Duncan Ferguson says Everton’s “dominant and clinical” victory over Sheffield Wednesday creates an ideal platform for a potentially crucial week.
Everton progressed to the FA Cup fifth-round courtesy of a first-half strike from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and a pair of headers from Richarlison and Yerry Mina after the break.
Championship team Wednesday rarely threatened Everton, who hit the bar and had a ‘goal’ chalked off for offside before taking the lead on 29 minutes.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side enjoyed swathes of possession and had 21 shots to the visitors’ four.
With the game won, Ancelotti introduced Thierry Small, who at 16 years and 176 days became Everton’s youngest player, and 17-year-old Tyler Onyango, also making a senior debut.
Everton welcome Leicester City to Goodison Park for a Premier League fixture on Wednesday.
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CALVERT-LEWIN ON EVERTON'S CUP GOAL
“It was a great performance from start to finish,” Assistant Manager Ferguson told evertontv.
“We started well, created chances, had the offside ‘goal’ and hit the bar, then got the goal through Dominic, which was a great finish on the move at the back post.
"It was a tough game against Rotherham [2-1 win in round three] and tonight was a bit easier for us.
“We were clinical, James [Rodriguez] showed lot of class, good delivery and the boys headed the ball in well, Richy and Big Yerry.
“All round, we dominated possession, created a lot and were quite comfortable in the game.
“It doesn’t get much better, does it?
“A clean sheet, three good goals and a dominant display so, hopefully, we can continue that on Wednesday.
“We have to go again but this is a good platform for the week.”
Everton will discover their fifth-round opponents when Wycombe Wanderers host Tottenham Hotspur on Monday.
Before their next Cup tie in a fortnight, Ancelotti’s side face a run of four Premier League fixtures.
Newcastle United are at Goodison on Saturday, with trips to Leeds United and Manchester United following in quick succession.
They begin against Leicester in midweek, though, and will go into the game buoyed by the goalscoring return of Calvert-Lewin.
Richarlison and Mina converted James corners to seal the victory over Sheffield Wednesday but it was Calvert-Lewin who made the breakthrough, meeting a terrific Andre Gomes cross for his 15th goal in 20 matches this season
It was the 23-year-old’s first strike since scoring at Burnley on 5 December.
His form in the meantime has been tremendous but Ferguson agreed Calvert-Lewin’s goal represented a timely boost for the player following a short layoff with a minor hamstring problem.
“it was excellent for Dominic, we know he is a top player,” said Ferguson, who revealed he is hopeful the pair of Lucas Digne and Alex Iwobi will be fit for Leicester
“He was on the move, it was good to see him back leading the line and I thought he did very well.
“We took him off [on 67 minutes] to rest him for the next match.
“I thought we played really well.
“We are in the competition to win it and this was a good night.”