Everton’s Luck of the Irish

Premier League´s highest scoring defender adds another to his tally on St Paddy´s weekend.

On St Patrick´s Day weekend, Everton relied on a little Irish luck to give them a last-gasp winner over their Welsh opponents after Cardiff´s Scottish keeper David Marshall produced an excellent performance, stopping a flurry of chances from the Toffees.

The move for Everton´s winner was started and finished by the sides Irish internationals, with Gareth Barry heading the ball in Coleman´s direction from Aiden McGeady´s cross.

And boss Roberto Martinez was delighted with the resilience his side showed to overcome Cardiff with Seamus Coleman´s stoppage time winner.

The Victory means the Blues go three points clear of Manchester United – with Liverpool making sure it stayed that way with their victory at Old Trafford! Also keeping the pressure on fifth-placed Tottenham, now just two points behind with two games in hand.

Martinez said: “The way we have to approach the last 10 games of the season is to be able to play for 95 minutes whatever happens.

“We need an incredible resilience, patience and character and I think we showed that today.

“Also you need the desire and concentration from the players in every game you go into.

“I’m pleased that in such a tricky fixture that could go very wrong, we have found a way to win a football game.

“That’s as important as being able to win and get a handsome scoreline.”

The Catalan was also more than satisfied with first goalscorer Gerard Deulofeu’s contribution but believes an hour was always likely to be enough for the on-loan Barcelona youngster.

Martinez said: “It is important for Gerard, we’re still building him back to match fitness.

“An hour was the right time for him today. It’s important that we keep all the forward players fresh for the next 10 games.

“Players like Aiden McGeady are starting to be themselves physically. We also have Kevin Mirallas, Leon Osman, Ross Barkley, Steven Naismith and Romelu Lukaku – I’m going to make sure each one gets playing time.

“It’s important that we’ve got a freshness about us and a real edge so we can increase the goals tally between now and the end of the season.”

He added: “Gerard had 60 minutes to score a goal so he left it really, really late.

“When he gets in those one-v-one situations, he is starting to have a real freshness about him.”

Seamus Coleman´s late winner sees the Irishmen´s goal tally reach seven for the season and Martinez was impressed with the right-back´s contribution at both ends of the pitch.

He said: “For Seamus to keep playing in those good positions to keep allowing him to score from open play is significant.

“He had to miss-kick the ball to beat David Marshall with the way it was going.

“It was an incredible performance from Seamus. He was all-action. He had to defend well at times but he got forward really well.

“To be able to be there in the 93rd minute tells you what type of player we have here at the club so I’m delighted for him.”

For long periods of the game it looked as though Everton would have to settle another point against the Welsh side after Cardiff keeper David Marshall´s impressive display but Martinez was pleased that his side did not let frustration get the better of his side.

He said: “Once we’d scored that first goal but let Cardiff back it was a very difficult moment and became a real test for us.

“I’m very pleased with the manner in which we never panicked. We kept doing the right things.

“You can say we got lucky scoring the winner so late but it’s down to having that control and patience.

“It would have been all too easy to start playing with your heart rather than your head.”

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