Everton easily cantered into the Third Round of the Carabao Cup after recording 32 shots in their highlight game last night hosting Salford City.
The League Two opposition didn’t provide too much of a challenge for the Toffees’ second string side who imposed their will early on and despite falling asleep for about an hour in the middle, then turned it up again towards the end to seal a 3-0 win.
Speaking after the game, the manager Carlo Ancelotti was happy with the clinical performance put out by his side who never really looked too worried apart from a couple of minutes here and there.
“It was a good performance, we were focused and I think the attitude was good.
“We played a good game and reached our goal which was to move on in this competition, to go forward with a good performance and attitude.”
Youngster Anthony Gordon seized his opportunity after not making the matchday squad at Tottenham on Sunday to record an excellent outing with his eight shots matching the record for an Everton player since Kevin Mirallas managed it against Burnley in April 2017. He had an assist on Gylfi Sigurdsson’s goal, hit the woodwork twice and won a penalty that was converted by Moise Kean for the Toffees third.
“He did well, he was dangerous in front, one-on-one he was quick, it was a good performance.
“Every player wants to play, I know this. But he is young. He has to improve step by step. His performance is good. He has to be focused in training, work hard. And he will be a good player because he has the skills and ability.”
Fellow teenager Niels Nkounkou won the Man of the Match award making his competitive debut with an electric showing putting in seven crosses and showing off his pace and skill on the ball. Also making his debut was Joao Virginia was largely untroubled in goal, being called upon to make just the one save and looked reasonably comfortable with the ball at his feet too.
“I have confidence in all the players. You have to be patient with young players because they have to improve and reach the top level.
“It is important for them to stay focused, be patient and work hard. There was a good spirit in the team, from the players who haven’t played a lot with us, too.
“When the spirit is good the performance is usually good. I am satisfied with this match.”
The League Cup is one competition that Everton have never won, and despite a glittering management career, Ancelotti has also never lifted this trophy.
“When you start a competition, you try to do your best. All the competitions are important.
“We started the season well with these two games [Tottenham and Salford] but we have to focus only on the next game [against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday]. Nothing more.”
A number of first team players were seen warming up around the hour mark when the Blues still only led by a single goal, but Ancelotti insisted that he was never worried about the result.
“No I think the game was under control. We defended well, we put pressure on the ball, defensively we were good. I didn’t think to many any changes.”