English Premiership

Barkley's return pleases Martinez

2014-10-20 09:00
Ross Barkley (Supplied)
Ross Barkley (Supplied)

Cape Town - Everton crushed Aston Villa 3-0 to finally secure their first English Premiership win of the season at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Roberto Martinez's side had failed to win any of their first three home league games but, inspired by England midfielder Ross Barkley in his first appearance of the season following a knee injury, they were far too strong for lacklustre Villa.

For manager Roberto Martinez, the highlight of the match was the return of Ross Barkley. The young English midfielder made his first start of the season for the Toffees who were without the in-from Kevin Miralles.  

"On Thursday, Ross put the ball in the top corner three times out of nothing in a training exercise.

"I think that was his way of letting everyone know that he was ready," said Martinez on the club's website

"Even when he came off [on 65 minutes], he looked quite fresh and I think he wanted to play even longer. 

"Usually in a footballer you have an outstanding technical ability or an exceptional physical ability, but Ross has got both.

"But I thought today the difference was that we stopped Aston Villa carrying a threat. That’s an incredible achievement when you look at the line-up with Christian Benteke, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Charles N’Zogbia.

"You know that this team can get you exposed if you are not very clever with what you do on the ball and I thought, as a team, we [counteracted] that very well. 

"To keep a clean sheet against the set-up of Aston Villa pleases me a lot, because we all know that we can score goals with ease." 

Everton's win eased the pressure on Martinez' side who had struggled for points so far. 

The win over Aston Villa lifted the team from the blue half of Merseyside to 13th position on the English Premiership table after eight games. 

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