England, March 7, 2010 (AFP) - Everton pushed Hull deeper into the relegation mire as Mikel Arteta's double inspired a 5-1 rout of the Tigers at Goodison Park on Sunday.
Spain midfielder Arteta scored his first goals of an injury-hit season either side of Tom Cairney's equaliser and David Moyes' side wrapped up the points thanks to Richard Garcia's own goal and late strikes from Landon Donovan and Jack Rodwell.
|Hull City's George Boateng (2R) blocks a free kick from Everton's Mikel Arteta (2L) during their English Premier League football match at Goodison Park in Liverpool on March 7, 2010. AFP PHOTO|
While the Toffees still harbour hopes of a European place, Hull have only a grim struggle against relegation to occupy their minds.
Phil Brown's side would have moved out of the Premier League's bottom three with a draw but instead remain third bottom of the table.
Moyes handed defender Phil Jagielka his first start of an injury-plagued season, but Australia midfielder Tim Cahill failed a late fitness test on a calf problem.
Hull had an early opportunity as Garcia controlled a high ball from Stephen Hunt, but the midfielder's shot was blocked by Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard.
Moyes' men turned the screw after that and Arteta fired wide before Leon Osman created a golden opportunity for Ayegbeni Yakubu.
Osman picked out Yakubu with a superb through-ball but the Nigerian's shot hit a post with Boaz Myhill beaten.
It was just a few moments before Everton were celebrating anyway as Arteta opened the scoring in the 17th minute.
Yakubu found space on the left and delivered a high cross which Arteta converted at the far post.
Yakubu had played his part in Everton's opener but he squandered a golden opportunity to double Everton's lead from the penalty spot.
Referee Lee Mason ruled that Yakubu had been fouled by Kamil Zayatte as the pair battled to reach Leighton Baines' cross, but the Nigerian's scuffed penalty was easily saved by Myhill.
Hull made the hosts pay as highly-rated young midfielder Cairney hit a superb equaliser in the 31st minute.
Nick Barmby's free-kick was headed out by Jagielka and Cairney controlled on his chest before lashing a half-volley across Howard.
Hull had barely settled back down when Victor Anichebe crossed from the right wing in the 39th minute and Steven Pienaar's backheel was clamly slotted home by Arteta.
Rodwell, introduced just before half-time for the injured Osman, had a strike deflected against a post early in the second half as Everton went for the kill.
Their pressure was rewarded with a third goal in the 51st minute.
Myhill flapped at an Arteta cross under the crossbar and Garcia couldn't stop the ball bouncing off his head and into his own net.
Donovan, on loan from LA Galaxy, rubbed salt into Hull's wounds when the American winger volleyed in a Baines cross in the 82nd minute.
And Rodwell completed the demolition job four minutes later with a cool finish from Donovan's cross.