Everton were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Crystal Palace on Friday, but manager Ronald Koeman was still pleased with the effort from his players.
The Toffees took the lead in the 35th minute through a well-struck free-kick by Romelu Lukaku. Palace came back and tied things up in the 50th minute through a header by Christian Benteke. Koeman was disappointed not to get the win at home, but couldn’t fault his players’ workrate.
“You like to win at home, so of course so we are disappointed – but it’s a fair result with what we saw on the pitch,” Koeman said. “I’m happy with the team performance. I think the team worked very hard.
“Very good defending was key tonight. I thought we were outstanding defending set plays against a tough team.
“In football you can’t stop everything – and it was a great goal by Benteke.
“Probably the best chance of the second half fell to Idrissa Gueye but then we maybe had some luck with the offside decision when they could have made it 2-1. I think it was a fair result.
“All the points we’ve gained so far have been deserved and, overall, I think that’s positive. Of course, we need to improve and we need to be better but the season so far, in my opinion, has been very positive.”
Koeman, who was known as a dead-ball specialist during his playing days, revealed that several of his players practice free-kicks during training.
“We have some good players who can take free-kicks and, of course, we also give attention to offensive free-kicks.
“It was a great goal because it’s not easy to score when there is a wall with tall players. To get it over the wall and into the goal was a great effort.”