English Premiership

Lukaku has business to finish

2015-03-18 09:59
Romelu Lukaku (AFP)

Paris - The Premier League's sole Europa League survivors Everton are in Ukraine on Thursday aiming to seal qualification for the quarter-finals against Dynamo Kiev.

Romelu Lukaku's late penalty at Goodison Park last week gave Roberto Martinez's men a slender 2-1 first leg lead, and the Belgian striker could once again prove the key to furthering Everton's European adventure.

Everton warmed up for their 5,500 kilometre away day by brushing aside Newcastle 3-0 on Sunday.

Lukaku, the leading scorer of the 16 teams left in the Europa League with seven goals, was again on the mark to lift the Toffees six points clear of the relegation zone.

"Everybody knows I want to win the Europa League and I also want us to finish as high as we possibly can in the league, so I will do my best to achieve my own objectives and the team's objectives," said the in-form 21-year-old.

"Now we have to do the business in Kiev. That will not be easy but I'm very confident in my teammates. Hopefully we can do the job there."

Martinez welcomed back on Sunday his left-back Leighton Baines, who managed the full 90 minutes against Newcastle after missing the last four games with a leg injury.

"Newcastle was a massive game," the 30-year-old told his club's website.

"We were on the front foot defensively and Rom and Arouna (Kone) were a handful up front, caused them plenty of problems and we were good value for the win in the end.

"So we've got the first of what we want to be three wins in a week. We know we can get away with a draw in Kiev but we want to go out there and try to win that game and the same at QPR."

Dynamo drubbed Mariupol 5-0 in their domestic warm-up on Sunday to leave the side coached by former Tottenham and West Ham forward Serhiy Rebrov seven points clear of Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukrainian first division.

UEFA have ordered part of Kiev's stadium to remain closed as punishment for ugly crowd trouble during Dynamo's last 32 clash with French side Guingamp.

The draw for the two-legged quarter-finals will be held at UEFA headquarters in Nyon on Friday.

 

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