HULL CITY’S woeful away form continued on an afternoon that saw Tom Huddlestone dismissed.
Goals from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Enner Valencia plus a Romelu Lukaku double in stoppage time condemned the Tigers to a 12th defeat in 13 league outings on the road. It was also the tenth time in a dozen away games that City have failed to score.
Marco Silva’s side did have chances, Sam Clucas squandering a great opening in the first half. But it was a familiar tale of woe come the final whistle, not least because Huddlestone will now miss the key home clash with West Ham United through suspension when the Premier League resumes on April 1 after being deemed to be out of control when challenging Idrissa Gana Gueye.
Hull’s disappointment was in marked contrast to the joy felt by Calvert-Lewin, the Sheffield United Academy product, after netting his first Premier League goal.
The 20-year-old moved from Bramall lane on the final day of the summer transfer window for £1.5m and he was on hand to capitalise on an incisive move from the home side.
Silva had opted for a three-man defence for only the second time in his 13 games as City head coach but Everton exposed one of the system’s weaknesses inside eight minutes.
With Andrew Robertson caught up field and the rest of the defence very narrow, Ross Barkley was able to expose a lack of defensive width by sliding in Tom Davies.
He quickly drilled a low cross for Calvert-Lewin, who had the simple task of tapping in at the back post.
Romelu Lukaku, cheered by the home fans before kick-off following his questioning of Everton’s ambition in midweek, thought he had doubled the hosts’ lead when beating Eldin Jakupovic midway through the first half but he was rightly ruled to be offside.
Ashley Williams also had a headed chance but Jakupovic was well placed to collect.
Hull’s best opening came six minutes before the interval when a poor back header by Ashley Williams let Sam Clucas sneak in only to then lift his shot over the crossbar.
Earlier, Lazar Markovic, back on Merseyside for the first time since his loan move from Liverpool, had been played through by Clucas but he dithered and Leighton Baines got back to clear the danger.
Markovic also had a shot that flew high and wide but Everton were full value for their lead.
The Tigers did try to step things up after the restart, as Silva sacrificed a defender in Davies to bring on Kamil Grosicki.
But, Andrew Robertson’s shot into the side netting was the best the Yorkshire side could muster before Valencia doubled Everton’s lead 11 minutes form time.
An exchange of passes with Lukaku created an opening he was never going to miss to condemn Hull to yet another sorry travelling tale.
Lukaku then added to City’s misery with two goals in stoppage time, the first after being played in by Valencia and the second the result of a woeful back pass by Omar Elabdellaoui.
Silva, who is still looking for his first away win since taking over in early January, was unhappy with the red card, which killed their momentum, but will wait to see replays of the incident before deciding whether to appeal.
“We didn’t deserve this decision on 70 minutes to make us play with 10 players. It changed the game,” he said.
“It was a hard game for both teams, a good competition between the players, but four or five minutes earlier I saw one tackle by Lukaku on our player and he didn’t receive a yellow card.
“I saw one game until the 70th minute, and after, another game.”
Everton: Robles, Coleman, Ashley Williams, Jagielka, Baines, Schneiderlin, Barkley, Davies, Gana, Calvert-Lewin, Lukaku. Subs: Lennon, Barry, Valencia, Stekelenburg, Funes Mori, Holgate, Lookman.
Hull: Jakupovic, Elabdellaoui, Davies, Ranocchia, Maguire, Robertson, Markovic, Huddlestone, N’Diaye, Clucas, Hernandez. Subs: Meyler, Maloney, Grosicki, Diomande, Marshall, Elmohamady, Tymon.
Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire)