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Everton 3-1 Hearts – Instant Reaction

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Romelu Lukaku bags a hat trick to add to a solid pre-season so far for the Blues.

Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Now this is what you want to see from your side in pre-season, the striker getting a hattrick and a solid performance.

Starting with Romelu Lukaku, he was the clear bright spot of this game, with his hattrick taking him to five goals in pre-season so far. While two of them were penalties today, they were taken brilliantly and his finish for the second was a fantastic finish that deserves credit. He could have easily had a few more goals too.

Elsewhere, Kevin Mirallas was superb as he ran all game and offered Everton genuine quality out wide. He's been linked with a move away for ages, but this performance clearly highlighted why it's so important the club keeps hold of him.

Down the other end, both Phil Jagielka and John Stones were solid while Leighton Baines returned from his injury and was quality as usual. His deliveries into the box are lethal and it was good to see him looking fit ahead of the new season.

With Gerard Deulofeu injured, Tom Cleverley was the only new face on show and he was impressive again. The midfielder has looked solid so far and is increasingly looking like a shrewd acquisition, with one long, ranging pass sticking in the memory while he also came very close to his first goal as well.

The downsides were few in this game, but there were a couple. The biggest is Arouna Kone, who despite small flashes still doesn't look up to the mark and it's a concern to be heading into the season with him as second choice. Here's hoping there's a drastic improvement soon.

James McCarthy was also slightly disappointing, with his first half performance having been forgettable and his passing looking off so far this pre-season. Sharpness is something that will come back in time though so no major concerns there.

A fine performance from Everton though, who looked much sharper after the disappointing display against Arsenal in Singapore. Even better is the fact that Lukaku is finding the net regularly, with him looking to head into the season on fire; more of the same when it matters please.