There was singing on trains, coaches and cars as we descended on Sky’s darlings with loaded Kalashnikovs ready for a proper gunfight. As it turned-out, the homeward journey would be twice as nice and twice as loud.

Teams announced and Deulofeu and Osman make way for Mirallas and Barkley; otherwise, as you were from Saturday. Moyes was given a greeting of sorts but I won’t get too deep into that... Kick-off and we defended our end and right away you could just tell everyone was up for it — fans and players alike.

Both teams started fast but we had the best of limited chances with a Lukaku effort and Mirallas had one tipped over. The game was certainly end to end but United at home must have thought they were playing a top Champions League side as we were giving more than we got and, when they did threaten, we were resolute. Yes, it was early in the game.... but you couldn’t help but get the feeling we were in with more than a shout; not easy... but certainly possible.

End-to-end stuff saw Lukaku use strength to get through but he delayed his shot and Utd broke and Howard made a good block. Twenty minutes flew by... then, from a cross, Giggs glanced a header just wide. Then we had a great break led by Lukaku and were four on two but – would you believe – Lukaku passed to Smalling!! And the chance was gone... a bit of a let- down, that. We then had a scare as Rooney did well on the edge of our box and got in a shot that deflected onto our post and out, Howard was fast to react and sort of slid and cleared.

Fifteen minutes to half-time and Utd had a purple patch; they hemmed us in as they had plenty of possession and we helped them by being a bit careless with the ball when we broke up attacks and tried to get out. My thoughts turned to Oviedo who many thought might be troubled by Valencia but the lad was doing great as Valencia was in the main quiet.

Just before half-time, we broke again with three-on-one but the otherwise excellent Barkley got the wrong weight on his pass and left Lukaku stranded, allowing Utd one more break which ended in a free-kick that came to naught and the whistle went.

Half-time: the chat centred on how well we coped with Rooney, Howard again having a great game. It was agreed: we were able to handle any pressure Utd mounted, with Jags outstanding and, on the plus side, how well and quickly we were breaking and getting in some great positions. Alas, that final ball was poor each time but another half to get it right. With better passes and finishes, we could have led...

Second half and a mighty roar from the fans in Blue left the players in no doubt what this half meant. But Utd were first to attack and Evra was allowed the room to strike one with venom, luckily straight at Howard who fisted with the power of Tony Bellew and cleared. Bit of end-to-end stuff until Barkley and Pienaar swapped passes and forced a corner then Pienaar put Mirallas in but his shot was with power, without direction.

The managers stalked their technical areas and Moyes was first to blink when, early in the half, he made two subs: Kagawa and Rafael off; Januzaj and Nani on. "He must be worried," I thought it is very early for him. Nani had a foray forward right away but his shot was very high. The game settled somewhat and both teams were giving respect to each other and both defences were in control.

Somewhere around 70 mins Roberto, swaps Barkley for Deulofeu and both got great receptions from the faithful. I got the impression that, if the sub had been anyone other than Deulofeu for Barkley, there would have been mutterings. As soon as he was on, he was put away and his pace put him in on the keeper and yet again he showed the biggest flaw in his game so far. He can’t finish one-on-one. Another shot at the keeper’s legs. Might be worth getting Lineker down to Finch Farm because he was boss at it.

We almost paid for that miss when Utd went down the other end and had a good shot tipped over by Howard. From the resultant corner, all hell and mayhem took place. Howard made a great save to push one out, someone shot and hit the bar with the ball falling to Rooney who relieved the pressure for us by hitting wildly over, bless him.

Utd were now having another purple patch and I checked the time: 75 mins gone... I admit, a hint of worry but the sight of Jags leading by example gets me through it. The boy wonder Januzaj seems to be playing in roller skates as he spends more time on the deck than playing for his team; fair play to the ref –he only fell for it twice. When I saw who was reffing, I did have doubts but, fair play, he did fine in a modern way. ie, 'Managing a match'!

Utd were getting ever more edgy and we were resolutely trying to keep the ball for periods and look for a quick ball into the box. We had one move of a dozen passes that ended with Oviedo over-hitting his cross but it still fell for Deulofeu but his first touch was woeful and the ball bounced out for a goal-kick. His brain seems miles faster than his feet. When he gets that right — look out!

Pienaar had another good game but was definitely targeted and had taken a bit of a kicking so, with 10 mins to go, Osman replaced him.

We were finishing the stronger and our ex-player Fellaini took out McCarthy with a high one and then Vidic did Osman and Valencia took out Coleman — all in the space of minutes... but, if anything, it spurred on the Blues as it indicated that was all they had left and knew we were on top. They gave away another free kick for a cynical foul and Mirallas took it, beat the keeper but hit the post. The ball stayed alive and so began the move that sent so very many Blues into raptures. I can see it all clearly now: The ball went to Deulofeu who ran at their defence and into the box; the weight of numbers took it off him but the ball went wide and Oviedo crossed right across goal but found Coleman well forward, he checked his options and reversed a pass to McCarthy who saw no way forward so instead gave it to the outstanding Jags who had come forward. He raced a few paces forward and got it into Lukaku who controlled and tried a shot that turned into a pass across goal and fed Oviedo who from an acute angle fired home.

Now amid the sort of celebrations that took place, god knows what really happened except for an outpouring of unbridled joy as 21 years of waiting was over – and against the man who did so much to steady us and put us in a good position, only to sour it spectacularly with his departure lies and antics. The mighty chorus of ‘You’re getting sacked in the morning’ after singing ‘Are you watching, Davy Moyes’ was somehow a message – WE ARE EVERTON!!!

Fans and players were confident we could see it out and, by the demeanour of the opposition, so could they. Led by Jags, we were a rash all over them till the final whistle after 4 mins of added. That shrill whistle brought scenes not seen for many a day. The Mancs disappeared as if by magic but the Blues stayed on and so did the players. Was that Distin with Oviedo on his shoulders? Who were those four jigging and dancing? Oh what a night. Had we won the cup?

Overall what can you say? I hope you all saw it on television somehow.

MotM – Jagielka

On the way back, I thought how well we had done but it should be a beginning not an end. It was only the end of a rotten record on that ground. So we still need to strive to keep up our levels and, bearing in mind the possibility of injury and suspensions, will the board allow the manager to add to the squad if he believes it is necessary in January.

Having followed the Blues for many years, for the first time in a long time, I have that feeling I had the last time we hit the heights — and you almost feel scared to mention it just in case we hit the buffers.

Arsenal away next... we can’t — can we? Well, the way we are playing, I am sure we will give it a good go. Knives to a gunfight? Not this Everton.


Share this article

Reader Comments

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Mike Gaynes
648 Posted 05/12/2013 at 05:51:02
The report was as magnificent as the game, Ken. Many thanks.

Never been prouder to be an Evertonian.

David Ellis
650 Posted 05/12/2013 at 05:49:45
I was watching some inane show called Premier League Today or something like that before the game. It was a panel with John Dykes (who I once met in Toys R Us in Hong Kong - no relevance here though) interviewing Ian Dowie, Clive Allen and a journo from the Evning Stnard. Dykes asked the panel for their surprise result of the night. Allen went for Tottehnam to lose to Fulham (wrong). Dowie went for Everton to beat Utd because "Everton had better players". The journo then said
"I disagree with Ian Dowie. Everton will beat Utd, but it won't be a surprise".

If even Sky Tv panellists are getting that we are capable of going toe to toe with their darlings and winning on merit (and not some kind of plucky under dog fashion a la West Brom), then this is a major perception shift that will really help us.

In a not unrelated note they showed an interview of Lukaku who said he might stay at Everton if they qualified for the champions league and that it was a bit weird wtih Chelsea at the moment (they have not spoken to him for months apparently - except through the press, which isa totally bizarre management approach).

Perception is reality, and the perception of us has changed dramatically since Martinez came along. This is going to help us win big games and keep and sign big stars. I think we may have just witnessed a pivotal moment - like that win against Oxford Utd in early '84 or, for me, the Charity Shield match against Liverpool in August 84 when we not only beat Liverpool but really outplayed them.

Matt Traynor
655 Posted 05/12/2013 at 04:52:33
Great report as ever Ken, Was a pulsating match, and yes, some of our final balls were a let down - too often in recent games (Derby for one) have we had men over on breakaways, and failed to capitalise - but as this is part of a new gameplan, I expect this to improve over the next period.

Very disciplined tonight. No bookings - they had 2, and arguably could've had more.

January will likely be another window where the question is can we sign to push for 4th, or do we have to sit tight, and watch it fall away again? Hope RM doesn't follow the "toe-the-line" speak of OFM if he's told there's no funds.

Peter O'Connor
659 Posted 05/12/2013 at 07:32:32
Good times to be an Evertonian, we are playing good football, we are winning games we would have lost or drawn at best, but we are also dropping points against poorer teams such as Norwich, Palace, Cardiff and the redshite.

We are doing well but we are not deluded.
We have hope again.
Hope .... for the first time in a good while.
Hope that ended for me when we capitulated against a redshite side that was there for the beating and at Wembley too. I then realised we would never have true hope with Moyes as our manager even though he had done such a good job for us, dragging us off our knees to a team with hope - which turned out to be false hope on that strange and mournful day. Anyway lets not go down that well beaten track again - but it still hurts.

I don't know one Evertonian that thought we would not do well last night. Thank you Roberto for restoring our hope and thank you for delivering a fabulous win.

These are indeed good times to be an Evertonian, let's hope there are great times ahead.

Focus on Arsenal at the weekend.

Trevor Lynes
668 Posted 05/12/2013 at 07:54:27
Great report and the best comments were at the end. No negative words about Moyes who did a fine job when we were almost down and out. Every manager tries for players he knows and even Roberto took McCarthy, Robles, Alcaraz and Kone away from Wigan so its a very common theme.

If players want away then that's the way the cookie crumbles. I just hope Baines stays with us as strengthening the squad is paramount to sustain the push for the top. We can let Heitinger, Magueye and the like leave as they are not contributing. But at last we have a genuine cover for Baines without disrupting the team by playing men out of position.

At present Roberto has the midas touch and long may it continue, but please do not crow as it demeans the club. We should be expectant rather than surprised !!
Ajay Gopal
673 Posted 05/12/2013 at 05:51:44
Great report, Ken. I can only envy you for being able to attend most matches live. What a great time to be a Blue! Here in India, I was alone in my living room at 3:00 am unable to share my happiness with other Blues. Perhaps one day ….

Great match and fantastic performances from every single player. They should all be proud of their achievement. Just 3 things I want to add to Ken's report:

It was great to see the team spirit after the game - Distin hoisting Oviedo on his shoulders in front of the supporters, all the players congratulating Oviedo - brilliant! (fair play to Fellaini as well for coming over and genuinely seemed happy for our lads)
As Ken mentioned, the referee was fair (except for the yellow card not awarded to Fellaini). He got most of the big decisions right.
As mentioned on another thread, the Sky coverage of the Fellaini high boot on McCarthy was in glaring contrast with the Mirallas boot on Suarez' back leg. The commentator brushed off Fellaini's horror tackle with a "it looks much worse in slow motion than it really was", whereas Mirallas' tackle was repeated ad nauseum on slow mo with "that should have been a straight red" comments. Makes my blood boil !

Dennis Stevens
692 Posted 05/12/2013 at 09:30:10
Excellent report, as ever, Ken.

Peter, you're spot on re Martinez having re-ignited our hope. For me it died away to Sporting Lisbon when it became apparent Moyes would never lead this club to any silverware. Moyes had achieved all he could after about 6 seasons & was remarkably consistent thereafter but showed no signs of further progression. Without wishing to be churlish, as Moyes did much to move the club forward & laid a good foundation, but the limits to what he could achieve were just not good enough for an Everton manager. An Everton managers job is to win things & with a bit of style too! I don't think Moyes ever quite got that, which is a shame as it would have been helpful to him in his new role as well. However, Martinez seems to be grasping what the club & it's supporters are about very quickly indeed. Neither Martinez nor Everton are here just to make up the numbers. Not any more. After all, without hope - what's the point?

Aman Kanji
700 Posted 05/12/2013 at 09:33:19
I was there... what noise from our fans... fantastic.

Sat in the away end right next to our fans... 1st time at OT, fantastic...

Difficult to select MotM — Howard / Barry / Kevin / Martinez...!

Loving this season... WE LOOKED THEM IN THE EYE AND BEAT THEM!!!!!!

Mohammed Horoub
703 Posted 05/12/2013 at 09:59:23
Great report Ken, I'm sure the TV didn't do justice to the Everton support and the feeling when Oviedo slotted home.
We got a 21 year old monkey off our backs yesterday and it all started 6 months ago.
Roberto will lead Everton into a new stage without fear and when I saw Valencia moved into the right back position yesterday it was a sign.
A sign that said those dark days are over where a tactically inept manager ruled with negativity and knives.
Every single player was immense but I have to single out Gareth Barry. He is a giant and a champion and for me signing him in the summer will be key.
Not sure where we will end up this season but one thing is for sure under Roberto's guidance the good days will far outnumber the bad.
Bring on the Arsenal! COYB!
Phil Walling
708 Posted 05/12/2013 at 10:28:42
Brilliant, as ever, Ken. Just wish I could have been there, particularly as I've twice had to witness Manu's piss poor performances this season as part of company hospitality packages.

Even the Roberto doubters like me must now admit that Everton are better off without Moyes whilst Manu are worse with him !

David Hallwood
717 Posted 05/12/2013 at 10:56:52
As ever Ken great report, and matched what I saw on the TV. Get your CV into one of the better papers, you'll be a shoe-in.
David Hallwood
718 Posted 05/12/2013 at 10:56:52
As ever Ken great report, and matched what I saw on the TV. Get your CV into one of the better papers, you'll be a shoe-in.
Thomas Lennon
722 Posted 05/12/2013 at 10:51:03
I know what you mean with the reference to the last time we had a great team. We are 2 points behind that team after 14 games and they had lost more but drawn less (something that a few have mentioned we may be trying to do now). They had just beaten Man U and lost to Arsenal with a rough time ahead in December when I remember thinking we were losing momentum just as everyone had been predicting for months.
They had a fullback then too who had just scored against ManU!

A note of caution - that team won on Boxing Day and then won all but two of the following 18 games until the title was won. That's a big ask! A win on Saturday is all important

James Lauwervine
729 Posted 05/12/2013 at 11:06:49
Great report Ken, you give those of us who can't get to the game a real sense of how it was to be there. I can barely speak this morning after roaring my head off last night. Beating those bastards is sweet enough but rubbing OFM's nose in it after he dissed us and our manager just made it one of the most enjoyable victories since... well, since we last beat them in the semi-final 09 I'd say.
Matthew Roache
733 Posted 05/12/2013 at 11:25:29
Unbelievable scenes when the goal went in, euphoria! Brilliant vibe in our end last night with everyone very positive throughout creating a superb atmosphere! allez allez allez ohhh!
Gareth Fieldstead
738 Posted 05/12/2013 at 11:12:38
It was so strange for me because the nerves I was feeling was optimism rather than pessimism. I actually fancied our chances. Not since the beginning of the 96 97 season have I thought we had the players to take it to Utd at OT. I also think we have a better manager. The difference a positive attitude can have. Obviously signing good players like Barry, McCarthy and Delofeu has helped a little! My only worry is our board. If Martinez can maintain this run and we have a great chance of qualifying for the CL will they genuinely back him in January? He should have around ten million from the Fellaini deal plus anything from the inevitable departures of Heitinga and Jelavic. In my opinion we need another wide left midfielder and striker, possibly another holding midfielder depending on Gibsons injury. It would be a travesty if the board fail Martinez as they so regularly did with Moyes. Great report Ken!
Gregory Kelly
742 Posted 05/12/2013 at 11:16:01
My favourite reporter does it again. I was staying in Manchester so missed the buses and trains, had to trudge home with the miserable Mancs, still hard to beat that warm glow of triumph - WE DID IT!

I thought if we had held on in the derby it would have been the best in 40years, I did not have to wait long, last night was the best, because we have suffered so many defeats and had to put up with their arrogance p for so long. It is Particularly hard in our place, Belfast, where all their supporters are glory hunters - definitely made not born.

I was a Moyes fan but it is nice to see those who deserted us brought low, the years of good service make the sin all the greater. I know it’s a profession for them and a passion for us but if they feign passion they can hardly complain if those of the true faith turn on them when they take their feigned passion elsewhere. I turned to look around me amidst the mayhem of the last few minutes, a few rows back a tall young man stood repeatedly making the sign of the cross and kissing a ring, faith indeed. I hope he comes to Highbury.

Les Newsham
762 Posted 05/12/2013 at 12:32:16
I was lucky enough to be at the match last night. What a great feeling. The only downside for me is that I was sitting amongst United fans (in the posh seats though). The Everton corner were in full song all throughout - brilliant to hear.

I stood up instinctively to celebrate when we scored, but curtailed my celebration when realising I was the only one standing. The silence immediately around me was deafening. It was a great night.

Top class report again Ken, I always seek them after a match. I agree Jagielka was MotM, a masterclass dare I say. Special mention to Oviedo too, not for scoring but because he's equipped himself so well. I thought he would have been rustier after all his bench sitting.

Are we all still smiling?

Jay Harris
782 Posted 05/12/2013 at 14:34:10
Great report as always Ken.

You have a great knack of conveying the moment perfectly.

A truly pivotal game which in the past (Pre Premier league) would not have been such a surprise.

It's early days yet so we shouldn't get carried away but we are currently getting the rub of the green which in the past has deserted us.

Maybe it's true that you make your own luck.

Long may the positivity continue especially with three soft(er) games to come at home following the Emirates.

Steve Burgess
834 Posted 05/12/2013 at 17:27:05
Ken - you put us right there again - fantastic.
Fellaini's thigh breaking lunge on McCarthy and the mark it left summed it all up for me. A player some of us thought was our only Plan B in recent seasons trying to cripple a player who I think will prove to be the best premiership purchase over the course of this season. We pocket £15M in change, they get a player with Paul Scholes tackling ability and not much else and we have the next Paul Scholes. Add to that Barry, Jagielka on fire, Barkley and Lukaku and you have the best spine in the prem. Throw in truly attacking full backs and mercurial wingers and you have a very exciting team.
Dick Fearon
966 Posted 06/12/2013 at 00:14:34
Ken I love all toffeeweb match reports specially after a win and in particular against the Sky four, Being retired and far from the live action and fellow fans with whom to discuss the game I wallow in yours and Pauls and Michael and Lyndons man on the spot scene setting.
My response to your can we do it? is an emphatic YES WE CAN!

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.

© ToffeeWeb