Frank Lampard made a number of changes but stuck with his favoured formation. Asmir Begovic started in goal, with Seamus Coleman, Michael Keane and Reece Welch (marking his first team full debut) in front of him. Nathan Patterson on the right, with Ruben Vinagre coming in on the opposite wing. Tom Davies was injured in warmups and was replaced by Demarai Gray, so Amadou Onana went in the middle, with Dwight McNeil and Alex Iwobi, while Salomon Rondon started up top.
Surprisingly no Allan or Jean-Philippe Gbamin on the bench, have to wonder about their Everton futures. Anthony Gordon was on the bench looking very relaxed even as rumours continue to swirl about his future.
The match started well for the hosts who were determined to take the game to the visitors at the small Highbury Stadium. Fleetwood passed the ball around well as they looked to expose the Toffees’ backup defence, but neither side really created anything to write home about until a mistake from Brendan Wiredu changed the game.
His misplaced pass fell to Dwight McNeil, who immediately found Alex Iwobi, and the forward-tuened-midfielder played Demarai Gray into space, who made no mistake tucking the ball past Jakub Stolarczyk at the far post.
The hosts were only encouraged after that and continued to push forward, mostly through Cian Hayes and Shaun Rooney on the Everton left where they were able to get plenty of joy without creating any real chances of danger.
The second half was more of the same as Everton remained content to let Fleetwood do the running. Lampard’s three changes James Tarkowski, Lewis Warrington and Stanley Mills only served to frustrate the hosts more as they solidified the side and secured passage into the next round, 1-0 the final score.
Shooting practice lads! Frank Lampard should have the entire squad do an hour of shooting drills every day from here until Saturday. No idea where they left their shooting boots today, but they were horrendous today.
Amadou Onana continued his English football initiation as he was fouled at least six times, and battered for a good number more in his box-to-box midfielder role. Will still need some time to adapt.
Really liked how well Lewis Warrington played in the minimal time he got here, shielding the defence and distributing the ball well.