Everton continued their fine start to the season by edging out Hull City at Goodison Park, with a surprisingly resilient performance from Steve Bruce's men eventually failing as the visitors ran out of steam, with the hosts unlucky not to add to their tally.
The Toffees started with a composure and confident tempo that suited their fine start to the season under Roberto Martinez, making Hull City look distinctly like the promoted side that they were. But despite some smooth passing from the hosts, chances were few and far between in a fairly scrappy game.
Everton got a deserved breakthrough midway through the first half as they calmly passed around a deep Hull defence following a cleared set-piece. Eventually, the ball was played to Kevin Mirallas outside the area, who let fly with a low drive which sneaked inside the near post past Allan McGregor, with the Scot badly unsighted.
Everton looked fairly comfortable, but Hull were capable of threatening, Yannick Sagbo missing a free header from a corner which he directed into the turf. The Ivorian soon made amends, however, arriving at the near post to smash the ball into the roof of the net from Elmohammady's cross to level the scores.
Everton now had to start again, and were seeing plenty of the ball outside the Hull area but could not switch play at a high enough tempo to trouble their opponents. Yet as the game began to open up, more opportunities arrived, and it was Steven Pienaar, stepping onto the pitch for the first time in months, who got the goal. The South African produced a finish of the coolest composure, elegantly sidefooting Kevin Mirallas' cross into the far corner of the net.
Arouna Kone had two golden chances to seal the three points for Everton as the game wore on, both identical chances getting free down the left channel, but the former Wigan man curled his first effort against the far post and smashed his second against the near post to keep Hull alive in the game.
Despite surviving those chances, however, Bruce's men looked spent, and couldn't impose themselves much as the game fizzled out thereafter for Everton to secure a deserved victory.