2 key passes, 2 assists: Everton star turns playmaker in Europa League win

Leighton Baines

Leighton Baines' creativity proved vital in Everton's latest Europa League victory.

Everton left-back Leighton Baines scored and claimed two assists as Everton returned to Europe in style with a 4-1 victory over Wolfsburg at Goodison Park.

Just two seasons ago, the statistics highlighted the 29-year-old as the most creative defender in Europe. These qualities were evidently clear in the Toffees Europa League clash. 

The game was only 15 minutes old when Baines sprang into action, combining with Steven Naismith before the forward saw a strike deflect off Wolfsburg defender Ricardo Rodriguez into his own net.

He then helped to double the club's advantage, latching onto a loose ball in the 18-year-box, before picking out Seamus Coleman to head home.

Having played his part in the first two, the former Wigan man then got on the scoresheet himself, ensuring Everton's win as he neatly tucked away a second-half penalty. 

Up stepped the Englishman to take his record to 18 successful conversions from 19 spot-kicks, sending Benaglio the wrong way with an accurate strike.

He was impressive, it has to be said. Registering 75 touches - the third highest of Roberto Martinez's side - he went the entire game without being dispossessed.

The only negative aspect of his display came in his passing; of 51 attempts to find a team-mate, only 78% proved accurate.  

Fortunately for the Toffees, Baines' defensive quality didn't suffer as a consequence of his attacking efforts. At the back he made three tackles, one interception and two clearances, whilst blocking three Wolfsburg strikes.

It proved an exceptional return to European football for Everton and the English full-back took centre-stage in his side's success.

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