NIKICA Jelavic’s double helped Everton to a comfortable victory over QPR in the third round of the FA Cup.
Despite the scoreline, Rangers were far from disgraced at Goodison Park though came up short against Premier League opposition.
Ross Barkley and Jelavic were on target before half-time.
And Everton’s passage into round four was confirmed thanks to further strikes from Jelavic and Seamus Coleman after the interval.
Jelavic spurned the chance to secure a hat-trick 15 minutes from time when he missed a penalty.
Rangers boss Harry Redknapp named a strong side for the trip to Merseyside, even after making five changes following Wednesday’s home victory over Doncaster Rovers.
Brazil number one Julio Cesar was handed his first start of the season in goal, while there was also room in the starting XI for Karl Henry, Clint Hill, Matty Phillips and Armand Traore.
Joey Barton skippered the side against his boyhood club.
Toffees chief Roberto Martinez – who lifted the FA Cup as Wigan Athletic manager last term – made changes to his side, too, though also put out a strong team with stars Barkley, Gareth Barry, Coleman and Leon Osman all involved.
The contest experienced a fairly even start, with both Gary O’Neil and Jelavic going close inside the opening 10 minutes.
Everton enjoyed more possession as the first half wore on. Barkley warmed the hands of Cesar with an effort from distance just past the half-hour mark – as did Barry in the 22nd minute.
At the other end, Henry should have done better from a Barton corner two minutes later, blasting over from 18 yards.
QPR created a fine opportunity to open the scoring in the 25th minute. Lovely passing play from the visitors ended with Danny Simpson crossing from the right, but his low centre somehow flashed across the target without a touch.
Cesar was forced into a carbon copy, double stop to thwart Coleman three minutes later, twice saving with his feet.
In the 33rd minute, the home side missed their best opportunity to score yet when Osman fired just over from close range after following up Cesar’s save from Barkley.
But Everton did take the lead a minute later.
Barkley picked up possession inside the box before stroking a low effort into the bottom right-hand corner from around 15 yards.
The Toffees doubled the advantage just short of half-time.
Henry surrendered possession and when Jelavic capitalised, he fired an unstoppable 25-yard shot past Cesar.
Rangers made one substitution at the break, with Niko Kranjcar brought on in place of Traore.
Hosts Everton had the first effort of the second half, with Barkley dragging wide of the right-hand post. Jelavic shot straight at Cesar in the 54th minute.
Cesar pulled off a world-class stop to deny Coleman three minutes later, tipping the full-back’s curling effort just wide after he turned Hill in the box.
Andy Johnson was introduced against his former club to a rapturous welcome in the 58th minute, replacing Henry.
Cesar was enjoying a busy period and saved from Osman in the 61st minute. But there was nothing he could do when Jelavic put the tie beyond doubt seven minutes later.
Bryan Oviedo crossed to a tee for the Croat from the left before he had the simple task of prodding home from close range.
Jelavic missed a chance to register his hat-trick from the penalty spot in the 75th minute.
Cesar tripped Oviedo in the box and when Jelavic stepped up to take the spot-kick, he could only dink an audacious chip on to the crossbar.
Coleman would eventually add gloss to the scoreline just two minutes later, finishing well from inside the box after a free-flowing Everton move.
Jelavic had another chance to register his treble 11 minutes from time but was denied brilliantly by Hill on the goal-line.