Ronald Koeman spoke in glowing terms about a "professional" performance today that secured a comfortable 3-0 win for Everton over West Bromwich Albion, their nearest challenges for seventh place in the Premier League.
The Blues had the game firmly in their grasp by half time thanks to goals by Kevin Mirallas and Morgan Schneiderlin, his first for the club since arriving from Manchester United in January, while Romelu Lukaku put the cherry on top with a well-placed header off Ross Barkley's lovely chipped cross.
The result represented another clean sheet at home and puts seven points between Everton and the Baggies in the chase for what looks a good bet to be a European-qualifying place this season.
"I think it was a really outstanding team performance," Koeman said in the tunnel afterwards.
"Offensively in the beginning it was difficult; we knew we would get a lot of ball possession but it's always difficult creating open chances.
"In our best spell in the final 15 minutes of the first half we broke it open with some goals. I think in the second half we controlled the game and I think our defending at set plays — we know the strengths [of West Brom from those] — was really outstanding today.
"I'm really pleased with the professional way in which we got the win today, both offensively and defensively.
"Clean sheets are important. We know we will always score because we have those kinds of players. Normally, Romelu will score every game and that's a really comfortable situation.
"But you need to fight, you need to defend, you need to run and the pressing in the midfield by Gareth (Barry), Tom Davies and Morgan was outstanding."
Reader Comments (21)
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1 Posted 11/03/2017 at 20:55:13
3 Posted 11/03/2017 at 22:20:59
4 Posted 11/03/2017 at 22:27:23
I was interested to see how we'd stand up to the test of set pieces against one of the Premier League's specialists in that area.
We passed the test.
How far we have come since last season.
6 Posted 11/03/2017 at 23:16:17
The comments on Barry on the other thread are disgraceful. Fine player, fine performance; nice ball to Rom for the second goal too.
7 Posted 11/03/2017 at 23:38:33
As an Everton fan from Northern Ireland, I can see he's under the microscope a lot and under a lot of pressure, a bit like Gazza. You could see it in his game sometimes... the frustration from the pressure and expectation.
So I'm really glad to see him doing well. Very rare nowadays to see someone loyal to a club like he is, so he should be lauded for that alone. Keep it up, lad.
8 Posted 11/03/2017 at 00:10:04
Credit to Koeman not letting the players slow down. Still a sniff at top four, perhaps. Cements our top-7th placing a little bit more. Keep it going lads!!
9 Posted 12/03/2017 at 00:48:06
Three home defeats this season the reason we are celebrating an 'outstanding' win against WBA was because we were turfed out of the FA Cup by Leicester. Norwich beat us in the League Cup and it was unfair against Liverpool... really? Why? Because they scored in the last minute, FFS.
10 Posted 12/03/2017 at 01:50:05
Today's humdrum performance achieved a result that for 20 of the last 20 years would have had us all pissed with delight. We're going the right way at last, but with a long road ahead of us.
One day at a time, sweet Farhad, one day at a time!
11 Posted 12/03/2017 at 08:14:52
Europa League if one of the top 4 win the FA Cup. Man Utd are treating it seriously as an entry into next season's Champions League. So why shouldn't we give it a go? A couple of quality signings in the summer and who knows?
One step at a time.
12 Posted 12/03/2017 at 08:46:51
By the way, did you know Joel Robles has the highest save percentage in the Premier League?
13 Posted 12/03/2017 at 09:05:28
"Scratching his testicles in the dark!"
I fired my double snotgun at my screen with that comment mate.
BTW, wasn't that a Springsteen track from "Born in the USA"? (Released in the year of 1984)
14 Posted 12/03/2017 at 10:45:46
I thought he and Ross were very good yesterday; if they can continue in this manner, it will be a very interesting end to the season.
15 Posted 12/03/2017 at 11:30:15
16 Posted 12/03/2017 at 12:45:09
That said, for all his height, Funes Mori is generally poor in the air in my opinion. Although proven wrong by the outcome, and what do I know anyway, I still think an aerially dominant centre-back is a must for the window in the summer.
17 Posted 12/03/2017 at 12:56:59
Given West Brom's ambition, I could have played centre-half yesterday. Funes Mori is a more aggressive centre-half than Jags who is on the wane after an excellent career with us and is probably still the better option.
But Funes Mori is not good enough for a team with our ambitions. A centre-half should be right at the top of the summer shopping list, but I think it should be one that can play a bit, maybe that young lad at Man City could do the job!!!!
18 Posted 12/03/2017 at 13:32:33
19 Posted 12/03/2017 at 13:59:53
I was being mischievous. Although seriously I still believe Stones will be a top defender but of course that ship has sailed.
I'd have another go at Kone. I thought he looked impressive in a poor Sunderland side. He is physical but can put his foot on the ball.
20 Posted 12/03/2017 at 14:11:08
I think Stones will be a great centre back in time, against Liverpool at Anfield he had a brilliant game, even though he was on the losing side; he looked a classy player.
21 Posted 12/03/2017 at 15:59:01
I'd much prefer Ben Gibson, the oft-rumoured Keane or Steve Cook. All are vastly superior to Kone.
22 Posted 12/03/2017 at 16:26:15
"Lazy as hell"
Apparently so is Rom
Join the dots, mate.
23 Posted 12/03/2017 at 21:08:57