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Dublin: 2°C Monday 12 April 2021
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Everton striker Kone given the ultimate reward for his Premier League treble

A hat-trick, the match ball, three points for his team and a new contract – not bad for an afternoon’s work.

Kone inspired Everton to a big win earlier.
Kone inspired Everton to a big win earlier.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

IT’S FAIR TO say it was a good day for Arouna Kone.

The Everton striker scored a Premier League hat-trick as his side hit rock-bottom Sunderland for six before his manager, Roberto Martinez, hailed the ‘complete’ individual performance.

If that wasn’t enough, it was then confirmed the Ivory Coast striker has now been given a one-year contract extension at Goodison Park because it was his 35th appearance for the club.

Kone’s deal was due to expire at the end of the season but the milestone meant he activated an appearance-based extension – and he celebrated it in style.

The 31-year-old looked to be heading for the Goodison Park exit after a litany of injuries but he’s returned to form of late, scoring five goals in 11 league outings this season.

And his manager was thrilled with what he considers his most complete performance in an Everton shirt to date.

“Arouna has always had self-belief,” Martinez said after the match. “It’s been as difficult as you are going to get – a new player coming to a new club, then having a career-threatening injury.

“From that point he was catching up but his attitude and focus never changed. He never chose to blame anyone or anything – all he wanted was an opportunity.

“Against Watford, in difficult circumstances, it was a real turning point for his individual role. From that point on he has been very impressive throughout the season and today was the most impressive complete 90 minutes. Scoring a hat-trick and his overall contribution was strong.”

Everton surrendered a two-goal lead before two goals from Kone, one from Romelu Lukaku and an own goal from Sebastian Coates handed them an emphatic 6-2 victory.

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About the author:

Ryan Bailey

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