So what did the numbers tell us?
Just 5 changes
If Carlo Ancelotti was showing his intent for this competition last week by starting Jordan Pickford, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, he showed he is deadly serious about winning the Carabao Cup by picking two of Everton’s star summer signings this week – despite a league game against Brighton & Hove Albion just three days away.
Wake Up Call
Third time the Blues have conceded in first 3 minutes of second half-time
Just 26 seconds into the second half and Everton undid the largely good work of a dominant first half performance.
These things happen. But there’s a pattern starting to emerge here that the Blues need to be aware of. Against West Brom, they conceded an equaliser within two minutes of the break and last week they allowed Fleetwood back in the game less than three minutes into the half.
The Blues need to make sure they are restarting the game completely switched on.
Maturity from Nkounkou
90% pass success rate, four tackles, one interception
Despite edging closer to a full-strength 11, Carlo Ancelotti continued to place trust in 19-year-old left-back, Niels Nkounkou, after two sterling performances in the previous rounds.
And the Frenchman showed Carlo he was right to trust him. The youngster showed his maturity by replacing the marauding style of his previous appearances with a composed, defensively-assured showing in his first game against top-flight opposition.
Nkounkou completed 90% of his passes and completed four tackles and one interception (the joint most defensive contributions).
What. A. Bargain.
Kenny, Allan and Richarlison all hobble off
The big question coming into this game is whether Ancelotti would pick a full-strength team. And with Allan and James Rodriguez being added to the line-up, it wasn’t far off.
The obvious risk with this strategy, though, was the risk of not only reducing freshness for Saturday’s game, but also picking up an injury or two.
But Everton didn’t pick up an injury or two. They had three. Jonjoe Kenny and Richarlison both rolled their ankles while Allan seemed to pull a muscle in his groin area. These will be a nervous couple of days ahead of Saturday’s clash.
8 goals in 5 games, but...
Another hat-trick for DCL. Another three goals from inside the box.
Calvert-Lewin is becoming a top-class fox-in-the-box style centre-forward. That said, he’s still not the finished article.
Shooting from distance certainly isn’t his forte, yet he lashed two strikes from outside the box against West Ham, when he probably would have been better playing in a teammate.
Don’t get me wrong: DCL is doing great, but there’s still work to do.
We’ll leave you with this incredible stat - what a month for both the men’s and women’s teams.