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Prolific Everton set up Fiorentina tie

Everton FC 6-1 SK Brann (agg: 8-1) Yakubu Ayegbeni hit a hat-trick helped Everton to a seventh straight win and a place in the last 16.

Andrew Johnson celebrates after doubling Everton's advantage
Andrew Johnson celebrates after doubling Everton's advantage ©Getty Images

Everton FC won their seventh straight UEFA Cup game to ease past SK Brann and into the last 16 following a 6-1 win over their Norwegian rivals.

Yakubu treble
A hat-trick from Yakubu Ayegbeni, two goals from Andrew Johnson and another from Mikel Arteta helped the English side match their biggest ever European winning margin and won through 8-1 on aggregate, Petter Vaagen Moen scoring Brann's solitary strike.

Away support
The Norwegian champions, backed by 2,000 travelling fans, started strongly and managed the first shot on target when Thorstein Helstad shot straight at Toffees goalkeeper Tim Howard in the eleventh minute. Vaagen Moen was responsible for the away side's next opportunity as his dangerous 35th-minute free-kick found Helstad at the back post who forced a point-blank save from Howard.

Breakthrough goals
However, a minute later Everton were in front with their first real effort on goal. Steven Pienaar found Tim Cahill who slipped it through to Yakubu at the second time of asking before the Nigeria striker swivelled and placed a pinpoint shot across Håkon Opdal into the far corner. Four minutes later, the Merseyside club had doubled their lead – and effectively decided the tie's outcome – when Nuno Valente and Mikel Arteta combined to win the ball before the latter released Johnson. The 27-year-old striker took the ball on before crashing in right-footed past the Brann goalkeeper.

Second-half goals
Everton started the second half in far livelier fashion than the first period and within sixty seconds Phil Neville released Johnson whose placed shot beat Opdal, but came back off the upright. Yakubu then got his second in the 54th minute when he picked up Pienaar's pass, cut inside and finished left-footed. Brann hit back on the hour when Vaagen Moen's long-range free-kick eluded Howard, but Everton responded with a deflected Arteta strike in the 70th minute and then Yakubu completed his hat-trick with the easiest of tap-ins as Pienaar's cross found him on his own five metres out. David Moyes' side saved the best for last, though, with Johnson's late long-range strike.