Tag Archives: substitute

Tottenham facing injury headache for Arsenal clash

Tottenham boss Villas-Boas facing injury headache for Arsenal clash

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UPDATED:

09:04 GMT, 14 November 2012

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas is facing a mounting injury crisis ahead of Saturday's north London derby against Arsenal.

Kyle Walker, Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon are all struggling to be fit for the Premier League showdown at the Emirates.

Injury headache: Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas

Injury headache: Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas

And Mousa Dembele is unlikely to be risked as he battles with a long-standing hip problem.

Walker, Defoe and Lennon are all to assessed on Thursday
after they suffered hamstring injuries during the 2-1 defeat at
Manchester City last weekend, which prevented them from taking part in England's
friendly in Sweden.

Walker and Lennon withdrew from the
original squad and Defoe was unable to link up with Roy Hodgson's group
as cover for Wayne Rooney

Walker looked in some discomfort when he limped off towards the end of the match at Etihad Stadium, while Lennon was also replaced late on. Defoe played little part in the game after coming on as an 80th-minute substitute for Emmanuel Adebayor.

Concern: Kyle Walker holds his hamstring

Concern: Kyle Walker holds his hamstring

Villas-Boas will be hoping for better news from Mousa Dembele. The Belgian midfielder has not played for Spurs since October 7 because of a hip injury and is struggling to be fit for the trip to Emirates Stadium.

Spurs decided not to send Dembele for surgery to cure the problem but they have missed his energy and creativity in the centre and desperately need him to recover, with matches against Lazio, West Ham and Liverpool to follow the north London derby.

Younes Kaboul, Scott Parker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto also remain sidelined as Spurs approach an important period of their season.

And assistant boss Steffen Freund believes Spurs have caught up with the Gunners since his playing days at White Hart Lane.

He said: 'We're really close to our big rivals. I can't wait for the game.'

Ryan Tunnicliffe charged with drink-driving after crash

United starlet Tunnicliffe charged with drink-driving after crash

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UPDATED:

18:16 GMT, 14 October 2012

Arrested: Tunnicliffe was involbved in crash in his 60,000 Land Rover

Arrested: Tunnicliffe was involved in a car crash

Manchester United youngster Ryan Tunnicliffe has been charged with driving with excess alcohol after crashing his 60,000 Range Rover.

Tunnicliffe, 19, of Clemshaw Close, Heywood, near Rochdale, has been charged with driving with excess alcohol and is due to appear before Bury Magistrates Court on October 25, a spokesman for Greater Manchester Police confirmed.

The charge relates to an incident which happened shortly before 2.15pm on Saturday when a Range Rover collided with a transit van on Green Lane, Heywood.

The van subsequently collided with the wall of a house.

Police said the front seat passenger of the Range Rover suffered a minor whiplash injury in the collision and both vehicles were badly damaged.

Tunnicliffe made his debut for United
as a 77th-minute substitute in the 2-1 Capital One Cup victory over
Newcastle United – winning his father, Mick, 10,000.

When
the midfielder, was nine years old his father placed the wager that his
son would one day play for United, taking odds of 100-1 with a 100
bet.

Debut: Tunnicliffe earned his dad 10,000 after turning out for United

Debut: Tunnicliffe earned his dad 10,000 after turning out for United

His performances were rewarded with a professional contract on December 30, 2009 – the day he turned 17.

His profile on United's official website describes the player as 'somebody who is highly regarded at Old Trafford'.

Ryan Tunnicliffe arrested on suspicion of drink-driving after crash

United starlet Tunnicliffe arrested on suspicion of drink-driving after crash

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UPDATED:

11:43 GMT, 14 October 2012

Arrested: Tunnicliffe was involbved in crash in his 60,000 Land Rover

Arrested: Tunnicliffe was involbved in crash in his 60,000 Land Rover

Manchester United star Ryan Tunnicliffe has been arrested on suspicion of drink-driving after crashing his 60,000 car.

Tunnicliffe, 19, was held on Saturday afternoon just hours after picking up the keys to the top of the range black Land Rover.

He allegedly hit a stationary van, pushing it 30ft into a wall, as he drove round an industrial estate in Heywood, Manchester.

The teenager, who made his first team debut for the Red Devils just weeks ago, was breathalysed and arrested at the scene.

Witnesses told the Sun that Tunniclife lost control of the vehicle when it skidded on the wet road. Part of the wall was demolished in the 2.15pm crash.

Onlooker Matthew Cronshaw, 27, told the paper: 'A mate told me he'd only just picked up the keys. He hit a van and pushed it into a wall, making a terrible screeching sound.

'He's hit it with real force because both vehicles looked like write-offs. Ryan looked really shaken up.'

Police confirmed to Mail Online that a driver had been arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.

Tunnicliffe made his debut for United as a 77th-minute substitute in the 2-1 Capital One Cup victory over Newcastle United – winning his father, Mick, 10,000.

When the midfielder, was nine years old his father placed the wager that his son would one day play for United, taking odds of 100-1 with a 100 bet.

Debut: Tunnicliffe earned his dad 10,000 after turning out for United

Debut: Tunnicliffe earned his dad 10,000 after turning out for United

Chris Foy: On your bike, Cowan! No rest for the Gloucester new boy

On your bike, Cowan! No rest for the Gloucester new boy

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 7 October 2012

On your bike, Cowan!

Former All Blacks scrum-half Jimmy Cowan arrived at Gloucester on Monday and was immediately told to get on his bike.

Cowan, a 59th-minute substitute in Saturday’s 16-10 win over Bath, had only been in the West Country for a few hours before he was put to work by his new club’s fitness staff.

The World Cup winner said: ‘They put me on the bike and told me to do 20km in 30 minutes. That’s what I needed to get a few cobwebs out of my system. I am well and truly over the jetlag now.’

Straight into the action: Gloucester's Jimmy Cowan was given little time to bed in

Straight into the action: Gloucester's Jimmy Cowan was given little time to bed in

Jonny’s roar talent

Player of the week: Jonny Wilkinson
Days after revealing his ambition to earn selection for the Lions tour next summer, Wilkinson backed up his words with more match-winning deeds for Toulon.

The ex-England fly-half kicked 21 points — five penalties and three conversions — as his club routed Top 14 title rivals Biarritz 36-9 away from home on Saturday to return to the league summit.

Top Toulon: Jonny Wilkinson

Top Toulon: Jonny Wilkinson

Critics eat humble pie as rookies do Aussies proud in wooden spoon clash

Coach of the week: Robbie Deans (Australia)
Credit where credit is due, the Kiwi in charge of the Wallabies went into Saturday night’s Rugby Championship wooden spoon decider against Argentina in Rosario well aware that his job was on the line.

He sent out an injury-ravaged team full of rookies and they did a heroic job in adversity to earn a 25-19 win.

Joseph: I want my England spot back

Jonathan Joseph inspired London Irish’s shock demolition of Aviva Premiership leaders Northampton on Saturday and then revealed his desire to resume his England midfield partnership with Manu Tuilagi.

The 21-year-old Exiles centre scored his side’s first try and had a hand in two others as Irish claimed a stunning 39-17 win at the Madejski Stadium.

Asked afterwards about keeping hold of the Test No 13 shirt he wore in South Africa and linking up again with Tuilagi, Joseph said: ‘I would love to get that spot.

'Manu is a great player at 12 or 13. I do like playing with Manu. If we get the opportunity we can gel quite well together.'

Watford 1 Middlesbrough 2 – match report

Watford 1 Boro 1: Sub McDonald punishes Hornets after Vydra sees red

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UPDATED:

16:41 GMT, 6 October 2012

Scott McDonald came off the bench to score the winner as Middlesbrough defeated 10-man Watford in the npower Championship clash at Vicarage Road.

The Australian, who held clear-the-air talks with manager Tony Mowbray earlier this week after not figuring all season in the senior set-up, struck with 13 minutes remaining to give Boro their first triumph in three matches.

The Hornets made a fantastic start as Troy Deeney notched his second goal in three matches in the first minute after a horrendous defensive error from Andre Bikey.

Aussie rules: Scott McDonald came off the bench to score the winner for Boro

Aussie rules: Scott McDonald came off the bench to score the winner for Boro

MATCH FACTS

Watford: Almunia, Pudil, Neuton (Murray 81), Hall, Cassetti, Hogg, Abdi (Yeates 68), Hoban, Chalobah, Deeney (Geijo 57), Vydra. Subs Not Used: Bond, Doyley, Smith, Ekstrand.

Sent Off: Vydra (43).

Goals: Deeney 1.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte (McDonald 39), Bikey, McManus, Friend, Leadbitter, Bailey, McEachran, Haroun (Ledesma 65), Emnes, Jutkiewicz (Luke Williams 76). Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Hines, Halliday, Smallwood.

Booked: McEachran, Ledesma.

Goals: Emnes 30,McDonald 77.

Attendance: 12,006

Referee: Steven Rushton (Staffordshire)

Click here for the latest npower Championship results, fixtures and table

Matej Vydra – returning in place of
the suspended Fernando Forestieri – had a shot blocked and then hit the
bar, but Watford failed to make their dominance count as fit-again
Marvin Emnes levelled after 30 minutes with his third goal of the
campaign.

Two minutes before half-time,
Gianfranco Zola saw his side controversially reduced to 10 men for the
second successive match as Vydra was surprisingly given his marching
orders by referee Steven Rushton for an apparent stamp on Nicky Bailey.

And Boro made their numerical
advantage count deep into the second half when McDonald, a 39th-minute
substitute for the injured Justin Hoyte, converted from 12 yards to end
Watford's two-match winning streak.

The hosts wasted little time in
breaking the deadlock as Vydra, who has four goals to his name this
season, intercepted a short backpass from Bikey and after his shot was
parried out by Jason Steele, Deeney converted from close range.

Vydra was proving to be handful in the opening exchanges as Bikey had to block the striker's effort from 20 yards.

Daniel Pudil tested Steele from 20
yards before Vydra lashed a shot from a tight angle which clipped the
crossbar as the Hornets continued to dominate.

However, Watford failed to build on their impressive start as Boro equalised thanks to the returning Emnes.

Manuel Almunia tipped George Friend's
effort round the post and, from Grant Leadbitter's resulting corner,
Emnes turned and found the net from six yards.

With their next attack, Josh
McEachran brought the best out of former Arsenal goalkeeper Almunia, who
superbly kept out the on-loan Chelsea midfielder's 25-yard shot.

The Hornets were rocked after 43
minutes as the lively Vydra was shown a red card for a clash with
Bailey, which looked to have no malice in it.

The home side came out after the
break fired up and Steele had to push away a 25-yard free-kick from
Almen Abdi, who then delivered a ball into the box and Deeney headed
over from close range.

Bikey almost headed Boro ahead, only
to miss the target from six yards, while Almunia had to be at his best
to deny Leadbitter from 25 yards.

Boro finally went in front after 77 minutes when McDonald struck from 12 yards and the visitors held on for the three points.

Brendan Rodgers happy with young side

Our courageous kids! Rodgers delighted with youthful side after gutsy Young Boys win

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UPDATED:

21:32 GMT, 20 September 2012

Manager Brendan Rodgers hailed a performance full of character and – surprisingly – goals as Liverpool got their Europa League campaign off to a winning start with a 5-3 victory over Young Boys in Bern.

For only the fourth time in their history the Reds scored five in a European away tie, the last of which came against Finnish side Haka in a 2001 Champions League qualifier.

Jonjo Shelvey, a 67th-minute substitute, stood out with two strikes while 19-year-old Andre Wisdom marked his senior debut with a header and Sebastian Coates and an Juhani Ojala own goal rounded off the scoring.

Double up: Jonjo Shelvey scored two goals for Liverpool in their 5-3 win over Young Boys

Double up: Jonjo Shelvey scored two goals for Liverpool in their 5-3 win over Young Boys

Liverpool looked fragile as they slipped from 2-1 up to 3-2 down after Ojala and Gonzalo Zarate had added to Nuzzolo's first-half equaliser.

With the first team having scored just nine goals in eight matches Rodgers' second-string, which included three debutants, found scoring much easier.

'We have come away with a young team into a European game and I want to talk about the five goals we scored which were absolutely magnificent,' said Rodgers, who was happy to overlook the errors which saw them concede three.

'Of course we could have defended better and there is no question the three goals we gave away were disappointing.

'But to draw positives from tonight the young players were so courageous and brave to play and show that confidence, and my senior players were very much together and kept the young guys going.

'All round it was very pleasing. It was a chance for the young players to seize that opportunity to play and I think they did that for sure.

'We need to be better in certain areas but I think it is a night of great pride for the club and certainly me as a manager.

'To play like we did and get the goals we did was quite fantastic.

'It
was a great [Coates] header from a terrific ball in and for Andre
Wisdom, in his first game for Liverpool and especially it being in
Europe, he scored a wonderful header.'

On
the eve of the game Rodgers had called for his younger players, the
average age of his travelling squad was 21, to seize their opportunity.

He spoke about not having the talent but the right mentality and he felt they showed that.

'One of the most pleasing things was we were in front and then to go behind at this level can be difficult,' he added.

Well done: Brendan Rodgers was delighted with his young side's character

Well done: Brendan Rodgers was delighted with his young side's character

Come here you! Fabio Borini hugs Sebastian Coates after the Uruguayan got a goal

Come here you! Fabio Borini hugs Sebastian Coates after the Uruguayan got a goal

'But it shows you the togetherness of the group because you don't win games by that margin on quality alone, you need to have the personality and the determination and I think you have seen that in bucketloads tonight.'

Rodgers also had praise for Shelvey, making his 45th appearance for the senior side, and predicted a bright future for the England Under-21 international.

'I felt it was the time of the game we needed him really,' he said of Shelvey's second-half introduction.

'It worked well for us because once we got the equaliser they went to more 4-4-2, it gave us the extra man in midfield and we were able to dominate that bit more.

'He has been outstanding. He is still only 20 years of age and is developing and growing all the time and you saw his confidence when he came.

'The (first) goal we worked it very well and he did what he can do very well and I think he will be a big player for Liverpool.'

Stard of the future The likes of Suso (right) looked like promising players

Stard of the future The likes of Suso (right) looked like promising players

Michael Owen desperate to get going at Stoke City

Owen 'desperate' to get going at Stoke after being restricted to brief cameo against City

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UPDATED:

16:00 GMT, 16 September 2012

Cameo: Owen made his Stoke City debut on Saturday

Cameo: Owen made his Stoke City debut on Saturday

Michael Owen is now 'desperate' for his Stoke career to take off after making the briefest of debuts for his new club against Manchester City.

The former England striker, signed as a free agent earlier this month, appeared as a last-minute substitute as the Potters held the Barclays Premier League champions to a 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

Owen, 32, is hoping to resurrect his career after three injury-ravaged years at Manchester United, who released him at the end of last season.

Manager Tony Pulis does not yet think Owen is match-fit but he could come into contention for next week's trip to Chelsea.

Pulis said: 'Michael has trained ever so well over the last couple of days. He is desperate to get going.

'But he needs a lot more football. He
has done a lot of work by himself, fitness-wise, but playing games is a
lot different from just running.'

Pulis also gave a debut to new signing Steven Nzonzi while Charlie Adam was given his first start against City.

Now in their fifth season in the Premier League, the Potters are well established in the top flight and have ambitions to firmly implant themselves in the top half.

Pulis expects further improvement once all the squad have had significant time to train together, something the recent international break has prevented so far.

Thumbs up: Owen is 'desperate' to get going at the Britannia

Thumbs up: Owen is 'desperate' to get going at the Britannia

Pulis said: 'I think we will get better. It will be nice to have them next week and work with them.

'We gave the ball away too many times but we've got better technical players in.

'We still need to retain our commitment and organisation but we have to retain the ball better when we do get it. There were times when we were giving it away too cheaply.'

Pulis was unhappy with the defending which allowed the champions to fight back for a point – the fourth successive 1-1 stalemate between the clubs in this fixture – after Peter Crouch had struck a controversial opener.

Crouch netted from close range in the 15th minute but had clearly handled as he brought the ball under control. City debutant Javi Garcia levelled when allowed a free header at a set-piece 20 minutes later.

Pulis said: 'I was really disappointed with the defending on that one. I thought we dropped too deep too early.'

But commitment was clearly evident in the closing minutes as Asmir Begovic produced a fine save to deny Garcia a second and Ryan Shawcross cleared off the line from Edin Dzeko.

Satisfied: Pulis (left) saw his side hold the champions on Saturday

Satisfied: Pulis (left) saw his side hold the champions on Saturday

Midfielder Glenn Whelan told the club's website, www.stokecityfc.com: 'Asmir put it on the post and it came back to him.

'I don't think he had too many saves to make so he will be happy with that.

'Then Ryan wasn't sleeping, he kept going right to the end. From where I was I thought it was in. He is a big lad and he got his big legs to it.'

Whelan, who joined the club in their promotion-winning 2007-08 campaign, feels the signing of Owen is indicative of the great progress made under Pulis.

The Republic of Ireland international said: 'It is massive. The manager said when we first came in it was a building process each year and each year we have found that.

'Obviously the club has pushed on – new training ground, signing big players.

'Hopefully the fans are grateful for that and will keep coming and cheering us on but it is up to us to give them something to cheer about.

'It is a great club to be around at the minute because there is a big buzz.'

Jacob Mellis signs for Barnsley

Barnsley sign Chelsea reject Mellis after smoke-grenade shame

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 18 June 2012

Jacob Mellis, the midfielder released by Chelsea for setting off a smoke grenade, has agreed a two-year deal at Barnsley.

Mellis made just one appearance for Chelsea, coming on as a last minute substitute in the Champions League clash against Zilina in November 2010.

On the move: Mellis has agreed to join Barnsley on a two-year deal

On the move: Mellis has agreed to join Barnsley on a two-year deal

Didier Drogba wins FA Cup for Chelsea

Wembley wizard Drogba completes amazing turnaround by Di Matteo

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UPDATED:

22:54 GMT, 5 May 2012

Chelsea captain John Terry climbed the most fabled staircase in the footballing universe to raise the FA Cup for a record fourth time.

And at the heart of the celebrations was Didier Drogba, who established another remarkable milestone by scoring in a fourth FA Cup final for Chelsea, having previously been on target in 2007, 2009 and 2010 when Terry had led his team-mates in the presentation ceremony.

At the final whistle, Roberto Di Matteo ran on to the pitch with a little dance. Drogba instinctively sprinted, shirt in hand, to the end of the ground where the Chelsea fans rose to acclaim him. In two months, Di Matteo has transformed Chelsea.

Main man: Didier Drogba (left) helped Chelsea to FA Cup glory

Main man: Didier Drogba (left) helped Chelsea to FA Cup glory

He was entitled to wear a wide smile. For Chelsea, having looked comfortably in command with a 2-0 lead, had to survive a spirited fightback from Liverpool, who became an altogether more menacing side once Andy Carroll was brought on as a 55th-minute substitute by manager Kenny Dalglish.

Carroll scored in the 64th minute — and felt he had equalised when he met a clever cross from Louis Suarez eight minutes from time. Between them, Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech and defender Branislav Ivanovic endeavoured, it was judged, to prevent the ball from entering the goal.

Understandably, Liverpool’s players, led by Suarez, appealed that Carroll’s header had crossed the line. It was a hairline decision, a decision that sealed Liverpool’s fate.

But for Chelsea the narrative just keeps getting better. When Di Matteo was appointed interim manager in the first week of March, the club were in undeniable disarray.

Blue haze: Chelsea lift the FA Cup after beating Liverpool at Wembley

Blue haze: Chelsea lift the FA Cup after beating Liverpool at Wembley

Now, in 13 days’ time, against Bayern Munich in Bavaria , Di Matteo will look to mastermind the greatest night in their history by fulfilling Abramovich’s dream of bringing the Champions League trophy to Stamford Bridge.

Somewhere in Portugal, Andre Villas-Boas must be at a loss to comprehend what has happened since he was sacked. His appointment had been sanctioned by Abramovich to deconstruct Chelsea.Consequently, the young manager tried to play a system that never sat comfortably with the heart of the team, Terry, Frank Lampard and Drogba. He never succeeded in restoring the confidence of Fernando Torres, the Spaniard that Abramovich had chosen as a 50million replacement for Drogba.

His last mistake was to omit Lampard, Ashley Cole and Michael Essien from Chelsea’s team that played against Napoli in the quarter-final first leg of the Champions League in Italy. They lost 3-1 … and after another defeat against West Bromwich the Villas-Boas Experiment was consigned to history.

Ever since, Chelsea have been rejuvenated. And yesterday, Lampard, Terry and Drogba were celebrating in unison at Wembley. Again.

Pulling the trigger: Drogba scores what proved to be the winner

Pulling the trigger: Drogba scores what proved to be the winner

Chelsea's Didier Drogba celebrates after their FA Cup final

Clearly, one day this Chelsea team have to be dismantled; and this summer could yet bring change. But Di Matteo, brought by Villas-Boas back to the club where he won admiration as a midfield player of quiet authority, attaining folk-hero status by scoring after 42 seconds in the 1997 FA Cup final, felt obliged to take another path. His strategy has taken Chelsea on a road to redemption.

Of course, Di Matteo may still find himself stood down once Chelsea’s tumultuous finale to the season has been completed in Munich. But no matter, the debt Abramovich owes the Italian is incalculable. The club are once again an establishment of vibrancy and belief.

For Dalglish, the capture of the Carling Cup will be seen by Liverpool’s owners John W Henry and Tom Werner as scant consolation for their massive investment.

For left-back Cole it was the seventh time he had held the FA Cup, for Chelsea and Arsenal.

Game on: Ramires put Chelsea ahead in the opening minutes at Wembley

Game on: Ramires put Chelsea ahead in the opening minutes at Wembley

Abramovich has now witnessed the club he bought in 2003 win their ninth major trophy; the Premier League three times, the League Cup twice, and the FA Cup four times.

Chelsea had an enviable start. An 11th-minute pass from Juan Mata allowed Ramires to evade Jose Enrique before beating Pepe Reina at the near post. Then Drogba, dutifully, confirmed his place in the competition’s history. In the 52nd minute, he received a pass from Lampard and flashed a left-foot shot beyond Reina.

If Carroll’s entrance caused Chelsea an inordinate amount of stress, the damage to Liverpool proved beyond repair.

And long after the last whistle, Drogba could be still seen cradling the FA Cup that he has come to treat like a personal heirloom.

Sunderland 0 Everton 2: Nikica Jelavic helps Toffees set up Liverpool semi-final

Sunderland 0 Everton 2: Jelavic joy as Toffees set up Liverpool semi-final date

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 27 March 2012

Just what Kenny Dalglish didn’t need: a semi-final showdown with neighbours Everton for the first time in 35 years after they knocked out Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Everton manager David Moyes has not had much money to spend in his decade at Goodison Park but the 5million invested in Croatian striker Nikica Jelavic must be among his best deals.

The January signing from Rangers scored his third goal in eight games for Everton to set up at date at Wembley as Sunderland froze on a big night for manager Martin O’Neill.

No mistake: Nikica Jelavic pierced the Sunderland rearguard with an instinctive strike

No mistake: Nikica Jelavic pierced the Sunderland rearguard with an instinctive strike

MATCH FACTS

Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, Kyrgiakos (Vaughan 53), Turner, Bridge (Campbell 63), Larsson, Cattermole, Gardner, McClean, Sessegnon, Bendtner. Subs not used: Gordon, Kilgallon, Ji, Meyler, Elmohamady.

Booked: Bardsley, Larsson, Cattermole.

Everton: Howard, Neville, Heitinga, Distin, Baines, Gibson Fellaini, Gueye (Jagielka 81), Osman, Cahill (Hibbert 90), Jelavic (Stracqualursi 87). Subs not used: Hahnemann, McFadden, Anichebe, Duffy.

Booked: Gibson, Gueye, Fellaini, Jelavic, Heitinga.

Scorers: Jelavic 24, Vaughan og 57.

Referee: Lee Probert.

He then supplied the shot in the 57th
minute which Sunderland’s poor substitute David Vaughan put into his
own net. The Wales midfielder could have cleared comfortably but fell to
ground and managed to hit the ball with both feet before it went tamely
over the line. Moyes and the entire Everton bench bounced on to the
pitch in celebration as Vaughan lay devastated.

The win sets up the first FA Cup
semi-final meeting between the two Merseyside clubs since 1977, and
their first Wembley match since the 1989 Cup final, which Liverpool won.
And with Dalglish under increasing pressure at Anfield, it will be an
intriguing showdown.

With more than 6,000 visiting fans
behind one goal, and another 37,000 home fans filling nearly every seat
in the other three stands, there was an edge to the atmosphere. It was
matched in the early minutes by the pace and intensity of the match.

Everton initially took the game to
the hosts and former Liverpool defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos may have
looked particularly uncertain in the opening exchanges but was able to
clear a Magaye Gueye cross away from Jelavic in the fifth minute. Three
minutes later, Tim Cahill broke through but shot weakly into Simon
Mignolet’s arms.

Massive clanger: David Vaughan diverted Nikica Jelavic's effort into his own net, all but ending Sunderland's interest in the competition

Massive clanger: David Vaughan diverted Nikica Jelavic's effort into his own net, all but ending Sunderland's interest in the competition

Sunderland struggled to get any grip
on the first half and their key players failed to hit the target on the
few occasions they made any gains towards the Everton goal.

Phil Bardsley scored his first of the
season in the original tie at Everton, but saw another long-range
effort blocked easily here. His team-mate Craig Gardner was also
struggling. The midfielder nearly broke the crossbar on Saturday against
QPR with a free-kick, but his first set-piece last night flew into Tim
Howard’s wall.

Agony: Lee Cattermole shows his dejection as Vaughan lies prostrate

Agony: Lee Cattermole shows his dejection as Vaughan lies prostrate

In the 32nd minute winger James
McClean was played into a promising position by Wayne Bridge but
Leighton Baines made the brave block in front of Howard’s goal to deny
Nicklas Bendtner.

Everton had been equally wasteful
until Jelavic’s opener and Mignolet had to make two crucial saves to
deny Tim Cahill and Marouane Fellaini.

No you don't: A Sunderland steward wades in to prevent an Everton fan celebrating with Tim Cahill

No you don't: A Sunderland steward wades in to prevent an Everton fan celebrating with Tim Cahill

Inevitably, a Cahill chance came from
a well-worked corner between Darron Gibson and Gueye. The Australian
emerged unmarked in a crowd of players to head goalwards, only to be
denied by Mignolet’s brilliant reaction. The pointing from O’Neill and
his coach Steve Walford seemed to suggest Kyrgiakos was at fault.

However, the Sunderland keeper had no
chance when former Rangers striker Jelavic burst through to meet
another centre from Gueye, this time from open play.

Fellaini created the initial opening
with a pass down the left flank which looked beyond the Frenchman but he
raced past Bardsley to reach the ball in the corner and his low cross
was met first time by Jelavic who drilled his shot into the bottom
left-hand corner.

Unhappy that the last 10 minutes of
the first half had slipped out of his players’ grasp, Moyes clearly sent
Everton out with the intention of getting an early goal after the break
to kill the tie.

And Osman nearly provided it after he
met a poor clearance from a Gueye corner with a sweetly struck right
foot shot which curled only just wide.

Jelavic then went down under
Kyrgiakos’s challenge in the penalty area but despite the howls from
Everton fans, referee Lee Probert ignored calls for a spot kick. Moyes,
who had already had a row with fourth official Kevin Friend, waved his
arms in defeat.

Sunderland’s inability to create any
meaningful chances to trouble Tim Howard forced O’Neill into a positive
change to take the game to the visitors. So he sent on Vaughan for the
dreadful Kyrgiakos.

The Wales midfielder did at least manage to conjure up a goal. Unfortunately for him it was at the wrong end.