Royle approval for Limpar

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Everton 5

Norwich City 0

Quite where it all started to go wrong for Norwich City was difficult to pinpoint. Presumably they set off for Goodison with an FA Cup fire smouldering in their stomachs, and it is unlikely that John Deehan's pre- match talk went on the lines of "go out and capitulate". If he had, his team could hardly have keeled over more quickly.

"We were like a ship without a rudder," Deehan said, "when Jon Newsome was sent off," which was presupposing that his team had been seaworthy in the first place. To continue with his nautical theme, Norwich were like a leaking pedalo trying to trade blows with a battleship.

The home team played well, but then their youth side would have prospered against such spineless opposition. The facts spoke for themselves. Everton are not exactly prolific scorers, yet they managed their highest total since their 6-2 demolition of the hapless Swindon 13 months ago, and could have had several more. It was 69 minutes before Norwich managed a shot, and by then Everton had long since taken their foot off the accelerator.

Deehan said the turning point came after six minutes, which hardly represented good value for the thousands who travelled from East Anglia. Graham Stuart sent in a cross from the right and Anders Limpar, starting his first game for six months, half-volleyed it past Simon Tracey. Or perhaps that should be through, because the Norwich goalkeeper got his hands to the shot only for the ball to brush past them.

Limpar has been a £1.6m misfit this season, but he has now scored in Everton's last two matches and, along with Ferguson, provided the cutting edge on which Norwich threw themselves. "For all his ability, Anders is a nervous lad," Joe Royle, his manager, said. "ut he showed what he can do today, and with a performance like that you have to find a place in the team for him."

The Swede was also partly responsible for leaving Norwich rudderless as well as hopeless, when his teasing run on the left persuaded Newsome to lunge in and incur his second booking 10 minutes after the interval.

The visitors were 2-0 down by that time, courtesy of Joe Parkinson's first goal for Everton, and when Paul Rideout headed in Andy Hinchcliffe's resultant free-kick, the dodo had more life in in it than this tie.

"This is the lowest moment in my managerial career," Deehan said, after Ferguson and Stuart had completed the rout. "The players are very hurt, and I'm hurt. We need a period of 24 hours to overcome our embarrassment. I don't wish to be disrespectful, but it's like a period of mourning."

Everton's supporters, meanwhile, who have been draped in black for two seasons now as the team has fought the battle against relegation, suddenly have Wembley in their sights to brighten the gloom. "They have taken to the Cup in a big, big way," Royle said. "ut I've said this to the point of being boring; I'd gladly swap this win for three Premiership points."

ut by the end of the season, you suspect Norwich might need those points more.

Goals: Limpar (6 min) 1-0; Parkinson (23) 2-0; Rideout (56) 3-0; Ferguson (62) 4-0; Stuart (88) 5-0.

Everton (4-4-2): Southall; Jackson, Watson, Ablett, Hinchcliffe; Stuart, Parkinson, Ebbrell, Limpar; Rideout (arlow, 71), Ferguson. Substitutes not used: Grant, Reeves (gk).

Norwich City (4-4-2): Tracey; radshaw, Newman, Newsome, owen; Sutch, Johnson, Goss, Ullathorne (Prior, 63); Sheron, Eadie. Substitutes not used: Adams, Marshall (gk).

Referee: M odenham (Looe).