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Apr 20, 2014

Everton happy to defend and counter

Roberto Martinez said Everton were happy to let Manchester United have the ball in his side’s 2-0 win over the defending Premier League champions.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez said Manchester United rarely threatened goalkeeper Tim Howard.

United mustered only two efforts on target, and Martinez, who was content for his side to operate on the counterattack, felt they rarely threatened Tim Howard’s goal.

"It was that sort of game where we were happy for them to have the ball," he said in a news conference. "We had to be patient. Psychologically it was a tough performance because it was the first time this season we gave the ball to the opposition.

"We could have kept that better at times, but it would be stupid to try and criticise a pristine performance to keep a clean sheet. I thought we were devastating on the counterattack. We were full of energy and dynamic."

Jolly: Three Things: Everton vs. Manchester United
• ESPN FC TV: Everton's first Man United double since 1969

Everton have already recorded their highest ever Premier League points tally of 69 and have beaten United home and away in the league for the first time since 1969-70.

"That is a big thing,” Martinez said. “We knew that since 1969 we never done the double over United, and I think that is when we won the league. It tells you this group of players is ready to develop something special."

Martinez praised his predecessor David Moyes, the beaten United manager, for laying the foundation for his work at Goodison Park. But he stressed he has made a difference by promoting untried players after Ross Barkley and John Stones excelled in the victory over United.

"I was a very fortunate man to walk into a football club that everything was in place from the work David did over 11 years," said Martinez. "Previously I went into clubs that looked like a bomb. I wanted to change many things, but I didn’t want to lose anything.

"We brought in 10 players, which is a massive amount, and then we gave a big role for the young players. We needed that unknown quality from the younger players to see how far we could push the group, but David Moyes laid the platform."

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