English Premiership

Koeman pleased with points tally

Romelu Lukaku (Getty Images)
Romelu Lukaku (Getty Images)

London - Ronald Koeman was delighted with his side's performance in the 3-0 win over Southampton that brought their Christmas points tally to seven from a possible nine.

Enner Valencia, Leighton Baines and Romelo Lukaku scored the goals at Goodison on Monday after Everton beat Leicester 2-0 last week and drew 2-2 with Hull on Friday.

After overcoming the Saints, Koeman saluted a strong second-half performance, with all three goals coming after the break.

He told the club's official website: "I mentioned to the players at half time to play at a higher tempo and we did that much better in the second half.

"It is always difficult to create big chances, Southampton are a strong team, but we made the difference in the final part of the game."

He added: "It is always nice to have a strong result at home and a clean sheet. It boosts confidence. It was a tough period over Christmas but seven points from nine is really good."

With the match tied at 0-0, Koeman introduced Valencia for Aaron Lennon on the hour mark, and the Ecuadorian scored just 12 minutes later.

Koeman added: "Enner was really important when he came on, and that was also the reason to start Dominic [Calvert-Lewin].

"We needed someone behind Romelu with more pace and to give Ross [Barkley] a little more freedom down the side.

"After 60 minutes, the team needed the kind of player Enner is to bring on. He has been really good and we know we have that competition for places in the squad, which is good to have."

Calvert-Lewin was unfortunately withdrawn after just 12 minutes through injury, with Koeman concluding: "We need to wait until tomorrow [to assess it]. He's disappointed but he's young - he will come back."

Everton's next league encounter sees them welcome Pep Guardiola's Manchester City to Goodison Park on January 15.

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