'Unplayable' Lukaku hails strike-partner Kone

Everton are building an "unplayable" forward set-up with Romelu Lukaku, Arouna Kone and Ross Barkley thriving together up front.

Romelu Lukaku hailed his burgeoning partnership with fellow Everton striker Arouna Kone after the duo again linked up against Southampton.

In Everton's Premier League opener against Watford, Lukaku had teed up Kone for the equaliser to salvage a 2-2 draw, while on Saturday, the roles were reversed for the Merseyside club's first goal in their 3-0 triumph at St Mary's Stadium.

Kone's curling cross picked out Lukaku at the back post in the 22nd minute and the Belgian striker powerfully headed the ball into the top corner.

Just before the break, Lukaku would then link up with attacking midfielder Ross Barkley - an "unplayable" pair, according to Everton manager Roberto Martinez - to give the visitors a two-goal lead.

"Me and Arouna just try to do our best for the rest of the team," Lukaku told Everton's website after the match.

"We try to link up well. Last week I gave the assist for him, it was his turn today, so we're very happy.

"We did well offensively and defensively and Ross Barkley today was brilliant as well.

"But it's the whole team and the tempo was important today. We talked about it on Friday and also before the game, because that was the problem against Watford - we started too low and we let them come into the game.

"Today we grabbed the game from minute one into our hands and we were efficient in front of goal, and that's positive."

Everton's high-pressing led to Lukaku's second goal with the Belgian himself winning the ball near the halfway line before playing a one-two with Barkley to set up the strike.

Barkley completed the victory in the 84th minute with a curled shot, after Seamus Coleman linked with Lukaku before teeing up the English midfielder.

"[Barkley and Lukaku] were unplayable," Martinez said.

"When we play to their strengths they are very, very special.

"But to see the best qualities of an individual you need a good team performance, so it would be wrong to highlight individual players too much.

"Arouna Kone's contribution helped Ross and Rom to have the space they need and overall the team was perfect."