Roberto Martinez saluted his Everton team for playing with their heads rather than their hearts following the last-gasp 2-1 victory over Cardiff City.
As the clock ticked down, the Blues continued to stick to their passing principles and eventually conjured up a winner – albeit in fortunate circumstances – through Seamus Coleman’s miscued strike deep into second-half stoppage time.
Cardiff had earlier fought back to level, with Juan Cala netting after Gerard Deulofeu’s 59th minute opener.
“You can say that you get a little bit lucky when you score the winner that late but it’s down to having that control and patience,” Martinez said.
“It would have been all too easy to play with your heart rather than your heads with Cardiff piling bodies behind the ball and defending well.
“Once we scored that first goal and then let Cardiff back in, it became a difficult moment. It became a real test for us and I’m very pleased that we didn’t panic and we kept doing the right things.
“Overall I would say we left it late because we couldn’t take our chances. We created a number of chances and I thought David Marshall in goal was phenomenal. It was as good of an individual performance that you are going to see from a goalkeeper.
“We deserved the three points but Cardiff deserve huge credit. They will feel it is a harsh way to lose the game, just like we did at Stamford Bridge three weeks ago.”
Coleman’s strike was his seventh of what is proving to be a prolific season for the 25-year-old full-back.
“For Seamus to keep being in those positions to score goals from open play is a significant thing,” Martinez continued.
“He had an incredible performance from right-back because he was all action. He got forward really well all afternoon and to be there in the 93rd minute tells you the type of player that we have at the Club.”