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Thursday 14 December 2017

Martinez surprise as the Toffees are last ones in

Everton boss Roberto Martinez admits he is surprised his team will not be joined by any other British sides in the last 16 of the Europa League.

While the Toffees comfortably secured their passage from the round of 32 with a 3-1 second-leg home victory - which made it 7-2 on aggregate - against Young Boys last night, Liverpool, Tottenham and Celtic were all eliminated from the competition. Martinez said he felt it was a "shame" none of those clubs had made it through.

And on his men being the sole British representatives in the draw for the next round, the Spaniard added: "Being the last British team left is a very satisfying achievement.

"I am surprised because, with the quality of our British teams, you feel we can compete in this competition.

"But it shows it is not easy to play in Europe. It is not easy to adapt to playing away, adapting to different styles.

"I am just very pleased with the way we adapted."

As in the first leg in Bern a week earlier, the Goodison Park encounter saw Everton come from behind against Young Boys to take a 3-1 lead into the interval.

And once again it was Romelu Lukaku, scorer of a hat-trick in the Toffees' initial 4-1 win, who proved the scourge of the Swiss outfit.

He took his personal haul in the tie to five goals by netting twice after Sekou Sanogo's 13th-minute opener for the visitors, the striker providing the equaliser from the penalty spot in the 25th minute and then volleying in to make it 2-1 on the half-hour mark before Kevin Mirallas slotted home a 42nd-minute third.

Lukaku was substituted early in the second half, but Martinez played down fears of him being injured.

He said: "No. Romelu was feeling a little bit tired, but we didn't have any knocks or concerns."

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