sport

Moyes pours praise on Baines

David Moyes has called on his Everton players to follow the example set by in-form full-back Leighton Baines after the 2-2 draw at Wigan.

In a week which saw the future of England's left-back berth thrown into doubt by some errant tweeting from Ashley Cole, Baines headed into the international break with the praise of Moyes ringing in his ears.

Baines slammed an 88th-minute penalty high past Ali Al Habsi to deny his former club the victory in a raucous encounter, after earlier goals from Arouna Kone and Franco Di Santo had sandwiched a Nikica Jelavic strike.

Moyes said: "Leighton has been a big asset for us for a long time and we are hoping to have the same [impact] down the right and in other areas as well. We had it with Jelavic getting forward and getting us another goal.

"Leighton was extraordinary for us. At times he was unstoppable - he was that good. I think we were disappointed we were trailing and it was a great effort to stick at it and get a hard-earned point."

Everton's fine start to the season came under threat in a lethargic first half performance and it took the excellent Kone just 10 minutes to break the deadlock when he headed home at point-blank range.

Moyes' frustration that Kone was in an offside position when he stooped to head home lasted less than a minute as his side went down the other end and equalised when Jelavic nodded home from a header after a cross by Steven Pienaar.

Wigan went on to enjoy their best spell of the game and went back in front in the 23rd minute when Kone dribbled in along the right by-line and beat Baines before cutting the ball back for Di Santo to slam home.

Di Santo and Shaun Maloney both came close to extending Wigan's lead and the home side earned praise from Moyes, who said: "Wigan make it very difficult for you and they are a much better team than many in the league give them credit for."

Baines struck the post five minutes from the break and there was no team-mate lurking to prod home the loose ball as it bobbled around the six-yard box, but Everton were much stronger in the second half.

Jelavic fired over, Kevin Mirallas had a shot brilliantly saved by Al Habsi, then Jelavic had a penalty shout turned down before Maynor Figueroa's foul on Mirallas finally won the Toffees their crucial spot-kick.

Wigan could still have won it in injury time when a shot from Maloney took a heavy deflection and landed on the roof of Tim Howard's net, and despite his disappointment Wigan boss Roberto Martinez was left to reflect on a promising start to his side's season.

Martinez said: "I think we have started really well and we have been able to carry on the momentum from last season.

"The first international break distracted us a little bit - we have had a couple of performances that have been at a good level without reaching the outstanding level we need in this division.

"Our performance against Everton was at a very good level for the majority of the game. We were competitive and stopped Everton being a real threat. The amount of chances we created against a good Everton side shows you how good we were."