Everton won 1-0 away at Crystal Palace yesterday with a late goal from Seamus Coleman grabbing all three points. After the game, manager Ronald Koeman commended the Blues on their performance.
“In my opinion it was deserved. It’s not bad to score a late one because it doesn’t give your opponent that time to get a draw.
“We played really well, with good ball possession between the lines and good movement. We had enough shots on target and created good chances but their goalkeeper was outstanding.
“But it was too difficult to stop the goal from Seamus. There was good movement from him, from the first, second, third second he is always on the run and it is difficult to defend that.
“We had a difficult start to the game and they had the header from Christian Benteke. But we were good in our defending, we were winning second balls and keeping them out of the box. There were a lot of good headers [clearing crosses].”
Koeman spoke about the game being a different challenge from last weekend’s walloping of Manchester City.
"I'm really proud and really pleased with the win today, because I think the attitude was perfect.
"The young players had a lot of attention after the Manchester City game, which is difficult, but the whole team did well.
"If you beat City with that big result, everybody expects the same performance. But sometimes maybe today it was more difficult today than it was last week – different opponent, strong, physical.
“We know this is a difficult place to come but we have come away with a win and a clean sheet. After last week, it really is fantastic.”
| @RonaldKoeman a happy man after Everton's third successive @Premierleague win. #EFCawayday pic.twitter.com/IWK0qSNzb7— Everton (@Everton) January 21, 2017
The winner was somewhat controversial with Coleman’s marker Jeffrey Schlupp out of the game injured. The Toffees continued to play on while the Ghanaian defender was injured outside the field of play, and then crawled back in an attempt to get the referee to stop play.
"This was the one time that Schlupp was not in position.
"He was first out of the pitch, then he brought himself back on. And I think the referee was right to make the decision to go on with the game, and we scored the goal so....OK!"
Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey had a great day between the sticks, foiling attack after attack.
"We should have been in front at half-time. We had it difficult in the beginning but after 10 minutes we dominated the game with the better football and the better chances.
"But really good goalkeeping from Hennessey meant that we needed to work and fight in the second half and finally we got the goal we deserved.”
Koeman was happy to continue Everton’s good run that has seen them win three straight Premier League games in January.
"We have our ambition and if you're in a good run you can climb the table that's what we like.
"Every week we prepare ourselves but everybody knows the Premier League is difficult. This win today was more difficult.
"You can beat big teams but it's all about the performance after and it was seriously good. I am really pleased about that."