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Carabao Cup Match Review : Everton vs Sunderland

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Sunderland were brushed aside by Everton at Goodison Park, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin scoring twice and Oumar Niasse adding the third goal. Sunderland exited the Carabao Cup with a whimper as Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored either side of half-time to see Everton through at Goodison Park. The England Under 21 international was one of eight changes made by Blues boss Ronald Koeman, with Black Cats boss Simon Grayson making half-a-dozen changes himself. But it was Calvert-Lewin who was the star of the show, finding the net twice and with only the post denying him a hat-trick.

Everton outcast Oumar Niasse came off the bench to add the third goal inside the final ten minutes, in what was his first outing for the Toffeemen since May 2016. Everton were much the better team and Sunderland did not get going until Callum McManaman and Jonny Williams – who were left out of the starting line-up – came on, but by then the damage had already been done. Ex-Everton man James Vaughan saw two headers go narrowly past the post when the score was still 2-0 and if either of those had gone in, it might have set up an interesting finish. However as it was Everton eased through to book their place in the fourth round draw.

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Aside from Williams and McManaman, Grayson also rested Robbin Ruiter, Bryan Oviedo, Marc Wilson, and Lee Cattermole, from the side that started the weekend draw at Hull City. Jason Steele, Billy Jones, Donald Love, Jack Rodwell, Darron Gibson, and Lynden Gooch, took their places. Koeman retained only three players – Ashley Williams, Michael Keane, and Tom Davies – from the side that began the 4-0 defeat against Manchester United on Sunday. That meant there was no place for ex-Sunderland favourite Jordan Pickford, who was not even included on the bench, with Maarten Stekelenburg playing in his place. Also left out were Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka, Cuco Martina, Idrissa Gueye, Morgan Schneiderlin, Gylfi Sigurdsson, and Wayne Rooney, with Calvert-Lewin, Sandro, Davy Klaassen, Mo Besic, Nikola Vlasic, Mason Holgate, and Jonjoe Kenny, coming into the team.

The first half was played at a slow pace but Sunderland could have taken an early lead when an error at the back by Everton let in James Vaughan – one of three ex-Toffees in the starting XI – however his shot from the edge of the area went wide. And that was the Black Cats’ only sight of goal in a first-half in which they failed to create anything in the final third. Instead it was Everton who looked the more dangerous side, with Calvert-Lewin firing into the sidenetting after Nikola Vlasic had spun away from stand-in centre-back Billy Jones in the right-hand channel. Steele saved a long-range free-kick from Sandro midway through the half, and Vlasic sent a shot wide from the edge of the area on the half-hour. When the goal came, it was a scrappy affair with Calvert-Lewin evading a tangle of legs inside the penalty area as he got away from Adam Matthews and beat Steele with a low shot that found the bottom right-hand corner. And just seven minutes into the second period, Calvert-Lewin added a second goal as Everton made the most of a mistake by Love.

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The right-back’s attempted lay-off just inside the Everton half on the right-hand touchline went straight to Sandro, and he fed the ball forward behind Lamine Kone for Calvert-Lewin to race onto and he smashed his finish past Steele into the top left-hand corner from inside the area. The 20-year-old was inches away from completing his hat-trick on the hour, but his diving header came back of the right-hand post. Sunderland’s best chance of the game came 20 minutes from time when Love’s perfectly-flighted cross from the right found Vaughan, but his header back across the face of goal went inches wide of the right-hand post with Stekelenburg beaten. But Niasse had the final say in the 83rd minute, collecting Davies’ pass on his chest inside the area before nonchalantly dispatching his finish past Steele.

EVERTON: Stekelenburg, Kenny, Keane, Williams, Holgate, Klaassen, Besic, Davies, Vlasic (Lennon 82), Calvert-Lewin (Niasse 66), Sandro (Lookman 73). Subs not used: Robles, Martina, Gueye, Sigurdsson

SUNDERLAND: Steele, Love, Kone, Jones, Matthews, Gibson, Ndong, Honeyman (Williams 63), Rodwell (McManaman 55), Gooch, Vaughan (E Robson 86). Subs not used: Ruiter, Oviedo, Cattermole, Asoro