Roberto Martinez cited Everton’s mental strength as the key to their superb 3-0 win over Manchester United at Goodison Park.
Martinez’s players executed his game-plan of sitting deep and hitting United on the break to perfection on Sunday, and were rewarded with goals from James McCarthy, John Stones and Kevin Mirallas.
Everton have endured a testing season after ending 2013-14 in fifth place, with Martinez coming in for criticism from some sections of the Goodison faithful.
However, they are finishing the campaign strongly, with the win over United extending their unbeaten run in the Premier League to six matches.
“[The players deserve] Huge credit because we were facing a very good side,” Martinez told Sky Sports.
“We had to be at our best and truly I felt that, as a team, we were at a fantastic level. In every department we were very, very good.”
Speaking about his ploy of looking to hurt United on the counter, Martinez added: “You know Manchester United are a very good side with the way they keep the ball.
“We were quite happy to allow them to have it in certain areas but we showed an incredible intensity [to win it back] and that’s how McCarthy’s goal came.
“From then on, we were always a threat. Obviously Manchester United had to rush things a bit more which played into our hands.
“To keep our concentration for 90 minutes and keep a clean sheet – I thought it was magnificent and showed an incredible mentality.”