Roberto Martinez says Ross Barkley is belying his age after the midfielder scored twice in Everton’s victory over Newcastle at Goodison Park.
After Aaron Lennon had given Everton a first half lead, the Toffees were awarded two late penalties, the second of which led to Jamaal Lascelles being sent off.
England international Barkley stepped up for both penalties, dispatching both with consummate ease to secure a 3-0 win.
“100 games in the league at 22 is not easy to achieve and he is playing a big role in the team. Phenomenal footballer, phenomenal person,” Martinez told BBC Sport.
“He took responsibility with both penalties and showed how he is an assured, technical footballer.”
The victory ended Everton’s run of five league matches without a win, and helped ease some of the pressure on the under-fire Martinez.
“It is fair to say we are learning from painful lessons. We started the game well and were strong in all departments,” he added.
“There have been times where opponents score too easily when they come into a game but we were compact today.
“The second goal was decisive. Scoring the second goal made it a different game and allowed us to control things.
“We showed a mature way of playing. Back-to-back clean sheets now and the team has the intent to please our fans and show what we can do.”