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Everton thrashed Sunderland 6-2 at Goodison Park on Sunday with Arouna Kone scoring a hat trick. Everton climbs to 9th place with the win.
Kone, 31, missed more than a year after suffering a difficult injury in October 2013. He made his way back and made his comeback in late December 2014. The Ivorian striker scored his first hat trick for Everton against Sunderland and was lauded by his manager Roberto Martinez.
“Arouna has always had self-belief,” Martinez told evertonfc.com after the game. “It’s been as difficult as you are going to get – a new player coming to a new club, then having a career-threatening injury.
“From that point he was catching up but his attitude and focus never changed. He never chose to blame anyone or anything – all he wanted was an opportunity.
“Against Watford, in difficult circumstances, it was a real turning point for his individual role. From that point on he has been very impressive throughout the season and today was the most impressive complete 90 minutes. Scoring a hat-trick and his overall contribution was strong.”
Everton were clinical in front of goal against the Black Cats, scoring six goals on eight shots on target.
“I thought our attacking play was exceptional,” Martinez said. “More than anything, the understanding of how to break down a defensive system.
“Sunderland came here with a clear idea of being very difficult to break down and then try to hit us on the counter – and I thought the way we coped with that was very impressive.
“Then, you get into the little moments that you need to be psychologically very strong like when we conceded the equalizer. It was a real test of our understanding and character and we responded in a fantastic manner.
“Of course, we want to and we need to improve defensively. At times, we looked a little bit stretched and a bit reactive and that’s where we need to work. But when you have that attacking power and quality in possession it makes it a very exciting win looking forward.”