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Venue: Goodison Park
League Cup
Wednesday 16 September 2020; 8:15pm
3 0
Keane 8', Sigurdsson 74'
Kean (pen) 86'
Half Time: 1 - 0 
Attendance: BCD
Round 2
Referee: Mark Edwards

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Match Summary
Match Report
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  Branthwaite (Digne 24')
  Sigurdsson {c}
  Subs not used
  Delph (injured)
  Gbamin (injured)
  Holgate (injured)
  Iwobi (injured)
  Tosun (injured)

  Threlkeld (Gibson 74')
  Turnbull booked
  Wilson (Andrade 61')
  Thomas-Asante (Elliott 74')
  Subs not used

Match Stats

Shots on target

Cup Scores
Bournemouth p0-0 C Palace
Bradford 0-5 Lincoln
Burton 1-3 Aston Villa
Derby 1-2 Preston
Fleetwood 2-1 Port Vale
Gillingham p1-1 Coventry
Leyton Orient 3-2 Plymouth
Middlesbrough 0-2 Barnsley
Morecambe 1-0 Oldham
Newcastle 1-0 Blackburn
Newport 1-0 Cambridge
Oxford 1-1p Watford
Reading 0-1 Luton
Rochdale 0-2 Sheff Weds
West Ham 3-0 Charlton
Bristol City 4-0 Northampton
Everton 3-0 Salford City
Ipswich 0-1 Fulham
Leeds 1-1p Hull
Southampton 0-2 Brentford
West Brom 3-0 Harrogate
Brighton - Portsmouth
Burnley - Sheff United
Wolves - Stoke

Match Report

Everton progressed to the third round of the Carabao Cup and a date at Fleetwood Town next week with a comfortable victory over League Two Salford City at Goodison Park.

The Toffees were leading at half-time thanks to Michael Keane's early header and eventually saw the game out by padding their lead with a Gylfi Sigurdsson strike and late penalty by Moise Kean.

Keane was the only player from Sunday's Premier League win over Tottenham to start the game — Lucas Digne came on after 24 minutes when Jarrad Branthwaite was forced off with an ankle injury — so it was a chance for Carlo Ancelotti's second string to shine and to press their case for inclusion in the starting XI on a regular basis.

It was an opportunity that teenagers Anthony Gordon and Niels Nkounkou grabbed with both hands, with the Frenchman emerging from the first half as the standout performer and the Scouser edging the man-of-the-match stakes overall by the final whistle.

Gordon twice struck the woodwork and laid on Sigurdsson's goal with an impressive second-half display while Kean had to be content with a goal from the spot after heading onto the bar and the post himself in what was a mixed showing up front.

In the final reckoning, while the margin of victory was comfortable, there was little to convince Ancelotti that any of the more senior figures in this evening's line-up should displace the eleven that kicked off the Premier League campaign in North London three days ago. In the absence of a proper pre-season, there may have been a degree of rustiness about the likes of Sigurdsson, Tom Davies, Theo Walcott and Bernard but more might have been expected against inferior, lower-league opposition nonetheless.

Walcott did well to get on the end of a dangerous ball over the top from Bernard in the third minute but could only guide a back-header over the bar before Gordon burst around the outside of the fullback to the byline but his cross was cut out for a corner.

Sigurdsson curled in the resulting set-piece and Keane rose easily to head home from close range to give Everton an early advantage.

Richie Towell forced the only save debutant Joao Virginia would be called upon to make all evening in the 10th minute with a rasping drive from 20-plus yards out while Davies flashed an effort across goal at the other end and Nkounkou almost surprised Václav Hladk but the goalkeeper blocked his shot from the angle.

Kean miscued a shot wide and Walcott blasted past the other post as the game went into a lull for the latter half of the first period but Bernard almost lit up the closing stages with a goal but Hladk made a terrific save, finger-tipping the Brazilian's accurate drive behind.

It was the visitors who had the first sight of goal in the second half when Bernard's clearing header fell to Jason Lowe outside the Blues' area but he slide his effort. At the Gwladys Street End, a glorious ball by Sigurdsson put a chance for Kean to double the lead on a plate but the Italian planted his header onto the bar instead.

More good work by Gordon saw the ball cleared only as far as Bernard in the 56th minute but he lashed a left-footer the wrong side of the upright before Towell ballooned a decent chance well over for Salford.

After Nkounkou's teasing ball if from the left flank had just eluded Walcott at the back post, Everton finally added a second and it was Gordon who was the provider once more. Driving in from the flank, he crossed low to Sigurdsson who swept the ball past the keeper first-time from a central position.

Hladky kept the score down with another excellent save to parry Walcott's shot behind, Jonjoe Kenny just cleared the bar with a curling shot and Sigurdsson grazed the post before Gordon rattled the upright with a superb curling shot from the edge of the box.

The teenager wasn't done tormenting Salford, however. He drew James Wilson into tripping him in the box with five minutes to go giving Kean the chance to make it 3-0 from the resulting penalty which he did with an elaborate stutter-step run-up and cool finish into the roof of the net.

There was time for a fourth which almost arrived when Sigurdsson slid a pass through to Kenny wide on the right and he picked Kean out with a pin-point cross but the striker's header bounced off the post and Gordon slammed the rebound off the bar.

In the end, apart from Digne, Ancelotti was able to keep his first-choice starters fresh for Saturday's league clash with West Bromwich Albion and allow his “B” team to get the result while Gordon and Nkounkou stole the show.

The win ensures that it is the Toffees who travel to Fleetwood a week today for a third-round tie which will also be carried live on Sky Sports.

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Updates

Everton continue their busy start to the new season with the first step of what they hope will be a long journey in the Carabao Cup as they host Salford City.

Carlo Ancelotti makes 10 changes for tonight's tie, with debuts for Joao Virginia and Niels Nkounkou. New signings Allan and Doucouré are on the bench while James Rodriguez is rested.

There is no place in the matchday squad for the likes of Yannick Bolasie, Muhamed Besic or Sandro Ramirez while there are suggestions that Alex Iwobi has a hamstring strain.

Former Everton midfielder Darron Gibson is on the bench for Salford along with former Blues academy player Alex Denny, while fellow ex-Everton Academy player Ibou Touray starts for the visitors.

Everton kicked things off and retained the ball reasonably well early on, moving it around until Kean gave it away, allowing Salford City to mount their first attack, firing over.

An early chance was created by Bernard, Walcott heading it over rather than into the goal. Gordon, who had already shown some really bright touches, showed a great turn of speed to beat his man and win a corner that was converted in the simplest of fashions by Michael Keane on a superb delivery from Sigurdsson.

Salford thought they could equalize straightaway but Towell's shot was straight at Virginia. At the other end, a swift move saw Davies lined up to fire a foot wide of the far post. Kean and Davies tried to combine but it didn't come off; however, Nkounkou showed some great skill, driving forward and firing hard from a very narrow angle.

The build-up was too slow at times against a well-disciplined defence, with Kean not showing well, producing a couple of poor touches in promising positions. Kenny was getting a decent workout when Salford attacked down the right some of the midfield passing brought back unpleasant memories of last season.

Branthwaite appeared to turn his ankle and found that he could not carry on, being replaced by Lucas Digne after just a quarter of the game. There was a lull in any attacking intent until Walcott drove forward and wastefully fired over in typical fashion.

Everton had not really followed through on the opening goal and poor quality passing (slow, sideways, backwards, inaccurate, unimaginative) in midfield meant that advances into the Salford area had become increasingly rare whilst the visitors were given every encouragement to build their attacks, admittedly without getting close to the Everton area.

Grordon tried again to produce a textbook move along the 18-yard line but curled it just wide off a defender, and nothing came of the corner. Kenny finally put in a low cross but it lacked the required accuracy. Bernard pulled out a great snapshot that was only just pushed around the post by Hladky as the Blues finally applied some sustained pressure as half-time approached.

Nkounkou and Gordon were linking nicely at times down the left but the quality of the final ball was lacking and care of the ball in intricate passing moves was sometimes lacking, but they went off at the break with an important one-goal lead.

After the restart, Salford tried to build something but again shot over from distance. The unchanged Blues looked to do better, and a fantastic build-up with a gorgeous delivery from Sigurdsson to Moise Keane was a goal all the way, except when Kean stooped and somehow got the ball to fly off the top of the crossbar.

Everton were having a better spell, moving the ball around well without creating a decent chance, Nkounkou a little profligate with an overhit cross and then an overhit shot.

Gordon again drove in well form the left and delivered a hard cross that fell nicely for Bernard who should have done a lot better than walloping the ball at the stanchion behind the goal. At the other end, Towell was set up well but spooned it miles over the bar when it looked easier to score.

Worryingly, the visitors were getting a decent sight of the Everton goal with the Premier League side's lead looking rather slim and vulnerable. Gordon tried to make another run down the left channel but was bundled over a little too easily.

Nkounkou did very well to drive in a low cross that should have been inviting to Kean and Walcott, neither of whom had shown sufficient anticipation to get close enough. Gordon drove in against and shot this time, the ball batted back by the keeper.

A delightful piece of trickery by Nkounkou deserved much more but clear chances were at a premium in this one, while at the other end, Salford again shot wide as Carlo Ancelotti wondered with increasing frustration why his second string were making such heavy weather of finishing off some stubborn opponents.

Finally, Nkounkou and Gordon combined to lay it on a plate for Sigurdson who could not miss with a well-placed sidefoot shot that he drove home. Everton would have had a third but for an amazing reaction save that denied Walcott. Then Kenny tried to get one with a nicely curling lob.

Sigurdsson thought he had a second but his low drive skinned the outside of the post as he Blues looked to finish Salford off with a flourish. Gordon came so close to doing that with a brilliant strike that hit the afar post. Gordon was chopped down by Andrade and Kean took the penalty with a bizarre hop-skip and jump that saw the ball hit the roof of the net.

Another fine flowing move near the end saw Kean hit the post and then Gordon incredibly smash a difficult rebound shot onto the bar. Bernard could then only shoot straight at Hladky before the final whistle.

Scorers: Keane (8'), Sigurdsson (74'), Kean (pen:87')

Everton: Virginia, Kenny, Keane, Branthwaite (24' Digne), Nkounkou, Davies, Sigurdsson, Gordon, Bernard, Walcott, Kean
Subs: Pickford, Coleman, Allan, Doucouré, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin

Salford City: Hladky, Threlkeld, Turnbull [Y:58'], Eastham, Touray, Towell, Lowe, Hunter, Wilson (61' Andrade), Henderson, Thomas-Asante [Y:67'] (75' Elliott). Subs: Armstrong, (75' Gibson)Denny, Evans, Golden.

Michael Kenrick

Match Preview

Everton continue their busy start to the new season with the first step of what they hope will be a long journey in the Carabao Cup as they host Salford City.

Buoyed by victory in Sunday's Premier League opener against Tottenham, the Blues will be looking to progress to the third round for the third season running (they received a bye in 2017 due to their participation in the Europa League) where Fleetwood Town would be their opponents following their victory over Port Vale.

Despite representing the obvious carrot of silverware and triumph in a competition they have never won in its 60-year history, winning the League Cup offers Everton a pathway to Europe in 2021-22, albeit not to the Europa League but to the playoff round of the new Europa Conference League.

Wednesday's opponents are recent newcomers to the English Football League, having been promoted from the National League last year, the next step in the club's progress under the leadership of Manchester United's “Class of '92” — Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes — who purchased them in 2014.

They finished in 11th place in League Two last season and sit in ninth having drawn their first match of this season ahead of their first ever meeting with Everton, a tie that will see ex-Blues midfielder Darron Gibson return to Goodison Park more than three years after he left for Sunderland.

Carlo Ancelotti, who takes charge of his first English League Cup tie in almost a decade since his Chelsea were beaten 4-3 at home by Newcastle United at the third round stage in 2010, faces the perennial dilemma for Premier League managers with designs on the top end of the Premier League table: how many changes to make to a winning team against lower-league opposition.

The question is a pertinent one given that the Blues travelled to London for a late-afternoon kick-off on Sunday, face West Bromwich Albion in the lunchtime game on Saturday and would be in action again a week from now in the cup again should they beat Salford.

Given that, with the exception of Djibril Sidibé, who is no longer with the club, and Mason Holgate, who is ruled out through injury, the Italian could field the same victorious side that Marco Silva did at the third-round stage last year at Sheffield Wednesday without having to use any of his new signings, making significant changes from Sunday needn't be all that risky.

There are inherent dangers in making wholesale changes, as Everton managers have discovered to their cost over the years, but with the congested fixture list, the need to give playing time to fringe players or put others in the shop window, it is expected that Ancelotti will go with a very different side.

Jordan Pickford might keep his place in goal and the lack of options in defence mean that one or both of Michael Keane and Yerry Mina could continue at centre-half — maybe one of then partners Jarrad Branthwaite — but it would not be a surprise to see Jonjoe Kenny and Niels Nkounkou in the full-back roles.

In midfield, all of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Bernard, Tom Davies, Anthony Gordon, Yannick Bolasie, Theo Walcott and Alex Iwobi are in with a shout of starting, with Muhamed Besic and Fabian Delph (fitness allowing) also in contention.

Up front, there might be one more chance for Sandro Ramirez to impress but Moise Kean will fancy himself to start, perhaps partnering Dominic Calvert-Lewin who will be keen for an opportunity to get a scoring run going.

As ever, whichever line-up the manager chooses should be more than capable of beating a team from League Two and there will be insurance on the bench in the form of the first-choice starters should the manager need help in the second half.

Kick-off: 8:15pm, Wednesday, 16 September, 2020

Lyndon Lloyd

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