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Published: 12:12 | 18/12/15

Martinez bemoans 'cruel game'


Roberto Martinez was left frustrated by the "cruel game" after seeing his Everton side held to a 1-1 draw by Premier League strugglers Norwich City at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Romelu Lukaku netted for the sixth consecutive Premier League game after just 15 minutes to give the dominant Toffees the lead, but Martinez's side were unable to build on their bright start, with Wes Hoolahan netting an equaliser for Alex Neil's side early in the second half.

"It's a combination of feelings. Football can be cruel game and it was today," Martinez told BT Sport after Everton's forth draw in five Premier League matches.

"The performance was strong, especially in the first half when we were well in control. We had enough chances to kill the game but in the second half we had to defend two corners. One went in and then we couldn't find that luck in front of goal.

"It was similar to [the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on] Monday. We deserved three points but we dropped points, we need to grow quickly and turn draws into wins.

"It's only natural that when you go away the home side have a say but we controlled Norwich really well and it's very unfortunate to concede from a corner.

"Our intensity was good throughout but there's a real sense of frustration when you don't get that second goal.

"The home side could have been out of the game at half time and we gave them hope. Then they get momentum with the goal but even at that point we carried on looking for victory until the last kick of game."

Martinez was relieved that John Stones came through the full ninety minutes after hurting his ankle in the warm-up, then falling awkwardly following a corner late in the first half.

"John is a young man growing so quickly, he is very mature and a leader in the group," Martinez continued.

"He twisted his ankle but didn't want to come off. He produced a very strong and dominant performance of a man who plays well beyond his years."

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