Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored his first goal since early December as Everton breezed past Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 to reach the last 16 of the FA Cup.
Carlo Ancelotti showed how seriously he is taking the competition by naming a strong side against the Sky Bet Championship strugglers and Calvert-Lewin ended his six-game goal drought with a poacher’s finish (29) to put Everton on their way.
Championship side Wednesday belied their relegation status with a lively opening 45 minutes but faded badly after the break with Richarlison (59) and Yerry Mina (62) both heading home James Rodriguez corners as Everton showed their class.
Ancelotti’s side will now face one of Wycombe or Tottenham, who play on Monday night, in the last 16.
Everton: Olsen (7), Coleman (7), Holgate (7), Mina (8), Godfrey (7), Doucoure (7), Gomes (7), Sigurdsson (7), Rodriguez (8), Richarlison (8), Calvert-Lewin (8)
Subs: Kenny (N/A), Bernard (N/A), Small (N/A), Gordon (N/A), Onyango (N/A)
Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith (6), Urhoghide (6), Brennan (7), Borner (6), Galvin (6), Harris (7), Bannan (6), Pelupessy (6), Reach (6), Green (6), Paterson (5)
Subs: Windass (6), Marriot (N/A), Brown (N/A), Dele-Bashiri (N/A), Penney (N/A)
Man of the match: Dominic Calvert-Lewin
How Calvert-Lewin led Everton charge…
In their 26th year without a trophy, Everton showed no nerves in a potential banana skin of a fixture as Richarlison had a header tipped onto the crossbar and a goal ruled out for offside after a lovely ball from Rodriguez.
With Wednesday pushing men forward on the counter when possible it made for an entertaining watch. Adam Reach and Barry Bannan carried the main threat from the visitors but it was the Premier League side that grabbed the all-important opening goal.
Calvert-Lewin was sharpest when it came to reacting to Andre Gomes’ cross, sliding in at the far post to divert home his 15th goal of the season just before the half-hour mark.
Wednesday did not carry the same adventure after the break as Calvert-Lewin was denied again when goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith turned his shot behind but the game was wrapped up around the hour mark.
Both goals came from almost identical corners from Rodriguez, the first flicked in by Richarlison with the second powered home by Mina, showcasing once again the power Everton possess from set-pieces.
With the job done – and Leicester to come on Wednesday – Ancelotti withdrew both his senior forwards and late on handed debuts to academy graduates Tyler Onyango, 17, and Thierry Small, who at 16 years and 176 days took the record for being Everton’s youngest away from Jose Baxter, who was 15 days older when he made his bow in 2008.
Man of the match: Dominic Calvert-Lewin
This would have tasted sweet for the born and bred Sheffield United fan. When Everton play with this freedom and fluidity in midfield, Calvert-Lewin must lick his lips. That attacking approach has not been seen recently due to injuries and some smart tactical manoeuvres from Ancelotti, therefore, the goals had dried up for the striker. But his first goal in 595 minutes of action since opening the scoring at Burnley gave a reminder of his frightening potential, making the finish look easy in a goal that was all about his ability to instinctively react in the box. There are fewer strikers with such clever movement in the Premier League.
Harry Kane (28) remains the only top-flight English player with more goals in all competitions than Calvert-Lewin (23) since Ancelotti’s first game in charge of Everton in December 2019.
- 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%).
- Sheffield Wednesday have been eliminated from 17 of their last 18 FA Cup ties against Premier League opponents, with the exception being a 1-0 win at Brighton last season.
- Ancelotti has now progressed from nine of his 11 FA Cup ties in charge of Chelsea (7) and current side Everton (2), including winning the competition with the Blues in 2009-10.
- Rodríguez has registered seven assists in all competitions this season with them all coming at Goodison Park – the most by an Evertonian at home in the same campaign since 2014-15 (Ross Barkley, 8).
FA Cup 2020/21 – key dates and draw
The FA Cup schedule has been confirmed, with the final set to take place at Wembley on Saturday May 15.
There will be no replays this season to help ease fixture congestion.
- Fifth round: Wednesday February 10
- Quarter-finals: Saturday March 20
- Semi-finals: Saturday April 17
- Final: Saturday May 15