• Premier League

Jagielka: Passionate Fellaini played through pain

ESPN staff
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Marouane Fellaini has often been linked with a move away from Everton this summer © PA Photos
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Marouane Fellaini proved his commitment to Everton by playing with an ankle injury last weekend, team-mate Phil Jagielka has revealed.

The Belgium international midfielder was instrumental in the 2-0 victory over Premier League champions Manchester City despite struggling with an ankle problem.

Jagielka said Fellaini played because he was desperate to make amends for his poor showing in the 3-0 FA Cup quarter-final defeat at home to Wigan a week earlier.

Fellaini reacted with frustration to booing from the Goodison Park stands as he was substituted during the second half of the cup defeat on March 9, and pulled out of a signing event with fans a few days later.

But Jagielka, who is currently recovering from an ankle injury, believes the 25-year-old deserves credit for his fighting spirit.

He told the Liverpool Echo: "Felli has taken all the beatings for us throughout the season and he will feel sometimes like the world is against him. Sometimes it has been.

"He had a painful ankle problem before the City game and he could have milked it and missed the game before disappearing off on international week. But he was desperate to play.

"He strapped himself up and put in a great performance. You cannot question his commitment."

Jagielka is hopeful that Fellaini, Everton's 12-goal leading scorer, can fire them towards European qualification. With nine games left, David Moyes' side are in sixth place, two points off fifth spot, which would guarantee qualification for next season's Europa League.

Jagielka added: "We know what sort of person he is and I'd like to think most fans would consider what he's done for the club this season.

"We can forgive him for five minutes of ultra frustration which bubbled over. It's good to see that he's up for it, because when he's like that it makes us a lot stronger as a team."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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