Everton's Romelu Lukaku Reveals Ronald Koeman's Half Time Message at Manchester City

Published on: 16 October 2016

Everton talisman Romelu Lukaku has revealed that a positive half-time team talk from Toffees' boss Ronald Koeman inspired his side to their hard-fought 1-1 draw away to Manchester City on Saturday.

As per the Liverpool Echo, the Belgian striker has said that Koeman's message, emphasising unity and togetherness, helped him and his teammates take a point from Pep Guardiola's men at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City have now gone behind in three consecutive games under Pep Guardiola:

Celtic pic.twitter.com/8ectLn1Wm6

"When you're under pressure like that, against the best team in the league at the moment, you have to be tough mentally and defend well," Lukaku said, showing impressive awareness of the importance of the defensive effort for a striker, whose attitude has, at times, been called into question.

"Be as a team. That what we told each other at half time - we had to encourage each other and be positive. We had to be patient, defend well, and try to take our chances.

"When we got the lead, I thought it we could get the second, it'd be a totally different game. But you have to be focused and we lacked a bit of focus when they scored. After that, we defended well for the rest of the game."

Lukaku was the man who gave Everton their lead, which was sandwiched between penalty misses by two of City's key men, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero, before Nolito grabbed a point for Guardiola's men, with his first touch after being brought on as a substitute.

ICYMI: Pep Guardiola vs. Ronald Koeman was a great, overdue tactical Premier League battle.@Zonal_Marking: https://t.co/VDvrjIyiV0 pic.twitter.com/IktUXpSIPj

City are basically a 3-2-2-3...

Lukaku was also impressed with how Koeman adjusted his tactics at half time, to counteract City's specific threats.

"In the first half, we tried three up front for the first twenty minutes and it didn't work out. Then we played two up front and a diamond in midfield and we were good on the counter attack.

But I think we have to be lucky with one point. City were good - they have top quality players. We have to be happy with the draw and keep going."