Martinez blames Baggies' tactics for Everton loss

LONDON • Frustrated Everton manager Roberto Martinez took a swipe at West Bromwich Albion's negative approach during the Baggies' 1-0 Premier League win at Goodison Park on Saturday.

An early goal from Albion's Salomon Rondon was enough to inflict a sixth home defeat of the campaign upon his team on Saturday after the visitors spent much of the remainder of the game wasting time, with Ben Foster and Darren Fletcher booked by referee Michael Oliver for the offence.

"It's part of football but it's disappointing," said Martinez. "When you buy your ticket and pay a lot of money, you want to see teams going eye to eye, with their own ways of playing, their own ways of winning games.

"You want to see football, you don't want to see the ball out of play that long and I think referees should be a little bit stronger."

But counterpart Tony Pulis was unapologetic after his side scored with their only shot on target. They had only 24 per cent of possession while facing 34 shots.

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  • Salomon Rondon's winner was the 23rd goal conceded at Goodison Park this season, making Everton the most generous hosts in Europe's top five leagues.

"The Premier League is not a level playing field," he said as the Baggies moved to 14th place with 32 points, eight clear of the bottom three.

"There are clubs with budgets, facilities better than yours and you have to find a way with winning. That is what I do. We need 40 points. We were resilient. We defended for our lives, which we had to.

"Everton had a free week. They have got a top-five squad and to come here and get a result is absolutely fantastic, considering we played Peterborough for 120 minutes with penalties (on Wednesday in the FA Cup)."

Everton (35 points) have now conceded 23 goals at home this season and have the worst home defensive record in Europe's top five leagues.

Martinez admitted that their home form has not been good enough but felt there was little more his side could have done to get a result.

"There is that element that sometimes a dominant performance doesn't give you a good result and that was the story," said the Spaniard, who saw his side hit the post twice in the first half through Ross Barkley's curled shot and Tom Cleverley's cross.

"I thought the dominance deserved a better result."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 15, 2016, with the headline 'Martinez blames Baggies' tactics for Everton loss'. Print Edition | Subscribe