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EVERTON are into the next round of the League Cup following a routine victory against Championship side Rotherham United last night.
A first-half strike from Gylfi Sigurdsson and a Dominic Calvert-Lewin brace saw Marco Silva’s side through, though they faced a late scare when Millers substitute Will Vaulks scored from a corner to make it 2-1.
The Toffees boss made eight changes from his previous league line-up and handed first starts to new signings Kurt Zouma and Lucas Digne, but Brazilian attacker Bernard didn’t join them, missing the game with a slight injury.
Sigurdsson opened the scoring, giving Everton a deserved lead by latching on to a poor Sandro Ramirez shot which turned into a good cross. Rotherham weren’t too shabby themselves and their travelling fans were vocal throughout, but their team weren’t clinical enough when their chances came.
“They were great,” said Rotherham boss Paul Warne of the fans.
“It was great the way it was priced and everyone appreciates that. When I turned up two things stuck with me. I saw their team-sheet and then I saw all the stands were open.”
With 31,972 filling all four sides of the ground, it was the biggest attendance for a League Cup second round tie at Goodison Park since 1968 and all went home happy with the performance of their respective sides.
Everton fans witnessed Digne provide an excellent assist on his debut, hanging a cross where only Calvert-Lewin could reach it to head home his first. Then Rotherham scored in the 86th minute with only their second shot on target and Vaulks had the home crowd worried momentarily.
But no sooner had the visitors pulled one back, Tom Davies was bouncing through their midfield to set up Calvert-Lewin who curled his second neatly into the top corner.
Silva was pleased with the result and, like Warne, praised the fans who turned up for this midweek evening kick-off.
“I would like to start with our fans. It was a fantastic attendance tonight,” said the Portuguese.
“A [League] Cup game at home on a Wednesday evening and they came out to support us. Fantastic.
“It showed they are really behind us, even when we play in the [League] Cup against a Championship side. Congratulations to them and to our players for respecting the competition.”
Everton’s Premier League campaign continues when they welcome Huddersfield to Goodison Park tomorrow. They’ll be looking for similar support and a similar result against David Wagner’s side, who seek their first win of the new season.
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