Hull manager Steve Bruce admitted beforehand that he had one eye on next Saturday’s FA Cup final and fielded five changes to his starting line-up. And so it appeared as McCarthy latched onto Steven Naismith’s neat ball to net after only nine minutes.
Lukaku added to Everton’s lead within a minute of the restart, latching onto Leon Osman’s through ball to fire home what proved the final goal of the match.
Steve Bruce rang the changes, bringing on Liam Rosenior, Matty Fryatt and Robert Koren in an attempt to spark a revival. But Everton were well worthy of the win to finish their season in fifth position with a Premier League high of 72 points.
The result means that Hull finish two places above the drop zone in 16th but have the chance to end the season on a positive note in Saturday's Wembley showpiece.
9’ - MCCARTHY OPENS SCORING: It’s a good run from the midfielder to latch onto Naismith’s clever ball. McGregor gets a hand to his first-time left-footed shot but it loops beyond him and into the net.
20’ – NAISMITH CHANCE: It’s a good, forging run into the box from Barry and he crosses to the striker who sidefoots wide. Should have hit the target.
46’ – LUKAKU DOUBLES LEAD: The Belgian goal machine scores his 15th of the season, slotting past McGregor from Osman’s pass.
84’ – GREAT CHANCE DAVIES: The Hull skipper has the chance to pull one back but heads wide from Huddlestone’s corner.
86’ – GOOD SAVE HOWARD: He narrows the angle to beat away Robert Koren’s shot.
James McCarthy has scored his first goal for Everton – and his first since netting in Wigan’s 3-2 PL home defeat v Swansea on May 7th 2013.
Everton scored their quickest PL away goal (nine minutes) since Steven Pienaar netted after three mins in their 3-1 win at Aston Villa in August 2012.
It is the first time an Everton player has scored 15 goals in a season since Yakubu Aiyegbeni got 15 in 2007/08 (record for an Evertonian is 16, Andrei Kanchelskis (1995/96 ) and Tony Cottee (1993/94).
Lukaku has now scored 15+ goals in two consecutive PL seasons, at the age of 20 – he is only the 3rd PL player to do so before the age of 21, and the first non-English player – Michael Owen did so in 1997/98 (18 goals) and 1998/99 (18 goals) and Robbie Fowler did so in 1994/95 (25 goals) and 1995/96 (27 goals before his 21st birthday on 9 April 1996).
Hull saving themselves for Cup final? Steve Bruce will be disappointed with his side’s finish to the season and rested several key players during the first half. They’ll have to be at their very best to have any chance in the final against Arsenal.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Romelu Lukaka (Everton): A constant threat going forward, opening up other avenues by dragging defenders with him. His goal meant that he has scored 15+goals in successive seasons.
Hull City: McGregor 5, Figueroa 6, Bruce 6, Davies 7, Huddlestone, Livermore 7, McShane 6, Jelavic 6, Aluko 6, Elmohamady 6, Quinn 6. SUBS: Rosenior 6, Koren 6, Fryatt 6.
Everton: Howard 6, Baines 7, Coleman , Jagielka 6, Distin 6, McGeady 6, Naismith 6, McCarthy 7, Lukaku 8, Barry 7, Osman 6. SUBS: Deulofeu 6, Pienaar 6, Traore 6.
MATCH IN A TWEET
- Sports & Recreation
- Hull City
- Premier League
- Steve Bruce
- James McCarthy
- Robert Koren
- Steven Naismith