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League Cup heartbreak has inspired Everton – Martinez

Roberto Martinez says Everton are inspired to reach Wembley as a result of their League Cup semi-final heartache after they saw off AFC Bournemouth 2-0 in the FA Cup fifth round.

Goals from Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku sealed the visitors’ place in the quarter-finals following a crucial first-half penalty save from Joel Robles.

Everton were beaten in the last four of the League Cup by Manchester City in controversial circumstances, with Kevin De Bruyne’s goal in the 3-1 second-leg win for City allowed to stand despite the ball having clearly gone out of play in the build-up.

And Martinez, for whom the decision still rankles, says his side are determined to go far in the FA Cup to make amends for that defeat.

“I thought it was a really important performance for us,” he told BBC Sport. “In the first half we were not anywhere near our level but the second half was a real change.

“We scored twice and it put us in a position we were in before [in the Premier League match], we had a 2-0 lead here last time but could not manage the game but this time we did.

“Another clean sheet keeps the consistency from our last four performances. We look a really strong team now going into the final part of the season and I am really proud of going into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

“We will take it step by step. It was important that we showed we can adapt to this game, now we want to get a really good period in the league. The only thing that has been missing has been wins at home and we are looking to change that.

“The League Cup semi-final gave us an inspiration to want to be at Wembley every chance we can. Clearly the group is hungry for that kind of occasion.”

Sat 20 Feb, 2016
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