The signs of rust are still there, but with the result more important than style points, Everton came away from Slovakia with a 1-0 win to go through to the Europa League playoff round.
It took another second half goal, this time from substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin, to put the overall result beyond doubt.
A 2-0 aggregate win over an average MFK Ruzomberok side will not have brought comfort to fans, but with every passing training session the Blues can only get better.
Everton lined up in a three-man backline 3-5-2 formation as was reported earlier, with midfielder Tom Davies slotting in at the right wingback position. The teen’s energy was a welcome outlet for what was an otherwise futile first half with misplaced passes from the midfield slowing down any semblances of momentum.
As the game progressed, Leighton Baines became more of a factor as the home side pushed forward seeking the all-important equalizer. However, with tension mounting and just over ten minutes to go, a long pass from Davy Klaassen found Calvert-Lewin running free down the inside right and the Under-20 World Cup winner slotted in the far corner to end the tie.