Sheffield Wednesday 0 Everton 2 - Ex-Sheffield United youngster Dominic Calvert-Lewin's first half double condemns Garry Monk to his first defeat as Owls manager
A much-changed Sheffield Wednesday side were taught a lesson in finishing by Premier League Everton as they bowed out of the Carabao Cup at the third round stage.
A quickfire first half brace from former Sheffield United youngster Dominic Calvert-Lewin sentenced Garry Monk to his first defeat as Owls manager.
But Wednesday's second-string team paid the price for missed chances at a rain-lashed Hillsborough, with Sam Winnall wasting a golden chance to put them ahead prior to Calvert-Lewin's opener.
Dominic Iorfa and Adam Reach could also have scored in an entertaining opening 45 minutes and Winnall twice fluffed his lines in front of goal after the break.
But there is no shame in losing to an Everton side packed full of star names and international players. Brazilian winger Richarlison, a £50million recruit from Watford in July 2018, will be one of the most expensive footballers to have ever graced the hallowed Hillsborough turf.
Victory eased the pressure on Toffees boss Marco Silva, who has come in for heavy criticism after an indifferent start to their league campaign.
It was always going to be a big ask for Wednesday to cause an upset.
Monk, who won the League Cup as a player with Swansea City in the 2012/13 season, described the tie as a "free hit" and adopted a pragmatic approach, making eight changes. Only Moses Odubajo, Dominic Iorfa and Adam Reach retained their places from the weekend draw with Fulham.
With trips to former club Middlesbrough and Hull City looming on the horizon, Monk rested a number of his big guns, including Keiren Westwood, Julian Borner and Sam Hutchinson.
A number of fringe players were given run-outs and Atdhe Nuhiu was handed the captain's armband.
Hamburg loanee David Bates missed out through injury, meaning former Everton youngster Jordan Thorniley partnered Dominic Iorfa at the heart of their defence.
In the first meeting between the two clubs in 12 years, Wednesday's new-look side should have taken the lead inside the opening two minutes after Winnall seized on a sloppy back pass by midfielder Tom Davies. The striker raced through on goal but England No 1 Jordan Pickford stood tall to make the block.
It was a big moment as the visitors scored with their first attack.
Djibril Sidibe, one of five changes made by Everton, delivered a sumptuous 40-yard crossfield pass into the path of Calvert-Lewin, who unleashed a rasping left foot shot which flew in off the underside of the crossbar.
Things got even better for the Toffees in the 10th minute when Calvert-Lewin doubled their advantage. He prodded home from inside the six-yard box after fine work from Bernard and Alex Iwobi.
The Owls were rattled and Everton nearly grabbed a third, Mason Holgate ghosting in unchallenged at the near post to head Lucas Digne's corner wide.
Iorfa then spurned a glorious chance to reduce Wednesday's arrears in the 25th minute. The big defender peeled away to the back post but somehow steered his free header from Reach's corner wide.
Monk's men enjoyed a decent spell of pressure as Reach, making his 150th Owls appearance, fired straight at Pickford before Massimo Luongo flashed a shot well off target after a surging run from deep.
It then took an excellent stop from academy graduate Dawson to prevent Calvert-Lewin from bagging a first half hat-trick. Dawson made himself big to block the forward's header after an inch perfect centre from Richarlison.
Wednesday created chances...just didn't take them.
Winnall blazed high over the bar when well-placed in the 55th minute after fine work off the ball by Luongo, who was the pick of the Owls' midfield.
Indeed, Winnall's last act before he was subbed off was to nod over Reach's well-flighted free kick. It was just not Winnall's night.
Sidibe and Lucas Digne went close at the other end as Everton, who were backed by over 4,000 fans, were largely content to sit two-goal lead and tplay on the counter attack.
No one could fault Wednesday's attitude, character or commitment. They gave it a good go and were clapped off at the final whistle after a spirited showing.
But a lack of quality in the final third proved their undoing under the lights at Hillsborough.
It is only Wednesday's second defeat in their last 11 League Cup ties on home soil and leaves them to concentrate on the league.
Owls: Dawson; Odubajo, Iorfa, Thorniley, Fox; Reach, Pelupessy, Luongo, Murphy (Harris 59); Nuhiu (Fletcher 70), Winnall (Rhodes 65). Substitutes: Jones, Palmer, Lee, Bannan.
Everton: Pickford; Sidibe, Mina, Holgate, Digne; Davies, Delph (Schneiderlin 90); Richarlison (Walcott 67), Iwobi, Bernard (Sigurdsson 76); Calvert-Lewin. Substitutes: Lossl, Keane, Coleman, Kean.
Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire)