Carabao Cup report: Everton 3 Rotherham United 1 – Brave Millers can’t pull off shock at Goodison Park

Rotherham United's Will Vaulks celebrates scoring against Everton at Goodison Park.  Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Rotherham United's Will Vaulks celebrates scoring against Everton at Goodison Park. Peter Byrne/PA Wire

There is just something about playing at Everton in the League Cup that doesn’t suit Rotherham.

In 1987 they were robbed in the final minute against a Toffees side who were the reigning league champions and then in 1992 a red card for goalkeeper Billy Mercer ruined any hopes of building on a memorable first-leg win at Millmoor.

Everton's Mason Holgate (left) Rotherham United's Jamie Proctor (right) battle for the ball during the Carabao Cup, second round match at Goodison Park, Liverpool.  Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Everton's Mason Holgate (left) Rotherham United's Jamie Proctor (right) battle for the ball during the Carabao Cup, second round match at Goodison Park, Liverpool. Peter Byrne/PA Wire

This time, 26 years on there was no drama or controversy, and Paul Warne’s men, despite putting in an admirable showing, were simply undone on the night by Everton’s superior quality.

Gylfi Sigurdsson’s opener and a double from Dominic Calvert-Lewin were enough to see off the dogged Millers, who had deservedly got back into it through Will Vaulks.

Rotherham were not overawed by their surroundings at Goodison Park in a promising start, but the imperious Sigurdsson, all £50million of him, soon began to take control.

Shortly after seeing a low effort palmed away by Lewis Price, the Icelandic opened the scoring in the 27th minute when he was in the perfect place to poke home Sandro Ramirez’s cross from the right.

He was causing more trouble soon after when a swerving effort tested Price’s handling again but the Millers should have been level 10 minutes later.

Sean Raggett showed his prowess in the air in Sunday’s win over Millwall, but unfortunately he is not as prolific with his feet as he somehow blazed over from eight yards out after Joe Newell sent an inviting cross in.

Everton looked to have killed the game off just after the hour when Calvert-Lewin headed home from close range from Lucas Digne’s cross.

But the Millers were not about to lie down and and spell of pressure, which saw Jamie Proctor and Jon Taylor have efforts, they got themselves back in it in the 86th minute when Vaulks headed home from a corner.

It was a fleeting moment of hope, though, as with 2,000-plus Millers still celebrating, Calvert-Lewin restored the hosts’ two-goal cushion with a sublime curling effort into the top corner.

That is how it ended as Warne’s side bowed out with their heads held high.

And unlike those two previous League Cup ties here, this one will soon be forgotten.

Everton: Stekelenburg, Kenny, Holgate, Zouma, Digne, Sigurdsson (Walcott 66), Davies, Dowell, Sandro (Schneiderlin 86), Niasse (Tosun 73), Calvert-Lewin

Unused subs: Virginia, Baines, Coleman, Pennington

Rotherham: Price, Vyner, Raggett, Ajayi, Robertson, Forde, Palmer, Wiles (Vaulks 46), Newell (Taylor 72), Ball (Vassell 61), Proctor

Unused subs: Rodak, Wood, Williams, Jones

Referee: Graham Scott

Attendance: 31,972