Match-winner Barkley cites beginner's luck
Ross Barkley gave Everton a 2-1 victory at Swansea City with a memorable late free-kick on Sunday, then admitted that he does not even practise shooting from set-pieces.
The 20-year-old midfielder, capped by England for the first time this season, settled Sunday's game at the Liberty Stadium with a masterful 22-yard free-kick that cleared the defensive wall and went in off the bar.
Having earlier spurned an opportunity to put Everton ahead when he slipped as he shaped to shoot, he said he was simply grateful to have been given an opportunity to atone.
"It's a relief because I had a chance to score with 20 minutes to go and I slipped, so to see the free-kick go in was a bonus and great for the team," he told Sky Sports.
"I told Romelu Lukaku to leave it, because I saw the goal and thought 'I'm going to score this.'
"I don't really practise free-kicks because Leighton Baines is usually on the pitch, so I thought it was my chance."
Everton captain Phil Jagielka praised Barkley for having the nerve to usher more experienced team-mates aside when the free-kick was awarded.
"He slipped and thought it wasn't his day, then five minutes later he hits the bar," Jagielka said.
"Then he's brave enough to take the free-kick, and he did."
Barkley's performance also drew praise from manager Roberto Martinez.
"When you see someone like Ross Barkley that is growing game by game, that is showing you different aspects of his game, he's a quite incredible diamond of English football and that free-kick gives you a real example of what he is as a player and the potential that he has," said the Spaniard.
Everton's victory took them into the Premier League's top four, although they will lose their hold on a Champions League berth if fifth-place Chelsea avoid defeat at Arsenal on Monday.