Everton are through to round three of the Carabao Cup as Marco Silva’s unbeaten start as Everton boss continued.
This encouraging, positive sequence of results now stands at four matches following a 3-1 victory over Rotherham United.
A much-changed Blues team had too much quality for their Championship opponents, with cup progress secured thanks to Gylfi Sigurdsson's first-half opener and a brace from Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the second period.
Both attackers got on the scoresheet for the first time this campaign with close-range finishes. Sigurdsson stretched to tap-in from inside the six-yard box and his teammate, likewise, was perfectly placed later on in the game to nod home in front of the Gwladys Street.
Calvert-Lewin's second - scored after substitute Will Vaulks headed one back five minutes before the end - was arguably the goal of the game. He checked back onto his right foot before bending a precise curling shot, right into the top corner of the net.
The win was enjoyed by a bumper crowd of 31, 972 which represented the highest attendance at Goodison for a League Cup second-round tie since 1968 when neighbours Tranmere Rovers were beaten 4-0.
Tom Davies had the honour of captaining the Toffees, meaning Marco Silva had selected four different players to wear the armband in each of his opening fixtures as Everton manager.
The Blues lined up with just three players in the team who started at Bournemouth on Saturday. A mixture of injuries, suspensions and tactical changes presented Lucas Digne with the opportunity to make his full Everton debut, while Kurt Zouma was another who stepped up for his first start for the Club.
Digne - one of three players recruited from Barcelona in the summer - displayed a willingness to get forward and he over-lapped from full-back with regularity, especially when Sigurdsson drifted infield to his more natural position from the left flank where he'd been deployed.
Sigurdsson had Everton’s best chance during the opening quarter but his side-footed attempt from 12 yards out was clutched at the second attempt by Millers keeper Lewis Price, who took a whack from Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the process.
The Icelander opened the scoring with his next shot on goal just before the half-hour mark, displaying a predatory awareness to drift into the six-yard box, stick out a boot and convert when Sandro Ramirez thrashed a cross-shot into the danger area.
Three minutes after opening his account for the campaign, Sigurdsson very nearly had another. Again, Sandro was involved - this time firing in a shot from the opposite side which was spilled by Price. Everton’s Club-record signing reacted but was unable to steer his follow-up on target.
Everton steadily gained more rhythm as the first half progressed and there could be no doubting they deserved to be ahead at the break. Price in goal made two good low saves in the lead-up to the interval, diving low to deny both Davies and Calvert-Lewin from the edge of the box. Niasse also volleyed over from Jonjoe Kenny's pinpoint cut-back.
Rotherham, 15th in the Championship, had been restricted to little in the opening 45 - their clearest chance falling to Sean Raggett who, totally unmarked, steered wide from a promising position at the far post.
Everton resumed with just as much intent and a volley from Digne, plus a long-range drive from Dowell, signalled the team’s intention to build - not sit - on Sigurdsson’s opener. Dowell grew more and more confident as the game went on and his chance came about from one of his stylish dribbles from deep.
Sixty-one minutes in and tie was effectively put beyond Rotherham when Calvert-Lewin doubled the Toffees’ lead with a far-post header. Digne’s recycled cross was precise and the striker couldn’t miss from only a few yards out.
Niasse flung himself forward to head over the bar as Everton didn’t back off. Silva’s desire to mould Everton into a front-foot, attack-minded unit was reaffirmed with the late introductions of Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun.
Rotherham had competed throughout and rallied late on. Both Kyle Vassell and Jamie Proctor had sights of goal but blazed over, before the Millers did score through a glancing header from substitute Vaulks.
But no sooner had the visitors reduced the deficit, Everton restored their two-goal cushion. Calvert-Lewin picked the ball up on the left edge of the penalty area, looked up and curled a beautiful finish past Price into the right-hand corner.
The Blues now look forward to the visit of Huddersfield Town this coming weekend - as well as the draw for the Carabao Cup third round which takes place at 7pm on Thursday evening.