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Goals from Arouna Kone, Aaron Lennon and Ross Barkley helped Everton book their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup after a comprehensive 3-0 win over Carlisle at Brunton Park.
After their disappointing Capital One Cup semi-final exit at the hands of Manchester City on Tuesday night, many predicted a difficult afternoon for the Blues, but they were totally professional as they easily beat their League Two opponents.
The visitors started superbly and they were ahead after just two minutes.
Aaron Lennon raced down the right and drove a brilliant low ball into Kone who tapped in from two yards to make it 1-0.
The goal didn’t dampen the party mood around Brunton Park as the hosts responded well to the early setback and they went close to an equaliser three minutes later.
Derek Asamoah pounced on a defensive error just outside the Everton box but he blasted his shot wide when he should have done better.
Everton looked really up for the game as an attacking force and they doubled their lead after 14 minutes.
Bryan Oviedo whipped in a good ball that was met by Aaron Lennon and he showed great close control to skip past a defender before slotting under the keeper to make it 2-0.
The visitors were in total control after this as they dominated possession and they almost killed the game off as a contest after 35 minutes when Lennon raced clear again, but this time his cross was well cut out.
Carlisle regrouped after this as they went to five at the back and they almost gave themselves a lifeline on the stroke of halftime.
A loose ball inside the Everton penalty area fell to Asamoah, but he couldn’t control and the ball was gratefully gathered by Joel Robles as the Toffees went in 2-0 up at the break.
The second half followed much the same pattern as the first with Everton in total control and they created some good half chances before they finally booked their place in the fifth round with a third in the 65th minute.
Ross Barkley collected the ball 25-yeards from goal and hit a rasping strike that took a nick off a defender before nestling in the top corner.
Carlisle, to their credit, continued to press forward in search of a consolation and they almost grabbed a goal with two minutes remaining when Jabo Ibehre hit a strike from 12-yards but his effort was blocked by Phil Jagielka as Everton sealed an impressive 3-0 win.