Rafael Benitez has ordered Moise Kean to keep his emotions in check on the field after the Italian striker saw red on a rare start for Everton in their 2-1 Carabao Cup victory at Huddersfield.
An Everton side featuring nine changes from the team that were held to a 2-2 draw at Leeds at the weekend looked to be up against it when Alex Iwobi’s goal was cancelled out by Tom Lees before Kean was giving his marching orders.
The 21-year-old has struggled to impress in the two years he has had on Merseyside following a big-money move from Juventus, and spent last season on loan at Paris St Germain, but he was lively at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Indeed, he should have been on the scoresheet after rifling into the roof of the net in the first half but his frustrations boiled over on the hour, shoving Huddersfield’s Sorba Thomas twice to earn a straight red card.
Andros Townsend’s first goal since signing for Everton in the summer after leaving Crystal Palace made sure Kean’s indiscretion did not prove too costly, but the youngster has been urged not to repeat his mistake.
Benitez said: “The sending off of Moise Kean changed everything, our approach and we had to adjust to too many things. I didn’t see the first part of the incident, I saw when they were pushing each other so I cannot say.
“I think it’s still in many ways a mistake, we cannot lose our temper but he’s a young player, hopefully he can learn from that. But the reaction of the team was very good.
“I liked the second goal and the way things finished for us. The character, the dedication, the commitment of the players was great and I think that’s what the fans were expecting from this team.”
After falling behind when Iwobi deftly finished between the legs of Lee Nicholls in the 26th minute, the home side rallied and levelled when Lees powered home a header beyond Asmir Begovic from a corner on the stroke of half-time.
Everton were undone from another set-piece after the interval as Matty Pearson headed home – although that was questionably chalked off as Fraizer Campbell was adjudged to have unsighted Asmir Begovic from an offside position.
Townsend had the final say, steering substitute Andre Gomes’ cross high into the net late on as Everton, who have never won this competition despite lifting the FA Cup on five occasions, progressed to the third round.
Benitez added: “The game was more or less exactly what we were expecting. The chances we had in the beginning, we didn’t take them and we gave them so hope.
“And after they were growing in confidence and especially when we were playing with 10 players. That was something we were expecting and managed at the end in a good way. I’m pleased for our players.”
While Everton now turn their attentions to the Premier League and a trip to Brighton on Saturday for their third successive away fixture, Huddersfield’s focus is on the visit of Reading in the Sky Bet Championship.
Terriers head coach Carlos Corberan thought his side could count themselves unfortunate after coming up short against Everton.
He said: “In some of the moments the team was doing good football, a good press and solid in defence. In some of the moments we were controlling the game, finding the advantages that the opponents allowed us have.
“For me we were a bit unlucky.”