Everton ran out comfortable 5-1 winners over hosts Western Sydney Wanderers to end their two-game Australian tour unbeaten after a win on penalties over Scottish side Celtic on Sunday.
The Blues got a hat-trick from forward Anthony Gordon along with scores from Neal Maupay and a first senior goal for youngster Tom Cannon as well. The Blues started in a 4-3-3 formation with Isaac Price once again playing a starring role in the middle with Frank Lampard opting for a mostly unchanged side from the weekend.
The Toffees got going early scoring in the fifth minute from a corner, with James Tarkowski heading the ball into Gordon’s path but the referee called for offside. Demarai Gray and then Abdoulaye Doucoure both went close before Maupay did score from a Nathan Patterson cross.
The Blues pushed forward for a second but against the run of play the hosts pulled one back through Ramy Najjarine just a couple of minutes later to make it 1-1. Dwight McNeil and Maupay missed chances before Wanderers came close to taking the lead, a shot going off the bar and then Tarkowski doing well to block the rebound with the goal gaping.
However, on the half hour mark the Blues led again, Gray playing in Doucoure on the left and his center deftly tapped in by Gordon arriving in the six-yard box.
A Gray cross just evaded both Maupay and Gordon as the Blues looked to add one more before the break, with the former pair missing two more chances as well. The Blues had gotten plenty of joy down the wings with Gray and Gordon, stretching the Aussies and their movement keeping them on their toes.
The second half started with a couple of changes, Michael Keane replacing Tarkowski and veteran Andy Lonergan making his Everton debut for Asmir Begovic. The hosts hit the woodwork minutes into the the second stanza, hitting the bar with a speculative volley from Romain Amalfitano.
Price was putting himself about in the middle and was booked for a heavy challenge before the Blues stretched their lead just before the hour mark. McNeil started a counter finding Gray streaking down the right, his ball back into the middle was hit by Gray, with the goalie parrying away the shot. However, Gordon was first to react to the rebound tucking home for his second of the game.
On the 64th minute Lampard made a couple of changes, sending on Under-21 stars Tom Cannon and Stan Mills, with Maupay and Gray coming off. And it was the youngsters who combined for the fourth of the game, with Mills’ tame shot spilled by the busy Daniel Margush and Cannon quickest to the ball to tap home.
Two minutes later Cannon almost got his second, his wicked shot swerving just over after being played through by Doucoure who had a good game as well in the attacking phase. A raft of more changes pretty much ended the contest after that, with Reece Welch, Sebastian Quirk and Joe Anderson all getting minutes.
Lampard had kept Gordon on to give him a shot at his treble, and right on the 90th minute the youngster delivered, cutting inside from the left and firing home at the far post.
All in all a good outing for the Blues against lower standard opposition as they wind down from a difficult first half of the season back home. Everton will now return home and go into a month-long hibernation of sorts as the World Cup ramps up. The Toffees are next in action on Boxing Day when they travel to Wolves when the Premier League resumes.