​Everton are on course for an all-Merseyside Capital One Cup final after beating Manchester City 2-1 in the first leg of their semi-final tie at Goodison Park on Wednesday.


Defender Ramiro Funes Mori gave the hosts the lead on the stroke of half-time, but Jesus Navas scored his first goal for 16 months to equalise after Everton squandered several chances to make the scoreline a more comfortable one.


Almost immediately, though, the Toffees' edged themselves back in front through top scorer Romelu Lukaku, who headed his 19th goal of the season with 12 minutes remaining.

Everton v Manchester City - Capital One Cup Semi Final: First Leg

It ensures Everton hold a slight advantage going into this month's second leg tie at the Etihad Stadium, where the two teams also meet in the Premier League next Wednesday.


Much of the first-half action was condensed into a ten-minute spell before the break, during which Everton had two goals correctly ruled out for offside as the linesman's flag denied first John Stones, then Lukaku.


Sergio Aguero then forced a save from former Atletico Madrid teammate Joel Robles at the other end, with the Spaniard looking determined to impress in the absence of Tim Howard, whose position is under threat amid a deteriorating relationship with the Toffees' supporters.


And Joel's intervention proved crucial as Everton took the lead from their next attack.


Ross Barkley tired his luck from 20 yards on his weaker left foot, and Willy Caballero could only palm to ball into the path of compatriot Funes Mori, who couldn't miss from close range.

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Hopeful City fans may have anticipated a third raised flag, although it was Lukaku and not the Argentina defender who'd strayed into an offside position this time.


With their opponents committing bodies forward early in the second half, Everton were looking dangerous on the counter attack and Gerard Deulofeu's ambitious lob almost caught out Caballero.


Still, as City proved at Watford on Saturday, 1-0 is never enough no matter how late it gets, and they were almost level shortly after the hour mark when Navas' cross caused problems in the hosts' box.


Aguero was able to pounce on the loose ball, but sliced high and wide with the left-foot attempt that followed.

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Everton then wasted a glorious chance to double their advantage after Barkley barged Nicolas Otamendi off the ball only to fire straight at Caballero as he homed in on goal.


At the other end, Joel pulled off a fine one-hand save to keep out Kevin de Bruyne's 20-yard effort, but the stand-in shot-stopper's luck would soon run out.


As Everton again sought to double their advantage, City beat them at their own game to equalise.


Fernandinho hoofed clear after halting the run of Kevin Mirallas and Aguero's sumptuous touch allowed him to run at the Toffees' defence before locating Navas, who calmly side-footed past Joel at the far post.

Everton v Manchester City - Capital One Cup Semi Final: First Leg

City barely had time to celebrate though, as Everton regained their lead in little over two minutes.


Leighton Baines' cross was inch-perfect and Lukaku added the clinical finish it deserved to give Caballero no chance. It could yet come at a cost, however, with the Belgian hobbling off almost immediately having suffered a foot injury in the goalscoring process.


And Everton were forced to end the game with 10 men when Seamus Coleman also departed with Roberto Martinez having made all three of his permitted substitutions.


Follow @aidencusick on Twitter


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