Everton end Chelsea's dreams of FA Cup treble


Sat, 19 Feb 17:14:00 2011

* Everton come from behind to stun Chelsea

* Birmingham and Stoke seal places in quarter-finals

Phil Neville scored the decisive spotkick to give Everton a 4-3 penalty shootout win over holders Chelsea after their FA Cup fourth-round replay ended in a 1-1 draw after extra time at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Neville sent Chelsea keeper Petr Cech the wrong way after Ashley Cole had blasted his penalty high and wide as Everton completed a remarkable fightback in the lunchtime kickoff to end Chelsea's dreams of becoming the first club for 125 years to win the FA Cup three times in succession.

In the later matches, Premier League clubs Birmingham City and Stoke City easily won their fifth-round ties 3-0 against League One (third division) opponents Sheffield Wednesday and Brighton.

Birmingham, already through to the Carling Cup final against Arsenal later this month, reached the last eight of the FA Cup with goals from Jean Beausejour, Obafemi Martins and David Murphy while Stoke beat Brighton with goals from John Carew, Jon Walters and Ryan Shawcross.

The late kickoff (1715 GMT) features the intriguing matchup between Premier League leaders Manchester United and minor league Crawley Town at Old Trafford.

Everton's Neville told BBC Five Live: "I knew I was going to score, I knew where the ball was going to go -- and that's half the battle. We've been practising penalties all week. The manager just told us to hit them as hard as possible.

"My biggest worry was that there was a big divot in the penalty spot. Petr Cech looks really big, but luckily he dived the wrong way." After the teams fought to a goalless stalemate in 90 minutes of end-to-end soccer, Chelsea took the lead in the last minute of the first period of extra time when Frank Lampard scored with a low volley from eight metres out.


With a minute of extra time remaining Leighton Baines equalised with a left-footed free kick to force the match into a shootout.

Everton trailed 2-0 on penalties after Lampard and Didier Drogba scored from their spotkicks and Baines saw Cech save his penalty.

Phil Jagielka scored to pull Everton back to 2-1, before Chelsea's Nicolas Anelka, taking virtually no run up, had his spotkick saved by Everton keeper Tim Howard and Mikel Arteta scored to make it 2-2.

Michael Essien and Johnny Heitinga made it 3-3 before Cole missed and Neville scored to give Everton their stunning victory and end Chelsea's hopes of emulating Blackburn Rovers, the last team to win the Cup three years in a row in 1884, 1885 and 1886.

Chelsea, playing without their recent high-profile signings Fernando Torres and David Luiz who were ineligible, started lethargically but created more chances and finally went ahead after 104 minutes when Lampard lashed in from close range.

Everton thought they had won the match in the last minute of normal time when Cech could only parry a long-range shot from Baines into Marouanne Fellaini's path. Although Fellaini swept the ball home, he was marginally offside in the build-up.

Everton, on the fringes of the relegation battle, dominated the match territorially for long periods and eventually got their reward with barely a minute to play when Baines perfectly placed his free kick high and wide of the despairing Cech.

Everton now face Championship (second division) Reading in the fifth round at Goodison Park on March 1.

FA Cup action continues on Sunday when Manchester City face Notts County in a fourth-round replay while Leyton Orient host Arsenal and Fulham play Bolton Wanderers in fifth-round ties. West Ham United face Burnley at Upton Park on Monday.


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