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Everton at Wolfsburg - Toffees impress in Germany

Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Well that was a performance of sorts.

Eschewing all usual roads to victory Everton somehow comfortably beat Wolfsburg whilst having less possession, far less shots, and at times defending for their lives.

Still, it was a well deserved and hard earned win that also won the group and ensured progress into the Round of 32 - or Second Round in old money.

A few key names were missing from the line-up but it meant a first start for Luke Garbutt and the youngster acquitted himself well, looking assured in possession.

That Wolfsburg actually channelled the majority of their attacks down our right side says more about the perceived weakness of the Tony Hibbert - Aiden McGeady axis.

Happily, McGeady has added a huge level of workrate to his game and Hibbert is one of the most professional defenders around, even if his distribution still leaves much to be desired.

The first half saw a lot of pressure toward the Everton goal but throughout the game Tim Howard stood tall, making a number of difficult saves and doing the simple things with a minimum of fuss. In front of him Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka seem to be back to their old selves, with the Everton captain keeping up his excellent recent form.

When the goals came they were both against the run of play and on a quick counter attack from a Wolfsburg passage of play.

At times Romelu Lukaku looks every bit the £28 million player, mainly when he’s in the penalty area, but when he’s controlling the ball he looks more like a Sunday league player. For his goal his first touch and control were all over the place but none of that matters when you can finish like that.

Kevin Mirallas had one of his quietest games but still coming back from injury it will take time for him to settle. The relationship between him and Lukaku is getting stronger each game though, and the Mirallas finish for the clincher was as good as his fellow Belgians.

In a performance of almost perfect counter attacking football Everton, and Roberto Martinez, continued to show that they’re more than capable of doing something special in the Europa League this season.

And with a chance to blood some new players in the final game the Spaniard might actually be able to keep building on his teams improved league performances.