LONDON: Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce’s decision to switch to a 3-5-2 system against Everton proved fatal in the Premier League as Ivory Coast striker Arouna Kone scored his first Everton hat-trick in a 6-2 win.
The Black Cats, next to bottom of the table, have now conceded 25 goals in 11 games.
The visitors twice hit the post early on but Everton went ahead when Kone played Gerard Deulofeu over the top before scoring the second himself.
Jermain Defoe’s fine individual goal and Steven Fletcher’s header levelled matters but three quick Everton goals changed the course of the game. Sebastian Coates’ own goal, Romelu Lukaku’s solo effort and Kone’s second arrived before he headed in late on.
Southampton moved up to seventh by defeating promoted south coast rivals Bournemouth 2-0 on first-half goals from Steven Davis and Graziano Pele.
Saints’ satisfaction in victory was married by the late expulsion, for two yellow cards, of midfielder Victor Wanyama.