Middlesbrough 0-2 Everton

By Saj ChowdhuryBBC Sport
Romelu Lukaku
Boro keeper Tomas Mejias tried in vain to keep out Romelu Lukaku's well-placed header

Gerard Deulofeu produced a dazzling display as Everton reached the League Cup semi-finals with a comfortable win over Middlesbrough.

The ex-Barcelona player stunned the Boro defence in the 20th minute when he weaved past two challenges before placing his low shot past Tomas Mejias.

Deulofeu then produced a series of stepovers before delivering a cross for Romelu Lukaku who headed in for 2-0.

Stewart Downing went closest for Boro with a strike that was tipped over.

Roberto Martinez's Everton side will face a Premier League side in the last four when the draw is made on Wednesday, after Southampton's match against Liverpool. Stoke and Manchester City are also in the draw following their wins on Tuesday.

How good was Deulofeu?

The 21-year-old was seen as surplus to requirements at Barcelona when he was sent on loan to the Toffees in 2013 before joining on a permanent deal in the summer.

At the Riverside Stadium, the Spaniard provided two magical moments which would not have looked out of place at the Nou Camp.

His solo strike came just before midway in the first half. The Spaniard made a beeline for the goal, swept past two challenges, leaving defender Ben Gibson on the floor, before firing into Meijas' right-hand corner.

But perhaps the best goal of the game was the second, when he set up Lukaku for the Belgian's 13th in 18 games.

On this occasion, Deulofeu was out on the right. He made six stepovers in front of Boro defender Fernando Amorebieta, before shifting the ball to his right foot and finding the 6ft 3in striker with a great ball.

"Gerard is a young man in terms of the amount of games that he's played at this level, so he needs a lot of games," said Martinez. "But as a natural talent, he's as good as it gets.

"He's got that talent that you dream to have, he's got the talent that anyone would pay for a ticket to watch him."

Boro's run comes to an end

Manager Aitor Karanka might concede that his side were undone by two brilliant goals, however the home side should have posed more problems for the visiting defence.

Only Downing tested Joel Robles in the Everton goal, and appeals for handball against Ramiro Funes Mori in the second half were half-hearted. Referee Roger East was not interested and replays suggested it would have been harsh to penalise the Argentine defender.

Despite going 2-0 down in 28 minutes, Boro did not capitulate and instead improved markedly after the break. Karanka's men can take heart from Tuesday's display as they return to Championship action and the fight for promotion.

Moving show for local BBC favourite

Light display in tribute to BBC Tees commentator Ali Brownwlee
Lights were on in the 33rd minute in tribute to BBC Tees commentator Ali Brownlee

There was a touching moment in the 33rd minute when fans inside the stadium switched on the torches on their phones and sang "Ali Brownlee is one of our own".

It was a tribute to the BBC Tees commentator Ali Brownlee, who has been diagnosed with bowel cancer. Brownlee has been commentating on Middlesbrough matches for 33 years.

John Murray, who was commentating for BBC Radio 5 live, said: "He's an absolutely top fella. A thoroughly nice guy. This tribute will mean a lot to him."

Manager reaction

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka:

"It reminds me of playing against Arsenal last season.

"They played with their best starting 11 and Everton did the same, I take that as a complement. They were better than us, really good players in a really good team with a really good coach.

"That said, one goal can change a game and I thought if we had scored on 85 or 90 minutes there could have been a big finish."

Everton manager Roberto Martinez:

"It was a fantastic occasion to be involved in the cup. We had to be mature and control the game and we did that really well, especially after the Bournemouth result. It showed we learnt a lot.

"It is a terrific feeling to get through to the semi-final and good memory for our football club.

"Middlesbrough had a team who are good on the ball but we defended really well. All in all, the two goals were exceptional pieces of quality. More than anything, after keeping a clean sheet from going 2-0 up was very pleasing."

Man of the match - Gerard Deulofeu (Everton)

Gerard Deulofeu
Gerard Deulofeu was magnificent against Boro and gave the defence - who had not conceded in their previous six games at the Riverside - the runaround all night

Stats you need to know

  • Lukaku scored in his fifth consecutive game for Everton in all competitions.
  • No player has been directly involved in more League Cup goals this season than Deulofeu (two goals, three assists)
  • The Toffees are unbeaten in seven matches in all competitions v Boro, winning five and drawing two.
  • Boro conceded at the Riverside for the first time in seven games
  • They had only conceded two goals at the ground this season prior to today

What's next?

Everton could move up into the top six in the Premier League if they defeat Crystal Palace next Monday, while Boro could take top spot in the Championship if they beat Ipswich at Portman Road on Saturday.



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Mejias
  • 24Nsue
  • 4Ayala
  • 6GibsonSubstituted forFriendat 83'minutes
  • 5AmorebietaBooked at 47mins
  • 8ClaytonSubstituted forAdomahat 73'minutes
  • 7Leadbitter
  • 18Stuani
  • 19Downing
  • 10De PenaSubstituted forForshawat 45'minutes
  • 9Kike


  • 3Friend
  • 16Stephens
  • 25Agazzi
  • 27Adomah
  • 34Forshaw
  • 35Nugent
  • 36Zuculini


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Robles
  • 23Coleman
  • 5StonesBooked at 89mins
  • 25Funes Mori
  • 32GallowaySubstituted forBainesat 73'minutesBooked at 77mins
  • 15Cleverley
  • 18Barry
  • 19DeulofeuSubstituted forMirallasat 81'minutes
  • 20Barkley
  • 21Osman
  • 10LukakuSubstituted forNaismithat 86'minutes


  • 3Baines
  • 4Gibson
  • 9Koné
  • 11Mirallas
  • 12Lennon
  • 14Naismith
  • 24Howard
Roger East

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamEverton
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Middlesbrough 0, Everton 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 0, Everton 2.

  3. Post update

    Ross Barkley (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough).

  5. Post update

    Steven Naismith (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough).

  7. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  8. Post update

    Delay in match (Everton).

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  10. Booking

    John Stones (Everton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  11. Post update

    Foul by John Stones (Everton).

  12. Post update

    Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Everton. Steven Naismith replaces Romelu Lukaku.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Ramiro Funes Mori (Everton).

  15. Post update

    Cristhian Stuani (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Kevin Mirallas (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Seamus Coleman.

  17. Post update

    Gareth Barry (Everton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Cristhian Stuani (Middlesbrough).

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. George Friend replaces Ben Gibson.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Everton. Kevin Mirallas replaces Gerard Deulofeu.