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Friday 20 October 2017

Martinez happy to settle for Lille draw

Everton remain top of Europa League Group H after playing out a 0-0 stalemate at Lille in a game overshadowed by trouble involving Toffees fans in the build-up.

The home side went closest to finding a goal in the first half when Idrissa Gueye struck wide.

The Toffees survived another scare after the break as on-loan Liverpool man Divock Origi fired off-target, before they went as near as they came to breaking the deadlock themselves, with Aiden McGeady seeing his effort spin off goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama and being cleared.

Genuine chances were few and far between, though, as Roberto Martinez's men claimed a point that takes the Group H leaders to a total of five from three games.

"I'm a little bit disappointed that the condition of the pitch didn't allow us to be on the ball like we normally are and in all fairness I think that affected Lille as well," Martinez said.

"Maybe it didn't look like it from the camera view but the pitch was really difficult in terms of having good ability on the ball."

Despite drawing a blank in north-east France, Martinez was happy the Toffees were able to keep Lille at bay.

"I thought it was a very pleasing clean sheet. We knew that Lille were going to throw everything at us and I thought we coped with that extremely well," added Martinez.

"All in all it's another very good away performance, another very good point and a really strong performance from everyone."

The run-up to the match was marred by in trouble in the city, with an attack on Toffees fans at a bar by at least 50 men, and a subsequent flare-up in the main square which saw French police use gas against them.

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