Martinez: Early goal was key

James McCarthy got the hosts off to the perfect start in Sunday’s Premier League encounter at Goodison Park by getting on the scoresheet in the fifth minute after a speedy counter attack caught United napping.

The visitors had plenty of possession but could not break down a resolute Everton rearguard as goals from John Stones and Kevin Mirallas sealed the three points.

And Martinez believes that from the moment McCarthy scored, his side were in control.

“Goals are a big part of any game,” Martinez said.

“When you get in a position to control the scoreline, you can control your overall performance.

“Manchester United had to rush things a little bit more, and that played into our hands.

“From that point on, we carried a really strong threat. Overall, we were strong in every department.

“We were comfortable in what we wanted to do.

“Huge credit to the team. We were facing a great side, and if you look at the results they???ve been getting, we knew we had to be at our best.

“I felt that every individual was at a fantastic level – from the personality that we had, the defensive concentration and intensity that we had.

“We were dynamic on the counter attack, and to keep Manchester United as quiet as we did, keeping a clean sheet was pleasing.

“I am delighted as every player inside that dressing room has worked really hard throughout the season. We haven’t had many good moments to celebrate.

“We are privileged to have some really great people working at the club, and everyone deserves this win and we will enjoy it.”

Stones’ first-half header was his first for Everton, and capped a fine performance from the highly-rated youngster, and Martinez could not hide his delight with his talented defender.

“Scoring is always a big moment, and doing it at Goodison is especially pleasing,” Martinez added.

“I would like to highlight his overall performance. He is so elegant and stylish in possession.

“Defensively him and Phil Jagielka are a phenomenal partnership, and Stones is learning from the best.”

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