Everton v Huddersfield
Everton cruised into the third round of the Carling Cup with this impressive victory.
David Moyes and his players have made no secret of their desire and belief that they can mount a strong challenge for honours on all domestic fronts this season without the added demands of European football.
And the strength in depth currently available to the Goodison chief was utilised impressively against Lee Clark's highly-rated League One outfit.
Despite six changes from the side that started against Wolves the Blues slipped through the gears neatly, overcoming a minor blip shortly before the interval to turn their 2-1 half-time advantage into a more appropriate 5-1 success.
Marouane Fellaini, Jack Rodwell, Jermaine Beckford, Louis Saha and Leon Osman were the scorers. Add to that list a missed penalty and a disallowed goal for the home side and the ease of the win is clear.
Equally pleasing for the Blues fans inside Goodison was the performances of the players afforded an opportunity to impress - with summer arrival Magaye Gueye, emerging prospect Seamus Coleman, midfield maestro Fellaini and England hopeful Rodwell all catching the eye amidst a flurry of decent football.
With Aston Villa to come in the Premier League at the weekend, this showing served to illustrate once again the major headache the Everton boss must now have ahead of every game - such are his wealth of options.
Everton's superiority was apparent from the outset. Other than a decent header from Jamie McCombe - which garnered a smart save from Jan Mucha on the Slovakian's competitive debut - the Blues side were given little to concern themselves with and deserved the lead they secured inside seven minutes.
Marouane Fellaini was the grateful recipient of a pin-point cross from the left by Magaye Gueye, heading in at the back post to round off a flowing passing move.
The lead was doubled seven minutes later with an even better strike. Jack Rodwell skipped past a challenge imperiously before unleashing a low drive from 25 yards that fizzed beyond Alex Smithies.
There was a sporadic chant of 'Rodwell for England' as the home fans began to savour their evening.
Gueye was the player catching the eye on the left, showing intelligent use of the ball and inter-play with Leighton Baines. On the other flank, Seamus Coleman provided another reminder of what a free-spirited attacking full-back he is. But, with a slip in the 21st minute that allowed Gary Roberts to steal the ball yards from the Everton box, he also illustrated the area of his game that needs to develop as he continues to blossom as a player in the senior ranks.
In the heart of the field Fellaini and Osman were dictating the game with gusto. Fellaini's flicks and tricks were an enthralling sideshow, with Everton's forward play leading them to go close through Steven Pienaar. But as half-time approached the visitors began to trouble the Blues.
Lee Croft fired against the post from 12 yards in the 39th minute and moments later they had halved the deficit. John Heitinga inadvertently smuggled the ball home from a yard out after Gary Roberts' header had bounced off the crossbar.
Fellaini did his best to restore the cushion before the break, but was denied by Smithies. The Blues didn't have to wait long though. Rodwell was hacked down in the area by Damien Johnson and Beckford obliged from the penalty spot with a clinical finish with 40 minutes still to play.
Having opened his competitive account for the Blues, the former Leeds man was denied a second five minutes later by a decent stop from sub goalkeeper Ian Bennett. Rodwell, Pienaar and Osman all went close as the Blues turned the screw.
The arrival of Diniyar Bilyaletdinov in place of the impressive Gueye maintained the momentum. Indeed, the Blues had the ball in the net again in the 68th minute but Beckford was denied because of a foul on the keeper.
Everton's search for a fourth was proving elusive, with Heitinga failing to make amends for the own goal from the penalty spot on 71 minutes.
Lee Peltier was dismissed for his foul on Coleman that earned the kick. Heitinga's effort was saved well to his left by Bennett, denying the World Cup finalist his first goal in an Everton shirt.
It was left to Louis Saha to end the hunt, scoring with his first touch after entering the fray from the bench. His 78th minute strike was generously teed up by Beckford.
A rare headed goal from skipper Osman, set-up by the irrepressible Coleman, rounded off a good night for the Toffees.