Everton were heading for another frustrating draw despite being the better side on the day when Cleverley headed home his first goal for the Toffees in dramatic fashion with just 14 seconds of allotted stoppage time to go.
Having been pegged back in similar circumstances at Bournemouth a month ago, Roberto Martinez's team were thrilled to take all three points back to Merseyside from this Boxing Day encounter.
"A last-minute winner the day after Christmas – we couldn’t have planned it any better really as a great present for the fans," Stones smiled in an interview with evertontv after the game.
"We know they were sitting so high up in the stands but we could hear them all game. We’re so pleased and hope they are too.”
Cleverley has happy memories of the Newcastle's home ground from his Manchester United days when he scored a spectacular goal in a 3-0 win three years ago and St James's would be the setting for his first strike for Everton yesterday.
The 25-year-old was the grateful recipient of Rob Elliot's punched clearance from Gerard Deulofeu's corner in the third minute of injury time and he steered a looping header into the unguarded side of the net to win it for Martinez's men.
"He caught one sweet early doors and did the same against Crystal Palace, so maybe it’s a sign of things to come but he has definitely deserved it,” Stones continued in regard to Cleverley's close calls with his first goal for the Toffees since joining the club in the summer. "It took a lifetime to go in but thankfully it got there in the end!
"He feels like an Everton player. He loves everything about the Club – the training, the fans and he’s just fitted in so well. He’s a top lad and the goal should top that off for Christmas.”
Reader Comments (5)
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1 Posted 27/12/2015 at 20:22:57
2 Posted 27/12/2015 at 20:34:55
3 Posted 28/12/2015 at 00:23:49
5 Posted 28/12/2015 at 07:59:24
Yet still every day the press links these players as want-away stars, to join the self-absorbed shite fest that is the Chelsea, Utd or City dressing rooms.
They may well move on, but hopefully they'll do it in the correct way, and we'll take the buying clubs to the cleaners. I wonder if Stones feels he dodged a bullet with Chelsea? Guess we'll know more at the end of January.
Good thing the fans were seated up in the rafters - no chance of a "spontaneous" pitch invasion a la Bournemouth!
6 Posted 28/12/2015 at 09:09:59
I believed before that when we signed him at 25 we had an absolute steal, he is improving and will become a key player and much coveted before long.
I am also certain that he will score a few goals as he has a shot on him too.
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