Gylfi Sigurdsson hit a glorious goal for Everton on his first appearance against old employers Swansea City, helping to set up a 3-1 Premier League victory on Monday.
The £45million signing endured a difficult start to life at Goodison Park but repaid a chunk of his large fee with a stunning strike in a fine comeback for Sam Allardyce’s side.
Everton have now taken 13 points from five Premier League matches as their Allardyce-inspired revival continues, while Swansea remain rooted to the bottom of the table after suffering a sixth straight away loss.
Swansea took the lead after a flat start to the game, Ashley Williams at fault from Tom Carroll’s corner as Leroy Fer was left unmarked to finish well.
But they were in front only 12 minutes, Dominic Calvert-Lewin marking his new contract with a goal, profiting from a rebound after Lukasz Fabianski had superbly saved Wayne Rooney’s penalty, awarded for Roque Mesa’s clumsy challenge on Aaron Lennon.
Sigurdsson then cut inside to unleash an unstoppable finish that reminded Swansea exactly what they are missing in his absence, with Rooney wrapping up the points from 12 yards after Swansea conceded another penalty.
Swansea had scored the same number of league goals as Rooney – nine – at kick-off and their lack of attacking confidence was demonstrated when Luciano Narsingh shot straight at Jordan Pickford.
Fabianski made a comfortable stop after 21 minutes when Calvert-Lewin, one of three young Everton players to sign a new contract last week, went for goal from 20 yards.
Lennon nutmegged Alfie Mawson to create himself an opening, only to shoot tamely wide, before Pickford easily saved Carroll’s free-kick at the other end.
But the Everton goalkeeper could do little as Swansea nudged ahead after 34 minutes.
Carroll’s right-wing corner was missed by former Swansea defender Williams, with Fer timing his run at the back post to slam home from close range.
Martin Olsson rifled wide as Swansea threatened again, but Everton levelled in first-half stoppage-time after Jon Moss awarded a penalty for Mesa bundling into Lennon.
Fabianski dived low to his left to turn Rooney’s spot-kick on to the post, but Calvert-Lewin was perfectly positioned to slam in the rebound for his second Premier League goal of December.
Sigurdsson’s shot was claimed by Fabianski despite an awkward bounce after 58 minutes, but the Iceland international put Everton in front with his next effort.
Rooney was given time and space to spread the play to Sigurdsson, who came in off the left flank to whip a delightful 25-yard strike across Fabianski and into the top-right corner.
Moss pointed to the spot once more after Olsson tripped Jonjoe Kenny, although the contact looked to be outside the box, with Rooney this time thumping his effort through Fabianski’s despairing dive.
Fabianski at least kept the score down by denying Calvert-Lewin his second with five minutes to go, but another defeat leaves Swansea four points from safety and in the doldrums, while Everton climb a place to ninth.
Key Opta stats
– Everton have picked up 13 points from their last five Premier League games, one more than they managed in their previous 13 games.
– Swansea have now lost 19 Premier League away games since the start of last season; more than any other club.
– Everton’s 12 points claimed from losing positions is the most in the Premier League this term.
– Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been directly involved in 11 goals for Everton in 2017-18 across all competitions (seven goals, four assists), a figure only Wayne Rooney can better (14).
– Rooney has failed to score with 10 of his 33 Premier League penalty kicks overall, with only Alan Shearer failing to convert more (11 of 67).
– Gylfi Sigurdsson has been directly involved in five goals in his last seven Premier League games (three goals, two assists), after failing to score or provide an assist in his first 10 this season.