Everton 2

LONDON • Italian striker Stefano Okaka's first two Watford goals inspired a 3-2 comeback win over Everton yesterday, leaving Ronald Koeman's side with one win in 10 Premier League games.

Romelu Lukaku netted twice for Everton, bookending the scoring, but Okaka's double - the first a brilliant flick - and a Sebastian Prodl header earned Walter Mazzarri's men victory.

It took them above the Merseyside club in the table, putting them level on points with Manchester United on 21.

Everton now face a daunting pair of home games against Arsenal and derby rivals Liverpool before a trip to struggling champions Leicester. They took a 17th-minute lead when Gareth Barry's first-time pass over the Watford defence allowed Lukaku to score from close range.

Okaka's first attempt at an equaliser lacked the pace or placement to trouble Everton goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, but his second effort was a gem. Nordin Amrabat curled a cross into the box from the right and Okaka - signed from Anderlecht in August - stole in front of his marker before pirouetting to flick a graceful back-heel volley home from six yards.

Jose Holebas bent a free kick into the box from the left in the 59th minute and Prodl charged in to head past Stekelenburg.

Within five minutes it was 3-1. From a corner, Holebas picked out Okaka to glance in his second goal.

Lukaku reduced the arrears with a header four minutes from time but Watford held on.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 11, 2016, with the headline 'Doubles for rival pair but Okaka is happier one'. Print Edition | Subscribe