Match Report | FA Cup dream dies for David Moyes ... posted 404 days ago online
Liverpool 2-1 Everton
Kenny Dalglish oversaw Liverpool book their place in the second domestic cup final of the season by coming from behind to beat their neighbours from across Stanley Park. Nikica Jelavic put Everton in front but goals after the interval from Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll completed a treble of wins this term in all competitions for the Anfield club.
This Merseyside derby took place on the hallowed turf of Wembley ahead of the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez both returned for the Reds whilst Daniel Agger was in at left back instead of Jose Enrique and third choice keeper Brad Jones started due to suspensions between the sticks.
The Toffees meanwhile named the same XI that beat Sunderland away in the quarter final replay to set-up another meeting with their fierce rivals. Andy Carroll set up an early opportunity for Liverpool, pulling back for Jay Spearing who broke from midfield, but he fired over the top. Leighton Baines curled a free kick onto the roof of the net inside the first ten minutes for Everton.
A Martin Skrtel shot after good hold-up play by Carroll from a Reds free kick was saved easily by Tim Howard as the effort was straight at him. The Toffees then took the lead in the semi with a quarter of the tie gone, courtesy of a defensive horror show from Agger and Jamie Carragher following a long punt up-field.
A poor clearance from the Liverpool stalwart after his colleague at the back played him into trouble was closed down by Tim Cahill and the ball broke for Nikica Jelavic to slot under the body of Jones. Everton intended to sit on that lead, playing on the counter whilst letting their rivals come onto them.
In the second half, Carroll missed a guilt edge chance to draw the Reds level when he found himself unmarked at the back post. The £35 million man somehow headed Stewart Downing’s cross off target from three yards out. Spearing’s over-weighted pass moments later prevented Suarez from having another opportunity at goal.
King Kenny’s men had certainly improved since the break and it would fall to their number seven to pounce on Sylvain Distin’s defensive mistake just after the hour. Suarez duly raced onto the ball and stroked it beyond Howard to equalise for Liverpool. Pressure on the Toffees was now incessant with Jelavic cutting an isolated figure.
Reds stopper Jones, who flapped at crosses into his box all afternoon, had to be on hand to save from Leon Osman with a well-struck shot coming in off the left flank. Up the other end, Carroll dragged another effort wide after Everton gave the ball away on the edge of their own penalty area.
Jelavic fired into the side netting from Marouane Fellaini’s flick on as Moyes’s men retained an inconsistent threat in attack during the second half. Suarez got in the way of a third Carroll shot meanwhile as Liverpool asked more questions. Seamus Coleman was fortunate not to receive a second booking from referee Howard Webb when he sent Gerrard tumbling.
From the resulting free kick, substitute Craig Bellamy whipped the ball in and Carroll rose highest to complete the turnaround for the Reds with just three minutes of the ninety left. Maxi Rodriguez could have put the tie to bed moments later, but he turned Suarez’s low centre onto the base of the post.
Liverpool finished the semi with a flourish, spending stoppage time firmly camped in the Everton half. In three weeks’ time, Dalglish will face a London club, either Tottenham Hotspur or Chelsea, in the FA Cup final. Never mind Premier League woes, a domestic double is still on!
Liverpool: 1 Brad Jones, 2 Glen Johnson, 23 Jamie Carragher, 37 Martin Skrtel, 5 Daniel Agger, 14 Jordan Henderson (11 Maxi Rodriguez 75’), 8 Steven Gerrard (c), 20 Jay Spearing, 19 Stewart Downing (39 Craig Bellamy 84’), 7 Luis Suarez, 9 Andy Carroll 4-4-2
Goals: Luis Suarez 62’, Andy Carroll 87’
Everton: 24 Tim Howard, 18 Phil Neville (c), 5 Johnny Heitinga, 15 Sylvain Distin, 3 Leighton Baines (28 Victor Anichebe 88’), 21 Leon Osman, 4 Darron Gibson, 25 Marouane Fellaini, 19 Magaye Gueye (23 Seamus Coleman 68’), 17 Tim Cahill, 7 Nikica Jelavic 4-4-1-1
Goals: Nikica Jelavic 24’