Ronald Koeman stuffed his hands in his pockets and kicked at the floor. There was a shake of his head, an arm raised in exasperation then he ran his hand frustratedly through his hair.
Everton were winning 2-0 at this point, their place in the next round of the Carabao Cup long since secured, but to watch Koeman prowl his technical area was to receive a lesson in the pressures of Premier League management.
By the end of the evening, which had been lit up by a double from the excellent Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Oumar Niasse’s unexpected strike, Koeman finally found a smile but the respite, he acknowledged, was only temporary.
Everton easily beat Sunderland on Wednesday night to ease through to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (right) celebrates scoring the first goal of Everton’s third-round Carabao Cup clash with Sundarland
Toffees forward Calvert-Lewin stabbed home from close range following a smart move from the night’s hosts
MATCH FACTS AND RATINGS
Everton: (4-3-3) Stekelenburg 6, Kenny 7, Williams 7, Keane 7, Holgate 6, Davies 7, Besic 6, Klaassen 6.5, Vlasic 7.5, Calvert-Lewin 8 (Niasse 66mins 7), Ramirez 7 (Lookman 73mins)
Subs not used: Martina, Gueye, Sigurdsson, Robles
Manager: Ronald Koeman 7
Sunderland: (4-3-3) Steele 6, Love 6, Jones 6 , Kone 6, Matthews 6, Rodwell 6 (McManaman 55mins 6 ) Gibson 6.5, Ndong 5, Honeyman 6 (Williams 63mins), Vaughan 7, Gooch 6
Subs not used: Ruiter (GK), Oviedo, Cattermole, Asoro
Manager: Simon Grayson 6
Referee: Oliver Langford 7
Man of the Match: Calvert-Lewin
‘Sometimes I ask myself questions; sometimes I ask my players questions,’ said Koeman.
‘Football is the best thing to do but if you don’t win it is difficult. If we win our next three games, I will go to the international break with a smile on my face. If not? I will have a different face!’
Sunderland’s visit was the start of four consecutive games at Goodison Park and it presented a prime opportunity to rebuild confidence after four consecutive losses.
Though they were hesitant early on, Everton eventually finished well on top.
Koeman made eight changes – Wayne Rooney was left out of the squad completely; ‘He asked to play but I said ‘No, Saturday,’ Koeman explained – and a few players began to catch the eye, most notably Nikola Vlasic, the young Croatian who signed for Everton on deadline day.
He always wanted the ball and tried to make things happen. Vlasic was constantly involved and in the 39th minute his through ball bobbled off Davy Klaassen and Calvert-Lewin held off Sunderland defenders Adam Matthews and Lamine Kone to finish.
Calvert-Lewin is aware his development will be scrutinised over the next 12 months but he has started this campaign encouragingly and there was a maturity about his finish, which was swept confidently past Jason Steele from 12 yards.
‘Dominic is always in my mind,’ said Koeman. ‘He is working hard and there will be more to come.’
The young Calvert-Lewin was a constant threat for Everton during the first-half as Sunderland struggled to contain him
Championship side Sunderland struggled to keep pace with their Premier League hosts on Wednesday night
Davy Klaassen battles for the ball with Sunderland’s Lynden Gooch as both teams look to score the opening goal
Calvert-Lewin scored his and Everton’s second with a superb finish high into the net following a quick counter-attack
Dates and times of the Carabao Cup last-16 fixtures are to be finalised at a later date but will take place on October 23/24
It was Everton’s first goal since August 24 and ended a barren run of 443 minutes. Fortunately, they only had to wait 13 for the next goal and Calvert-Lewin delivered it, thrashing a left-footed drive into the roof of the net after being released by Sandro Ramirez.
He came within the width of a post of scoring the perfect hat-trick but his diving header clattered the woodwork after a cross from Klaasen but it made no difference to the final outcome. Everton, for once this season, were much too good.
To put the gloss on the evening there was a first Everton goal for Niasse, the forgotten man who had been sent on to replace Calvert-Lewin. It was a fine strike too and not before time, as it came 20 months after Everton signed him for £13million.
‘It was a great goal,’ said Koeman, whose side were ‘rewarded’ with a fourth round trip to Chelsea. ‘Maybe in a difficult moment for the team, he is not feeling the pressure.’
If only his manager could say the same.
The hosts celebrate their second goal which put them firmly in control of their third-round clash with Sunderland
Oumar Niasse came off the bench and slotted home the hosts’ third and final goal of the game late in the second half
Tom Davies (left) had a very good game for the hosts at Goodison and played a big part in the build up to the goals
Everton youngster Dominic Calvert-Lewin started up-front for the Toffees at Goodison Park on Wednesday night
Everton’s Mason Holgate shields the ball in the early stages of their Carabao Cup third-round clash with Sunderland
Both Everton and Sunderland wore shirts donning the logo of the Bradley Lowery Foundation, in order to raise funds
Wayne Rooney was pictured in the stands for the third-round clash on Wednesday night, following his drink driving conviction