Soccer

Everton 3-0 Salford City: Keane, Sigurdsson and Kean strike for hosts

Everton 3-0 Salford City: Michael Keane, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Moise Kean ensure Carlo Ancelotti’s players avoid shock upset to Gary Neville’s League Two side to reach Carabao Cup third round

  • Michael Keane gave Carlo Ancelotti’s side an early advantage inside 10 minutes 
  • Salford City co-owner Gary Neville was in attendance working for Sky Sports 
  • The League Two side dug in but were unable to find the crucial equalising goal
  • Pressure eventually told when Gylfi Sigurdsson added a decisive second late on
  • Moise Kean added gloss to the victory by finding the net with a late penalty 

Carlo Ancelotti learns every day as Everton manager but he would not have anticipated so many lessons from the Carabao Cup.

The first thing he would have understood, after 90 challenging minutes against a committed League Two side, is that success in this competition never comes easily where this club are concerned. 

Everton deserved their 3-0 success but they had to work to achieve it. 

Michael Keane got Everton off to a perfect start as he headed in the opening goal early on

The defender was congratulated by team-mates having provided the decisive breakthrough

Gylfi Sigurdsson (left) doubled the advantage in the second half with a composed finish

Moise Kean added gloss to the victory by scoring a third goal from the penalty spot

Perhaps the most salient points, however, came from the individuals who starred to set up a third-round trip to Fleetwood. 

While Gylfi Sigurdsson — who starred with a goal and an assist — and young left back Niels Nkounkou want to be here for the long haul, others face more uncertainty.

Happiness is not a word that would readily come to mind when discussing Everton with this competition. They have never won it, and when you look back at some of the recent results you realise how impoverished their efforts have been. Five times since 2012 they have been out by the end of September. 

Salford City part-owner Gary Neville (right) was all smiles covering the game for Sky Sports

Salford City dug in for long spells and boss Graham Alexander looked to rally his players

MATCH FACTS 

Everton: Virginia, Kenny, Keane, Branthwaite (Digne 24), Nkounkou, Sigurdsson, Davies, Walcott, Gordon, Bernard, Kean. 

Subs not used: Pickford, Allan, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, Doucoure, Coleman.

Goals: Keane (8), Sigurdsson (74), Kean (87) 

Salford City: Hladky, Threlkeld (Gibson 74), Turnbull, Eastham, Ibou Touray, Towell, Lowe, Hunter, Wilson (Andrade 61), Henderson, Thomas-Asante (Elliott 74). 

Subs not used: Armstrong, Denny, Evans, Golden.

Booked: Thomas-Asante, Turnbull 

Referee: Marc Edwards (Durham) 

It hasn’t been good enough but one of the reasons that Ancelotti was recruited last December was to oversee a change in the mentality around the club, to turn underachievers who continually make false steps into a respected proposition.

For that reason, the tone of his programme notes struck a chord. Ancelotti doesn’t have European football to occupy his thoughts this season, so you can be sure all of his efforts will be channelled into making the most of this opportunity.

‘Everybody who is serious about football wants to create special moments and share in the incredible feelings when you win trophies,’ said Ancelotti.

This was never going to be a night for Ancelotti’s A-list, with new signings James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure nowhere to be seen.

He made 10 changes to the team that had beaten Tottenham on Sunday but it was the man sent back on parade who broke the deadlock.

Keane had not scored a goal at Goodison Park since August 2017 but he corrected that in the eighth minute, rising to meet Sigurdsson’s inswinging corner with a thumping header that whistled past Salford keeper Vaclav Hladky.

You wondered whether a goal that early would turn the contest into a procession.

Ancelotti barely acknowledged the strike, instead turning to his errant striker Moise Kean to ask why he tried a flick in an earlier attack, rather than trying a sensible pass.

Everton could not build on their advantage before the interval. The closest they came to extending their advantage was through shots that Tom Davies and Kean fired into the side netting. 

Kean (right) was determined to use the cup match as a platform to ignite his Everton career

He was off target earlier in the contest having peeled off at the back post but scored later on

Salford briefly threatened but when midfielder Richie Towell hoisted an opening over the bar, you sensed their time had gone.

So it proved when Sigurdsson converted from 10 yards, after slick play between Nkounkou and Anthony Gordon.

Gordon, a promising young midfielder, was involved again in the goal that glossed the performance. 

He was brought down in the area and Kean, with a hop and skip, converted the penalty.

The one downside on the evening for Everton was the injury to youngster Jarrad Branthwaite




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