Dazzling Deulofeu display earns Everton semi-final cup berth
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | December 1, 2015
Middlesbrough 0-2 Everton
- Toffees fielded strong XI in chase of first major trophy in 20 years
- Spain cap Deulofeu opened the scoring from edge of area
- In-form Lukaku doubled Everton’s lead just before half-hour mark
- Merseysiders reach first League Cup semi since 2007/08
Deulofeu delights in Everton away win
With both Middlesbrough and Everton seeking major honours for the first time since the League Cup in 2003/04 and FA Cup in 1994/95 respectively, this Capital One Cup quarter-final clash meant a great deal.
Premier League outfit the Toffees certainly showed they were to treat this match with high importance by playing a very strong starting line-up, with the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley, John Stones and Seamus Coleman all in the XI.
Understandably, it was the visitors that began brightest due to their superior talent, but it was Boro who found the net first – though Uruguay attacker Christian Stuani was fouled for impeding Spanish keeper Joel Robles.
Everton earned quick-fire first-half double
It only took a couple minutes later, in the 20th, however, for Everton to strike. Former Barcelona academy product Gerard Deulofeu was the man to score from out the area for his fourth of the season after a brilliant show of all-round ability.
In-form big Belgian Lukaku then doubled his side’s lead seven minutes later, rising well to head past former Real Madrid stopper Tomas Mejias after some neat trickery and a fine cross from Deulofeu on the right wing.
Spanish speakers certainly featured heavily on both sides in this encounter, not surprising due their head coaches being Aitor Karanka and Roberto Martinez, and Kike came close to getting a goal back with an audacious chip, but was just wide.
Boro came back fighting but couldn’t find net
The Toffees were not so dominant after the break, and hometown hero and former Liverpool player Stewart Downing forced Robles into a fine save over the bar after a vicious shot on the edge of the box on the hour mark.
Hosts and current Championship second-placed Boro kept pressing, and Stuani could and should have scored with 20 minutes to go, which would have set up a tense finish, but headed over from close range.
Late sub Kevin Mirallas, coming on for the highly impressive Deulofeu, almost made it three for the visitors late on, but Mejias was able to save well.
Premier League clubs remain in Capital One Cup
Everton’s win ensure that they reached their first League Cup semi since the 2007/08 season, and they join other Tuesday night winners Manchester City and Stoke City, who saw off respective Championship clubs Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday.
Merseyside rivals Liverpool travel to Southampton in the fourth quarter-final on Wednesday evening, meaning whatever the result it will be a strong Premier League last four line-up.
Read our Capital One Cup archive.