Thu, Mar 19, 2015 - Page 18 News List

Everton’s Lukaku eyes win in Kiev

AFP, PARIS

The English Premier League’s sole Europa League survivors Everton are in Ukraine today aiming to seal qualification for the quarter-finals against Dynamo Kiev.

Romelu Lukaku’s late penalty at Goodison Park last week gave Roberto Martinez’s men a slender 2-1 first leg lead, and the Belgian striker could once again prove the key to furthering Everton’s European adventure.

Everton warmed up for their 5,500km away day by brushing aside Newcastle United 3-0 on Sunday. Lukaku, the leading scorer of the 16 teams left in the Europa League with seven goals, was again on the mark to lift the Toffees six points clear of the relegation zone.

“Everybody knows I want to win the Europa League and I also want us to finish as high as we possibly can in the league, so I will do my best to achieve my own objectives and the team’s objectives,” Lukaku said.

“Now we have to do the business in Kiev. That will not be easy, but I’m very confident in my teammates. Hopefully we can do the job there,” he added.

Martinez on Sunday welcomed back defender Leighton Baines, who managed the full 90 minutes against Newcastle after missing the last four games with a leg injury.

“Newcastle was a massive game,” Baines told the Everton Web site. “We were on the front foot defensively and Romelu and Arouna [Kone] were a handful up front, caused them plenty of problems and we were good value for the win in the end.”

“So we’ve got the first of what we want to be three wins in a week. We know we can get away with a draw in Kiev, but we want to go out there and try to win that game and the same at QPR [Queens Park Rangers].”

Dynamo drubbed Illichivets Mariupol 5-0 in their domestic warm-up on Sunday to leave the side coached by former Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United forward Serhiy Rebrov seven points clear of Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukrainian Premier League.

UEFA have ordered part of Kiev’s stadium to remain closed as punishment for ugly crowd trouble during Dynamo’s last 32 clash with French side En Avant de Guingamp.

Elsewhere today, SSC Napoli might fancy their chances of featuring in tomorrow’s quarter-final draw after Gonzalo Higuain’s hat-trick inspired the Serie A side to a 3-1 home win over Dynamo Moscow.

Holders Sevilla also have one foot through the last eight door after sauntering to a 3-1 win over La Liga rivals Villarreal, helped by the competition’s all-time fastest goal from Victor Machin Vitolo after just 13 seconds.

Andre Villas-Boas’ Zenit St Petersburg hold a 2-0 advantage in Torino, while Bundesliga high-flyers VfL Wolfsburg take a 3-1 lead to face three-time champions Inter.

In other ties, Club Brugge KV (2-0 first leg winners) are in Turkey to tackle Besiktas, former continental kings Ajax trail Ukrainian side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 1-0, and the all-Serie A clash between AS Roma and ACF Fiorentina is finely poised at 1-1.

The draw for the two-legged quarter-finals is scheduled to be held at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, tomorrow.

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