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Koeman praises 'professional' Lukaku in Everton win

Romelu Lukaku scored twice in stoppage time against Hull Credit: PA

Everton manager Ronald Koeman praised the professionalism of Romelu Lukaku after the striker scored twice in the 4-0 win over 10-man Hull.

Earlier in the week the Belgium international told the club he would not be signing a new £140,000-a-week contract that would make him the best-paid player in their history as he questioned whether they had the ability to reach the Champions League.

However, there was no doubting his commitment to the cause on the pitch as his 20th and 21st goals of the season, both in stoppage time, made him the first Everton striker to reach that tally since Gary Lineker in the 1986-86 season.

Lukaku has now scored in seven successive home matches, equalling the great Bob Latchford's record from 1977-78, and has nine in his last six games.

And Koeman was quick to point out he never expected anything less from his striker, while also noting the injury to midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin might keep the new signing out for "several weeks."

You are surprised about this [performance by Lukaku]?

He is a professional and every professional gives the best for the club, the players, for everybody.

It was difficult for him but when he got more space he played well.

When it was 11 against 10 and we know he gets those kinds of chances he will score.

I am a little bit worried [Schneiderlin] will be out for several weeks but we need to wait for the scan to know what happened.

– Ronald Koeman

Allardyce confident of Palace avoiding relegation

Sam Allardyce is confident of avoiding the drop with Palace Credit: PA

Sam Allardyce declared Crystal Palace's escape from relegation is "on" after they secured a third successive victory with Saturday's 1-0 home defeat of Watford.

Troy Deeney headed a second-half own goal that secured three vital points and lifted Palace to 16th - four clear of the bottom three.

It also eased much of the pressure that had been building ahead of their next four games against Chelsea, Southampton, Arsenal and Leicester.

A wider total of four wins from six, as well as a second in succession at Selhurst Park - where Allardyce previously felt his team "feared" playing - has given them some momentum as they bid to preserve their Premier League status.

It has also taken them to within three points of 13th-placed Watford, and when asked if he felt they were on course for survival, Allardyce responded affirmatively.

It's on, it's on.

We've won three on the trot, four out of six; we've made the team better all round. It's nice to look at the team and say 'why change (personnel)?' Prior to this I'd been changing week-in, week-out almost to find the solution to get a result.

We had to tough it out for long periods. In the end, we produced a bit of quality to win.

The 1-0 is very sweet for us, and that comes by our outstanding defending. We got what we deserved by a quality ball from the free-kick.

We might have put it (the fear of playing at Selhurst) behind us somewhat, and that's down to new players coming in who haven't got that fear, because they haven't played here before.

All four (Mamadou Sakho, Patrick van Aanholt, Jeffrey Schlupp and Luka Milivojevic) have made a big contribution. That's lifted the rest of the players who were here, and lifted their fears a little bit.

The change in the team out of possession is one of the reasons we've turned this around.

– Sam Allardyce

Leicester boss: No secret to recovery, just hard work

Shakespeare was quick to praise Schmeichel for saving Leicester Credit: PA

Craig Shakespeare insisted he has no secret formula despite guiding Leicester to a fourth straight win.

The Foxes also finally collected their first Premier League away victory of the season with a 3-2 success at West Ham.

Riyad Mahrez, Robert Huth and Jamie Vardy - three of the main protagonists of last season's title triumph - hit first-half goals as Leicester showed no signs of a European hangover following their impressive win over Sevilla.

And although they may have a Champions League quarter-final meeting with Atletico Madrid on their minds, Shakespeare has ensured they get their domestic affairs in order first.

Claudio Ranieri's replacement - until the end of the season, at least - was keen to praise the work rate of his side as well as goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel's form, with the Danish stopper denying Andy Carroll twice late on in the match.

There is no secret, just hard work, endeavour and resilience, and we showed that today.

We said once the Champions League draw was made let's concentrate on the Premier League. It's been put to one side, we've parked it.

We knew we were coming here on the back of an awful away record and we wanted to put it right.

[Schmeichel] was very important, they were pivotal saves.

I think he's in the best form since I've been here. He's pulled out some crucial saves over the last couple of weeks.

– Craig Shakespeare


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