On the final matchday of the 2017/18 season, Everton and just five other clubs played their 1,000th Premier League game, being the only ever-presents since its inception in 1992. Over the summer, evertonfc.com will be looking back at some classic Toffees clashes from the past 26 years. Today, we recall the day some Leighton Baines magic and a goalscoring debutant inspired a memorable Toffees comeback at Upton Park…
West Ham United 2-3 EVERTON
Saturday 21 September 2013
Leighton Baines has enjoyed some special afternoons and evenings in his 11 years with Everton Football Club but his two-goal showing at Upton Park in September 2013 was arguably the best of the lot.
Everton travelled to the Hammers’ former home having won on five of their previous six visits to the stadium, drawing the other.
What’s more, the afternoon would offer a first glimpse of deadline-day signing Romelu Lukaku, the on-loan striker having been ineligible for the previous weekend’s 1-0 home win over his parent club, Chelsea.
The big Belgian started on the bench for Roberto Martinez’s side - but his half-time introduction would help change the course of the game.
Ravel Morrison’s 31st-minute strike meant it was West Ham who went in with the lead at the break but Baines pulled his side level around the hour mark, coolly dispatching a free-kick high to goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen’s right.
Mark Noble then fired the Hammers back in front from the penalty spot on 76 minutes, only for the same man to bring down Ross Barkley and hand Baines another opportunity to take aim.
The challenge earned Noble a second yellow card and his misery was compounded moments later when, incredibly, Baines sent the ball to Jaaskelainen’s opposite side and watched it cannon in off the post to level the score at 2-2.
That was on 82 minutes - and within 120 seconds, Everton had their winner.
Lukaku had already impressed with the way he had bullied and bulldozed West Ham’s defence following his half-time introduction and the striker’s power was in evidence again as he beat Joey O’Brien to Kevin Mirallas’ cross to head home a dramatic winner.
The then 20-year-old temporarily knocked himself out in the process and admitted at the final whistle he couldn’t remember his debut heroics.
“I didn't even realise I’d scored” he said. “That was the first thing I asked. I said to the doc, 'Who scored?' and he said, 'you!'. I thanked God because we won and that's the most important thing.”
On his free-kick double, Baines remarked: "I've never done that before, gone both sides - not in a game anyway. I just try to mix it up and keep people guessing and luckily I was quite accurate and got them in the corners.
"I think on the first one, [Jaaskelainen's] position was quite central, so that made my mind up. And, obviously, having done that, he's got to cover that side next time. I saw his position, changed my mind and went for it.”
Watch highlights from this game above now or, if you are using the Official Everton App, navigate to the 'Video' section.