Everton booked a place in the FA Cup fifth round for the first time in five years courtesy of a routine 3-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Goodison Park.
Carlo Ancelotti once again demonstrated how seriously he is taking the competition with a strong line-up that ultimately had far too much for the Championship strugglers.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin got the ball rolling when he marked his return from a hamstring problem with a first goal in seven outings on the half hour. The England forward slid home Andre Gomes’ lovely cross to notch his 15th of the season for the Blues and his first since December 5.
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The Blues upped the ante following the restart and took firm control of the tie with a quick-fire double. Both goals came from James Rodriguez corners as Richarlison and then Yerry Mina made the most of perfect deliveries and some static defending.
Wednesday had made a fist of it in the first period but never truly looked like causing an upset as caretaker boss Neil Thompson saw their three-match winning run in all competitions come to an end.
Everton will now host Wycombe or Tottenham in round five.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin of Everton celebrates his goal with Yerry Mina (L)
Image credit: Getty Images
TALKING POINT - Could it finally be Everton’s year?
The Blues made a superb start to the season and then lost their way slightly. It looks like they have regained their rhythm and belief now which sees them well placed in both the league and this competition. Ancelotti has quite rightly shrugged off title talk but remains optimistic about a European push and challenging for a first major trophy since 1995.
It is hard to judge too much against an Owls side currently being led by a caretaker manager and languishing in the bottom three of the Championship, but the Toffees were impressive in all departments. Calvert-Lewin is back and scoring goals while James Rodriguez has the X-factor to make a real difference at the highest level. Tougher tests will lie ahead, but Evertonians can dare to dream this could be their year given the quality and clear direction Ancelotti has brought to the club.
MAN OF THE MATCH - James Rodriguez (Everton)
The Colombian sparkled in an open game where he was allowed to showcase some of his creative genius. Chalked up a couple of assists and showed just why he is the type of recruit that could help Everton reach the next level in time to come.
Everton: Olsen 7, Coleman 8, Holgate 7, Mina 8, Godfrey 7, Doucoure 8, Gomes 8, Sigurdsson 8, Rodriguez 9, Richarlison 8, Calvert-Lewin 8. Subs: Bernard 6, Kenny 6, Gordon 6, Onyango n/a, Small n/a.
Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith 8, Urhoghide 7, Brennan 7, Borner 6, Galvin 7, Harris 7, Bannan 7, Pelupessy 7, Reach 7, Green 7, Paterson 6. Subs: Windass 7, Brown 6, Penney 6, Dele-Bashiru 6, Marriott n/a.
8’ - EVERTON CHANCE! Richarlison's free header is tipped on to the bar by Joe Wildsmith after the Brazilian was left in acres of space to meet Coleman's cross.
29’ - GOAL! Everton 1-0 Sheff Weds (Dominic Calvert-Lewin): Calvert-Lewin slides in at the far post to convert Gomes' driven, low cross from the left.
59’ - GOAL! Everton 2-0 Sheff Weds (Richarlison): Everton double their advantage. Richarlison nods home James' right-wing corner from inside the six-yard box.
62’ - GOAL! Everton 3-0 Sheff Weds(Mina): Mina powers a header in from another James corner from the right.
- 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.
- 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).
- Everton have now won 15 of their 23 matches in all competitions this season (65%), just one fewer than the Toffees managed throughout the whole of last season (16/43 – 37%).
- Thierry Small, who appeared as a late substitute, is now the youngest player to feature for Everton Football Club at 16 years 176 days old.
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