Dominic Calvert-Lewin says he was delighted to “come up with the goods” for Everton and help the Blues to a "confidence-building" victory over Sunderland at Goodison Park.
The Blues ultimately saw off the Championship team 3-0 in their Carabao Cup tie – but had to stay patient until Calvert-Lewin struck with an accurate, low finish seven minutes before half time.
The striker then raced clear to crash the ball into the roof of the Gwladys Street net shortly after the interval – his first goal at that end of his home ground.
Oumar Niasse replaced Calvert-Lewin midway through the second half and completed the scoring with his maiden Everton strike, as Ronald Koeman’s side ended a run of four defeats – and set up a fourth-round trip to Chelsea.
“I was delighted with my performance and, as a team, it was a lot better from us,” Calvert-Lewin told evertontv.
“Going into the game, we knew we had to put in a much better performance and I think we did that tonight.
“My first one just dropped in the box and I swung a leg at it and found the bottom corner. It has not lifted a weight from my shoulders, as such, but it was a nice thing to get another goal.”
Calvert-Lewin’s second strike of the campaign was followed 13 minutes later by this third.
And he was thrilled to break his Gwladys Street duck – even if he planted a subsequent header against the woodwork to be denied the ‘perfect hat-trick’.
“I was delighted to get the second goal: that is what I am there to do as a striker – score goals,” continued Calvert-Lewin.
“We needed that extra goal, that is what we were looking for. I am glad I could come up with the goods and get it for the team.
“It was a special moment for me and I was delighted to score at that end… with the fans down there.
“It would have been a perfect hat-trick as well. It was a good ball in from Davy [Klaassen] but it wasn’t to be – it was a close one but the win was the most important thing.“
Calvert-Lewin also shared his teammates and supporters’ excitement for Senegalese forward Niasse, who marked his first Everton appearance since May 2016 with a goal that was greeted by rapturous acclaim in the Goodison stands.
“I am delighted for Oumar,” added Calvert-Lewin. “He is now back in the team and has taken his chance when he has been given it – and I am sure he will be looking to carry on getting goals.
“We knew we had to do a job tonight and we have done it with the 3-0. It was a confidence builder as well, with scoring the three goals.
“We know we can score goals now – and going into Saturday against Bournemouth we will be more confident and believe in ourselves a little bit more.”