The stage was set for a Carabao Cup early-round giantkilling act and Lincoln City got off to the perfect start, scoring at home after less than a minute sending their supporters and Everton-fan owner into a rabid frenzy.
But despite that early setback, the Blues continued to play their game and impose their mark on it with wave after wave of attacks as the Sincil Bank held their collective breath. It was almost inevitable when Lucas Digne tied the game with a magnificent freekick and then in the second half Gylfi Sigurdsson’s penalty had the Toffees ahead. However, once again the Imps would not go quietly and equalized with a thunderbolt from Bruno Andrade.
Marco Silva remained unperturbed though, and made a couple of attacking changes that handed the Blues the 4-2 win and passage through to the Third Round where they face another tricky trip away, this time to Sheffield Wednesday.
Speaking after the game, the manager commended his players for fighting back.
“Our team showed one important thing in my opinion – apart from the attitude, commitment and desire - we showed personality.
“We respected ourselves, we respected our fans, we respected the competition. We were serious. We knew before the match it our obligation to come here and to go through in this competition, but we also know how football is difficult in some moments.
“They scored twice – and their second goal was fantastic. But (each time) they scored we had a good reaction. At 2-2, we changed the formation and took some more risks.
“It was a good performance in some moments. But, for me, the most important thing was our players were serious, they showed they are very good professionals and they won the game.”
Silva had named four new signings in the starting lineup, all making their full debuts for Everton - Djibril Sidibe, Fabian Delph, Alex Iwobi and Moise Kean - and they all had a part to play in the final result.
“We know with this type of competition, it is always dangerous for the team who are favourites.
“It is a good victory and we did well, even if we didn’t start well. The attitude was very good. We showed our ambition to stay in this competition.
“The players making their first starts did well. We are talking about quality players. They need time, more time to reach best physical condition, also. They did well, and for sure in the future we will see more from them.”
Iwobi, who scored the winning goal seconds before being substituted was pleased to open his account for the Blues.
“I am enjoying my time here, it is a new chapter in my life. I am so happy and there are more memories to come.
“It was a difficult game and we have to give credit to Lincoln. But the most important thing is we are through to the next round.
“We showed we have that fighting spirit, and that’s good to see.”
The Blues comeback started from Digne’s astounding effort from 30 yards out, and he was also thrilled to add another freekick goal that currently has his goalscoring rate at better than David Beckham’s.
“It was a tough start, but after we proved we have the character to come back.
“When I can score. it is good for the team and it was a great moment for me.
“It was a hard game to play, but the most important thing is to win.”