Morecambe v Everton
Everton started pre-season with a comfortable 4-1 win over Morecambe at the Globe Arena.
The League Two hosts couldn’t cope with Leon Osman’s clever first half interventions as he twice carved them open to set up Apostolos Vellios and then Jack Rodwell.
Earlier, the impressive Francisco Junior had rocketed an opener and the Blues took a well-earned 3-0 lead into the second period.
Victor Anichebe drilled in number four after the break as the players banked some valuable game time in their first outing of the summer.
The Blues started 4-4-2 with Vellios and Anichebe up front.
Rodwell was a welcome sight in midfield with the England man getting his first game since March.
He was partnered in the engine room by Junior, with skipper Osman on the right and youngster Sam Kelly on the left.
At the back Seamus Coleman and Jake Bidwell were the full-backs with Sylvain Distin and Shane Duffy paired at the heart of the defence.
The game was a testimonial for Shrimps boss and lifelong Blue, Jim Bentley, and the veteran defender took the kick-off before heading for the dugout where he was greeted with a warm handshake from David Moyes.
There wasn’t much between the teams in the early stages but Junior soon broke the deadlock with a superb strike.
The Portuguese youth international collected a clearance 25 yards out and returned a thumping shot low into the bottom corner of the Morecambe net.
It was probably the first most Blues had seen of the midfielder, while they were also getting a first look at keeper Matuesz Taudul.
The 17-year-old Pole is highly rated and showed why when diving low to keep out a pot-shot from Morecambe’s Lewis Alessandra.
That was as good as it got for the hosts in the first half as Osman decided to showcase his talents with two superb assists to take the game away from them.
The first was a slick throughball which Vellios tucked away, and minutes later he repeated the trick for Rodwell, with the midfielder craftily lifting the ball over the keeper for 3-0.
Conor McAleny and Tony Hibbert replaced Osman and Kelly at the break and Tyias Browning came on for Distin before the hour mark as Moyes shared out the game time.
With just over 20 minutes remaining Anichebe cracked in number four as the visitors stretched their advantage.
But the game was, of course, all about the hosts and Bentley who, after re-entering the action late on as a striker, stroked home a late consolation for his side.