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Goals from Rodolph Austin and Aidy White helped Leeds knock a below-par Everton out of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.
Just when we were getting all excited, Everton put in a dire display at a soggy Elland Road to tumble out of the Capital One Cup.
Despite all the talk about taking the competition seriously David Moyes made six changes from the side that beat Swansea last Saturday.
But we simply do not have the squad to go making so many alterations, especially for a tie such as this. This was not Leyton orient at home, this was a tough Championship side away on a soggy Tuesday evening – perfect giant killing conditions.
Magaye Gueye, Junior and Bryan Oviedo were all thrust into the starting line-up and looked like rabbits caught in the headlights.
Their senior colleagues were not much better; Steve Naismith gave the ball away cheaply after just four minutes, then Jonny Heitinga and Sylvain Distin then kindly opened up a yawning gap in the centre of the defence, allowing Aidy White to gleefully wander into the area before curling the ball beyond the hapless Jan Mucha.
I had only just got to my seat by that point as Leeds, in their infinite wisdom, thought it would be a good idea to have 3,000 Everton fans enter the ground through three turnstiles, causing huge queues outside.
The rest of the half, played in atrocious conditions, was pretty dire. Everton struggled to get any sort of grip in the game. The only chance of the half came when Ovideo was played in down the left and his first time low cross found Victor Anichebe, whose first time side-footed effort went over the bar.
Everton could have found themselves two down just before the break when White’s header was fumbled by Mucha and Naismith cleared the rebound off the line.
Phil Neville and Steven Pienaar were beckoned from the bench at half time but things only mildly improved. Pienaar blazed over when well placed, Naismith headed wide when it was easier to get it on target before Anichebe’s smart turn and shot fizzed just wide.
Everton failed to score while they were on top, with Nikica Jelavic thrown on in a final act of desperation.
But it was Leeds who would net next, echoes of last year’s FA Cup semi-final when Seamus Coleman gave away a sloppy free-kick near the corner of the penalty area, the kick taken short to Danny Pugh, whose low shot was deflected in by Rodolph Austin.
That was effectively game over, though Distin made things a little more exciting near the end with a looping header following a free-kick.
If we had have grabbed a dramatic equaliser and forced extra time it would not have been deserved.
Everton were well off the pace and Moyes has once again paid a high price for putting too much faith in young inexperienced squad players, he has to take his share of the blame for a ludicrous team selection.
The league cup represented a massive opportunity to win a trophy, especially as there is no European football to distract them.
Congratulations to Leeds, they deserved their win. As for Everton, this is huge reality check and a massive opportunity missed.