Everton finally ended a series of disappointing defeats with a comfortable 3-0 victory at home to Sunderland last night in the ‘shit name’ Cup. Koeman made some expected but much needed changes to his starting 11 on Wednesday night, with Stekelenburg coming in for Pickford, along with an overdue debut for the solid Jonjoe Kenny at right-back, as well as a first home start for Nikola Vlasic and a starting role for Dominc Calvert-Lewin.
The game started cagey, as to be expected following recent results. And early on Besic nearly gifted an old friend a goal. Vaughan dispossessed Besic just outside his box and marched in on the Everton goal, only to fire his shot wide. An early let off for the blues. Everton then grew into the game. Calvert-Lewin in particular was causing all sorts of problems for the Sunderland defence. He was full value for his goal 7 minutes before half time. Vlasic and Davy Klaassen combined for the youngster to fire a low shot beyond the Sunderland keeper from 12 yards out to make it 1-0. Young Kenny looked composed at the back and was whipping some great balls up the right side throughout the first half, whilst Vlasic brought some much-needed pace to the attacks. Tom Davies was, well classic Tom Davies. Intelligent on the ball, good range of passing, good movement, strong in the tackle.… Everton really are a better side with him in it. Half time 1-0 Everton.
In the second half, the Toffees turned it on. And it was beautiful. Slow, slug like passing and movement seemed a distant nightmare. Everton were back playing fast, stylish Football and it was a joy to watch. Okay, it was only Sunderland, but who cares? It was nice to see the lads enjoying their Football again. On 51st minute Everton doubled their lead and Calvert-Lewin doubled his tally for the game. Ramirez, who looked dangerous all game out on the wide left, threaded the ball through Calvert-Lewin who rifled his effort into the back of the Sunderland net. Beautiful finish.
Calvert-Lewin nearly completed his hattrick with an excellent header from 7 yards out which rattled the keepers left hand post. Then on 66 minutes it happened. The forgotten man, the smiling assassin, the locker-less King, the Senegalese Prince… (the guy who clearly has more nicknames than goals), finally reappeared back on the Goodison surface for the Everton first team. ‘’Oumar, Oumar, Oumar’’ rang around Goodison. A mixture of smiles, laughter and disbelief masked the faces of the ground, but there was a real overriding sense of joy to see the man given a second shot. And boy, did our man deliver. He looked rusty at times, as to be expected. But when he was given his one and only chance in front of goal, he took it…and took it well! With 7 minutes to go, Davies delivered a sweet ball to which Niasse met with his chest and beautifully stroked into the top corner of the net. YES!!!!!! Made up for him. Lookman and Lennon made late substitute appearances to see the game out. Full time, 3-0 win.
Back to winning ways. Okay, old conker nose grinned his face off when he saw that he drew Everton out at Chelsea away in the next round. But there’s plenty of games between now and then. Let’s enjoy the victory for a few days…after all it’s been a while. Up the Toffees!
– David ( @DAHughes92 )