Everton heaped more misery on Aston Villa with a routine success at Villa Park.
The visitors rarely looked out of second gear but it was more than enough to overcome Remi Garde’s side, who once more contributed to their own downfall with some lacklustre defending.
Kevin Mirallas was the orchestrator in chief for the Toffees, setting up first half goals for Ramiro Funes Mori and Aaron Lennon that all but ended any Villa resistance.
Romelu Lukaku got the goal his performance merited on the hour mark before substitute Rudy Gestede headed a consolation goal for Villa with just over ten minutes remaining.
Everton hit the front on six minutes as Funes Mori was afforded time and freedom inside the box to head home a corner from Mirallas.
Gabby Agbonlahor forced a save from Joel Robles midway through the opening half while Ashley Westwood saw the Everton stopper turn his shot around for a corner kick – Villa’s first in three games.
On the half hour, Everton doubled their lead. Ross Barkley set Mirallas free for a swift counter-attack on the left and the Belgian cut into the area before pulling the ball back for Lennon who found space between Ciaran Clark and Joleon Lescott to slot beyond Brad Guzan.
Bryan Oviedo had a shot cleared off the line before the break as Everton threatened to run away with the game.
Lukaku was thwarted on a number of occasions by Guzan but the big frontman finally had a landmark goal on the hour, turning in from close range after good work by Funes Mori.
Lukaku’s 17th Premier League goal of the season saw him bypass Tony Cottee’s tally of 16 to set a new Everton record.
Gestede came off the bench shortly afterwards to replace Agbonlahor and Villa got some joy as they went direct to their target man.
The ex-Blackburn player headed home a cross from fellow sub Jordan Veretout 11 minutes from the end but it failed to ignite any dramatic late comeback for the Premier League’s basement club.