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VIEW FROM THE BLUE

Z-Cars Rings Out at Wembley

By Lyndon Lloyd :  20/04/2009 :  Comments (50) :

Match Report

"I can't seem to save a penalty," joked Tim Howard in an interview with The Independent in the run-up to this semi-final, but thanks to some pre-match homework the American goalkeeper became the hero of the hour for Everton with not one but two saves in the decisive penalty shoot-out at Wembley this afternoon.

And the roof came off the Everton end when Phil Jagielka put his miss from the spot against Fiorentina last year behind him by burying the Blues' fifth and final penalty to seal the Blues' passage to the FA Cup Final for the first time since their 1995 triumph. As a nice bonus, this victory after 120 minutes of gruelling stalemate effectively books David Moyes's side a place in Europe next season ? even if they somehow manage to finish outside the top six in the Premier League, they'll earn a place in the Uefa Europa League whether they win or lose the final next month on account of Chelsea's almost certain qualification for the Champions League.

Amid the euphoria of a thrilling win from the spot, few could be under any illusions that what they had witnessed was a spectacle worthy of either the occasion or the venue. Wembley can't have witnessed many duller cup ties than the one played out today between a relatively inexperienced United XI and an Everton side painfully short of inspiration in the midfield.

Nevertheless, into this bland tapestry were woven moments of drama for the 40-odd thousand Evertonians who packed the away end and comprehensively outsung those in red at the other end throughout. There were the nerves that are par for the course in a cup match, seemingly ratcheted up the more senior figures Sir Alex Ferguson introduced as the match wore on, and the heart-stopping moment when Danny Welbeck tumbled to the turf in the area under Jagielka's challenge after 67 minutes and Sir Alex Ferguson leapt off his bench in a gum-chewing frenzy baying for a penalty..

And when extra time expired and a dreaded shootout against players who were, on paper, technically superior was an inescapable reality, the odds seemed stacked against Everton, even more so when Tim Cahill ballooned the first penalty over Ben Foster's crossbar and then buried his face in his hands in horror at the prospect of having seemingly sown the seeds of his team's elimination. The best drama would be saved for last, though, and it was United for whom unexpected elimination befell.

With a crucial League game against Portsmouth looming in midweek and a Champions League semi final for which to prepare as well, Ferguson had elected not to risk Wayne Rooney's injured foot and left him, Cristiano Ronaldo, Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs and Edwin van der Saar out of his squad entirely. In their stead he played Foster, United's shootout hero from the Carling Cup Final here against Tottenham in February, the Da Silva twins at fullback, Darren Gibson and Welbeck in midfield and teenage striker Federico Macheda up front.

Moyes's options were far fewer; his only change from the side that drew 3-3 at Aston Villa last weekend was swapping Louis Saha for the cup-tied Jô, so Marouane Fellaini continued in the hole behind the lone striker and Tim Cahill was handed responsibility for filling Mikel Arteta's shoes as best he could in central midfield.

Not surprisingly, the game started in cagey fashion, with Everton plumping for a more direct approach while United appeared happy to cede possession in the opening 10 minutes. Leon Osman dropped a half-volley wide of the post and Macheda flashed a shot of his own safely past Howard's upright in the opening five minutes before both Phil Neville and Carlos Tevez, United's chief threat in the first half, saw sliced efforts drift away from their intended target.

It wasn't until 20 minutes in the first sniff of a goal and it came from almost comical circumstances. Foster tried to be a little too clever for Saha and as the Frenchman slid in an attempt to dispossess him, the 'keeper was highly fortunate to see the ball roll into his arms rather than squirt away from him.

United responded by taking control of proceedings and Welbeck had Howard scrambling across goal as his side-footed cross-cum-shot ricocheted off Lescott and bounced inches wide of the woodwork.

Overall, though, there was a sense that the Reds were weakened enough and impotent enough that if the Blues could shackle Tevez and get their act together at the other end, then the tie was there for their taking. Unfortunately, though, they consistently let themselves down with sloppy passing, by allowing themselves to get caught on the ball, and generally lacking the belief that they could beat United square. Osman and Neville in particular were guilty of gifting possession while Fellaini's display was decidedly mercurial ? neat and potentially productive one minute, clumsy and untidy the next.

Saha, meanwhile, was barely in the game. Plenty of balls were being pumped forward to the front line but Fellaini was, for the most part, the preferred target and the foul count against him for infringements in aerial battles with Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic was growing all the time.

The pattern established in the first half continued into the second but nine minutes after the restart, Everton had their first shot on target when Cahill unloaded from 25 yards and forced Foster to dive and push his swerving drive away from goal.

At the other end, United's first real threatening moment of the second period didn't arrive until just past the hour mark when Ji-Sung Park jinked inside of Joleon Lescott and screwed a shot inches past the post. A few minutes later, Gibson stung Howard's palms with a fierce drive from distance as the Blues were put on the back foot again.

Much had been made during the week of the appointment of Mike Riley, not least by Moyes who hinted at the official's rumoured affection for Manchester United, but the controversy had looked like a storm in a teacup for the first 67 minutes of the match. That all changed when a mix-up on the Everton right left Jagielka badly exposed against Welbeck and when the midfielder turned across the defender and looked to nip the ball around the advancing Howard, Jagielka caught his calf with his thigh. In the blink of an eye it had "penalty" written all over it but Riley wasn't sure and turned down the vociferous appeals for a spot kick by the United players.

In the cold light of television replays, it appears as though they had a case ? so too might Pienaar have done after 37 minutes when Rafael shoved him off the ball in the area with his arm ? but what probably won't be talked about much in the aftermath by those sympathetic to the Red Devils' cause is the incident in extra time that canceled out that penalty controversy: having turned Vidic and left him for dead, Cahill was harshly pulled up for a foul he didn't commit and denied a clear run on goal.

Having introduced Patrice Evra at left back and Paul Scholes in midfield, United looked a little more assured in possession but weren't really more threatening in the closing stages. Nevertheless, Welbeck had the best chance to win it in normal time when he came inside again and fired narrowly over from 18 yards.

Extra time had looked inevitable for long periods but was nonetheless not welcomed by either side. Everton had shown precious little speed of thought or movement up to that point and that only got worse as they visibly tired in the additional half hour. Pienaar, who had hitherto been their best player going forward and who had been perhaps unlucky not to earn that penalty in the first half, looked especially dead on his feet.

Nevertheless, they should be credited for putting in far more effort than their opponents to win the game in extra time and avoid penalties. Not that that automatically translated into chances; Cahill had the only effort for either side in the first 15 minutes, a left-footed shot from the angle that Foster saved with his foot. In the second 15 minutes, James Vaughan, on as a substitute for Fellaini, had the best chance to win it when he was picked out by Baines' cut-back but his scuffed effort raked across goal and wide of goal.

The young striker, playing his first game of the year after recovering from another serious knee injury, also had one last test for Foster with a minute left on the clock when he charged down his attempted clearance but luckily for the 'keeper the ball cannoned out to the right of his area and behind for a corner.

And so to penalties where the script was surely written for the plucky underdogs to be forced to exit stage right as United continued their march to an unprecedented quintuple. Indeed, it was hard to pick five penalty takers from Everton's ranks who you'd have thought could do the job. After Neville had lost the coin toss, Cahill, arguably one of the more automatic choices, stepped up to take the first kick and, opting for power over placement, blasted his shot well over the bar. Big advantage United.

Dimitar Berbatov, Ferguson's practically ineffective third sub sauntered forward and, after a nonchalant check in his run to try and fake Howard out, the Bulgarian stroked a weak effort down the centre and the 'keeper saved with his legs.

Cue Baines, Everton's resident dead-ball specialist in Arteta's absence: One short run-up and bang, in off the underside of the bar. Someone had finally put the ball into the back of the net.

Next up, Rio Ferdinand. Howard would later admit to having done two days of pre-match preparation studying the United players' penalty technique and it paid rich dividends against the England defender. The 'keeper guessed correctly, dived full-length to his right and pushed the ball away to send the Evertonians down the other end into rapture.

Their tails up, Everton held their nerve as first Neville then Vaughan converted text-book penalties while Vidic and Anderson kept United's hopes alive with successful strikes of their own.

That left the stage for Jagielka, the man who saw the decisive penalty against Fiorentina in the Uefa Cup last season saved to send the Blues out. For any Blues who, like me, questioned the wisdom of a central defender taking a the fifth penalty in a shoot-out, their scepticism would be proved to be misplaced as Jags buried his shot into the right-hand corner of the net before wheeling away in delight. Half the team mobbed him, the other piled onto Howard in celebration of the two heroes of the hour. Then, the pulse-racing tones of Z-Cars ring out of the Wembley PA and it's party time in the blue end of the ground.

The FA Cup is all about results. Yes, this was a shocker of a match, the few finer details of which will be quickly forgotten. Yes, the Blues did benefit greatly from Ferguson leveling the playing field with a more inexperienced line-up, but Everton are through to the Final for the first time in almost a decade and a half. They they will meet a Chelsea side whom they have yet to beat this Century but, once again, it will be all about what happens on the day in a game where one team has to emerge victorious by one means or another.

The Blues will unquestionably have to play better than they did today if they are to lift the famous old trophy for the sixth time in their history but that's an issue for another day and Moyes will be well aware of the fact that his team must perform better against Guus Hiddink's men.

For now, though, there is time to bask in the glory of having seen off a second member of the Sky Four on the way to Wembley before the Blues meet the Pensioners at Stamford Bridge in their next Premier League game.

Player Ratings: Howard 7; Hibbert 6, Baines 6, Jagielka 8, Lescott 7, Neville 6, Osman 6, Pienaar 7, Cahill 7, Fellaini 6, Saha 6; Rodwell 7, Vaughan 7

Reader Comments

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Jason Broome
1   Posted 20/04/2009 at 05:07:22

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Brilliant as usual Lyndon... You're right ? the game was a bit dull, but history won?t remember the game, just the victor!
Joe Aylward
2   Posted 20/04/2009 at 05:10:48

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Great article, Lyndon ? I believe the man of the match award should go to our supporters who were superb all day. The funniest moment for me watching the match from Australia on Setanta was the appallingly one-eyed co-commentator Lou Macari at the seventy minute mark saying "I don't understand why all the Everton fans are standing up and making so much noise, it doesn' t make any sense"

...And you never will understand you ignorant stupid biased Manc git! IYKYH and IMWT!
John Doe
3   Posted 20/04/2009 at 05:35:12

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Joe, I was watching the same channel and I thought that was hilarious. To that you can add this...

"For Everton’s final penalty, up steps Leon Osman". They then gave Leon’s history for about 30 seconds before, with just about every viewer bemused, admitting... "Oh, it’s Jagielka".

It’s not like it was an important moment or anything!

On the Everton support, yes they were magnificent but the best thing about it to me was that it wasn’t the team that lifted them - it was the other way around. All of a sudden the crowd just became deafening, I felt the hairs on my neck stand up, and within a minute we were on the attack with Cahill’s first effort.

The game was going nowhere and it was about 40,000 blues who showed the world how it’s done. They should all be very proud.
Derek Thomas
4   Posted 20/04/2009 at 06:22:23

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One tacle can turn a season, as did Neville’s on the diving portugee.

But the tackle that has REALLY turned our season, was made by my man of the match. This tackle was made 6 or 7 days ago on Old Mother Riley, COME ON DOWN M.o.t.M DAVID MOYES.

One of the worst kept supposed secrets and unadmitted truth is that the Sky 4 get better treatment and that Riley, a Manc. is upthere with the best when it comes to towing the party line.

Moyes ’ tackle ’ and the public nature of it, made sure the game didn’t get away from us, for want of a better phrase... ’ It kept them honest ’

Compared to the other fat southern twat on Sultana, Joe Dolan ( who da fuck he?? ) Macari was fairness personified. The fact that he didn’t ’ get it ’ is not about bias its about stupidity.
Ade Franko
5   Posted 20/04/2009 at 09:16:57

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Can I just please point out that the runner up of the FA CUP DOES NOT get into Europe if the winner is already in Europe. The place will go to the next placed team in the league that has not already qualified - 7th Place
Paul Sullivan
6   Posted 20/04/2009 at 09:30:03

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What a day! Feruson disgraced himself with his selection, his tantrum when not awarded a pen and his post match "I?m not going to harp on about it but .... ".

Old Mother Riley, who in 2001-04 had awarded 7 pens to United in 7 matches and therefore needed Moyes?s reminder to play fair, still had a shocking game blowing up every 20 seconds for the merest hint of contact.

But all of that was irrelevant, it was a proud day to be a blue and for all Phil Neville?s limitations as a footballer you have to admire his bottle to step up and take that penalty. What a guy! James Vaughan, I never thought he had a cool head. Jagielka banishing his Uefa Cup penalty demon. Baines's pen was awesome (is he half-German or what?).

So United put out a weak team, but it was still studded with superstars and ultimately they paid the price for taking on a real team with a collection of individuals.

Well done Moyes, perhaps the few Toffees left that still doubt you will finally get off your back. Please don?t leave us now when the glamour clubs come with their cheque-book, your work here has only just begun.

James Boden
7   Posted 20/04/2009 at 09:50:33

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YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!

Do I sound like someone who is pleased? YES!

Alan Kirwin
8   Posted 20/04/2009 at 09:30:43

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Ade Franko - you are right about this. There is no longer qualification for the losing finalists in any domestic cup competition. I spoke direct to the FA on it. The assumption that we are almost assured of qualifying (dangerous in my view) is based on us not finishing lower than 7th.
Dave Roberts
9   Posted 20/04/2009 at 09:48:51

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The game was always going to be a little dull and bereft of attacking incident. Four of the best 5 centre-backs in the premiership on display and two sides with weakened front lines... hence, few chances (was it two each?) and most of the play in midfield. Not complicated really.
Brian Richardson
10   Posted 20/04/2009 at 09:46:43

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Ade, is that correct? I thought it depended on which European competition you have qualified for.

If I’m right, Chelsea are on track to qualify for the Champions League; by reaching the FA Cup final we have qualified for the Europa League.

I may be wrong.
Phil Guyers
11   Posted 20/04/2009 at 10:29:58

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Can we end this nonsense about FA Cup runners-up not qualifying for the Europa League. Look at the following link
http://www.uefa.com/competitions/uefacup/news/kind=2097152/newsid=788365.html
This clearly states that losing finalists in domestic cup competitions will still qualify if the winners are in the Champions League.
Ade - where’s your evidence that this is wrong?
Matt Tait
12   Posted 20/04/2009 at 10:44:42

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Good report Lyndon. In hindsight it was a pretty poor game in terms of the quality of the football but at the time it was so tense it was hard to notice or care!

I would quibble over a couple of ratings ? in particular I thought Baines was again excellent, can?t for the life of me work out how you?d only give him a six, for me he was probably our best player. Defensively Utd got no change at all, he scored a penalty, and he made any number of excellent runs up the left all game ? his combination with Peanut looked by far our most likely creative threat most of the game. Ok, his final ball wasn?t always perfect but threading anything past both Vidic and Ferdinand is very, very tough.

I?d probably swap the ratings for Cahill and Fellaini as well, I thought Fellaini put himself about very well against world class defense and used the ball well overall. I thought Cahill broke up the attacks fairly well but needed to do more with the ball against a very mediocre Utd midfield.
Ade Franco
13   Posted 20/04/2009 at 11:17:18

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/european/uefacup/3023605/Back-door-route-into-Europe-is-shut-for-FA-Cup-final-losers---Football.html
Kevin Gillen
14   Posted 20/04/2009 at 11:19:21

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Chuffed for the blues but am bitter that the whole event was devalued by Ferguson?s team selection and the fact we didn?t wup them 3-0 in normal time. More evidence if any was needed that football is well and truly up the creek.

I know it sounds like carping and I should be happy but the truth is inescapable, I?m not. When I saw their team selection I thought this is a lose/lose situation. If we get beat we can?t beat their second team and if we win it?s a hollow victory. Does anyone feel the same?

Ade Franco
15   Posted 20/04/2009 at 11:24:00

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1158690/Can-club-make-Europe-The-answer-Yes-.html

It does say entitled on UEFAs website - thats not the same as must
Ade Franco
16   Posted 20/04/2009 at 11:35:18

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The best thing from our point of view now is unless we finish 7th we are in the play off round in the Europa League rather than having to play a qualifying round also. This is simply becuase the FA Cup winner wont finish lower than 6th Hopefully

Although if we finish 7th and win the cup we are still in the play off.

7th and lose the cup we are in the stage before the play offs.
Andy Smithson
17   Posted 20/04/2009 at 11:42:52

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Who cares what team Fergie put out ?

We can only beat them team he puts in front of us

History books show we won the Semi

They had only 2 real big big names missing, as did we.

He should have rested his £60 million of penalty missing talent also

All I know is we are in a cup final..end of

Ed Casey
18   Posted 20/04/2009 at 11:47:04

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Brilliant stuff! Just wanted to ask if anyone else saw Stubbsy during the pens! He was going through it with everyone of us! True blue! Just one of the many things that made me so proud yesterday!
Trevor Lynes
19   Posted 20/04/2009 at 11:58:47

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All this rubbish about Utd?s weakened team is just sour grapes. At least he had a choice... we did not!! No Yakubu, Arteta, Anichebe and Vaughn just back from injury. No Jo who was cup-tied and only a half-fit Saha up front.

We still have a tiny squad by comparison and Utd had a great bench with Berbatov, Scholes and Evra to come on... why Scholes did not take a pen I dont know... but there you go!!

What the hell is the difference between us using Vaughan and Rodwell, who are both unseasoned kids, and them using there?s? It's bullshit and if Utd had won, we would have been slated and they would have been praised to the heavens.

DM probably prepared for Ronaldo, Rooney and Co to be playing and maybe would have been unprepared for Utd?s boy wonders... Never underestimate any player in a Utd shirt because all of that side that Fergie put out would get into many other top class teams.

We did great again and I think we have a better chance against Chelski because Terry and Alex are no Vidic and Ferdinand... :0)

Terry McLavey
20   Posted 20/04/2009 at 11:57:00

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Good article as usual... but l did think Welbeck went down very easily ? although not as easily as Ashley Young!

Oh and of course the pitch was wrong! Our players weren?t playing on the same surface as the red scum, were we, Sir Alex has to find a scapegoat for his bad team selection! Anyway if they were given a penalty they probably would have missed it!

On another issue, l saw Kanu impede the goalkeeper on Saturday while Portsmouth scored, just as he did against Howard when that giraffe scored against us... maybe refs should keep an eye on him and leave Fellaini alone! COYB!!

Patty Beesley
21   Posted 20/04/2009 at 12:19:19

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Well said Trevor... taken the words right out of my mouth. Pissed off hearing the media sproutin about the weakened team Man U put out for the game... I feel really sorry for them considering we have had all our problems ALL OR MOST OF the season!!
John Crook
22   Posted 20/04/2009 at 13:01:04

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Watching the hightlights on ITV last night it was ai great sight as Kenwright had tears of pride in his eyes as he hummed out the sound to z cars as it came on the speakers almost straight after Jags pen. Same again in 6 weeks. COYB.
Laurie Hartley
23   Posted 20/04/2009 at 13:43:07

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James Boden - YES you do sound pleased!!!
Da Da Daa Dera Da Da Da, Da Da Daa Dera Da Daa, Da Da Daa Dera Da Da Da, Da Da Daa Derada Da Daa - DAAAAA DERAAAA, Da Da Daa Dera Da Da Da, Da Da Daa Dera Da Daa, Da Da Daa Dera Da Da Da, Da Da Daa Derada Da Daa. I’m ever so happY !!!! Da Da Daa Dera Da Da Da, Da Da Daa Dera Da Daa, Da Da Daa Dera Da Da Da, Da Da Daa Derada Da Da -DAAAAA DERAAAA :)
Jay Wilson
24   Posted 20/04/2009 at 14:23:03

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I had a fantastic time at the match. Thought the lads played their heart out and got there in the end. What I was struck by more than anything throughout the match was THE SIZE OF THE PITCH It must be twice the size of the Goodison turf. I think this more than anything was the reason for our poor footballing display (no one could question the heart or courage on display). Without any great pace in the team it was almost impossible to get through United (the only time we did we were either hacked down or a foul was given against us).

Now we have the experience of a game at Wembley under our belt. I’m looking forward with confidence to the final.
Laurie Hartley
25   Posted 20/04/2009 at 14:18:03

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DAAAA DERA - By the way who was the youngest penalty taker on the pitch today?
Da Da Daa.
Phil Guyers
26   Posted 20/04/2009 at 14:45:45

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Ade

?The losing finalist for the domestic cup competition will still be entitled to be entered for the UEFA Europa League should the domestic cup winners qualify for the UEFA Champions League?.

Which bit of the above, taken from UEFA?s own website. don?t you understand?

Stop worrying about 7th place and wake up to the fact that there are only two ways in which we will not be in the final qualifying round of the Europa League:-

a) Chelsea don?t qualify for the Champions League
b) We do qualify for the same competition

The second is now unlikely but the first is surely just about impossible and will be if they beat us on Wednesday.
Rich Griff
27   Posted 20/04/2009 at 15:05:23

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A crackin feelin in the bartree says I. Despair; hope and ecstasy within the space of six minutes. Fandabeefourtimesdozi.
David Bodian
28   Posted 20/04/2009 at 11:03:08

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Excellent article which encapsulates how many of us felt on this emotional occasion. Thanks for all your efforts and thanks also to your team at ToffeeWeb. Let's hope that we can pull off a famous win in the final. CYOB
Ade Franco
29   Posted 20/04/2009 at 15:37:07

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Phil Guyers ? Ok so two papers and many other sites are incorrect, fair enough.

Also why has nobody actually pointed out that we are now in Europe? Hmmmm? Because we aren't.

Chelsea can't mathematically not finish lower than 6th now so, based on what you say, we have qualified, yet not a peep from the press about it or our own club. I look forward to your apology when you realise I am correct.
Brian Baker
30   Posted 20/04/2009 at 16:49:05

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Jay. The Goodison Park pitch is actually bigger than the Wembley pitch:

Wembley = 105m x 69m = 7245 sq metres

GP = 102.4m x 71.3m = 7303 sq metres

The vast stadium at Wembley makes it look bigger.
Paul Niklas
31   Posted 20/04/2009 at 17:17:40

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Good article; however, to be fair, Lyndon, Rodwell touched the ball twice and one of them was a pass that went to long. Give credit if it's due not just because he is young. A 5 was more realistic as he added no value to the game when he came on.
Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
32   Posted 20/04/2009 at 17:38:43

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"Rodwell touched the ball twice and one of them was a pass that went to long."

He won a fair number of headers as well, though, and was a generally calm influence in the middle. I thought that for the time he was on he did well. Just my impressions... these aren’t the definitive ratings of our players :)
Gerry Western
33   Posted 20/04/2009 at 19:11:29

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A well composed piece, tempers the sense of euphoria with the sense of realism that we were not at our best on the day. Pretty much agree with the players ratings though. I think I may have scored Fellaini marginally higher. For me, the players who stood out were Lescott, Jagielka, Pienaar and Fellaini. Our central defensive pairing were outstanding. Pienaar was full of energy although not surprisingly he did tire as the game entered extra time. Fellaini I thought did well, he closed people down and won possession and appeared confident in holding up the play. Unfortunately, however, there was cause for concern. As with the Villa game, pretty much all of our good work came down the left side. We offered very little down the right and Welback exposed our weakness in that area, a better player may well have capitalised.

In the latter stages Cahill was increasingly drawn out wide in support of Pienaar who was flagging, limiting his effectiveness. Osman looked drained in the second half. Moyes seemed reluctant to bring on fresh legs which surprised me. The game then took on biblical proportions as the best wine was served last. Cue the penalty takers. Cahill may have missed but he’s not a natural penalty taker, however, he showed great courage to take on the first pen under the circumstances. Baines shouldered the responsibility and how well he responded. Neville held his nerve and hit a textbook shot. Young Vaughan was audacious beyond belief. Finally, Jagielka exorcised the demons and the rest is history, the fans duly rewarded for their outstanding support throughout the game. Truly wonderful occasion. I think I’ll go off and replay those penalties another 50 times.
Gerry Western
34   Posted 20/04/2009 at 19:14:53

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What was I thinking about how could I possibly forget Tim Howard who made it all possible. Superb display.
Jon J cox
35   Posted 20/04/2009 at 18:35:21

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Just a little thought on Rodwell.

It’s funny really because a/ i was in my class at school with a guy called Rodwell and second I come from a little area of Southport called Birkdale which is where Rodders comes from.

Having seen him when brought on for the first couple of times i.e. europe games I was a little bit sceptical. But, as the games rolled on I saw a player far more advanced in his head that his years belied.

This guy is hellish comfortable on the ball. He has that atribute that we see only every so often in which players seem to have an age when in possesion. This is the hallmark of a great footballer, and I think young Rodwell will be the one who will get the Englan job when Ferdinand is gone.

As an aside, I notice that the meeja are not talking much about the Cahill incident when our Timmy skinned him alive only to have a clear run on goal.

Whatever was said before the game,

Moyes our fergied Fergusson. Well done Davey and welcome to the cynicism of top flight football.

It’s a case of the apprentice defeating the master. BRING ON GUSS!!!

COYB

J.J.
Bob Turner
36   Posted 20/04/2009 at 19:40:09

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Ade, the fact that Chelsea can’t mathematically finish lower than 6th does NOT mean we’ve already qualified - it’s only if they finish in the top 4 and qualify for the Champions League. I suspect that will be why there’s nothing from Everton or in the media about it.

And yes, the UEFA website does use the world "entitled" - just wondering how you would define this in such a way as to mean that the FA Cup finalists wouldn’t then end up in the Europa League (subject to Chelsea finishing Top 4, as above)?

Are you envisaging a situation where we are "entitled", but we decline to enter??
Jon J Cox
37   Posted 20/04/2009 at 19:46:36

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Sorry, "Timmey skimmed him" defo Vidic. And Moysey "out-Fergied" Ferguson.

One more point. Did anyone hear Talksport early this morning? Every time the match was mentioned on the news, they reffered to Manchester Utd as Manchester UtDs RESERVES!!!. What was that all about if it wasn?t disrespectful to Everton FC.

Bunch of twats I?d say. Get this, obviously I hate the BBC but oi Talkshite you guys are next on the list.

God do the Meeja hate us now we?ve pissed all over their cup final party, and they?ll have to work overtime to find out all the facts and history of Everton the lazy shower of shites.

Oi everyone, do you think I hate the meeja or what, and am I justified?
Phil Guyers
38   Posted 20/04/2009 at 19:56:28

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Ade

At no time have I stated that we have definitely qualified for Europe. You are correct in pointing out that we haven?t made it yet.

However, I stand by my previous post that the only way that we will fail to qualify for Europe is if Chelsea fail to qualify for the Champions League and we fall to 8th in the Premier League.

To challenge your ?evidence?, the Telegraph article is from 7 months ago and merely expresses Uefa?s ideas about revamping the competition. I was amused that M. Gaillard seems to think that 7th in the League is more of a ?winner? than runners-up in the Cup.

Obviously, I think the Mail is simply wrong but I would take Uefa?s own website over the Daily Mail any day of the week. The ?many other sites? are probably just repeating the Mail?s mistake.

The only point that I wanted to make when I responded to your original post is that runners-up in the FA Cup will get the Europa League place if the winners are in the Champions League. I stand by that but I?m struggling to find a way to win this argument (and perhaps get my apology!) if you think Uefa?s website is wrong.
Phil Guyers
39   Posted 20/04/2009 at 20:22:27

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Obviously we have to lose the Cup Final as well!
Tony Dooves
40   Posted 20/04/2009 at 20:39:38

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Great Article but does any one really think that a side playing Tevez, Berbatov, Park, Scholes, Vidic and Ferdinand is really the reserves? O,k so it's not Rooney and Ronaldo but it's what was put in front of us. Let's hope we show more confidence against Chelsea COYB!!!!

BTW how about this for bad luck: my sons communion is at 3pm on the May 30th ? I have discussed it with my wife and it seems I am going to church (do they allow radios in churches?)
Nathan Ward
41   Posted 20/04/2009 at 20:24:15

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The official site is saying that as long as Chelsea get into the CL we are in Europe.

Now they have never been known to be wrong have they...........
Sean Patton
42   Posted 20/04/2009 at 21:18:17

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Ade, RE: The losers in the final don't qualify for Europe. Good job for Chelsea then that they will finish in the top four too.
Antonio Casas
43   Posted 20/04/2009 at 21:36:01

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Sorry to go off on a tangent but does anyone suggest a good place to get tickets for the final? I havent been able to find anything under £750 each!! Surely thats madness! I know I haven't been to hardly any games this season (I know! I know!) but that's madness!!

Can anyone suggest anything?
Jamie Crowley
44   Posted 21/04/2009 at 03:16:50

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Tony Dooves - you have an "out"
My wife is currently pregnant and due with our 5th son in 10 days. My 3rd oldest’s First Communion is May 2. We asked the priest as my wife would like to be present what can we do, and he’s going to have our son receive Communion at the first Mass my wife is available - and he’s totally fine with it.
Dream up some reason why you can’t be there. After all, your wife can’t hit term in a month, so use your imagination. Hold no guilt - God won’t mind and it might be the kid’s greatest story at your funeral. Convince the priest, schedule in the First Communion the next week at regular Mass times with him and your golden.
:) GL Tony.
Eric Myles
45   Posted 21/04/2009 at 07:37:47

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I like the qute from Ade’s link that says.
"The tournament is supposed to be for winners, not runners up"
So what about the so called Champions League????????
Chris Boyd
46   Posted 21/04/2009 at 10:52:28

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What a day! I still can't get this smile off my face. I am proud to be a blue.

Who cares what team Taggart put out? They lost; We won. That's all that I care about.

To every Blue that was at Wembley, I think we should all be filled with pride at what happened on Sunday. We as fans are second to none and this was proven to anyone who saw the game. We have all heard the FA tell us about the acoustics at Wembley and we tested them to the limit.

Thank you all for makingSunday one of the best days of my life!

Now bring on Chelski.

COME ON YOU BLUES!!!!!!!!!!!
Paul Martin
47   Posted 21/04/2009 at 13:20:53

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Who Cares?

Does any Blue give a toss that...
  • Old red nose played his reserves (yes they would have been heavy favourites with Van der Sar, Ladyboy and Fat Little Nob Head in the side)
  • It was a piss poor game and the neutral armchair brigade were bored to tears
  • Jags foul on Danny Welbeck was a clear pen and quite poss a straight red
  • Are we in Europe? Aren't we? If we fuck it up now we dont deserve to be there. We?re in Europe, stop worrying.
  • Fergie blaming the pitch. Both teams tend to play on the same surface during a football match.
WHO GIVES 2 SHITS??? We?re there 30th May. COYB Make my dreams come true

PS 40,000 Blues, you were all awesome 12th and 13th man.
Amanda Huddleston
48   Posted 21/04/2009 at 17:44:22

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I caught the Penalty and Z Cars on video - check them out :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgYpAXhsLb4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyFQ2AHABJ0
Graham Brandwood
49   Posted 21/04/2009 at 20:46:47

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The way the pitch was, I am not sure that Rooney and especially Ronaldo would have been very effective. The pitch is so slow, dribblers and ball players had no chance and whenever anybody tried to shoot, their standing foot gave way. My brother said early in the 1st semi that Chelsea would win because they had the greatest strength and Arsenals ball players would struggle to put their passes together. Our ball players Osman, Pienaar, Baines and Fellaini struggled just as much a United's hence the poor qaulity football. The pitch is a disgracefull mess.
Tony Dooves
50   Posted 23/04/2009 at 14:43:46

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Cheers Jamie for the advice - I must admit its not looking hopeful cos I live abroad and my whole families coming out so it will look bad if i meet them at theairport on the way back- but as you say ’no guilt’ - negotiations are ongoing.......

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