Martinez hails Barkley’s landmark

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has heaped the praise on Ross Barkley after his contributions to their 3-0 win over Newcastle United at Goodison Park on Wednesday.

Aaron Lennon opened the scoring for the Toffees in the 23rd minute, but the points were sealed when Barkley scored two penalties in the final minutes of his 100th Premier League appearance.

The Spaniard called it "a remarkable landmark for someone of his age", as the The 22-year-old attacking midfielder seems to have come of age in his sixth season with the Toffees.

"I think last year and the season before that, Ross was a young man with enormous potential," Martinez said.

"Today he showed that he is not a young man anymore – he is still young in terms of age, but in footballing terms he is someone who is ready to lead a team. He has been very consistent all season.

"His decision making has gone to a different level and I don't think he's just a player with potential anymore, he is an important player for us and represents Everton fantastically well. The second penalty shows he is a confident young man with incredible technical ability."

The former Swansea City and Wigan Athletic boss also complimented the entire team's performance, as they returned to winning ways after taking just three points from their previous five matches.

"I think it was the first time this season we managed the game for 90 minutes," he added. "We defended really well when we had to and I thought we really enjoyed playing in front of our home crowd.

"They looked fresh and we found it a little difficult to break them down early on, but the first goal was an outstanding move. Then from that point, we attacked well, anticipated their attacks well and defended with a good intensity. I thought it was a very professional performance."