After a needlessly testing clash against Rotherham United in the last round, the Blues played with more composure and conviction against their fellow Yorkshire Championship strugglers this time around.
But what did the numbers tell us?
15th goal of the season
With Cenk Tosun curiously left out of the matchday squad for this time, there are murmurings that DCL could be left as Everton’s only senior striker for the rest of the season.
Fortunately, he’s a goal machine.
23 - Harry Kane (28) is the only English player with more goals in all competitions than Dominic Calvert-Lewin (23) since Carlo Ancelotti’s first game in charge of Everton in December 2019. Man-made. pic.twitter.com/kLCD5ZghO2— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 24, 2021
Cup assists continue
One player that was key to Everton’s fluidity and creativity here was James Rodriguez.
The Colombian had Blues salivating in his early performances after joining, but after picking up a peculiar injury in the Derby back in October, he hasn’t quite been the same since.
Here, however, he was pulling the strings.
In the end, none of his open play creativity could produce a goal, but two perfect corner deliveries helped Everton secure a comfortable victory in the end. Having not laid on a goal or assist since October, James has now set up key goals in the last two rounds of the FA Cup.
Curiously, all of his goals (3) and assists (7) have come at an empty Goodison Park.
Let’s hope can do it on a Wednesday night in Leicester, too.
10 - Amongst all Premier League players, only Bruno Fernandes (11 at Old Trafford) and Harry Kane (16 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium) have managed more direct goal involvements on home soil this season than James Rodriguez has at Goodison Park (10 - 3 goals, 7 assists). Sixpence.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 24, 2021
16 + 17
Thierry Small becomes Everton’s youngest ever player
One of my few criticisms of Carlo Ancelotti so far has been a seeming unwillingness to give youth a chance.
After all, he’s often favoured having two keepers on the bench rather than playing unproven under-23s players. But against Sheffield Wednesday, he named two exciting teenagers on the bench: Thierry Small and Tyler Onyango.
And, with the Blues cruising at 3-0 in the closing stages, Carlo saw fit to give out his first full debuts to academy graduates, with both looking comfortable in their short time on the pitch.
Everton's youngest ever players:— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) January 24, 2021
Thierry Small (16y 176d)
Jose Baxter (16y 191d)
James Vaughan (16y 270d)
Jake Bidwell (16y 271d)
Joe Royle (16y 284d)#EFC
Everton into fifth round for the first time since 2016
Winning a trophy – especially the FA Cup – has been a big priority for Evertonians for decades now.
But in the past few years – through a mixture of horrid draws and horrid performances – the Blues haven’t been able to progress far at all.
Indeed, this win means that the Blues are into the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time in five years.
A tough task probably awaits in the next round with Everton facing the winner of Monday’s clash between Spurs and Wycombe, but there’s no doubt this is a massive opportunity for Everton.
65% win rate in 2020/21