Birmingham: Goals by Romelu Lukaku and Leon Osman gave Everton their fifth win in six games but only their second away win in 13 matches with a 2-0 success in the Premier League clash with Aston Villa on Saturday.
Lukaku's fifth of the season, since he was taken on loan from Chelsea, and Osman's goal saw Roberto Martinez's side move into third spot, four points off leaders Arsenal, although either Chelsea or Manchester City could go back above them depending on the outcome of their game on Sunday.
Victory also took Everton level with Villa in their head to head record with 72 wins apiece from their 197 meetings.
The first-half was end-to-end action with Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard saving his side from going in behind at the break.
The American saved brilliantly in the eighth minute from Christian Benteke's penalty, awarded when the Belgian striker went down under a challenge from Irishman Seamus Coleman.
Benteke, one of Villa's few shining lights last season as they battled against relegation, had a chance later in the half to make up for failing to convert the penalty as he was released one on one on Howard, but again the goalkeeper came off better.
Everton, though, stemmed the one way traffic and almost scored a goal through Lukaku, but his point blank header was tipped over by Howard's compatriot Brad Guzan.
Guzan, however, was beaten a few minutes later by England midfielder Ross Barkley's long range effort which came back off the bar.
It was to be Lukaku, however, who was to break the deadlock eventually in the 68th minute as the second-half failed to replicate the fireworks of the first-half.
The 20-year-old, who may well lead the Belgian strikeforce with Benteke at the World Cup, scored a super goal after being teed up by substitute Osman 16 yards out.
Osman, who had come on on the hour, then scored one of his own, set up by former Villa stalwart Gareth Barry, as he put the ball past Guzan from the edge of the area.