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Sunday 27 May 2018

Roberto Martinez keen to forget Everton's derby-day horror show at Liverpool

Roberto Martinez's Everton suffered a 4-0 defeat at Liverpool
Roberto Martinez's Everton suffered a 4-0 defeat at Liverpool

Under-fire Everton boss Roberto Martinez described as "horrible" and "horrific" the "non-event" of his side's 4-0 derby humiliation by Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday.

Martinez, who now faces a critical clash with Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday, saw his side thrashed by their fiercest rivals in a one-sided Barclays Premier League encounter.

To compound matters, the Toffees had defender Ramiro Funes Mori sent off for a bad tackle on Divock Origi and the Argentinian will now be suspended for the weekend trip to Wembley.

Gareth Barry could also be doubtful after being forced off with groin injury while John Stones, who had a poor game, suffered from stomach cramps and illness.

Martinez said: "It was a horrible experience for everyone connected to the football club.

"It was a game that is probably turned with the two actions when we didn't defend well enough in a period of three minutes before half-time. Clearly we lost concentration.

"We gave away a soft cushion of two goals. Just before half-time that becomes a massive blow. We tried to regroup but the first action is a red-card incident.

"From that point on the game becomes a non-event and it becomes a horrible, horrible experience, especially knowing the big game we have around the corner.

"Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. The whole chain of events was horrific and it is a showing we need to forget as quickly as we can."

Martinez, speaking at his post-match press conference, did not want to be drawn on suggestions that his position is now precarious.

The Spaniard said: "That is not my focus. My focus is to make sure we prepare properly for the game on Saturday."

He added: "Nobody deserved to experience that. I don't think any fans deserved it, any players - nobody representing Everton. But the reality is that's football and we have to move on quickly and repay our fans with a proper performance and a proper showing in the FA Cup semi-final."

Martinez accepted the decision to send Funes Mori off for his challenge on Origi early in the second half.

He said: "Ramiro tries to win the ball. That is his intent, he doesn't try to hurt the player. It is a mistimed challenge and at that time he gets Divock Origi's ankle.

"It could have been a yellow card, it could have been a red card. I can understand why the referee gave it. Ramiro probably got carried away with the emotion of the derby."

Even Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp appeared to feel somewhat sorry for the visitors after their Anfield mauling, which was authored by goals from Origi, Mamadou Sakho, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho.

"To be honest I could say it was really difficult but the second half wasn't," he said.

"It was really difficult for Everton: red card, injuries, good opponent.

"The second half changed completely with the red card and then the next change when Stones had to come off that was really not easy for Everton.

"There was no real fight any more. That is not usual. There have been a lot more intensive derbies for sure and there will be a lot more intensive derbies."

Despite the result Klopp did not feel like celebrating much because of his concern for Origi, who was carried off on a stretcher as a result of Funes Mori's stamp.

The Belgium striker, who has now scored five times in his last five matches, has a badly injured ankle but the extent of the damage will not be known until the results of his scans come back.

"Everything is okay - apart from Divock," he added.

"Usually after 4-0 I don't know how to keep my smile off my face but today is pretty easy.

"If you told me before the game we would win 4-0 I thought I'd feel different.

"It is a big shadow on the game to be honest.

"Everyone who saw the pictures said maybe it is broken - it is not. We have to wait for a final assessment, it is too early."

Press Association

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