Sunday, April 19, 2009

Everton heads to FA Cup final

Everton sealed it's first FA Cup final appearance since 1995 as they defeated Manchester United 4-2 in penalties.

The talk of the day was Sir Alex Ferguson radically reworking his starting eleven, leaving out regulars for the likes of Ben Foster, the twins Fábio and Rafael, Darron Gibson, Danny Welbeck and seventeen year-old Rome native Federico Macheda. Despite the youthful side, Everton were held back for much of the match and seemed unsure of how to approach them. While the Toffees were likely the better of the two in the opening half as the match wore Sir Alex's kiddie corp were posing bales of problems. After the break it seemed clear fortune was on Everton's side as Phil Jagielka could have easily be adjudged for bringing down Danny Welbeck in the area but Mike Riley waived play-on. Legitimate chances were sparse for Everton, despite the roar of supporters in blue urgent pleas and for the few that seemed ready to crest, Nemanja Vidić was there to turn it aside. And so after thirty-minutes of extra-time the score-sheet still was unmarked and it would come down to penalties.

From time to time when matches are decided in this manner the goals, just as the misses are remembered. David Beckham's miss in the Euro 2004 against Portugal tears at the heart of Three Lion supporters and as this shoot-out began so did Timmy Cahill blunder. However what came after that for Man Utd was basically a egotistical walk-up by Dimitar Berbatov that wasn't just shockingly bad but seemed to lack any thought and merely the work of arrogance. After Leighton Baines notched Everton's first goal, Rio Ferdinand stepped-up and while the English international is out of his realm you would assume somewhere along the Footy world he has struck one from the spot. Clearly that is assumption is erroneous or lest Man Utd was worried about all these trophies they were collecting and he sent another one that most children could improve upon. Following that miss it was merely a task of working through the order without error and in the end, Phil Jagielka sent Everton to the finals as his effort billowed in the net.