Saturday 18 November 2017

Koeman's praise for Lukaku as he passes 20-goal mark

Everton 4 Hull 0

Everton's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal against Hull. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA
Everton's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal against Hull. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Everton manager Ronald Koeman praised the professionalism of Romelu Lukaku after the striker scored twice in the win over 10-man Hull.

Earlier in the week, the Belgium international told the club he would not be signing a new £140,000-a-week contract that would make him the best-paid player in their history as he questioned whether they had the ability to reach the Champions League.

Hull City's Lazar Markovic in action with Everton's Ashley Williams and Seamus Coleman. Photo: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters
Hull City's Lazar Markovic in action with Everton's Ashley Williams and Seamus Coleman. Photo: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

However, there was no doubting his commitment on the pitch as his 20th and 21st goals of the season, both in stoppage time, made him the first Everton striker to reach that tally since Gary Lineker in the 1986-86 season.

Lukaku has now scored in seven successive home matches, equalling the great Bob Latchford's record from 1977-78, and has nine in his last six games. "You are surprised about this?" said Koeman when asked about Lukaku's performance.

"He is a professional and every professional gives the best for the club, the players, for everybody. It was difficult for him, but when he got more space, he played well. When it was 11 against 10, and we know he gets those kinds of chances, he will score."

Dominic Calvert-Lewin's first goal for the club gave Everton an eighth-minute lead, but it was not until substitute Enner Valencia added the second, after Tom Huddlestone was sent off for a high tackle on Idrissa Gana Gueye, that the result was secured. A calf injury to Morgan Schneiderlin was the one downside of the day.

Hull boss, Marco Silva was unhappy with the red card, which killed their momentum, but will wait to see replays of the incident before deciding whether to appeal. "It changed the game," he said.

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