Roberto Martinez hailed Everton's battling qualities in coming from behind to win 2-1 at West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday.
Stewart Downing fired the home side in front after 62 minutes, but Everton rallied well, equalising through Leon Osman six minutes later.
The match looked to be heading for a draw until Romelu Lukakau found a stoppage-time winner - his 20th goal of the season.
"We left it late to score the winning goal, but I thought the performances started very early," Everton manager Martinez said. "I thought we were very strong in the first half.
"Even before West Ham scored the opening goal I thought we had the better chances.
"When you come to face West Ham - a team we know well having faced them three times already this season - I thought the way we stopped their goalscoring was very good and the way we defended the box was very impressive.
"On top of that, we created very good opportunities.
"Even more impressive is, when West Ham get into the lead, they don't surrender many leads.
"I thought we showed a great maturity of controlling the moment in those five minutes [after West Ham went in front].
"Once we got the equaliser from Leon Osman, it seemed that we were the team that could get those three points."
With both sides in contention to claim the additional UEFA Europa League place made available via the Fair Play Award, the card count was almost as relevant as the score and the hosts did prevail on that count, picking up one yellow to the visitors' four.
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