Everton 3 vs Sunderland 0
Sunderland have been eliminated in the third round of the Carabao Cup by Premier League Everton in a three-goals-to-nil defeat at Goodison Park.
A first half goal from England U21 international Dominic Calvert-Lewin separated the two sides at the interval after a drab opening period, before the 20-year-old extended Everton’s lead with a left-footed shot past Black Cats keeper Jason Steele six minutes after the restart.
Merseyside forgotten man Oumar Niasse climbed off the Everton bench to make it three as the game limped towards a close.
In truth the home side could have turned their superiority into more goals but Ronald Koeman will be satisfied at dispatching a bottom-half Championship team with ease.
Simon Grayson named a reasonably strong Sunderland starting eleven albeit with an unfathomable shape to the casual observer. Three right-backs made up the Black Cats starting eleven to face a Toffees side made up of fringe players and youngsters and the Everton second neatly summed up the lack of shape in the side:
Sunderland lined up with former Evertonians Darron Gibson, Jack Rodwell and James Vaughan but former Mackem Jordan Pickford was afforded the night off in the Goodison goal.
Ridiculously, the Black Cats line-up had between them amassed more Everton appearances than the assembled Toffees on the pitch; proof perhaps that Simon Grayson continues the legacy of David Moyes.
With former Goodison full back Bryan Oviedo on the Sunderland bench and loanees Tyias Browning and Brendan Galloway ineligible for the tie, the figure could have been much higher.
The Black Cats have now not won a League Cup tie against Premier League opposition since the 2014 semi-final at Old Trafford and the decline of the club continues to be evidenced on the pitch.
Simon Grayson won’t be unduly concerned by his side’s elimination from the League Cup but his team now haven’t won since the previous round of this competition against Carlisle United a month ago; and in truth the Black Cats boss really ought to have afforded a few more youngsters some game time.
Sunderland managed just one shot on target and whilst not overawed on the ball, the sheer gulf in class between the two sides was alarming for the 475 travelling Mackems who made themselves heard on a quiet Goodison evening.
Special thanks goes to Twitter user and Massive Lads Fan @Sunderland1879 for tonight’s player ratings at Goodison - here’s how he saw it!
Steele - 7/10: Nothing he could about the goal and pulled off a brilliant double save. He surely stays in goal on Saturday.
Matthews - 5/10: Didn’t do a great deal wrong defensively on his ‘wrong side’ but also offered little going forward. He’s better on the right - another odd selection decision.
Jones - 4/10: Was a strange choice to play him at centre-half and let’s hope it remains a one-off between friends.
Kone - 4/10: All over the place at times. Everton fans no doubt remain glad they didn’t waste £20m on him in 2016.
Love - 5/10: Played well in the first half but the mistake for the Toffees second goal was unforgivable.
Rodwell - 6/10: Managed 54 minutes at the venue in which he was a promising youngster back in the day and got a warm-ish reception from his former admirers. How times change - did well in the first half and seemed up for it. Surprised he went off.
Ndong - 7/10 (MOTM): Did well tonight. His passing was better and he broke up plenty of Everton attacks.
Honeyman - 3/10: Withdrawn on 63 minutes, offered nothing and lost the ball too often. Too lightweight for this level.
Gibson - 4/10: Clearly lacking match practice. Looked comfortable on the ball as he always does but a handful of mistakes marred his return to Goodison - two of which led to Everton goals.
Gooch - 5/10: Same as Honeyman first half to be honest. Did much better in the second though but lacked end product.
Vaughan - 6/10: Lively enough on his return to Goodison, he was feeding off scraps but put in one hell of a shift and was unlucky not to score; probably should have been taken off after the Everton second went in to save himself for Cardiff on Saturday.
McManaman - 5/10: On for Rodwell a little under ten minutes into the second half and didn’t really get into the game much. Put in a good cross for Vaughan but was fairly anonymous other than that.
Williams - 6: Replaced the mediocre Honeyman just after the hour mark. We looked much better when he came on.
Robson - n/a: Afforded ten minutes or so after Vaughan was withdrawn.