Koeman hails Toffees’ second-half showing

Everton manager Ronald Koeman praised his side's second-half showing as a Romelu Lukaku hat-trick fired the Toffees to a 3-0 victory over Sunderland on Monday.

The Toffees struggled to make a notable impression in the first half, but turned things around after the break as Lukaku scored three in the space of 11 frantic minutes to effectively end the match as a contest.

In fact, Everton could have won by a more convincing margin, with Lukaku himself admitting he could have scored "five in the end."

"I was really disappointed with our first 45 minutes," Koeman told Sky Sports. "It wasn't the Everton I like to see.

"We lost a lot of easy balls. We had difficulties but the second half is what I like to see. We got a reaction in the second half. That was the level in the second half."

Commenting on the performance of Lukaku, he added: "I did not have doubts about him [Lukaku]. The two goals Romelu scored with Belgium gave him a boost.

"It's unbelievable how good he is. I told him the best answer was on the pitch.

"Maybe he [Idrissa Gueye] was the key. He is a player with a lot of energy. He takes good positions and he is that key player in midfield."

Lukaku, meanwhile, echoed the sentiments of his manager, lamenting his side's sub-standard showing in the first half.

"We could have done better in the first half," he said. "Up front we didn't keep the ball and we didn't create enough chances. It wasn't not good enough."

Lukaku went into Monday's encounter looking to end a Premier League drought that stretched all the way back to March, and he was asked explain his troubles in front of goal.

"I think it was all about fitness levels," Lukaku said. "I'm happy for the team. I think I could have had five in the end. I have to be more of a serial killer for the team to achieve their objective."

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