No one can claim that Ronald Koeman is not putting his best foot forward in the EFL Cup. The new gaffer started a very strong side as Everton topped visiting Yeovil Town 4-0 in the second round of the competition on Tuesday.
As promised, Romelu Lukaku, Ashley Williams and Yannick Bolasie all started for the Blues. Fans will be eager to get that trio on the pitch and up to full match fitness as soon as possible.
However, the biggest move may have been Koeman’s decision to name Ross Barkley as the captain for this match. Neither Gareth Barry nor Phil Jagielka played, but wearing the captain’s armband is still a huge badge of honor for the lifelong Evertonian. And, from what we could hear, Ross did well in the role.
It was Aaron Lennon who got the scoring started in the 28th minute. It was a well-crafted goal as Barkley put a through ball into the box for James McCarthy. The Irish international then fed the ball backwards to the top of the six-yard box, where Lennon simply redirected it into the net.
In the 69th minute, the skipper doubled the advantage by netting a free kick, making it 2-0. Following the goal, Barkley lifted his shirt in honor of the late Sid Benson, the scout that discovered him, who passed away last week.
Arouna Kone came on for Barkley and picked up right where he left off, by scoring two goals despite only getting on the pitch in the 79th minute. The first was a banger from 20 yards out while the second included some tasty ball control and a tap home from close range.
I wish there was more detail or analysis I could give you, but the game was only available via Everton’s audio broadcast, so it’s tough to say much. Usually, 4-0 victories are pretty darn dominant. Williams, Lukaku and Bolasie all played 90 minutes and lesser used players like Kone, Bryan Oviedo and Tom Cleverley all got time on the pitch, which is important. For full match stats, head to Everton’s website.
One thing that was semi-surprising was that Joel Robles was not given the chance to start. Starting goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg has been fantastic in Everton’s first two Premier League games and looks to be in mid-season form. It’s doubtful he needed a rest, but it’s typical to see the backup keeper get minutes in early round Cup games. Yet, Robles remained on the bench.
The rest of the second round games in the EFL Cup will take place tomorrow and will then be followed by the draw for the third round. Those next round matches will start to take place during the week of September 19th.
Up next for Everton is a visit from Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday. The Potters beat Stevenage earlier today. In their first two BPL games, they tied Middlesbrough 1-1 and lost to Manchester City 1-4. Last year, Stoke topped the Blues 4-3 in an exciting match at Goodison Park in December. But Everton got revenge in February with a 3-0 win on the road.