Everton (1) 1 – 2 (0) Liverpool
Someone with a very big chin once said that football is a game of two halves, and the game between Everton and Liverpool at Wembley today proved that point perfectly.
The Blues started in much the same vein that has got them to Wembley, but like many times before under David Moyes, couldn’t keep their nerve and see the job through the end.
Darron Gibson returned to partner Marouane Fellaini in midfield, while Tim Cahil and Nikica Jelavic returned up front to try and batter down the Liverpool defence. And for 45 minutes, it worked.
The first half was punctuated by Everton’s desire to win the game, and they set about Liverpool with a passion that almost matched that of the fans in the stands, and after 24 minutes, they were rewarded.
Cahill caused pandemonium in the Liverpool box, and after the Liverpool centre back pairing failed to clear it, the ball rebounded into the path of Jelavic who calmly slotted past Brad Jones. The stadium erupted into noise as only Evertonians can inflict on the Wembley terraces, but it wouldn’t last.
For the remained of the first half Everton dominated their neighbours, with Leighton Baines and then Jelavic firing over from free kicks outside the box. At half time it seemed as though all David Moyes had to tell his team was to do the same again. It didn’t look like those were his words.
Magaye Gueye struggled to get to grips with the width of the Wembley pitch, and for the first ten minutes of the half, it looked as though Everton were asleep.
Sylvain Distin, presumably day dreaming about the team talk handed out by Moyes, then played a terrible backpass which Louis Suarez pounced upon and leveled for the Kopites.
As the game wore on, Everton lost Leighton Baines to injury, and Moyes’ dithering with switches left Seamus Coleman standing on the sidelines ready to come on for five minutes.
It was the Irishman who would be blamed by Moyes for Liverpool’s second goal. Steven Gerrard needs no excuse to make a meal of a challenge, but in the 88th minute, Coleman handed it to him on a plate.
From the resulting free kick Marouane Fellaini failed to pick up £35m striker Andy Carroll and the Blues were behind with no time left to recover.
A disappointing end to a cup run that has seen Everton supporters show their real metal and do their players proud. It’s a pity they couldn’t repay the favour.
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