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Published: 15:25 | 14/12/15

Deulofeu shines at Middlesbrough


Gerard Deulofeu scored one goal and set up another for Romelu Lukaku as Everton beat Middlesbrough 2-0 to progress to the Capital One Cup semi-finals.

The former Barcelona forward netted a brilliant individual opener in the 20th minute when he drifted past weak challenges from Adam Clayton and Ben Gibson before drilling a low shot past Boro goalkeeper Tomas Mejias.

The Spain international turned provider for the second goal eight minutes later, producing a couple of stepovers to bamboozle Fernando Amorebieta down the right flank before crossing for Lukaku to head home his 13th goal of the season past Meijas.

Everton boss Roberto Martinez says Deulofeu's match-winning performance at the Riverside shows "he can be as good as he wants to be."

"Gerard is a young man in terms of the amount of games that he's played at this level, so he needs a lot of games. But as a natural talent, he's as good as it gets," he said.

"He's got that talent that you dream to have, he's got the talent that anyone would pay for a ticket to watch him."

Boro head coach Aitor Karanka, who worked with Deulofeu during his time with the Spanish youth set-up, admits he feared the worst when he saw the 21-year-old's name on the team-sheet.

"Gerard, I have known him since he was 13-14 years old, and he plays in the same way that he played when he was 13-14. He plays with his spirit, with his character and he's really good.

"When it's his day, it's difficult to stop him. We knew and even knowing before the game and showing the players images of him, he can surprise you.

"For that reason, he is at Everton playing in one of the top Premier League teams."

erun:yes'> header back to goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic, while his second was a free-kick that should have been dealt with by the defender covering the goal-line.

"It's cruel. We've had two little chances and within 30 seconds, we're trying to push forward and we've gifted two bad goals away," Bruce said.

"We've been punished and that's the lesson you take - you get punished for any mistake you make against the big boys and you don't get bigger than them."

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