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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

The views on this page are taken from the local and national media and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton.

Friday's newspapers focus on the Boxing Day defeat to Sunderland and the end of Everton's 17-game unbeaten Premier League run at Goodison Park.

The Blues saw Tim Howard sent off midway through the first half for a foul on Ki Sung Yueng, with the South Korean picking himself up to net the only goal of the game from the penalty spot.

But the papers reserve much of their column inches for the performance of goalkeeper Vito Mannone, the Italian who almost single-handedly kept a determined Everton at bay.

Reflecting on the game in the Daily Mirror, Toffees boss Roberto Martinez says he believes his side will learn lessons from what was just their second reverse of the season and ultimately emerge stronger going into the start of the second half of his maiden campaign in charge.

In the Daily Star, Sunderland boss Gus Poyet heaps praise on the "outstanding" Mannone and admits he witnessed his side "defend for our lives".

The Liverpool Echo's match report puts the result down to a rare off day for the Blues, saying "Even The Grinch Who Stole Christmas couldn’t have scripted a better ‘Bah Humbug’".

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