Everton manager Ronald Koeman was understandably elated at the final whistle, having watched his side dismantle Pep Guardiola’s star-studded Manchester City 4-0 at Goodison Park. Having described Guardiola and City as the best team he had ever faced after the first leg at the Etihad, this was quite the turnaround today.
“I am really pleased with the team performance. It is a big day, a big win and a well deserved one. In the second half we were perfect in every aspect. We played well offensively and defensively, and had good organisation in the team. We were aggressive, and when we won the ball we played forwards and scored four goals.
“At half time, we spoke about high pressing because we knew City liked to build up from the back. You need to show your pressing and we did that really well. There were a few moments where they played through the lines and in the first half they had some good chances. But in the second period, that was the type of team performance you need to beat the big sides.”
Teenager Tom Davies had a stellar game in the middle, capping off his performance with a goalline clearance and a spectacular goal while new signing Ademola Lookman scored a goal of his own with virtually his first touch of the game.
“Tom is doing well. From the time he came into the team he has shown his quality, his aggression. That is the type of midfielder every team needs. He won’t score every week, but his goal today was perfect – the run, the movement, the ball. It was special.
“It was also special to see Lookman score as well. It was a great goal on his debut. We saw his quality when we were scouting him and he has shown it at this level – one chance, one goal.”
When asked if this was the best game of his short reign at Goodison Park so far, he said -
“Okay, maybe yes, in the total team performance.
"Of course it’s difficult to say ‘no’ about this afternoon if you win 4-0 against City but I think the whole team performance was outstanding. The second 45 minutes and the second goal after half time had a big impact on the rest of the game.
“How we played in the second half was really outstanding, really perfect. It might have been impossible to play at a higher level in every aspect of football.
“The first half was difficult, they caused some problems in midfield, then you know they are really fast, they create some good chances but I think we punished them in the second half and also the first goal, to have the right movements, attacking-wise, to score the goals.
“It was a perfect afternoon."
Koeman finished by challenging his side to continue this level of football for the rest of the season -
"That’s always difficult. If you have played football you know not every Sunday, or weekend, is the same.
"The opponent, the way the opponent is playing, the tactics, what you need to do etc.
"But yes, we’d like to continue with that attitude. I think we started to play with that attitude against Arsenal at home and after that we showed it more.
"It was not always the final result that we like but the team is changing the personnel is changing, that’s a good way and we showed that."