It will live long in the memory of Evertonians – and David Unsworth says watching Tom Davies and Mason Holgate shine against Manchester City was “one of the best days of his life”.
Davies and Holgate both excelled as the Toffees proved too good for Pep Guardiola’s men in a 4-0 win.
Davies, 18, picked up the man-of-the-match plaudits after netting his first goal for the Club and playing a pivotal role in Romelu Lukaku’s opener, while 20-year-old Holgate impressed as part of a three-man central defence which shut out one of Europe’s best attacks.
Blues under-23 boss Unsworth has played an instrumental role in the teenagers’ rise into the first team. And after watching recent signing, 19-year-old Ademola Lookman, cap off a glorious day with the Toffees’ fourth, he was full of praise for Goodison’s rising stars.
“Yesterday was one of the best days of my life,” said Unsworth. “When you see all that hard work from the players come through and you see it celebrated, not just performances, you see a goal from Tom as well – it’s a brilliant position that we’re in.
“It was a brilliant day for the football club. Two great individual performances in a great team performance so I think everybody is buzzing with the result. The Old Lady was rocking.
“It was a typical Tom Davies performance. That may sound silly but he’s been doing that for a couple of years now. It’s probably the first time I’ve looked at him (in the first team) and thought ‘that’s him feeling at home now, taking responsibility and really driving the team on’. It doesn’t matter how old you are, when you perform like that you have to take all the accolades.
“Tom will take the plaudits but defensively Mason was faultless. I thought it was his best performance in an Everton shirt. Playing in a three suits him. He looks really comfortable on the ball and they’ve kept a clean sheet against one of the best attacks in the world.”
Unsworth added: “I’m not surprised at all. They are top young players and when you are performing at the level that these two have for our Under-23s over the period of time, I know they will never let us down.
“(Lookman) was the cherry on top of the cake. It was a great finish. He’s only trained for a few days with us, trained with the first team once, so I’m sure he was a little bit surprised to be involved but when you get opportunities in this game you’ve got to take them. To come on with a couple of minutes to go, it was a brilliant finish to a brilliant day.”
Despite watching the latest batch of bright young things continue Everton’s proud history of honing talent, Unsworth insists the Club’s Academy staff won’t be resting on their laurels.