Everton celebrated a breakthrough first victory of the Premier League season at Brentford on Saturday with captain James Tarkowski scoring against his former club in a well-deserved 3-1 win.
After a first half of many missed opportunities ended 1-1, Tarkowski headed in off Dwight McNeil's corner after 67 minutes.
England forward Dominic Calvert-Lewis, who came on just past the hour mark, then made it 3-1 in the 71st off the leg of goalkeeper Mark Flekken, as Everton emphatically avoided sinking to their worst start to a season since 1958.
"You can see the emotion at the end with the lads and the fans. It's been a tough start to the season," said Calvert-Lewin.
The victory lifted the transformed Toffees out of the drop zone and up to 15th with four points and left Brentford, now 12th on six and still waiting for their first home win of the season.
Everton manager Sean Dyche, who had urged his men in the run-up to "play with a smile", felt they had pushed back some of the negativity.
"The signs have been there but you've got to change the storyline, you've got to score goals, you've got to take your chances," he said.
Abdoulaye Doucouré was a constant threat and put Everton ahead in the sixth minute with a half-volleyed shot into the top right corner of the net after Tarkowski had headed on.
The visitors could have been two or three goals up, with Vitaliy Mykolenko shooting straight at Flekken in the 21st and Doucoure hitting the crossbar seven minutes later, but Danish international Mathias Jensen levelled in the 28th.
His low effort that went in off the far post sparked some life into a listless Brentford, who had record signing Kevin Schade ruled out just before the start with a warm-up injury and Keane Lewis-Potter coming into the side as replacement up front.
The home fans had a nervous wait for a VAR check for a possible offside by Yoane Wissa before Jensen's goal was given.
"Everton deserved to win, we performed badly," said Brentford manager Thomas Frank, whose side next host Arsenal in a League Cup third round match on Wednesday.
"We performed very well the first five games of the season, today was a bad one, very unlike this group of fantastic players to perform like that."
Frank said his side had lost the set-piece battle, despite being prepared for it, and were also "simply not good enough on the ball" with misplaced passes and poor touch especially in the first half.
Jaedyn Shaw scored the go-ahead goal in the 79th minute to give the United States women a 2-1 victory over China on Tuesday night in the Americans' final match of the year.World's greatest scorer Sinclair retires with win
Canada legend Christine Sinclair bid an emotional farewell to international soccer on Tuesday with one final match that brought an end to a superlative career.Rice saves Arsenal with late 4-3 winner at Luton
Declan Rice's header deep in stoppage time sealed an enthralling 4-3 victory for Arsenal over Luton Town to send them five points clear at the top of the Premier League on Tuesday.Source: Ratcliffe to conclude Utd stake next week
Sir Jim Ratcliffe's £1.25 billion investment in Manchester United will be confirmed next week and could be finalised as early as Monday, a source familiar with the sale process has told ESPN.Arteta won't blame Arsenal's close call on Raya
Mikel Arteta refused to play the blame game after goalkeeper David Raya's errors almost cost Arsenal dearly in a thrilling 4-3 victory at Luton Town in the Premier League on Tuesday.Messi named 2023 Time Athlete of the Year
Lionel Messi has been named Time Magazine's Athlete of the Year for 2023 after his move to the United States to join Major League Soccer side Inter Miami.Pep: Spurs game proved Man City will win Prem
Pep Guardiola said Manchester City's performances in the draws against Liverpool and Tottenham have convinced him that his team will win the league title this season.England win 6-0 but Team GB to miss Olympics
England hammered Scotland 6-0 at Hampden Park on Thursday evening but it was not enough to overtake the Netherlands at the top of their Nations League group meaning Team GB will not play in the women's football competition at Paris 2024 Olympics