It's Barkley's Premier League

EVERTON'S STAR OF THE SEASON: Barkley celebrating scoring a goal against Swansea City during their English Premier League soccer match at the Liberty Stadium in Wales on Sunday. Everton won 2-1


    Dec 24, 2013

    It's Barkley's Premier League

    ROSS Barkley's stunning late free kick helped Everton beat Swansea and move into the Premier League top four.

    The 20-year-old midfielder missed a chance early in the second half and hit the bar from 20 yards before whipping the winner in off the crossbar.

    So far, he has been Everton's star of the season and a player who has consistently set the Premier League alight.

    In a frenetic second period, Seamus Coleman gave Everton the lead from 25 yards, before Dwight Tiendalli's volley was deflected in off Bryan Oviedo.

    Everton, now 10 games unbeaten, sit two points off leaders Liverpool. Toffees manager Roberto Martinez, who played for Swansea before guiding them to League One promotion as manager in 2008, said returning to south Wales brought back "great emotions" ahead of kick-off.

    Barkley's winner will have sent the Spaniard back to Merseyside in similarly upbeat mood.

    Everton, whose defenders have now contributed eight of their 29 league goals this season, have still lost only once in the league.

    Barkley, who made his England debut this year, dribbled 30 yards to fire against the crossbar, before right-back Coleman netted his fourth of the season.

    It was Swansea right-back Tiendalli who helped restore parity.

    But the best was yet to come from Barkley, who is taking the Premier League by storm this year.

    He curled a majestic free kick home from 25 yards to cap an eye-catching display.

    "We are really enjoying seeing Ross Barkley developing," said Martinez.

    "It is a more significant three points than any you get in a glamorous fixture."

    The home side, now with just 10 points from 27 at home, rallied and Hernandez forced a good stop from Tim Howard with a stinging shot.

    Substitute Roland Lamah then had a volley expertly saved by the American goalkeeper in injury time.