Leighton Baines lauded for dead-ball prowess

Victor Anichebe believes his Everton teammate Leighton Baines is the Premier League’s most lethal set-piece specialist.

Nigerian striker Anichebe netted the Toffees’ winner in the 2-1 win away at Newcastle on Wednesday.

But it was Baines’ free-kick that stunned all in the North East, as the superb strike just before half-time levelled the scores after Papiss Demba Cisse had given the Toon an early lead.

The Kirky-born left-back has established himself as a fine dead-ball specialist. He won Everton’s goal of the season two years ago for a stunning FA Cup free-kick against Chelsea, while he has never missed from the penalty spot in his Premier League career.

And, asked if his teammate is the best in the division, Anichebe told evertontv: “It would be very hard to find someone [better]. He’s definitely up there and he’s a great plus for the team.

“I haven’t seen a better free-kick. I was sitting on the bench and I saw him about to take it from 35 yards or whatever and I didn’t think he was going to hit it. I was shouting on the bench [for him not to].

“It was an unbelievable free-kick, but that just shows how good he is. He is unbelievable, every game he is consistent. I don’t see him playing badly.”

Baines is no stranger to Everton’s goal of the season award, after his exquisite free-kick last season against Swansea saw him shortlisted for the prize again.

The England international has scored nineteen goals in all competitions for the Merseysiders since joining from Wigan in 2007.

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