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Romelu Lukaku saves Everton with injury-time equaliser against West Ham

It may prove a turning point or merely a temporary reprieve, but Romelu Lukaku’s 91st-minute equaliser against West Ham United felt like victory to Roberto Martínez. With good reason. Everton were staring at a potent combination of an eighth defeat in 10 matches, an early Cup exit and another round of scrutiny on their drained manager and then his £28m record signing halted the rot. “It would have been a horrendous setback but the players showed they are ready to fight for everything,” said a relieved Everton manager.

Martínez invested the bulk of Everton’s summer budget on the Belgium international and was repaid when he needed it most, Lukaku capping arguably his best performance of the season by cancelling out James Collins’ commanding header. The former Chelsea striker has scored in his past four appearances against West Ham. “A rash moment cost us the victory,” lamented Sam Allardyce. “Winston Reid and Joey O’Brien dived in and that damned man scored against us again. As he always does.”

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