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Arsenal (A) Sun 1 Mar 2015, 14:05, Barclays Premier League

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Roberto Martinez hailed the performance of Gerard Deulofeu after Everton's 4-0 dismantling of Stoke.

Deulofeu scored one and set up another amid an eye-catching display on his first Premier League start.

Martinez revealed the teenage Spaniard had been critical of his own performance in last week's Merseyside derby but was delighted with the way he stepped in against the Potters.

The Blues boss said: "I thought Gerard was ready [to start]. He was fairly disappointed with last week. From my point of view - and I told him - I thought he was outstanding when he came on against Liverpool, but he had two good chances and he felt he should have taken them.

"I felt in the week he was left with a negative feeling, which he didn't deserve. That's why I felt it was right for him to start and push that feeling away - and he was desperate to do that.

"I thought his goal was sensational - the moment of the game. The way he works for the team and the way he understands his role in the side was very, very impressive, so we are very pleased.

"Now he can relax over the weekend with a good feeling."

Deulofeu's was one of a number of excellent performances which contributed to Everton's dominant display.

Martinez continued: "We are very, very pleased. I was a little bit worried whether we'd be able to maintain the tempo and intensity from the previous game. After the derby, having another game at home can be a little bit difficult and that was little bit of a worry.

"But the way we controlled the game was very pleasing, as was the way we coped with the strength of this Stoke side. Our movement and the way we kept hold of the ball was very pleasing; certain players with real fresh legs like Gerard Deulofeu made a big impact."

Everton visit Manchester United and Arsenal next week, with the busy festive period also on the horizon.

"We have got a really big few weeks, not just the games next week," added Martinez. "It is important that everyone is ready. I thought the players who came in were essential to the victory today. It shows the squad is ready to face the challenge ahead."

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