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Page last updated at 15:57 GMT, Sunday, 5 April 2009 16:57 UK

Everton 4-0 Wigan

By Phil Dawkes

Leon Osman (left) and Jo (right)
Osman (left) and Jo were integral to Everton's impressive victory

Two goals from on-loan striker Jo helped Everton maintain their quest for a Europa League place with a resounding victory over rivals Wigan.

The Brazilian's first was a well-struck low drive after he was picked out by the impressive Leon Osman.

Marouane Fellaini doubled Everton's lead before Jo grabbed his second, tapping in after Wigan keeper Chris Kirkland palmed out a Fellaini drive.

Osman slotted home the fourth, again a follow-up from a Fellaini shot.

The match was a tale of two on-loan strikers: the Egyptian Amr Zaki, who didn't turn up, thus undermining his team's preparations, and the Brazilian who did, and played an integral part in his side's victory.

Wigan forward Zaki's failure to return from international duty in time to play in this match cast a shadow over the Latics' build up and they were a pale shadow of a side who had won their last two games.

Moyes relishes 'big game' challenge

In truth, the brightest thing about Wigan was defender Paul Scharner's garish red and blue dyed hair.

In contrast to Wigan's absent striker, Everton forward Jo has been nothing but a positive influence on the Blues since they borrowed him from Manchester City in February, and his two goals here helped extend their winning home run to five matches.

With both sides eyeing up next season's newly branded Europa League there was a tentative air to their respective early play with a trade-off of half-chances the meagre result.

Everton have operated effectively for much of this season without a striker but the benefits of fielding a forward with an eye for goal were fully illustrated when Jo opened the scoring for the Toffees.

Hibbert for life not just for Christmas

Fellaini found the onrushing Osman in midfield, who in turn fed a precise angled pass to the Brazilian and his low, well-struck left-foot drive evaded Kirkland and found the far bottom corner.

Any instructions boss Steve Bruce had given to his Wigan side at half-time were made redundant within the space of five second-half minutes.

Barely 60 seconds after the restart, Tony Hibbert's low cross from the right found Fellaini in space 12 yards out and the Belgian midfielder swivelled to strike the ball first time into the far side of the net.

Four minutes later the Osman/Fellaini/Jo triumvirate combined again to put Everton three up.

'Back to the drawing board' for Bruce

Osman found Fellaini in the box and his shot was saved one-handed by Kirkland, but only into the path of the unmarked Jo who calmly rolled in his second of the match.

Having being involved in the build-up to all three of Everton's goals it was apt that Osman bagged the home side's fourth.

The equally impressive Fellaini fired a dipping effort from 25 yards, which Kirkland was forced to palm away but only to Osman following-up, who slotted the ball under a futile dive from the keeper and in.

With the win beyond doubt Everton were in a position to bring off the lively Steven Pienaar, Fellaini and Tim Cahill - who has been hampered in recent weeks with a thigh injury and put in considerable air-miles this week to join up with the Australian national side.

Everton manager David Moyes:

"The way we played in the first half set our stall out.

"The biggest thing today is that the performance is beginning to get back up to where we were a month ago.

"We knew of Jo's qualities from his time at CSKA so if we could get him on that form we knew he was liable to work for us.

"It's looking like we can qualify for the Europa Cup if we keep doing the right things and we'll hang in there and see how we do."

Wigan manager Steve Bruce:

"We have to be honest, on the day Everton were far better than us and we were nowhere near the levels we're capable of defensively.

"The biggest problem we had is that four of five players really struggled today having travelled all over the world for internationals.

"We had no real hunger about us today and I hope because we've reached 40 points we don't think that's job done."

Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines, Osman, Neville, Cahill (Rodwell 64), Pienaar (Gosling 71), Fellaini (Saha 72), Jo.
Subs Not Used: Nash, Van der Meyde, Castillo, Jacobsen.

Goals: Jo 26, Fellaini 47, Jo 51, Osman 61.

Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Bramble, Boyce, Figueroa, Watson, Brown (Rodallega 46), Valencia (De Ridder 71), Scharner, N'Zogbia, Mido.
Subs Not Used: Kingson, Edman, Sibierski, Koumas, Kapo.

Booked: Melchiot, Brown, Bramble.

Att: 34,427

Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Everton's Jo 8.34 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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see also
Bruce fumes over Zaki's absence
05 Apr 09 |  Wigan
Sunday's football as it happened
05 Apr 09 |  Football
Sunday's football photos
05 Apr 09 |  Premier League
Player Rater
03 Dec 06 |  Live Text

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