4 talking points from Rotherham’s 3-1 defeat at Everton

Rotherham exited the Carabao Cup after a 3-1 loss at Premier League Everton.

The Millers put in a spirited display and threatened a comeback when Will Vaulks scored, but goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson and Dominic Calvert-Lewin won it for the Toffees.

Here are four talking points from the game.

Nearly, but not quite

It was a nearly evening for the Millers. Playing against a much-changed, but still very expensive Everton side, they competed well, had a real go for 20 minutes, but ultimately did not quite have enough to ever threaten a shock. The key moments went against them, first Sean Raggett missing a sitter at 1-0 was vital, then some not great defending allowed the Toffees to double the lead on the hour. And biggest of all, with Rotherham sniffing a comeback with Vaulks’ goal, barely 60 seconds later Dominic Calvert-Lewin struck with a moment of quality to kill the game off. Still, the Millers left Goodison Park with their heads held high.

Set-piece kings

Will Rotherham ever score from open play again? They might not need to if they carry on being as dangerous from set-plays as they have been so far this season and it again provided them with their best moments. Vaulks, a Liverpool lad, got himself on the scoresheet with a header from a corner while all their other best chances came from the first or second phase of a set-piece, notably that shocking miss by Raggett in the first half and then when Jamie Proctor fired over from a long throw. It is their only credible threat of scoring at the minute.

Robertson states his case

The logic of Paul Warne’s decision to allow back-up left-backs Ben Purrington and Michael Ihiekwe out on loan was put to the test when Joe Mattock pulled out of the match with a dead leg in the warm-up. It forced central defender Clark Robertson to move to a full-back position and the Scot showed he is a capable deputy. Perhaps lacking the attacking ability Mattock possesses, Robertson put in a brave showing against tricky opponents, winning tackles and headers and tracking back. He could be an option there if Mattock cannot get fit for the weekend.

 

Procs is rocking it again

With every minute that Jamie Proctor plays, the better he becomes after his horrific knee injury. Just like last year at Huddersfield, the striker gave a Premier League defence a stern test and arguably came out on top. Proctor was up against Kurt Zouma, a man-mountain, who ended up spending most of the evening on the floor as the Millers man won the physical battle more often than not. His movement is getting better as he ran the channels well on several occasions and his link-up play was good. It will not be long until he is threatening a league start.

From the notebook

– Kyle Vassell offers something that none of his team-mates can. His hustling and direct running is a great outlet for the Millers in attack and his presence in the team improved them.

– Rotherham tend to make history in cup competitions (first penalty shootout etc) and they did again so again with VAR being available to use for the first time in the League Cup.

– The Everton fans showed up in their numbers, as at 31,972, it was the biggest attendance at this stage of the competition for a very long time, but it was the Millers who turned up with their voices.

– It was a bittersweet evening for Ben Wiles. What a night for him after being handed a start but after a tricky first 45 minutes, he was withdrawn at half-time. The quality on the ball is evident, but physically Wiles still seems a bit short.

– Not a bad second string for Everton boss Marco Silva to choose from, having made eight changes. Gylfi Sigurdsson ran the show for an hour, Sandro Ramirez was a constant threat and Dominic Calvert-Lewin bagged twice. Oh, and Theo Walcott came off the bench!

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