Everton 4 Luton Town 0: Weir injury takes gloss off Everton's display

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The Independent Football

Everton's comfortable winin this third-round Carling Cup tie was marred by their captain, David Weir, sustaining a serious head injury which will keep him out of action for at least three weeks. The centre-back suffered concussion in an accidental clash of heads with Luton's defender Leon Barnett just before half-time and was kept in hospital overnight.

Andy Irvine, the Everton assistant manager, said: "The doctor has told us he will be out for three weeks. The players were concerned when David went down but our physio said he was OK and was conscious by the time he was stretchered off. It was a complete accident. Both players were going for the ball and David came off worst."

Luton had every reason to have felt a little light-headed themselves as they returned home, having being given a resounding run-around by a near full-strength Everton.

Only the heroics of their goalkeeper, Marlon Beresford, kept the score reasonably respectable with a number of outstanding saves, including a first-half penalty stop to deny Mikel Arteta. Beresford had denied Andrew Johnson and Leon Osman before Joleon Lescott set up Tim Cahill's simple 23rd-minute header to take the lead. Keith Keane, the Luton defender, scored an own-goal from Johnson's cross 11 minutes later.

Everton made it 3-0 on 53 minutes when James McFadden tapped home Cahill's pass and, after Arteta had struck a post, Victor Anichebe completed the rout seven minutes from time with a superb solo effort. The Nigerian-born teenager ran from the half-way line and rounded Beresford to slot home.

Newell, the former Everton striker, endured an uncomfortable evening. He said: "There's a big gulf between the Premier League and the Championship and it showed tonight. We didn't show any real conviction or belief and I'm disappointed that three or four of my players didn't play as well as they have been playing."

Irvine said: "Our play at times was fabulous - we could have scored a lot more goals but their keeper was terrific and made some really good saves."

Everton (4-4-2): Turner; Davies (Anichebe, 70), Weir (Hughes, h-t), Stubbs, Lescott; Arteta, Cahill, Carsley, Osman; Johnson (Beattie, 68), McFadden. Substitutes not used: Howard (gk), Vidarsson.

Luton Town (4-4-2): Beresford; Foley, Barnett, Keane, Davis; Edwards, Bell, Robinson, Morgan (Brkovic, 80); Feeney, Vine (Boyd, 80). Substitutes not used: Brill (gk), O'Leary, Emanuel.

Referee: S Tanner (Somerset).

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