Roberto Martinez lauded Romelu Lukaku’s superb goals return against West Ham after the striker netted Everton’s equaliser in a 1-1 Premier League draw at Upton Park on Saturday.
Lukaku scored for the seventh time in as many matches against the Hammers as Everton came from behind to grab a point following Manuel Lanzini’s stunning opener.
Despite feeling his side should have won the match against a club they have not lost to in the top flight since 2007, Martinez was at least content with Lukaku’s showing.
“I was pleased with the the equaliser, but also a little bit disappointed not to get the win with the quality we showed,” the Spaniard said.
“Rom’s record against West Ham is impressive. He is a very determined young man and he’s capable of scoring against anyone.
“I thought West Ham started the better, but we became really strong after giving Lanzini too much space for their goal.”
Lukaku was the beneficiary of an excellent defence-splitting pass from Gerard Deulofeu for his equaliser on the stroke of half-time and the Belgium forward acknowledged his team-mate’s role in the goal.
“Obviously that’s my game going in behind and try to be clinical in a one-v-one situation,” he told Setanta Sports.
“As soon as the bell went I knew I had to score to get us back in the game. It was a great pass.”
Everton had to deal with some substantial pressure from the hosts, who beat champions Chelsea in their last home match.
Martinez singled out centre-back John Stones – a long-time transfer target for Jose Mourinho’s side – for special praise.
“John led the back four and that’s what impressed me most,” he added. “He set the tone and was immense.”