Kevin Mirallas' stunning solo goal illuminated an often drab and uninspiring 1-0 victory for Everton over Stoke at Goodison Park.
David Moyes' men remain in contention for a top-four Premier League finish and are now just four points adrift of Chelsea in the battle for UEFA Champions League football next season.
Stoke, meanwhile, have now lost eight times in their last 11 Premier League outings and have slipped to 13th in the table, only four points above the increasingly congested battle against the drop.
Everton welcomed goalkeeper Tim Howard and Phil Jagielka back into their starting line-up and they were joined in the team by Nikica Jelavic as Moyes made three changes and opted for a 3-5-2 formation with Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar suspended.
Stoke selected centre-back Robert Huth after his three-game ban as he replaced the injured Matt Etherington, with the German helping the Potters go close to opening the scoring with just three minutes gone.
Ryan Shotton's long...