Everton 2 Southampton 1: Roberto Martinez hails ‘very satisfying’ win
Everton 2 Southampton 1: Roberto Martinez hails his side's "very satisfying" win against the Saints at Goodison Park
Roberto Martinez hailed Everton’s outstanding performance after the Toffees edged past Southampton at Goodison Park.
Republic of Ireland international Seamus Coleman handed the home side an early first-half lead with a powerful strike.
The nature of the victory was also pleasing considering the players we had out
But Saints midfielder Gaston Ramirez, who has been out-of-favour for much of the season, levelled for the visitors with 19 minutes remaining.
But Romelu Lukaku ended his five-game goal drought with a 74th-minute winner after an excellent pass from James McCarthy.
“It was a completely different test to the one we had on Boxing Day,” Martinez told BBC Sport.
“Southampton are a very good side and we knew that and we had to be perfect in our performance and the two goals were of outstanding quality.
“To see the way we got the winning goal was very satisfying and the nature of the victory was also pleasing considering the players we had out.
“We defended well and had real concentration which we needed against Southampton.
“There was nothing Joel Robles could do. The swerve in that ball from Gaston Ramirez he made it impossible for him.”
Lukaku believes Everton’s win was important to build momentum ahead of their New Year’s Day clash against Stoke.
“Today we played well and showed great mentality and hopefully we can continue it on New Year’s Day.
“It was important to bounce back – we want to finish as high up as possible and if we show the same consistency and performance we can improve on last season.”