Everton comfortably beat Burnley to reach the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup on an emotional evening at Goodison Park, where the home team paid tribute to the late chairman Bill Kenwright.
In the team’s first home game since his death last week, the Blues fittingly honored Kenwright by securing a quarter-final place at home to Fulham.
Owner Farhad Moshiri was on hand to pay tribute to Kenwright, making his first appearance in a home game since October 2021.
He could have witnessed the win in his appearance appeared last on the pitch when James Tarkowski headed the opener after 13 minutes of play against his former club.
The home side doubled their lead eight minutes into the second half when Tarkowski converted Dwight McNeil’s corner for Amadou Onana to score from close range and Ashley Young added a third late on.
Burnley cantered to the Championship title last season but have endured a miserable campaign so far and they bowed out of the cup with a whimper, managing just one shot on target in the contest.
Moving tributes were paid before kick-off to Kenwright, who died last Tuesday aged 78, with long-term partner Jenny Seagrove, daughter Lucy and former Toffees manager Joe Royle laying wreaths in the centre circle.
Elton John’s song ‘I guess that’s why they call it the blues’ was played inside the stadium, before those in attendance observed a period of applause for Kenwright, who was chairman for almost two decades.
A blue and white scarf was also placed on his seat in the directors’ box where he had not sat since January because of security concerns.
Moshiri also joined in with the appreciation from the stands and the British-Iranian has agreed to sell his majority stake in the club to Miami-based investment firm 777 Partners.
Meanwhile, Toffees coach Sean Dyche won on his debut against his former team, after being sacked by Burnley last April.
On the field,header got Everton off to the perfect start and compatriot Claret McNeil, booed by fans on the road, opened fire moments later.
Onana’s effort and Young’s goal from close range sealed Everton’s fifth win in the last seven matches, eliminating Vincent Kompany’s side from opposition in a season that had until This is still a season to forget.
It took until the 95th minute for substitute Wilson Odobert to save from Jordan Pickford and they now turn their attention to the Premier League, where they have just one win in their first 10 matches.
Sean Dyche, Everton manager: “It’s not easy to win games in any competition.
Cup matches have a different atmosphere and you need to make sure the players are up for the challenge.
Overall, I am very satisfied.
We came out a bit after the goal and they came back into the game – and we were a bit soft.
We solved the problem at halftime and played strongly in the second half.
We are worthy winners.
“It was always tempting [to make changes], but the challenge you have is if you want to be super successful, seven or eight years ago people were talking about Europe here and you play a lot of football.
You can play three games in a week, but we have to be sensible.
You want to have the mentality to be playing every single game.
“It is a work in progress, but there is progress.
Earlier in the season performances were good but we didn’t get the results.
It has no weight when you don’t win.