05 February 2009

Everton finally advance!

It took a little divine intervention and a lot of grit, but Everton finally pulled off the Merseyside derby victory against Liverpool to see themselves through to the FA Cup round of 16 for the first time in four years!

Liverpool playmaker and lynchpin Stephen Gerrard went out at 15 minutes with a hamstring pull – a very painful injury and usually a minimum of three weeks to recover, I know a lot about those mind you – and then Lucas Lieva went on to earn two foolish yellow cards which left the Reds down a man against the Toffees from about 65 minutes on. Clearly Liverpool were against the ropes and Everton could smell victory.

But Rafa’s strategy was obvious at that point. Play a four four one, hope for the quick counter, or otherwise play for a penalty shoot out. Liverpool was digging in and the strategy to keep level until penalties was working.

Everton would not have it. The lads continued to press for the victory during regular time, and then on in to the two 15 minutes of extra time….but it became increasingly apparent as the match wore on that it was Everton’s to lose!

Fortunately for the Toffees, a brilliant bit of ball movement in the box by Dan Gosling gave the teenager just enough space to curl a right footed inswinger to the far post – literally – as his strike ricocheted off and in to the back of the net 118 minutes in to playing time.

Final score: Everton 1 - Liverpool 0

Everton now look to take their cobbled together side to League number fours, Aston Villa, on 15 February.

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