Everton warmed up for their return to Premier League action with a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa in a behind-closed-doors training match at Goodison Park on Wednesday.
Early goals from Anthony Gordon and Neal Maupay proved the difference in an impressive display from Frank Lampard’s squad, with the returning Jordan Pickford also producing two top-quality saves before the interval.
The Blues took the lead on eight minutes when Nathan Patterson was played down the right flank, squared inside to Gordon who took a touch before planting a pinpoint finish into the bottom right-hand corner.
And the lead was doubled five minutes later as Demarai Gray’s corner was cleared, Alex Iwobi produced a backheel to put the ball back into the danger area and Maupay headed home from close range.
Pickford – fresh from his excellent displays for England at the World Cup in Qatar – then kept out Ludwig Augustinsson's goalbound shot with a fine stop, quickly followed by a James Tarkowski block from John McGinn – and also denied Boubacar Kamara at the end of the first half.
Gordon went close and Tarkowski headed a corner on to the roof of the net in the second half, while boss Lampard was able to give playing time to the majority of his squad.
Stanley Mills also had a shot blocked on the line late on following good work down the left from Dwight McNeil.
Everton are back in competitive action when Wolverhampton Wanderers visit Goodison on Boxing Day (3pm GMT).