Everton manager Roberto Martinez had the highest praise for Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku after the Toffees’ 3-2 win over Newcastle on Monday evening, according to BBC
Martinez described Barkley as “a diamond” and Lukaku as “unplayable” after the pair shared the home side’s goals between them, Lukaku netting twice and teeing up Barkley as Everton took a 3-0 lead by half-time. Newcastle responded after the interval through Yohan Cabaye and Loic Remy, but Everton held on to move fourth in the Premier League table.
“For a number nine to have that awareness, Lukaku was unplayable,” Martinez said, adding: “Ross is a diamond of English football, but he still has a long way to go. Barkley is the sort of player who controls things in midfield, and that is unusual in a player his age. I think he is an exceptional ambassador, not only for Everton but English football as a whole.
“It is almost a question of keeping him away from the training ground because he is so eager to improve himself.”
Lukaku’s brace came on his home debut for the Merseyside club following his loan move from Chelsea. The Belgium international netted against West Ham at Upton Park to give Everton a 3-2 win in east London, and Martinez felt Lukaku instantly appeared comfortable in front of the Goodison Park crowd.
The manager also attempted to explain Newcastle’s second-half resurgence as Everton allowed their tempo to lessen: “It is natural [to fade], I don’t think we could carry on with the tempo that we managed in the first-half,” the former Wigan Athletic boss said.
“I was really disappointed for the defenders and team, they did not deserve to concede the two goals. But overall, it was an important win and the chemistry between the players and the crowd was good.”
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