Louis Saha scored four as Everton won 5-3 in a thrilling match against Blackpool at Goodison Park.

The Frenchman scored after 20 minutes and again two minutes into the second half after Alex Baptiste had equalised for the Tangerines later in the first half.

Ian Holloway’s men then scored two quickfire goals just past the hour mark through Jason Puncheon and Charlie Adam before a late rally from the Toffees saw them end up 5-3 victors with two more from Saha and a goal from Jermaine Beckford.

In what has been a frustrating season for David Moyes’ side, it will have been a relief to the Evertonians that they finally did manage to get over the line when it looked for a time like Blackpool might have stolen the win on a wet Saturday afternoon.

The Blues started the stronger and got in front when Saha fired home after some good work from Diniyar Bilyaletdinov.

The Seasiders then drew level on 37 minutes when Leighton Baines’ clearance off the line from a corner was straight into the path of Baptiste.

Saha could have had another in the first half but referee Kevin Friend controversially pulled the play back after his strike had rolled in, meaning it stayed one apiece at half-time.

The 32-year-old left no doubts in the mind of the referee when he finished off Baines’ cross early in the second half and put Everton back in front.

In an end-to-end game, James Beattie, formerly of Everton, set up fellow debutant Jason Puncheon for Blackpool’s equaliser on 62 minutes and then two minutes later DJ Campbell rattled the crossbar before Adam followed up to nod Holloway’s side in front.

But the Toffees were not done fighting and Saha completed his hat-trick with a close range header on 76 minutes, just three minutes before substitute Beckford volleyed home Leighton Baines cross-field ball and put his side in front yet again before the irrepressible Saha finished the job with six minutes to go.

It was one of the most entertaining games of the season and gave Everton their first win in four, pushing them up to 13th where they replace a deflated Blackpool who drop to 15th.

5th February 2011 – Premier League

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