Roberto Martinez ended a brilliant first season as Everton boss in style with a comfortable 2-0 win over Hull City
James McCarthy netted his first goal since signing for the club on deadline day with a smart finish after just nine minutes, while Romelu Lukaku scored what could be his last in a Blue shirt.
The Belgian’s 16th of the season- a composed low finish- rounded off an excellent move which epitomised Martinez’s patient, passing influence at the club.
While it remains to be seen whether Lukaku will be an Everton player next season after a successful loan spell, Everton fans will be optimistic going into the summer break after Martinez recorded the club’s highest ever Premier League points total (72): enough to guarantee Europa League football next term.
Howard- 7- made up for a below-par performance against Man City last weekend. Made some vital stops including a deflected effort which almost caught the American out. Fitting that the 35 year-old ended a fine season with a clean sheet.
Baines- 6- showed excellent composure in tight areas up and down the left flank and was committed throughout, chasing down a 40 yard lost cause to put McShane under pressure. Was never left exposed.
Distin- 7- a very good return display after spending two games on the sidelines. Having conceded five goals in his absence, it was no surprise to see calm and organisation restored to the back four.
Jagielka- 6- despite returning against City last weekend, the England star rightly looked a man shorn of Premier League football for the past two months. One or two nearly-moments (almost gifted ex-Blue Jelavic the ball in the penalty area) but otherwise solid.
Coleman- 7- scooped two Player of the Year awards at Everton’s End of Season Awards in mid-week and the Irishman was again busy showing why all concerned at Goodison Park rate him so highly. Took a wild swipe at a McCarthy pull back in the second half but he caused so many problems for Hull’s left side, showing great stamina and purpose.
Barry- 8- another absentee for last weekends game, this time owing to the club’s loan agreement with City stopping him playing against his parent club. But his return saw Everton return to their usual swagger; able to play with confidence up and down the pitch knowing Barry will sweep up. Blues will hope the 32 year-old will sign on permanently next season. A big miss otherwise.
McCarthy- 9- if Barry is plying his trade elsewhere come the start of next season, Evertonians can at least be reassured that McCarthy will continue to do the business in the middle. Didn’t put a foot wrong from start to finish; something that could be said of his Everton career to date. Broke forward with so much energy for a well-deserved first Everton goal and provided so much momentum for his side’s attacks. Man of the Match.
McGeady- 6- has been getting better and better with every game that passes and today was no different. Demonstrated his undoubted technical ability with some glittering footwork but on most occasions the final ball/decision was lacking. Promising performance for someone who could play a big part next season.
Naismith- 7- like McCarthy, Naismith’s work often goes unnoticed. It’s not until the Scot pops up in the right place to score an important goal that you realise what he does for the team, but he was impressive again on Sunday. Played his part in the opening goal, receiving Lukaku’s pass before his trough ball found McCarthy.
Osman- 6- started on the left side of the forward-most midfield three and was involved in some pretty football. Did excellently to get away on the left channel but Lukaku couldn’t connect with his cross with enough force. A consistent performer all season for the veteran to feature in every game this season- the only player to do so.
Lukaku- 8- showed great strength throughout, while his hold up play was much better than in recent weeks. Did brilliantly well to brush McShane off, power into the area and coolly slot home for his 15th league goal of the season. A great way to sign off, should this prove to be his last appearance in Blue, but Evertonians and Martinez will be hoping to see him at Goodison Park again next season.
Deulofeu- 5- another loan-star we may not see at Goodison Park come August. The young winger’s season has been characterised by a moment of individual brilliance followed by a series of un-emphatic performances. Showed incredible acceleration and skill but once again took too long to make up his mind once in the penalty area and the chance went.
Pienaar- 6- came on for Osman for the final 13 minutes and was his tidy self. No one expected much after such a lengthy lay-off (his last appearance was the 4-1 FA Cup defeat to Arsenal on 8th March) and it showed.
Traore- 5- came on for Lukaku in time-added-on. Not sure if he touched the ball but one things for sure: his goal-every-game record has now vanished. Poor form…
How would you rate the Blues?…What did you make of the last game of the season?…Could they have won by an even bigger margin?…Who stood out for you and how optimistic should Evertonians be going into the summer?…please leave your comments below…