Martinez: Special Lukaku hasn’t even reached his peak yet

Date published: Tuesday 8th December 2015 7:38

Romelu Lukaku: Warmly praised by Roberto Martinez

Everton manager Roberto Martinez praised the consistency of Romelu Lukaku after the striker’s 50th goal in his 100th appearance rescued a point at home to Crystal Palace.

Scott Dann’s header had given the visitors a 76th-minute lead but Lukaku, who had already hit the frame of the goal twice, converted from close range to make it 1-1 nine minutes from time.

The in-form Belgium striker has seven goals in his last six matches but his scoring spree has lasted much longer.

“Rom has been very consistent in the last 12 months, it is 26 or 27 goals in the calendar year – quite impressive,” said Martinez.

“When you look at the overall development in the last 12 months, it makes you realise what a special footballer we have.

“It is not just talking about potential. We are talking about a goalscorer who can control the moment and see the importance of his role in the team.

“Romelu could have had a hat-trick and we created a lot of open chances against a team that is very good defensively.”

Martinez refused to be downbeat about the concession of the Palace goal, which came from a corner when Gareth Barry lost Dann and he headed home.

“It is very easy to highlight the moment we conceded. I thought we were fantastic defensively until that point,” added the Toffees boss.

“Remember Crystal Palace are not just good on the eye but very effective.

“They have pace and power and real good strength – the perfect combination to play away from home.

“The corner is a disappointment and that is more concentration that anything else. You drop that intensity in your marking and get done.

“Palace had never thrown away a one-goal lead before (this season) and I thought our focus was fantastic.

“For a young team to have that incredible personality and maturity to get in the other end and score is very pleasing.”

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