January signing Nikica Jelavic side-footed his finish past Simon Mignolet from Magaye Gueye’s cross to give the visitors a 24th-minute lead at the Stadium of Light.
David Moyes’ side then sealed victory after 56 minutes as Sunderland midfielder David Vaughan inadvertently turned Jelavic’s wayward shot past his own goalkeeper.
“He’s [Jelavic] changed a lot of our games,” Cahill told ITV. “He’s someone that can hold the ball up, score goals and bring his team-mates into play, it helps a hell of a lot.”
Everton produced a convincing performance at the Stadium of Light, with Marouane Fellaini, Leon Osman and Gueye particularly impressive in midfield for the Toffees.
Skipper Phil Neville praised his side’s tenacious display as Everton sealed the chance to exact revenge on Liverpool in the semi-final at Wembley for their recent 3-0 defeat in the Merseyside derby.
“I thought it was a fantastic performance,” Neville said. “When you come to an away ground, you want to play with no fear. We did that tonight.
“The boys were fantastic. The work ethic they put in and the goal scorer up front.
WWe’ve struggled for goals this season but he’s sticking them in for us.”
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