Wednesday 28 August 19:45 , Sincil Bank , Attendance:
 
2
4
 
HT: 1 - 1
  • KO
    • Goal!
      Harry Anderson
    1'
    36'
    • Goal!
      Lucas Digne
  • HT
    • Yellow Card!
      Bruno Andrade
    55'
    59'
    • Goal!
      Gylfi Sigurdsson
    • Yellow Card!
      Jason Shackell
    60'
    • Substitution
      Morrell
      Eardley
    • Substitution
      Shackell
      Bostwick
    61'
    • Yellow Card!
      Gylfi Sigurdsson
    • Yellow Card!
      Jordan Pickford
    • Substitution
      Payne
      Grant
    64'
    • Goal!
      Bruno Andrade
    70'
    74'
    • Substitution
      Delph
      Calvert-Lewin
    • Substitution
      Kean
      Tosun
    81'
    • Goal!
      Alex Iwobi
    82'
    • Substitution
      Iwobi
      Walcott
    • Yellow Card!
      Harry Anderson
    86'
    88'
    • Goal!
      Richarlison
    89'
    • Yellow Card!
      Richarlison
    94'
  • FT

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Everton answered Marco Silva’s demand for goals by scoring four in a a thrilling Carabao Cup second round tie at Lincoln City’s cacophonous Sincil Bank home.

Manager Silva’s team overturned an early deficit with goals either side of half-time from Lucas Digne and Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Bruno Andrade levelled for the hosts but Alex Iwobi with his first Everton goal restored the Blues' lead and Richarlison’s clinical late header sealed the deal in his side’s favour.

First to Digne. He had a very long time to weigh up his options on 36 minutes. Viewed alternatively, an eternity to consider the pressure on his shoulders.

Everton had trailed their League One opponents for most the first half and had not capitalised on a possession share numbering around 80 per cent.

A succession of openings had come and gone when captain Sigurdsson was conclusively upended by Andrade.

It was the sort of challenge which inevitably leads to a flare-up and that is precisely what happened. There was some pushing and shoving, nothing sinister, but it needed tidying up. All the while, there was Digne.

Calm, clear of mind. When the scrum had been settled and the whistle blew, Digne took a couple of pace to address the ball, before swatting his left foot through it.

Off it went, on an unstoppable course to the top-left corner of Grant Smith’s goal.

Smith had been lightly run until that point, save for a smart fingertip stop from liverwire Iwobi.

Following Digne’s intervention and wild celebration, the goalkeeper suddenly found events were unfolding under his nose.

Moise Kean blazed past Jason Shackell before sending a shot thundering into the woodwork. Richarlison was narrowly off target from Iwobi’s precise cut back. Then Richarlison again, slaloming through the middle but narrowly off target in the same place, to the right of Smith’s goal.

How the mood had changed from the opening minutes.

That was when Jack Payne escaped down the left and centred for Harry Anderson to finish very neatly with the side of his right foot into the top-right corner.

Lincoln is a club with a latterly-built winning culture. Two promotions in three seasons and a run to the FA Cup quarter-finals three years ago as a non-league club does wonders for a team’s belief.

Certainly, the home supporters who had taken the roof off this old ground pre-match were bouncing and anticipating their team adding Everton to a high-profile list of cup victims which includes Burnley and Brighton & Hove Albion.

The cheers grew louder when Kean sliced wide following good approach play from Iwobi and Digne.


Fabian Delph – one of four Everton debutants and the player who made the tackle of the night with a crunching, uplifting effort which left recipient Joe Morrell rather dazed – had a goalbound drive blocked after a smart corner routine involving Iwobi and taker Sigurdsson.

Sigurdsson had an acrobatic volley diverted off target after a Digne cross looped off a defender and into the Icelander’s sphere.

Michael Keane header over from the subsequent corner and the centre-back was close again from the same route – a right-wing Sigurdsson corner – when Andrade was positioned to hammer clear from in front of his keeper.

Andrade was a prominent figure actually and when he surfaced at the other end he found a ball bouncing favourably in front of him. The left midfielder hurried his effort, though, swinging his right boot at the ball and lashing off target.

Andrade went in the book soon after the interval for lunging on Djibril Sidibe to prevent a counter from the right-back.

And that episode was indicative of how the second half had started. Much like the first ended, in short.

Everton were making all the running. Digne sent in a cross which Richarlison glanced wide.

Cenk Tosun was prowling the touchline waiting for his introduction when Everton claimed the lead their superior football merited.

Midfielder Morgan Schneidelrin was illegally prevented from reaching Kean’s reverse flick by the obstructing Michael O’Connor.

The penalty decision was a formality. So too the outcome, once Sigurdsson had connected so convincingly.

The captain deposited the ball high to the right and well out of Smith’s reach.

Iwobi’s first Everton goal was coming. He hit the post at Villa remember, had his curler gloved over here and at 2-1 craftily toed a shot marginally wide of the far post.

Then from nowhere Lincoln drew level. Jorge Grant had got his feet in a tangle when well-placed to shoot in the box.

From a similar spot, Andrade made no mistake with a rising drive which gave Jordan Pickford no chance.

That was the prompt for Tosun’s arrival, Dominic Calvert-Lewin also introduced. Delph and Kean were the men to make way.

Cue Iwobi.

Sigurdsson lifted a cross from the right. Tosun kept play alive. More than that in fact.

He steered the ball inside to the deserving Iwobi, who stooped to head Everton in front.

Digne then served up the latest of his countless immaculate deliveries. Richarlison anticipated what was coming and timed his run beautifully to meet the delivery and skilfully glance it across Smith to seal Everton's progress to a round-three meeting with Sheffield Wednesday.

Twin Reaction

Marco Silva publicly told his players they had an obligation to react following Friday’s defeat at Aston Villa.

That game in the Midlands represented a first loss for Everton since April when they hit back by beating Manchester United 4-0 at the outset of a six-game unbeaten run.

The scale of their task here grew inside 60 seconds. One goal down to a League One team, playing in front of a boisterous crowd and with a metaphorical wind behind them.

If ever a reaction was needed, it was now.

If ever a team proved their mettle, it was Everton here.

Silva’s side featured four players making their first starts for the Club, so any lack of cohesion or collectiveness would have been understandable.

On the contrary, this was a performance which smacked of spirit and determination. Everton’s players were clearly in this together, racing to each other’s aid when tensions rose.

They created chances to level through a variety of sources and to a man joined Digne to salute the Frenchman’s otherworldly equalising strike.

Fabian Delph showed his commitment to the cause with a shuddering tackle on Joe Morrell. The Everton player had no right to come out on top from that challenge. But he did.

This is a ground where an air raid siren sounds at each corner to warn of the imminent bombardment.

The forbidding noise is reflective of Danny Cowley’s no-nonsense, no-fear team.

Everton stood up to all that was thrown at them and appeared in complete control when Gylfi Sigurdsson scored from 12 yards.

Summer recruit Moise Kean had the run on Jason Shackell and Everton were causing the hosts all manner of bother down the flanks.

Yet, somehow, Lincoln got themselves on terms and Everton had to go again.

And go again they did. Another new boy Iwobi pounced to settle the tie and when Richarlison made it four Silva’s side had answered their manager’s call in more ways than one.


Left-Field Blues

Everton have a habit of turning up potent left-sided combinations.

Think Pat Van den Hauwe and Kevin Sheedy blending brute force with surgical precision. The mesmeric pairing of Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar.

Latterly, Lucas Digne and Bernard have formed a lethal and delightful alliance.

Well, Digne and Alex Iwobi’s embryonic relationship is filled with promise, too.

The two looked good together when Iwobi came on at Aston Villa on Friday and here they set about developing that understanding.

Iwobi would intuitively drift inside, clearing space on the flank for Digne to fill. Which he did over and over.

The Nigerian was the length of goalkeeper Grant Smith’s fingertips from opening his Everton account with a sweet, curling strike following a lightning exchange with Digne.

Home right-back Aaron Lewis barely crossed halfway. In front of him, Harry Anderson was occupied with defensive duties most the night following his opening-minute goal.

Everton’s ascendancy meant they were routinely attacking with an authentic three-man frontline – Iwobi and Richarlison either side of Moise Kean.

Digne and French compatriot Djibril Sidibe were charged with supplementing that three-pronged attack.

My how Digne did his bit on that front when he curled home a quite magnificent free-kick.

The best part of 30 yards out, it says everything about the gunpowder contained in Digne’s left boot that you gave him a chance.

It says just as much about Digne’s dead-ball execution that Sheedy would have been proud to call it his own.

Digne celebrated accordingly but was soon thinking clearly to hang back and allow Iwobi the freedom of Everton’s left side to bomb forward and create an opening for Richarlison.

Moments later, the full-back was on the charge again to send in an inviting delivery after being released by Iwobi.

The pair had evidently been encouraged to continue in the same vein after the restart given the way they traded passes on an explosive break – Iwobi strong to hold off his markers and feed the return pass.

Iwobi continued to probe in search of something tangible to match Digne. He smacked one effort wide.

But when Everton needed a match winner, there was the former Arsenal man, heading home to the unfettered delight of thousands of Evertonians crowded behind the goal.

Schneiderlin Spreads Class

What Everton needed more than anything after being stunned inside 60 seconds was to avoid being pinned on the ropes.

Sincil Bank was rocking, Lincoln’s blood was up and the League One team might well have been tempted to go for the early kill.

Everton retained their heads, rolled with the punches and steadily felt their way right back into the contest.

At the heart of Everton’s steady riposte was Morgan Schneiderlin, unflustered and unhurried in the middle of the park – the Frenchman’s demeanour relevant because of the way Lincoln’s dervish-like midfielders were circling him.

Twice Schneiderlin sprayed immaculate passes left for Lucas Digne in the 10 minutes after Everton conceded.

Another equally accurate rangy ball in the same period located Djibril Sidibe flying down the right.

His head right in the game, Schneidelrin’s passing was – without exception – progressive, designed to pick apart a rigid home structure.

Balls were thumped into the feet of Moise Kean, while the midfielder consistently provided a passing option for his centre-halves and full-backs.

Schneiderlin was intelligently positioned in front of his defenders to nip potential problems in the bud.

When Everton really upped the ante following Digne’s magical intervention, Schneiderlin was driving through midfield with the ball and penning Lincoln deep in their own territory.

He was higher up the field after half-time, racing onto a reverse flick from striker Kean.

Advancing into the box, Schneiderlin was downed by Michael O’Connor’s block.

Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the penalty and Schneiderlin had the reward his adventure deserved.

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