Everton 3-1 Sheffield United: Barkley enjoys crazy Carling Cup debut
Published 22:03 24/08/11 By David Anderson
At last a win and a new talent to gladden the hearts of Evertonians.
Everton's summer was threatening to rival Arsenal's in the depression stakes and after being blocked by the banks from buying anyone, David Moyes saw his side booed off following Saturday's shock home defeat to QPR.
Victory over League One Sheffield United in the Carling Cup does not suddenly make everything right, but at least Everton are finally up and running this season.
And they have a new Blue hero to acclaim after 17-year-old Ross Barkley celebrated his first England Under-21 call-up by showing his fine senior debut on Saturday was no fluke.
The home-grown midfielder, who has battled back from a triple fracture to his leg suffered last season, showed a maturity beyond his tender years as he drove Everton forward from his unfamiliar position on the right wing.
The dynamic Barkley had a hand in two of Everton's goals and Moyes looks like he has unearthed another gem from his Academy.
There were other positives for the Blues and Marouane Fellaini came through his first start since his ankle surgery six months ago and Mikel Arteta looked more like his old self.
Everton and their anxious fans still had to survive a scare before their happily-ever-after-ending and Danny Wilson's Blades took the lead on 28 minutes against the run of play with their first attack.
Former United hero Phil Jagielka made a hash of dealing with a long ball to let in Stephen Quinn down the left and the Irishman crossed for veteran striker Richard Cresswell to fire home.
The pained expression on Bill Kenwright's face as he sat in the directors box and ran his fingers through his white hair said it all.
Thankfully for Kenwright's nerves, Everton showed the sort of character Moyes expects from his side as they hit back to level three minutes later.
When Leighton Baines' free-kick was deflected off the United wall out to the left wing, Jack Rodwell, who has also been called up by the Under-21s, picked it up and hit a shot from the narrow angle, which was deflected in off the hapless Cresswell.
The poor old Blades skipper had gone from hero to zero in just three minutes.
Everton were in no mood to be sympathetic and they took the lead on 37 minutes when Barkley's shot flew straight to Victor Anichebe, who diverted it past former Blues 'keeper Steve Simonsen.
Barkley shamed some of his team-mates with his energy and he had a hand in Everton's killer third goal three minutes before the interval.
He made a tremendous run on goal and when he was halted by Lecsinel Jean-Francois 20 yards out, Arteta pounced on the loose ball to plant it beyond Simonsen into the far bottom corner.
Barkley was determined to get on the scoresheet to crown his two assists and hit a shot, which was well saved by Simonsen, before coming off to an ovation from the Blues fans in the 17,000 crowd at Goodison.
Leon Osman also wanted a goal and Simonsen held his drive at the second attempt before he hit the post from 25 yards out.