sport

Lukaku seals Everton victory

Romelu Lukaku signed off in style with his expertly-taken goal sealing a comfortable 2-0 victory for Everton over Hull City at the KC Stadium.

James McCarthy had broken the deadlock early in the first half, finishing off a fine, flowing move to score his first goal for the club.

And on-loan Lukaku, who was a real menace all afternoon, notched his 15th league goal of the season to secure the win, and proved yet further that he will be a huge asset to anyone who requires his services next season.

The result was never really in doubt, as a much-changed home side struggled to make any inroads, with their minds seemingly focused on next week's FA Cup final against Arsenal.

Captain Curtis Davies had their best chance late on, but headed wide from six yards, summing up his side's day.

Everton, already assured of their highest Premier League points total, finish an impressive season on a high, with the potential for further growth next season whetting their supporters' appetites.

After dominating the early stages, Everton deservedly opened the scoring.

Lukaku held the ball up well, laid a pass off to Steven Naismith, who slid a delightful through ball into the path of the onrushing McCarthy, whose shot was blocked by the returning Allan McGregor in the Hull goal, but it was not enough to stop the ball spinning into the net.

It was very much all Everton from then on, with Lukaku the dangerman. The talismanic Belgian should have done better from a low McCarthy cross, but could not get the required connection to double his side's lead.

Naismith himself could also have added a second, but his side-footed effort from Gareth Barry's pass rolled harmlessly wide from a good position.

Down the other end, Sone Aluko offered some threat, with a long-range effort which went just over the bar the closest the home side came to equalising.

Just as Hull were getting set to find an equaliser after the break, Everton's swift counter attack put the game beyond their reach.

The energetic Leon Osman carried the ball forward, and played a perfectly-weighted pass into the path of Lukaku, who took the ball into his stride and curled his shot past McGregor to put his side in control.

The home side did apply more pressure as they looked to get back in the game, and had a succession of corners, but Everton were equal to everything Steve Bruce's men could muster.

As the pace of the game slowed, Hull boss Bruce handed club captain Robert Koren a 17-minute cameo in what seems likely to be his final appearance at the KC Stadium, but he could not lift the Tigers.

Current captain Davies should have made the dying moments interesting but headed a left-wing corner wide from six yards, with the goal gaping.

Hull are unlikely to be fazed by the result, and will enjoy their moment in the limelight in next week's FA Cup final against Arsenal, but Everton provided further evidence that under Martinez they are going places.