New signings drive Merseysiders to the top

Sports | REUTERS 15 Sep 2021

Everton manager Rafa Benitez hailed new signings Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray as both scored in a 3-1 home victory against Burnley to maintain his side's impressive start to the English Premier League campaign.

Missing the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Everton were struggling and trailing 1-0 to a Ben Mee strike before three goals in six minutes turned the match on its head.

Winger Townsend, signed on a free transfer from Crystal Palace, produced a pinpoint cross to set up a headed equalizer from Michael Keane, and then the 30-year-old former Crystal Palace man struck a sensational left-foot shot to put Everton ahead. Gray completed the turnaround when he slotted home after a pass by Abdoulaye Doucoure.

Everton have now scored 10 goals in four games and are level at the top on 10 points with Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.

"When we scored our goal we had more confidence, played 4-3-3, created more chances and could have scored more goals," Benitez said. "Really pleased with the connection between the team and the fans. We're looking to build a fortress."

Former Leicester City winger Gray has now scored in each of his last three appearances since joining from Germany's Bayer Leverkusen, and his price tag of 1.7 million (HK$18.3 million) looks a bargain.

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