Probably viewed as a rather unlikely battle at the start of the season, Everton extended the gap on their seventh-place rivals West Brom – as tension continues to build towards the final stretch of the campaign.
Ronald Koeman’s self-confidence must have been through the roof – praising the Blues’ strike force as a collective who will “always score goals”, explaining that his side “have those sorts of players.”
Europe spot at fingertips
It is all up for grabs – given a top four side wins the FA Cup that is. Seventh place will be awarded a Europa League play-off spot, and the 53-year old believes his side are in cruise control to achieving Europe next season.
Koeman said: “Our target is to play next season in Europe. We maybe know seventh position will bring it.”
Most Evertonian's will remember the last campaign in Europe during the 2014/15 season – with simply unforgettable away trips to Lille and Wolfsburg…not forgetting that draw in Krasnodar.
"Outstanding" seemed to be the operative word for Koeman, who commended the “outstanding team performance” from his side, alongside the “defensive organisation from set plays”, and in all, paid tribute to another impressive "team performance."
The Blues ran out 3-0 winners in a hotly contested affair, with Kevin Mirallas, Morgan Schneiderlin and Romelu Lukaku on target at Goodison Park.
Koeman was not short of praise for his lead marksman Lukaku as the Blues boss said he now expects the Belgian to “score in every game” but accepted throughout the encounter, his side “needed to fight and run.”
Barkley for England?
Gareth Southgate must have left L4 extremely impressed with Ross Barkley’s display, and Koeman fancies the 23-year old’s chances to get a call-up for the upcoming international friendlies.
“He’s improving,” said the Dutchman. “He has a lot more freedom now in the team. He’s a fantastic player.”
For teams still having to visit Everton’s home turf this season, it will take a lot of talent to travel home victorious.