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Stats show Baines is as important as ever for Everton

Especially when compared to their prior form, Everton have enjoyed a pretty solid festive period in the Premier League.

Indeed, Ronald Koeman has led his side to seven points from the last possible nine, including a Boxing Day win, a New Year’s Eve-Eve draw and an impressive victory over Southampton yesterday.

It took until the 73rd minute to open the scoring, but the Goodison Park outfit eventually ran out 3-0 winners in a convincing display that will have left Evertonians optimistic about 2017.

And although Enner Valencia may have grabbed the bulk of the headlines, netting the opener from the bench before winning the penalty for Everton’s second, the ever-unsung Leighton Baines was the real hero of the hour.

The left-back, now 32-years-of-age, has struggled with injury problems and subsequently lost his place within the England fold, but the performance against Southampton proves he’s as important as ever to the Everton cause.

He not only converted from the spot to claim a second goal that essentially sealed Everton all three points, but also made the most tackles of any player on the pitch – a staggering seven – produced three crosses and two created chances, highlighting how his ageing legs are still more than capable of putting in all-action performances.

Article title: Stats show Baines is as important as ever for Everton

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