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Saturday 23 August K.O. 17:30

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Martinez's Mixed Emotions

Boss proud of display but disappointed not to win first derby.

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Roberto Martinez admitted to mixed emotions after his first Merseyside derby.

The first 3-3 draw between Everton and Liverpool in over 80 years was a true rollercoaster of emotions for both sets of supporters.

Martinez also gave his views on two potential red-card incidents for each side, before querying the location from which Steven Gerrard delivered the free-kick for his side's late leveller.

The Blues recovered from being 1-0 and 2-1 down to finally take the lead inside the last 10 minutes, but the visitors' own late strike ensured Saturday's contest ended all square.

Asked for his post-match verdict, Martinez replied with a smile: "How long have you got?

"We were magnificent in terms of the amount of chances we created. [Liverpool goalkeeper] Simon Mignolet was man of the match and rightly so.

"But we're really disappointed to concede three goals from dead-ball situations. I thought we controlled the game well and they didn't have a shot on target from open play in the first half but managed to score twice.

"But I felt to be able to get the third goal was down to an outstanding performance from my players."

It was all about the Belgians at Goodison Park, with the in-form Mignolet denying numerous Everton attacks - his goal only breached by compatriots Kevin Mirallas and Romelu Lukaku, that latter netting twice.

And while the trio may grab much of the headlines for their performances, Martinez was also keen to praise a trio of Blues making their derby debuts.

He added: "Romelu was clinical and [Gerard] Deulofeu looked like a player that is ready to excite the fans.

"Ross [Barkley], as a young man with Everton in his heart and blood, performed in a very mature manner.

"Both groups of players were sensational."

The two sets of supporters were riled by an incident apiece, but referee Phil Dowd opted to keep his red card pocketed following a foul by Mirallas on Luis Suarez and an apparent elbow from Steven Gerrard on Gareth Barry.

"I can see why," answered Martinez when asked if he Mirallas' challenge could have warranted a sending off.

"I've seen the replay. Kevin goes in to win the ball, closes his eyes and it's not a malicious incident but I understand.

"I was very disappointed with Gerrard's elbow incident even if it did not make contact with Gareth Barry."

Martinez also expressed his concern over Liverpool's late third goal, converted by Daniel Sturridge following Gerrard's free-kick delivery.

"Gerrard moved the free-kick closer and it should have been taken from the place it was given," he added.

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