Krasnodar vs Everton: Roberto Martionez praises the experience of Samuel Eto'o as striker spares Toffees surprise defeat

Everton were outplayed in Russia but managed to escape with a point thanks to Eto'o's cameo appearance

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Everton manager Roberto Martinez was in no doubt the experience of Samuel Eto'o had shone through as the striker scored a late equaliser for the Toffees in their 1-1 Europa League draw at FK Krasnodar.

The Merseyside outfit, who are competing in Europe for the first time since 2009/10, were outplayed by their Russian opponents for much of the Group H contest at the Kuban Stadium.

But they emerged from it with a point after Eto'o was on hand to provide a close-range, left-foot finish from Leighton Baines' cross in the 82nd minute, cancelling out a 43rd-minute Ari strike that had been teed up by a mistake from Phil Jagielka.

Former Cameroon international Eto'o has not only had a taste of Russian football before, having played for Anzhi Makhachkala, but is also very much a seasoned campaigner in European competition, with three Champions League winner's medals to his name.

 

And regarding the 33-year-old former Barcelona, Inter Milan and Chelsea player who Everton signed over the summer, Martinez said: "Today was a bit of an unknown and we needed the experience.

"Samuel was waiting for that moment, was very composed, he got in good pockets of space and the finish was of the highest quality. I was delighted for him.

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"The big thing about Samuel Eto'o is experience in European competition, and if anyone was going to have a chance and score a goal, it was going to be him.

"That was his role today - he used his experience and know-how. He came up with the goal and that is why he proved his value.

"I couldn't be prouder of his performance in terms of showing how to wait for your moment and then using it."

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John Stones reacts to a missed chance

Martinez felt his side had showed great character to secure an "incredible result" and believes they will learn a lot from the game.

The Spaniard said: "It gave us a lot of experience. It has been a very good lesson for us.

"Krasnodar played really well. But I think in the end we deserved it. I was delighted with the character that we showed."

He added: "Maybe a draw is a fair result, but Krasnodar did have a lot of chances they couldn't take and it could have been a different story."

Everton now have four points from two Group H games and remain top of the pool.

Krasnodar and Lille have two points apiece, while Wolfsburg, who Everton beat 4-1 at home last month, have one.

Krasnodar boss Oleg Kononov was frustrated that his players could not make more of their first-half superiority, but declared himself satisfied overall.

"We tried to attack," Kononov said.

"We were successful with this in the first half - but we should have scored more.

"There were some wonderful chances to do that but maybe we were just unlucky. I'm satisfied with the result."

PA

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