Ronald Koeman impressed by Enner Valencia contribution in win over Southampton

The Ecuador global came off the bench to enliven a dreary occasion, scoring the 73rd-minute opener and winning the late penalty which allowed Leighton Baines to double their lead before Romelu Lukaku gave the scoreline a flattering appearance.

Everton started 2017 in superb fashion as three quick-fire second-half strikes secured a 3-0 Premier League victory over Ronald Koeman's former club Southampton.

The Toffees added gloss to the scoreline late on, with Leighton Baines netting from the penalty spot and Romelu Lukaku driving in with two minutes to go.

"The first half was not good. That was better in the second half than the first", he said.

"Everton has quality, good individual players like Lukaku and Mirallas with the possibility to score and make the difference but it's important to stay with good concentration of our team and to keep the good spirit", he added.

"We needed something different in front and he was one of the players who changed the game - he scored the goal and created the difficulties for the defence of Southampton", said the Everton boss.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin after just 12 minutes when he picked up a knock.

Southampton hasn't defeated Everton at Goodison Park since a Premier League game in November 1997. That was the reason to start with Dominic [Calvert-Lewin], to put somebody with pace behind Romelu and give more freedom for Ross [Barkley].

"He is doing well". Two times he came off the bench and did well and, OK, his first start is also [to do with the fact that] we will miss Gana the next couple of weeks and we know we need to protect Gareth Barry sometimes.

But it was Saints that thought they had the lead against the run of play, only for Rodriguez's goal to be correctly ruled out for offside, while the forward had also handballed when bundling the ball over the line.

  • Angelo Rivera