- Premier League
Martinez hails 'gifted' Lukaku, Pardew admits concern
Everton boss Roberto Martinez has praised on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku after the Belgian grabbed two goals and an assist in their 3-2 win over Newcastle on Monday.
Lukaku was instrumental in leading Everton to the break with a comfortable 3-0 lead, scoring the first before setting up Ross Barkley and rounding out his brace after rounding Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul.
Martinez believes Lukaku, who took his season tally to three goals, looks comfortable at Goodison Park and is proving "unplayable" for opposition defences.
"The first-half performance was so dominant, but you can drop your tempo a bit, and once Newcastle scored the first goal you can lose momentum and take risks," Martinez told Sky Sports 1. "I was pleased as we controlled the game well enough. We can learn from it.
"He [Lukaku] is strong and powerful, but for a number nine to have that awareness around him - technically he is gifted. At times he was unplayable and that that means he opened spaces for others.
"We need to get to know him. In the second half against West Ham he showed what he could do and tonight he looked at home."
Martinez also singled out England international Barkley, who has made a consistent start to the season.
"It's hard to explain how much he's growing game by game," Martinez added. "In pre-season he impressed and from that onwards he is getting better.
"He's a unique talent for an English boy. He has developed a good relationship with Romelu straight away. He's growing so much that, if anything, you need to take him away from the training ground as he's so eager to fulfil his potential."
Despite Newcastle's second-half fight back, Toon manager Alan Pardew was critical of his side's defensive efforts.
"The goals were poor in the first half. Definitely we have got to be better than what we are," Pardew said. "We've got goals in the team and we showed that tonight but we've got to tighten up.
"Nothing went right for us and the inconsistency being shown was disturbing at one point, but in the second half we got some balance in the team and came out with some pride, and almost at the end got more than that."
However, Yohan Cabaye's long range effort gave Pardew some cause for optimism.
"He's a class act. We had a long chat with him about him starting," Pardew added. "We felt he wasn't right for 90 minutes, but he was terrific in the second half. He's an absolute banker for Cardiff."
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