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Everton boss Ronald Koeman eyes Europe after Lukaku's terrific treble against Sunderland

Sunderland 0 Everton 3

By Damian Spellman

Ronald Koeman has targeted European football at Everton after a dominant second-half helped them cruise to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Romelu Lukaku scored a hat-trick in 11 second-half minutes to end his 11-match Premier League drought and put Everton on 10 points from the opening four games.

Everton boss Koeman said: "I think we will be one of the teams that will fight for Europe.

"I think that is a realistic target and we showed that in the second half, but if we play like the first half then we will be in 13th or 14th place. We need to fight for European football and the players showed the level they can be at."

Speaking about the match-winner, Koeman always believed Lukaku's goal drought would come to an end even if he was disappointed with the first 45 minutes from his team.

"The two goals with Belgium gave him a boost and it's unbelievable how good he can be and of course strikers love scoring. He showed his quality in a great performance," he said.

"I was really angry (at half-time), we were defending well but that wasn't the problem, the problem was when we had the ball in the midfield and up front, we lost it."

Belgium international Lukaku netted 59th and 67th-minute headers and then completed his treble with 19 minutes remaining to condemn former Toffees boss David Moyes, who lost his job as Manchester United manager after a defeat by the same opposition in April 2014, to a third defeat in four league outings so far this season.

Sunderland - with Northern Ireland's Paddy McNair on the bench - gave as good as they got before the break despite having to defend resiliently, but were torn apart after it as Lukaku ran riot in front of a largely horrified crowd of 42,406.

Belfast Telegraph


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