Football: Martinez heaps praises on Lukaku after striker rescues a point for Everton

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku celebrating after scoring against Crystal Palace on Dec 7, 2015.
Everton striker Romelu Lukaku celebrating after scoring against Crystal Palace on Dec 7, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - Manager Roberto Martinez was left purring in appreciation after Romelu Lukaku scored his sixth goal in five consecutive Premier League games to rescue a point for Everton against Crystal Palace on Monday.

Lukaku marked his 100th appearance for Everton by scoring his 50th goal for the club with a trademark header from close range in the 81st minute to level the tie at 1-1 after Scott Dann put the visitors ahead from a corner.

Prior to his goal, the powerful Belgian twice hit the woodwork and tormented Palace's defence all evening with his pace and trickery.

The point was enough to send Palace into sixth place in the table, ahead of West Ham United and Liverpool on goal difference, with Everton a point adrift of them in ninth spot.

"Rom has been very consistent in the last 12 months. He has scored 27 goals this calendar year and that is quite impressive," Martinez told the club's website (www.evertonfc.com).

"When you look at his overall development in the last 12 months - and we know there is lots more to come at the age of 22 - it makes you realise what a special footballer and special talent we have.

"It is not just talking about potential, I think it is fair to say we are talking about an established goalscorer, who has got an incredibly big responsibility in our team.

"He can control the moment. It was great to see him at the end of the move (for the goal), but we are disappointed we couldn't get the three points."