Everton coach Roberto Martinez reflected on a “hurtful” 3-2 loss to Crystal Palace at home in the Premier League on Wednesday but refused to concede that fourth-place rival Arsenal now has the advantage in the race for the final UEFA Champions League qualification place. The loss at Goodison Park left the Toffees one point behind Arsene Wenger’s Gunners with four games to play.
"I don't think Arsenal will get full points from now until the end of the season," Martinez said. "So one point and a better goal difference for us means we are still very much relying on what we do. The table looks like it [fourth place] is out of our hands but I believe it is still in our hands and will rest on the amount of points we get until the end of the season.”
The former Wigan Athletic coach added: "The reaction is of disappointment. It is a hurtful defeat with the expectations and desire we had coming into the game. In the first half we wanted to play and attack so much that we forgot the basics of how to win a football game. The way we defended somehow carried a bit of fear and left us exposed. To concede three goals from four shots on target is disappointing. We gave everything we had and were unfortunate not to get a draw. I would not say we played bad, but defensively we did not have our normal intensity."