David Unsworth described his Everton Under-23 side’s devastating display in their 6-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur as “close to perfect”.
The young Blues dominated from start to finish at Goodison Park to hit the summit of the Premier League 2 table.
Skipper Tyias Browning, an own goal from Spurs skipper George Marsh and a Fraser Hornby strike put the Toffees 3-0 up at half-time.
Antony Evans – celebrating his 20th birthday – marked the occasion in style as he struck just after half-time, before substitutes Bassala Sambou and Josh Bowler got in on the act as the young Blues ran riot at the Grand Old Lady.
Boss Unsworth was effusive in his praise of his young charges and insisted their thumping victory was just reward for complete all-round display.
“No performance is ever perfect but that was as close to a perfect performance since I have been in charge,” he said.
“It was great front-foot display, with great pressing, great regains and constantly trying to play forward.
“Over the past few weeks we have been creating numerous chances and not being clinical. Today we were, and that result has been coming for a while.
“The back four, the midfield and the strikers all brought their A game – it was a real team performance.
“I’m pleased for everybody. The senior boys – the likes of Tyias [Browning], Kieran [Dowell] and Brendan [Galloway] showed a fantastic attitude.
“But I’m delighted with them all.”
Captain Browning set the young Blues on their way at Goodison. Nathan Broadhead was the architect – his swerving free-kick delivery headed home by the Everton centre-back after just 10 minutes.
Eleven minutes later it was 2-0, with Dowell the creator this time. The Academy graduate fizzed in a wicked corner delivery that was deflected into his own goal by Tottenham skipper George Marsh.
The Toffees were really in the mood now and would have a third before half-time.
The impressive Broadhead again was instrumental. He played a perfectly-weighted through ball into the path of Hornby, who lashed a powerful finish past Spurs ‘keeper Jonathan De Bie.
There was no question of the Blues taking their taking their foot off the gas in the second half and, before long, they extended their lead.
Birthday boy Evans slotted home Everton’s fourth on 50 minutes. Galloway made a driving run to the byline before squaring to the forward, who was left with the simplest of finishes.
Substitute Sambou made it five from the penalty spot on 68 minutes, coolly sending the ‘keeper the wrong way. The striker had won the spot-kick himself after being upended in the box by Spurs midfielder Oliver Skipp.
Fellow sub Bowler completed the scoring, drilling home from outside the box with four minutes left.
Boss Unsworth was delighted to see powerhouse striker Hornby get on the scoresheet.
While the 19-year-old has hit five goals in two games for Scotland Under-21s recently, his strike was his first for the young Blues this season.
“It was an excellent goal,” he said.
“Nathan got on the ball, picked out a fantastic pass and it was a excellent run and an emphatic finish.
“I’m delighted for Fraser, he’s worked the line tirelessly – he’s got a few goals for Scotland and he’s off the mark now for us. It’s nothing more than he deserves.
“But all the boys were outstanding today – I am absolutely delighted with them.”
Everton team: Hilton, Charsley, Browning, Foulds, Galloway, Dowell, Markelo, Adeniran, Broadhead (Mampala 70'), Hornby (Sambou 57'), Evans (Bowler 57')