Martinez praises Dynamo’s attack

Published: Friday 20th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Everton boss Roberto Martinez admitted his side had not defended well enough but was also keen to point to their opponents’ “incredible finishing” after the Toffees were thrashed 5-2 at Dynamo Kiev.

The Europa League last-16 second-leg result at the Olympic Stadium saw Martinez’s men crash out 6-4 on aggregate, having led 2-1 from the initial encounter – and in many ways they contributed to their own downfall.

Following fine strikes from Dynamo star man Andriy Yarmolenko and then Romelu Lukaku to make it 1-1 on the night, slack play at the back from Everton allowed their hosts to score three times without reply through Lukasz Teodorczyk, Miguel Veloso and Oleg Gusev.

A brilliant Vitorino Antunes effort then put the Ukrainian league leaders a further goal ahead, before away captain Phil Jagielka headed in a late consolation.

Reflecting on a game that brought British interest in European competition this season to an end, Martinez – whose team twice hit the woodwork through Ross Barkley, as well as seeing Yarmolenko strike their bar – said: “A couple of times we made some defensive mistakes, but there was also some incredible finishing.

“I think we have to highlight the quality of the finishing of the opposition.

“With some of the goals, it would be very difficult to see them again in the same game.

“We created enough chances, but the ball hit the woodwork or went out rather than hitting the back of the net.

“I do feel the difference there had a big significance.

“Everything Dynamo tried ended up the back of the net. It became very difficult, but we never gave up.

“We could have tried (better) to avoid some of their goals, but with the type of game it was, there were opportunities for both sides and our chances didn’t go in.”

Martinez opted to keep John Stones on the bench and play Antolin Alcaraz in central defence alongside Jagielka.

And the manager insisted he had no regrets about the selection he had made at the back, emphasising that the same defence had kept a clean sheet in Sunday’s 3-0 Barclays Premier League win over Newcastle, and that a similar one, again featuring the Jagielka-Alcaraz combination, had only conceded once in the first leg against Dynamo.

Martinez said: “The defence have been very strong in the last two games. And I felt the communication and experience between them would be important today.

“I think it is a case of the whole team not defending well enough.

“I don’t think it was a case of the personnel. I think it was a case of Dynamo building a lot of momentum with their home crowd, with everything they hit going into the net, rather than us just being to blame, with not being able to defend a bit better.”

He added: “At times, yes, there is something you can do in terms of defending better – I agree with that. But at other times, it is just being able to put that ball in the top corner, and sometimes there is not much you can do about that.

“I felt Ross Barkley was a real threat in certain situations and looked like he was going back to his level. He hit the woodwork twice and both of those could easily have gone in.

“Sometimes the margins are so small.”

Dynamo coach Sergei Rebrov was delighted his players had given his fellow Ukrainians something to cheer, particularly given the recent turmoil the eastern European nation has seen.

“What can I say? We won a really important game and I am really happy with my boys,” Rebrov, the former Ukraine and Tottenham striker, said.

“Everyone who was on the pitch really wanted to play, and it couldn’t be any other way because such a big crowd here today.

“Also, millions of Ukrainians were watching this game on television.

“We are really happy we made a kind of holiday for them during such a difficult period in our history.”

Published: Friday 20th March 2015 by The News Editor

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