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Manchester United 0-0 Everton (Everton win 4-2 on penalties)
Stadium: Wembley Stadium
Competition: F.A. Cup Semifinals
Date: 19 April 2009
Kickoff: 16:00 GMT, 11:00 EST
Everton knocked out Manchester United on penalty kicks to book a place in the F.A. Cup Finals! Soccerlens brought you the action live! Click below for the live-blog and feel free to leave comments below!
Manchester United and Everton will clash at Wembley Stadium in the second F.A. Cup Semifinal. The two teams have played two extraordinarily close matches this season. They engaged in an ill-tempered draw in October after Phil Neville’s hard tackle on former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo seemed to spark the Toffees to erase an early Manchester United lead. When they met in January, it was a different story as Manchester United were in the midst of their record-setting clean sheets run and the efficient Red Devils added the Toffees to their streak, winning 1-0 on a penalty shot from Ronaldo.
That must seem like ages ago for United. Ever since Roque Santa Cruz breached their defenses and ended the streak, United’s defense has been mediocre at best, and terrible at worst. They’ve conceded 13 goals and have seen their once dominant lead over second-place Liverpool slip to a mere one point (with a game in hand). Nemanja Vidic had been the odds on favorite to win the Premier League Player of the Year Award until Fernando Torres made him look like he’d barely hold a place on a Championship side. Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville, Wes Brown, Rafael, and Jonny Evans have all missed time with injuries, while Patrice Evra’s drop in form has been both alarming and surprising. However, Cristiano Ronaldo seems to be playing with purpose and intensity once again. His wonderstrike against Porto was nothing short of amazing, and his brilliant double against Aston Villa has shown that he’s back in goalscoring form. If anyone can win a match with a simple kick of the ball, it’s the reigning World Player of the Year.
Plus, United are coming off a huge win at Porto to advance in the Champions League, and will look to build on that solid effort by repeating their January effort against Everton. That could be easier said than done. The Toffees have been playing extremely well as of late and will come into this match on a better run of form than United. Still, there are some red flags for David Moyes’ squad. They blew a two-goal lead against Aston Villa over the weekend and lost out on a golden chance to gain ground in the battle for fifth place. Worse, their best player, Mikel Arteta, is out for the season and on-loan striker Jo (who has bagged 5 goals ever since joining the team from Manchester City) is ineligible to play. Still, Marouane Fellaini and Tim Cahill have been in excellent form as of late, and their defense continues to turn in solid performances behind the likes of Jolene Lescott and Phil Jagielka. We can bet that David Moyes will definitely have his squad ready to play, and we’ve seen what can happen when United let their guard down.
They haven’t had much recent history, at least in Cup competitions. They last met in the F.A. Cup in 2005, when United knocked Everton out in the 5th Round by a score of 2-0. However, the ties between these two clubs are well established. Everton have three former United mainstays on their roster, with skipper Phil Neville, goalkeeper Tim Howard, and oft-injured Louis Saha (who looks like he’ll miss out after coming down with the flu). Meanwhile, United have former Everton man Wayne Rooney, who is widely despised by his former fans. Obviously, that hasn’t changed. Especially after Rooney seemed to taunt the Everton fans during the October match by kissing his Man Utd badge.
Will Manchester United take one step closer to the Quintuple? Or will Everton spoil the party? Tune in and find out!
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Manchester United: Foster, Rafael, Ferdinand (c), Vidic, Fabio, Welbeck, Anderson, Gibson, Park, Tevez, Macheda
Subs: Kuszczak, Neville, Evra, Berbatov, Nani, Scholes, Evans.
Very interesting lineup from Sir Alex. We’ll finally get to see the Da Silva twins in action together, after both twins will return after lengthy injury-related layoffs. Sir Alex is definitely giving his second-string a run out as mainstays like Carrick, Ronaldo, Rooney, and Fletcher don’t even make the bench. Macheda, he of the 100% goals-to-games ratio, will make his first start. I’m guessing he’ll get a nice ovation from the Man Utd. fans.
Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines, Osman, Neville (c), Fellaini, Pienaar, Cahill, Saha.
Subs: Nash, Yobo, Castillo, Vaughan, Jacobsen, Rodwell, Gosling.
Unlike Sir Alex, David Moyes will be playing his strongest available team. The only surprise is the inclusion of Saha, who was believed to be unavailable after suffering a virus. However, the former Man Utd. man will start and will be looking to score against his old club. He’ll come in for the cup-tied Jo.
Fifth Penalty Jagielka steps up and if he hits this, then it’s over. He sends it to the lower right hand corner and beats Foster! That’s all she wrote and Everton will play Chelsea in the Final! Congrats to the Toffees and the Quintuple is dead!
Fourth Penalty: Vaughn steps up and Foster guesses correctly this time. However Vaughn powers it through and that’s 3 for Everton. Anderson will try to keep it alive for United. He puts it past Howard easily and deposits it into the lower left hand corner. It’s 3-2 Everton.
Third Penalty: Neville steps up and he would love to beat United here. He goes to his left and Foster guesses wrong. It’s 2 for Everton now, and it’s up to Vidic for United. He does the Ronaldo stutter-step and it throws Howard a bit. He then taps it towards the left and Howard guesses wrong. It’s 2-1 Everton.
Second Penalty: Baines fires it to his right, and he fools Foster. It’s in and Everton have the first score! Ferdinand steps up for United, and he shoots a poor shot to his left and Howard stops it! 1-0 Everton!
First Penalty It will be Cahill to start it for Everton. He misses by a mile and Foster didn’t even have to do anything there. He just shanked it over the crossbar and he knew it the moment it left his boot. Not the start Everton wanted. Meanwhile, Berbatov will start for Manchester United. He fires a tame effort to his left and Howard easily stops it. Very lazy effort from him and that won’t endear him to the fans any.
United win the toss and will choose their end of the stadium. I wish I had a stat for how often the team that chooses the side wins the shootout, but I got nothing. Everton will kick first.
I guess you have to give the edge to Foster. He came up huge in a shootout in Wembley during the Carling Cup, so he should be confident. I can’t remember the last time Howard was involved in a shootout.
120′ There’s the whistle, and we’re going to a shoot-out! Finally, someone will put it in the net, right?
119′ Poor effort on the free kick as United clear it away easily. Tevez tries to go on the counterattack, but Rodwell fouls him and puts an end to that.
118′ Foster muffs his clearance and Vaughn blocks it and it almost goes in! Foster chases it down and is called for a foul near the end-line!
117′ Evra wins a corner and let’s see if United can take advantage in the dying minutes of this period. United win another one as Gibson lashes it in and it takes a deflection out. Howard tries desperately to catch it before it goes out, but he can’t. United work the corner around to Evra, but Osman makes a good tackle on him to win a goal-kick for his team.
116′ Anderson plays the ball into the box for Tevez, but he goes down very easily against Lescott. That won’t draw a penalty, and Tevez isn’t really calling for one.
115′ Neville with another long throw into the box, but Vidic heads it away easily. He’s been very good today, and that’s great news for United fans who were concerned about how he would rebound from that Liverpool beatdown.
114′ Everton are bringing everyone up for this one. Vidic deals with the ball into the box and clears it away from danger.
113′ I think a shoot-out is unavoidable at this point. Both sides look like they’re all punched out here. Ferdinand is called for a foul on Vaughn near the center-line.
110′ Vidic gambles and misses on the long-pass to Cahill. He looks like he’s through into the box, but he’s called for a foul. Cahill can’t believe it, and he is incensed that he was called for that. He gets booked for dissent, and I have to say that Vidic got very lucky there.
108′ Osman works on Evra and he threads a great through-ball towards the far post where Pienaar lurks. It’s just out of his reach, though, and it’s out for a goal-kick. Everton have looked dangerous, so far, in this period.
107′ Baines gets around Rafael and he centers it to a trailing Vaughn. He fires a shot and Foster looks out of position, but Vidic gets a timely boot on it. It goes out off Cahill’s leg and Foster will have a goal-kick.
106′ United kick off and we’re underway with the second half of extra time!
105′ Lescott heads the corner back towards Pienaar. Neville tries to send in a cross but Foster is out to collect it. He tries to spring Tevez for a quick counter, but Everton do well to hold him up. Tevez tries a shot with his right foot, but Howard makes the save easily. There’s the whistle, and the first period of extra time is over. I think we’re going to a shootout.
104′ Anderson with some hard work in midfield and he nearly threads the needle to Berbatov in the box. Rodwell leads the counterattack and he wins a corner for his team.
102′ Good pressure from Everton, but Vidic and Ferdinand head away a couple of crosses into the box. Pienaar then sends in a cross from the left edge of the box, but it’s long and out for a goal-kick. Meanwhile, Fellaini will come off for Vaughan. I thought it would have been Cahill, as he’s starting to cramp up out there, but I guess Moyes was concerned about Fellaini’s booking.
100′ Berbatov gets deep down the left edge of the box. He sends a dangerous cross across the box that just eludes Welbeck. It trickles harmlessly away from the box and Everton clear it.
99′ Fellaini nearly gets through but Scholes reads it well and takes it away before he can take off in full flight with the ball.
97′ Scholes sends a great long pass towards Welbeck, and he’s alone with Howard in the box, but the youngster is adjudged to have been offside. On the replay, it looked close, but he was a shade ahead of the defense. Good call.
96′ Cahill sends it into the box and it falls for Fallaini. Vidic gets a key block on him, and Cahill has been looking very dangerous during these last few minutes.
95′ Berbatov sends it out to Scholes, and the fans want him to shoot it. However, he tries to chip a cross towards the right wing, but it’s headed away by Baines.
94′ Scholes gets fouled but Riley plays the advantage. Anderson’s cross into the box is knocked away by Lescott and Scholes then gets fouled again, this time by Fellaini. I’d be shocked if Fellaini doesn’t get sent off at some point in this extra frame.
93′ Cahill gets the free kick on the left edge of the box, and he gets away from Rafael. He shoots towards the far corner, but Foster makes a great kick save to keep it out. That had “goal” written all over it.
92′ Gibson with a cross attempt from the right flank, but it’s out for a corner. Gibson’s corner is cleared by the Everton defense and Pienaar takes it on a counterattack. Scholes fouls him and takes a yellow for the team.
91′ Everton kick if off and we’re underway! They’ll play two 15 minute periods. Berbatov gets it but he gets his signals crossed with Evra, and his pass is behind the left-back and out for a goal-kick.
91′ Berbatov is on for Macheda, which means that the youngster’s 100% goals-to-games ratio has come to an end. What a pity. That’s the last substitution for Ferguson, while Moyes will still have two at his disposal.
Well, the action picked up in the second half, and the non-penalty on Welbeck will be the main talking point, especially if United end up losing. Let’s hope that they break this deadlock soon, because neither side will want to take their chances in a shootout!
90′ + 3 Neville’s long pass towards Fellaini is easily dealt with by Vidic. There’s the whistle and we’re going to extra time!
90′ There will be three added minutes. Evra gives away a terrible free kick as he shoves Pienaar from about 30 yards out on the right flank. They send it towards the far post for Fellaini, and he collides with Foster. That’s a foul on Fellaini and Foster will kick it away.
89′ Corner goes into the box for Lescott, but he heads it out for a goal-kick. Looks like this match is destined for extra time.
88′ Cahill gets fouled by Rafael near the center-line and they take it quickly. Baines tries to get past Rafael down the left but Rafael easily takes it from him. Neville with a long throw and it’s towards Fellaini. It falls to Lescott and he has a chance at the near post, but Gibson makes a good challenge and concedes the corner.
87′ Fellaini gets called for a handball after he wins a challenge against Evra in the Manchester United box. He remonstrates to the ref, and he better be careful. Luckily for him, Riley lets him off the hook and that’ll be that.
86′ Corner goes into the six-yard area, but Howard punches it away weakly. Macheda tries to lash it on target, but he can’t get enough force on it, and Howard takes it.
85′ Hibbert makes a mistake in his own half and Welbeck pounces on it. Jagielka is able to cover and forces a corner.
84′ Fellaini swings an arm at Ferdinand and catches him in the eye. It was a pretty cynical effort from Fellaini and I think he could be off here. Anyway, Riley only shows him yellow, and Fellaini finally gets booked after having been called for about 10 fouls.
83′ Welbeck takes a shot from the edge of the box, but it’s a flash over the crossbar. Howard would have been well beaten to the top corner had that been a little lower.
82′ Welbeck with a nice move along the left edge of the box. He sends it out to Scholes, and the fans are imploring him to shoot. He tries to thread it through to Macheda, but he’s flagged offside.
81′ Both men are up and it looks like they’ll be okay. Macheda has a cramp, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Berbatov comes on for him.
79′ Welbeck with a strong move into the box and he avoids a tackle by Jagielka. He manages to pass it towards Macheda, but Howard comes out to get it before the youngster can pounce on it. Meanwhile, both Macheda and Hibbert are down on the pitch.
78′ Nothing doing on the corner as they take it short and Everton eventually clear it away from danger.
77′ Evra wins a corner and let’s see what they can do here. Vidic gets a decent header that goes just over the crossbar. However it looks like it went out off Lescott, so it’s another corner.
76′ Anderson makes a strong run into the box and he fires a decent effort that goes just wide of the near post.
75′ Welbeck holds it along the edge of the box while an unmarked Tevez screams for the ball. Welbeck finally passes it to him, but his shot from the edge of the box is well-blocked by Lescott.
74′ It’s a poor corner as it fails to clear the first man. Osman then sends in a cross from the right flank towards the near post for Jagielka and Foster comes out to try and corral it. He collides with Jagielka, and that’ll be a foul on the Evertonian. Meanwhile, Sir Alex is still upset about that non-penalty. I’m sure you’re just as surprised as I am.
73′ Neville gets another throw, but he takes it short again. He ultimately wins a corner after his cross is knocked away by Welbeck.
72′ Fellaini wins a free kick off Vidic from about 45 yards out. They play it into the box towards Fellaini, but it’s long and easily cleared away by the United defense.
70′ Saha is off for Everton and the youngster, Rodwell, will come on.
69′ They show the play again, and while Jagielka definitely got some contact on him, it looks like Welbeck may have tripped over his own feet.
68′ Everton easily clear Gibson’s corner away from danger. Some problems for Everton as Howard and Jagielka get their signals crossed and Welbeck nearly gets in. Howard is well out of position as he whiffs on the ball and Jagielka looks like he brings down Welbeck in the box. It should be a penalty and possibly a sending off, but Riley won’t give it. Maybe Moyes’ mind games worked after all.
67′ The game is starting to open up a little bit. Unfortunately for Everton fans, it’s been all United as of late. Gibson takes a good shot from long-range and it forces a pretty good, albeit comfortable, save from Howard. Meanwhile, Scholes will come on for Park.
66′ Macheda nearly gets through on goal, but Lescott does well to track back and get the ball away from harm.
65′ Gibson sends it towards the far post to Vidic, but his header lacks pace and is easily dealt with by the Evertonian defense.
64′ Macheda with a strong run down the left, but Jagielka knocks it away before Macheda can send in the cross towards Welbeck inside the box. Meanwhile, Rafael gets fouled on the edge of the box by Fellaini, and United will have a good chance here.
63′ United attack again as Anderson finds Park on the right edge of the box. He makes a move into the box and fires a shot that just goes wide of post. Meanwhile, Fabio is off and Evra will take his place.
62′ Fabio is down on the pitch, and that’ll be a huge blow if he’s hurt again. He’s being treated and Evra is getting loose. Meanwhile, Tevez goes on a breakaway and he catches Everton’s defense by surprise. Jagielka tracks back and manages to get it away before he can do anything with it.
61′ Everton win a free kick near the center line. Obviously, the target in the box is Fellaini, and United close him down as the ball sails into the box. Back the other way, as Welbeck loses it as he tries to pass it to Park inside the box.
58′ Park wins a free kick after Baines shoves him down. They’ll have a chance from about 35 yards out from the right flank. Anderson sends in a truly awful free kick that sails into the stands. Not a good effort there.
56′ Good work from Park to keep the ball as he shrugs off a hard tackle from Neville. Meanwhile, several United reserves are jogging furiously along the touchline. Looks like there will be a change soon.
54′ Cahill with a hard shot on target, but Foster makes a good save and parries it away. Ferdinand then knocks it out for a throw. Everton come back with a long cross from the left flank towards the far post for Cahill and Foster doesn’t jump out and catch it at its highest point. Instead, he sits back and still manages to catch it. That could have been a disaster…
53′ Tevez fouls Neville, and Tevez looks none too pleased. He sarcastically applauds, and he better be careful since he’s on a yellow.
52′ Neville throws it short this time, but Vidic cuts out Osman’s cross.
49′ Vidic takes a hit to his chest, and he’s laboring slightly. Probably just got the wind knocked out of him. Fellaini is called for a handball on the edge of the box as he tries to chest down the long-pass. On the replay, it doesn’t look like it touched his arm, and Ferdinand had him in a bear-hug. That’s not going to endear Riley to the Evertonian fans.
48′ Macheda tries to spring Welbeck down the left flank, but it’s long and Welbeck can’t handle it. It’s out and Howard kicks it away.
46′ United kick off and we’re underway with the second half! No changes for either squad. Poor giveaway from Vidic in his own half as he seems to believe that Phil Neville still plays for United. It comes to nothing, though, as United’s defense recovers.
Well, I still have half-a-cup of coffee, which is good, because this match is a snoozer so far. Neither side has done much on offense, and neither side has been able to sustain any period of extended pressure. United seemed to click into gear towards the end of the first half, however they were unable to convert as it’s clear that their B-Team seems to be unfamiliar playing together (save for Macheda and Welbeck). Everton haven’t been as positive as they’ve been in their previous matches against United. Maybe they let up a little bit due to nerves or because they got over-confident after seeing United’s lineup. Who knows? In any event, this match could use some fireworks, otherwise we’ll probably suffer through another scoreless period, on our way to extra-time and, possibly, a shoot-out.
45′ One minute will be added on. Macheda tries to serve it up to Welbeck again, but the ball is slightly behind him and Howard is there to collect it. There’s the whistle, and we’re at halftime!
44′ Nice move from Fabio to chest it down and turn away from Osman. He sends it to Macheda, but his pass intended for Welbeck is long and Howard is out to take it.
42′ Neville gets a throw and he screams like a banshee at his teammates. Man, that’s annoying. I’ve noticed Neville always wipes the ball and tries to throw it deep when he takes these. Who does he think he is? Rory Delap? He tries to throw into the box for Fellaini, but Vidic heads it out for another throw. Neville tries it again, but it’s low and Fellaini can’t do anything with it.
41′ Tevez leads the charge and he has options in the box. He lays it off to Welbeck, but he shanks his cross and bails out the Everton defense.
40′ Macheda with a nice through-ball to Welbeck, however he can’t get his shot on target. Good movement and understanding between the two, though. They’ve combined on a couple of passes already.
39′ Rafael’s been caught out of a position a couple of times already. Must be rust.
37′ Scholes is getting loose on the sidelines. Meanwhile, nice pass into the box for Pienaar, and Rafael is caught out of position. He nudges him off the ball, and Pienaar is demanding a penalty. No call, and it would have been a soft one had it been given.
36′ Tevez tees it up from long-range, but it’s blocked. It trickles in the box and Anderson slides to try and keep it. He touches it with his hands, and he’s called for the handball.
34′ Pienaar goes on the break, but Tevez tracks back and tries to take it away. He hits him with a hard tackle, but he misses the ball by a mile. That should be a booking, and Riley obliges.
33′ Long kick from Foster and Ferdinand has trouble dealing with it. He takes it on the bounce and is able to clear it before Saha can pounce on it. Osman then tries a shot on the edge of the box, but he’s tackled by Vidic. No foul and I’m sure Osman has some interesting thoughts on Mike Riley right now.
32′ Nervy play from Gibson as he nearly gives it away in his own half. He recovers and is able to send it to Foster before Everton can take advantage.
30′ Fabio shows his toughness as he takes a hard shot from Osman but stays on his feet and plays it upfield.
29′ Short corner and they eventually play it into the front of goal towards Fellaini. He can’t get his header on target, though, as he is well marked in front of goal. Eventually, it’s out for a goal-kick.
28′ This is where they’ve Everton have been dangerous all year. Then again, they miss having Arteta in these situations. It’s off Anderson for a corner.
27′ Pienaar catches Rafael out of position and threads a ball through to Baines. He draws a foul from Rafael deep down the left flank and Everton will have a chance from the edge of the box.
26′ More pressure from United as Tevez lays it off to Park down the right flank. He tries to cross it to Macheda, who is in front of goal, but it’s too high and Howard comes out to collect it.
25′ Tevez gets a great pass on the edge of the box, but he passes up the shot. He plays it through to Welbeck, but he gets closed down and can’t do anything with it.
24′ Corner comes out to Park, and he tries a shot from the right edge of the box, but its blocked.
23′ Rafael sends in a dangerous cross from the right and Lescott doesn’t deal with it. It almost falls to Welbeck in front of the near post, but it just trickles out for a corner. That was close – about an inch from hitting the post.
22′ Macheda with a pass through to Welbeck in the box, but his shot is deflected out for a corner. It’s a short corner and United pass it around the pitch.
21′ Saha puts pressure on Foster, and he makes a mistake. He slips on the pitch and Saha looks like he has a great chance, but he slips too, and the ball goes right into Foster’s hands. See what I mean?
19′ Good passing from Everton, however Baines slips on the pitch before he can send his cross into the box, and Rafael kicks it away.
18′ Neither side has established much of a rhythm on offense. Nice tackle from Fabio as Osman tries to get behind him.
16′ Osman gets away from Rafael, and he plays it through to Baines. He tries a cross into the box from deep down the left flank, but Ferdinand heads it away.
14′ Everton are putting almost no pressure on Foster when he sets up his kicks. Instead, they’re sending everyone back to defend. Why not keep a guy on Foster, just to see if the young keeper makes an error?
13′ Macheda finds Welbeck in the box and he gets away from Hibbert. He sends it to his right to Tevez, but his shot is wide of the near post.
11′ Neville makes a good run and gets in front of Fabio. Fellaini threads it through to him, and Fabio does well to close down the Everton skipper. Neville’s shot is well off the mark, and we see why he doesn’t shoot more often.
10′ Foster booms another one to Macheda, and I guess that’s their gameplan. Might as well see what the kid can do, right?
9′ Pienaar tries to thread it through to Baines, but it’s out for a goal-kick.
8′ Pienaar with a dangerous cross across the edge of the box from the left wing, but there’s no Toffee to get on the end of it.
7′ Another long goal-kick to Macheda, and Hibbert seems to have some problems with it. He does well to recover and keep Macheda away from the ball, and Howard kicks it away.
4′ Long goal-kick to Macheda, and he heads it down nicely. He takes his first shot of the afternoon, and it’s wide of the mark. Can’t hit them all…
3′ Fellaini draws a foul from Anderson near the center-line. Free kick goes into the box, but Vidic heads it away.
1′ Everton will kick off and we’re underway! Mike Riley is our ref. Osman chests down the ball on the edge of the box and he takes a shot. Gibson and Anderson close him down, and the shot is well off target. Osman is down and wants a foul, but no dice.
0′ You could argue that the four best teams were represented in the Semifinals. Everton took out both Liverpool and Aston Villa, two teams that have been ahead of them for most of the year, so they definitely deserve to be here.
0′ Everton fans are convinced that Mike Riley as referee will give Manchester United a virtual man-advantage. Now they know how Arsenal feel. Chelsea played with a man advantage yesterday since they clearly had Fabianski in their pocket.
0′ The other talking point is Wembley Stadium, specifically, the playing surface. The pitch was already in poor condition at the beginning of yesterday’s match. Today, it should be even worse. Maybe that’s why Sir Alex didn’t want to risk his stars.
0′ Very interesting that Welbeck would get a start over Nani. Nani has been in very poor form as of late, and that can’t help his confidence.
0′ Let’s hope for a cracking match today. Yesterday’s match between Chelsea and Arsenal was a bit of a disappointment.
0′ Then again, if Manchester United really do have Mike Riley in their pocket, then they could play their reserve team and still secure a birth in the Finals against Chelsea.
0′ I guess it’s fair to say that Sir Alex isn’t thinking Quintuple anymore. That’s not a very strong team, especially going against a team that employs the same lineup (give or take) day-in and day-out. It’s hard to debate his logic, though, as it’s clear that Europe and the League are the priorities. They have a lot of tired and banged-up players, so they’ll need all the rest that they can get.
0′ Rooney must be hurt, because I can’t imagine that he would ever be willing to sit out a match against Everton, especially in the F.A. Cup. It’ll be interesting to see what Macheda does in his first start, though. Can he still bring the magic?
0′ Should be an interesting match, and Everton will definitely fancy their chances. The word on the street is that Edwin Van der Sar, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Wayne Rooney won’t play, and Federico Macheda will start. If that’s the case, then Everton will certainly like their chances now.
0′ Welcome to Soccerlens’ live coverage of the F.A. Cup Semifinal between Manchester United and Everton! I’m Victor and I’ll be your liveblogger! I’m watching this match on Fox Soccer Channel. It’s available on Veetle.com for people who don’t get FSC. For information on how to access that fine service, feel free to consult this article. Click here for other, free, options.
Well, we knew that, based on United’s team selection, they weren’t going to be heartbroken if they lost this match. Still, it’s never fun to lose on penalty kicks, and United will certainly reflect on their missed chances. Obviously, the non-penalty on Welbeck will be a major talking-point, as David Moyes may have psyched Mike Riley out. However, United didn’t really have too many clear-cut opportunities on goal, and never looked like they were going to break the Evertonian defense. Still, they can take heart in the fact that their B-Team nearly took out the sixth-best team in the Premiership, and of course, they can concentrate on Europe and the League.
As for Everton, this is a great chance for them and a victory that they should savor. It’ll be interesting to see how they play next week, since many of their players looked absolutely exhausted after playing 120-plus minutes. Additionally, they’ll have to wonder why they couldn’t put one in against United’s backups. They’ll have some questions to answer before they take on Chelsea in the Final, especially down the right flank where Welbeck seemed to have his way with both Osman and Hibbert. Still, it’s a great victory for them and yet another notch in their belt as they continue their brilliant F.A. Cup run.
Man of the Match:
Vidic was dominant all game long and turned in the kind of vintage performance that had so many people talking about him for Player of the Year before the Liverpool match. The dangerous Fellaini, who had been in great goalscoring form as of late, never really looked like much of a threat, and Vidic (along with Ferdinand) was the main reason why. As for Everton, Cahill played very well and nearly stole it for his squad in extra time with a couple of good shots on goal. Also, their center-half duo of Jagielka and Lescott continues to be the most unheralded combo in England. They did a great job closing down Tevez and Macheda.