Romelu Lukaku says that Everton were disappointed not to hold on to all three points at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday but were content nonetheless with a draw given how strong a side Manchester City proved themselves to be.
The Blues ended Pep Guardiola's 100% home record this season by denying City victory thanks to Lukaku's brilliant second-half goal and tremendous defending by Ronald Koeman's team.
The Belgian put Everton 1-0 up with what was their second shot on target of the game when he romped away from Gael Clichy and buried the ball past Claudio Bravo but Nolito came off the bench to equalise when he popped up in the box unmarked eight minutes later.
“When you're under pressure like that against the best team in the League at the moment you have to be tough mentally and defend well. Be as a team”, Lukaku said.
“When we got the lead I thought if we could get the second it'd be a totally different game. But you have to be focused and we lacked a bit of focus when they scored. After that we defended well for the rest of the game.
“That's what told each other at half time — we had to encourage each other and be positive. We had to be patient, defend well and try to take our chances.
“In the first half we tried three up front for the first 20 minutes and it didn't work out. Then when we played two up front and a diamond in midfield we were good on the counter attack.
“But I think we have to be lucky with one point. City were good — they have top quality players. We have to be happy with the draw and keep going.”
Though it was a tremendous team display, the other standout performer of the day was Maarten Stekelenburg who saved penalties from Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Agüero before his goal was eventually breached by Nolito with 18 minutes to go.
The Dutch goalkeeper agreed that it was a valuable, well-earned point gained against a very good side.
“You know if you come here it's going to be a tough afternoon," Stekelenburg told evertontv. "I think first half especially we did very well. It cost a lot of energy because they dominated the game but first half I don't think they created a chance because we defended very well.
“Second half, you know it's going to be more difficult. With the players they have, you know they're going to have that chance.
“But if you concede two penalties and then go 1-0 up, you hope you'll get the three points but I think in the end we have to be happy with the point.
“I think it was an amazing team performance today. I think everybody, including the players who came in, did an amazing job and we can be proud of the result."
Reader Comments (11)
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1 Posted 17/10/2016 at 17:29:53
2 Posted 17/10/2016 at 17:36:26
I think Romelu will actually stay at Goodison Park for as long as Koeman remains the manager and who knows if both are successful here they may join forces at Barca in a few years time.
3 Posted 17/10/2016 at 17:44:41
Can't see him as Captain material for any club. I think Coleman will be the next Captain, he's certainly making a go of the Irish Captaincy.
4 Posted 17/10/2016 at 18:57:43
Irrespective of what he is earning, as he could well earn elsewhere. Just build around him, the goalkeeper, Gana, Williams, Coleman, Bolasie... and swap the rest!
5 Posted 17/10/2016 at 18:59:48
In the last England squad but in the Howard, Ossie, Hibbo Club on here!
6 Posted 17/10/2016 at 19:04:25
7 Posted 17/10/2016 at 19:47:34
'The Freshy' must be a dead ringer for notorious dive 'The Double Deuce' out of Road House, except with the exact same guy getting filled in every single night.
This is the second thread on which you've tried to make out Jagielka is now the new whipping boy, even though there's actually been very few harsh words aimed his way after him giving away two penalties in the same game by doing his stretching exercises in the box before wellying someone in the shin.
As for Lukaku's comments, a sensible enough summary of the game but it's stretching matters like Mr Fantastic to suggest we were "good on the counter attack" for seventy minutes. Apart from his superb run and finish and an earlier decent effort from Deulofeu, I'm struggling to recall any further breaks forward that troubled City in the slightest.
9 Posted 17/10/2016 at 21:56:35
10 Posted 17/10/2016 at 21:59:24
What Everton do this season may greatly influence Rom's ambitions but we will just have to wait and see.
11 Posted 18/10/2016 at 07:11:02
12 Posted 18/10/2016 at 07:46:09
Williams could possibly do it better, but the team has plenty of guts at the moment, so no need to have a go at a guy who gives everything to the cause every time he puts on the shirt.