Hull City 0 Everton 2 match report: A final goal and a World Cup hint for Romelu Lukaku
Belgian notched his 15th goal in his final game for Everton as he prepares to head back to parent club Chelsea
Sunday 11 May 2014
A farewell strike from Romelu Lukaku and a first goal for the club from James McCarthy helped Everton to a comfortable win at Hull, even without conspicuous absentees Ross Barkley and John Stones.
Barkley, the midfielder, and Stones, a defender, were omitted from Roberto Martinez’s matchday 18, fuelling speculation that the Spaniard was privy to Roy Hodgson’s plans for the World Cup.
Martinez said he does not know if either will today be named in the squad for Brazil but confirmed they were rested. He said: “They have played a lot of football of late. We had to protect them today and I wanted to look at other players who have been out injured. Ross and John will be busy this summer. They have the opportunity of representing the senior side but there is also the Under-21s in the Toulon tournament.
“We had to make sure they didn’t go into the summer with a risk of injury. Now they are fine. They’ve been regenerating all week and they’re ready for whatever comes.”
Even without Barkley and Stones, Everton made short work of a Hull team who have had an eye and a half on Wembley since winning the semi-final.
Allan McGregor returned to the Tigers team for the first time since 26 March, having made a surprisingly recovery after breaking three ribs and damaging his kidney in a clash at West Ham United for which he was sent off. This was a chance to prove he deserves the call over Steve Harper at Wembley but McGregor failed his first test.
Lukaku found Steven Naismith, whose incisive pass was perfect for McCarthy. The shot was firm but McGregor got a hand to it and should have kept it out. Instead, it looped inside the back post.
Everton were comfortable and, 46 seconds after the break, they worked the ball from the right-back area and, when Leon Osman’s pass released Lukaku, the Belgian shrugged off Paul McShane and hit his 16th goal of his season on loan from Chelsea.
Hull have not won since booking a return to Wembley and Steve Bruce, their manager, said: “We’ve limped along in the last few weeks. We’re not a team that can saunter around. Nowhere near. I can understand it to a degree. None of them have played in the FA Cup final before, so they’re desperate to play.”
The Independent's live blog of today's Premier League action
Latest in Sport
World Masters Athletics Championships: Meet the 95-year-olds still picking up medals
Don't mess with me, Diego Costa warns Manchester City ahead of Chelsea clash
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
West Ham vs Liverpool match report: Reds are caught cold by hot Hammers
Aston Villa vs Arsenal team news: Alexis Sanchez incorrectly named in starting line-up as Alex Oxlade-Chamerlain called up to start
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'