Everton boss Dave Moyes praised his defence after their 2-0 victory over West Ham.
Strikes from Ayegbeni Yakubu and Andrew Johnson extended Everton's unbeaten run to 12 matches in all competitions.
Yakubu extended his scoring run to five from three games but Moyes' credit went to his defenders.
"They have been very good. I have to praise Phil Jagielka and Joleon Lescott has been immense for weeks. Today the boys at the back have done very well. At times it was like the kitchen sink (was being thrown at them) and they stood up to it well."
West Ham manager Alan Curbishley was left to bemoan a lengthening injury list after his side suffered their second defeat to Everton in three days.
Yakubu had pounced on a late mistake on Wednesday night to book Everton a place in the Carling Cup semi-final.
Danny Gabbidon and Luis Boa Morte were both missing while Carlton Cole was forced off at half-time with a long-standing hip problem.
They joined the likes of long-term absentees Craig Bellamy, Bobby Zamora, Kieron Dyer, Anton Ferdinand and Matthew Etherington on the sidelines.
"I can't ask any more from the players," said Curbishley.
"I am getting the best out of them but we need that bit of quality at both ends of the pitch."