• Liverpool 1-1 Everton, Premier League

Martinez: Jagielka goal best I've seen live

John Brewin | ESPN FC
September 27, 2014
Roberto Martinez said Everton were not at their best at Anfield © PA Photos

Everton boss Roberto Martinez hailed Phil Jagielka's last-minute Merseyside derby equaliser as the best goal he has ever seen in the flesh.

Captain Jagielka's 25-yard shot left goalkeeper Simon Mignolet utterly beaten and stopped Liverpool counterpart Steven Gerrard from being the matchwinner once more.

"I don't think I have seen a better strike in live football," said Martinez. "You think it has to be an incredible strike to put it in the top corner and it was.

"The way he adjusted his body was quite impressive. Nearly with the outside of his foot, the outside of his laces. It helps it is at Anfield, in the last minute and for my team."

Jagielka, who also gave a fine defensive display, received the fulsome praise from his manager, for his response to recent criticism dating back to a torrid World Cup with England.

"When you look at some of the reports of his England performances, he didn't play in the two games recently and because of our defensive record this season, there was talk of a World Cup hangover, that was unfair," said Martinez.

"Today I was so, so proud. He cares for this club like no one else. It was an example of his belief in himself and the responsibility he has."

Liverpool thought they had the derby won through Gerrard's 65th minute free-kick, in a game short on thrills and entertaining football, though Martinez disputed the decision for a Leighton Baines foul on Mario Balotelli that led to the award of the kick.

He said: "I thought it was a bit unlucky to be given that decision which I thought we should have gone the other way, we had two decisions, to give in or keep fighting. What we got today is the most pleasing result we had this season."

Martinez admitted that his injury-hit squad had struggled, adding: "I don't think we played the way we can play on the ball. I don't think we were at our best in that respect.

"It was a real test of character, coming to Anfield, we all know that for 15 years we have not won. In the first half we looked in control but didn't make the right decisions in the final third."

The Spaniard was more than happy to take such a late draw, and suggested the result could begin a revival. "To get a point at Anfield can change the dynamics of our season," he said.

This article originally appeared on ESPN FC

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