FA Cup 3rd Round
Team: Cesar, Simpson, Onuoha, Hill, Assou-Ekotto, Traore (Kranjcar), Barton, Henry (Johnson), O’Neil, Phillips, Austin (Benayoun).
Subs Not Used: Murphy, Dunne, Onyewu, Zamora
Attendance: 32, 283
Harry Redknapp left Goodison Park well beaten but with the consolation of a five-star scouting report on a striker he may sign. Everton’s Nikica Jelavic could be a QPR player later this month, so it was inevitable he should score his first goals since March in his side’s 4-0 victory against his potential future employer. The only blemish on his afternoon was missing a hat-trick by chipping a penalty against the crossbar.
There is a peculiar etiquette in football where players tend to avoid celebrating goals against their former club. Jelavic must have considered a variation on that theme after his classy first strike a minute before half-time, wondering how to react to scoring against the side he may soon join.
He held his arms aloft quite sheepishly, but that was more likely a reflection of how long he has gone since he last scored. It was a cracking way to end a drought, a bullet past Julio Cesar. Since it was QPR’s midfielder Karl Henry’s wayward pass that led to Jelavic finding the target, Redknapp can also be assured Jelavic would have no problem linking with his new team-mates.
Jelavic’s second on 68 minutes was a tap-in and he should have kept the match ball, but chose to chip Cesar with a penalty six minutes later. The woodwork punished his cheek. “He is a bit frustrated he didn’t get the hat-trick. He deserved it,” Roberto Martinez said.
This was a stroll into the fourth round for Everton. They led courtesy of Ross Barkley’s low drive on 34 minutes and were clearly in cruise mode even before the breakthrough. The midfield triangle of Barkley, Gareth Barry and the often underrated James McCarthy were a class above the Championship side. Seamus Coleman added the polish with a fine strike 15 minutes from time.
The FA Cup itself was in attendance at Goodison Park, presumably by choice rather than having been held captive by last year’s winning manager, Martinez. He knows the folly of diminishing the status of the competition. It was his run with Wigan last season, including a victory in this stadium that convinced Bill Kenwright to entrust him with the keys to Goodison. If he repeats the trick in his first season at Everton, he would join an elite band of managers, while adding weight to the view that exciting times lie ahead under his leadership.
He made changes, but kept the hard core of his line-up to prevent unnecessary trauma. They could have hit double figures, such was the gulf between the two sides. No wonder Redknapp sent his deputy, Kevin Bond, into the post-match briefing. Defending the indefensible evidently was not an attractive proposition.
Chris Bascombe – The Telegraph