Everton fans got to see a rare appearance in the senior side for two youngsters with very bright futures ahead of them.
First was young defender Mason Holgate who got a rare shout to start the games, and held up mostly well. As part of a three-man defence, he looked very composed when on the ball, assured in his passing and intelligent with his movement. He let his man slip away as Leonardo Ulloa got a header on goal, but stand-in goalie Joel Robles was up to the task. Shades of Spurs from opening day there, but played well otherwise.
Then there was precocious teenager Tom Davies who came on for aging veteran Gareth Barry in the second half, and immediately struck the casual viewer with his confidence on the ball, and energy off it.
It was interesting that manager Ronald Koeman chose to bring Davies on in such a pressure cooker of atmosphere with Everton up by one and the home crowd baying for an equalizer, but his contributions stabilized the midfield and set up the win.
“I was very pleased with Tom, he did a great job.
“In the 20-25 minutes we put him on, the reason we put him on was to introduce a fresh player in that position, first to keep the ball and also to work and win battles.
“He is really aggressive. He is a young player but he will come. He has a big talent.”
Davies’ last appearance was in a lost cause game at Chelsea where he had impressed as well.
“For young players, normally you need to give them a comfortable situation (in which to come on).
“Everybody knows it's difficult for young players to make the breakthrough into the first team.
“He's already come on against Chelsea, but it was a really disappointing result at that moment.
“Here, though, we were 1-0 up and he was the strong player that we needed in midfield.
“That's what we needed at that time in the game.”
Forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin has also made two appearances for the Blues, coming on as a second-half substitute though he wasn’t in the squad today.
It is encouraging to see Koeman using the youngsters to kickstart what has been a pretty anemic Everton side for large parts of this season so far. Their energy and playing level so far is a compliment to David Unsworth’s work as the youth side’s manager, where he has Everton at the top two points clear in the Premier League 2 table.