Marco Silva said Lucas Digne showed his “quality and his character” as the Frenchman rescued a point for Everton against Watford.
A lacklustre second-half performance had seen the Hornets overturn Richarlison’s eighth goal of the campaign through a Seamus Coleman own goal and an Abdoulaye Doucouré header.
But after Christian Kabasele fouled Michael Keane 20 yards from goal, Digne bent a stunning free-kick around the wall with just seconds left in injury-time for his first Everton goal since signing from Barcelona in the summer.
“It was a fantastic moment for him,” said Silva. “He showed not just his quality but his personality as well as a player when he took that decision [to take the free-kick].
“Maybe everyone was expecting it to be Gylfi [Sigurdsson] because it is a good decision for a right-foot shot.
“But Lucas has done well and it was a very good moment for him and to help our team.”
Despite the late drama to grab a point, Silva was left frustrated that his side even found themselves in such a position after taking a first-half lead.
It looked like the Blues were going to return to winning ways when Richarlison smashed home from an Andre Gomes pull-back to give them the advantage at the break.
But after Roberto Pereyra clipped the post, the ball ricocheted off Coleman and past the helpless Jordan Pickford. Just two minutes later, the visitors were ahead as Pereyra’s cross was headed down and into the net by Doucouré.
Sigurdsson then missed a penalty after Yerry Mina was fouled, his shot smacking the legs of Ben Foster.
While Silva was pleased with the resiliency he saw from his side – rewarded by Digne’s last gasp heroics - the Blues boss admitted work was to be done after a disappointing second-half performance.
“I told the players that I didn’t like our second half,” he added. “It was not a normal second half for us. We have to display our quality on the pitch a bit more, to play our way and try to score the second goal.
“In the first half we did well, playing our way, trying to score and creating chances. We had speed in some moments in our game. But after we scored the first goal, the game didn’t have the control we wanted.
“We cannot concede two goals in two or three minutes. In those two moments, we have to do differently.
“But we kept trying to create chances and we did with Richarlison, the penalty and others. But thankfully we got the equaliser right at the end.”