Sunderland 0 Everton 2: Jelavic joy as Toffees set up Liverpool semi-final date
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
The Wales midfielder did at least manage to conjure up a goal. Unfortunately for him it was at the wrong end.