Everton never had to get out of first gear as they cruised to an easy 3-1 win against a desperately poor Aston Villa side on Tuesday night.
Ramiro Funes Mori headed home an early opener, Lennon smashed in the second after 30 minutes, and Lukaku added the third on the hour mark. Rudy Gestede got a late goal for Villa, but it was too little, too late.
Villa made four changes from the side that lost 2-1 to Stoke on Saturday; Brad Guzan played in goal for the first time since 2nd January, and Micah Richards, Ciaran Clark, and Jordan Ayew also came in.
Everton only made one alteration, as Kevin Mirallas came in for Tom Cleverley who was sick.
It only took Everton five minutes to take the lead. A last-ditch tackle from Aly Cissoko gave the visitors a corner and Argentina international Funes Mori powered home a free header at the back-post. It was the twentieth time this season that Villa have conceded the opening goal.
Everton dominated the next ten minutes, but slowly Villa began to show signs of life as the visitors invited pressure. Joel Robles was called into action to make two saves in quick succession from Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ashley Westwood, and Villa even managed to earn their first corner in three games!
It was all in vain, however, when Lennon made it 2-0 after half an hour. Ross Barkley fed the ball to Mirallas and his cut back allowed Lennon to smash the ball between Guzan’s legs from twelve yards out.
Two minutes later it could have been three, but Micah Richards cleared Bryan Oviedo’s shot off the line.
15 minutes after the restart it was three. Funes Mori’s cross found the knee of Romelu Lukaku and ended up in the back of the net. The goal confirmed Lukaku as the first Everton striker to score 17 league goals in a season since Tony Cottee in the mid-90s.
In the 74th minute the Villa fans staged a walkout in protest at owner Randy Lerner’s management of the club. By the final ten minutes, the stadium was significantly less than half full.
The hosts did manage to pull a goal back courtesy of a Rudy Gestede header, but it was nothing but a consolation strike.
The result leaves Villa rooted to the bottom and eight points adrift of safety. Everton are tenth with 38 points.
Next up for Villa is a trip to Man City on Saturday, while Everton will welcome West Ham to Goodison Park.