Lukaku misses his chance to equal record
Middlesbrough 0 Everton 0
Everton boss Ronald Koeman bemoaned Romelu Lukaku's inability to equal his club's Premier League goalscoring record after a goalless draw against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.
Lukaku's four-goal haul against Bournemouth last week moved him within one more of matching Duncan Ferguson's mark of 60 but he missed a glorious first-half chance when he shot straight at Boro 'keeper Victor Valdes.
Koeman said: "It was difficult for him because he will always get his chance and he had a big one. But you are not going to score 100 goals out of 100 chances. He was working hard and he got his chance to score but I think the goalkeeper did well."
Ademola Lookman also fired into the side-netting for the visitors but Boro came closest to breaking the deadlock with Ben Gibson having a shot cleared off the line and Rudy Gestede denied late by a Joel Robles save.
Koeman added: "It's a fair result for both teams because the conditions were really tough to play in and it's difficult to create a lot of chances against Middlesbrough."
Boro boss Aitor Karanka refused to be downcast after a bright performance by his side despite their run without a league win extending to eight games.
And Karanka made a point of hailing the "amazing" home crowd for cheering his side on after controversially questioning the atmosphere at the Riverside Stadium over the difficult festive period.
Karanka said: "I think was a good performance once again against one of the best teams in the league - they arrived in good form and we were at least as good as them."
Karanka drew parallels with his side's 3-1 defeat at Goodison Park in September, when three goals in just over 15 first-half minutes left his side reeling having been unable to cope with the presence of Lukaku in particular.
"We learned and I think we've improved a lot because we lost that game in 15 minutes."
Sunday Indo Sport