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Rediff.com  » Sports » Everton end Chelsea's dreams of FA Cup treble

Everton end Chelsea's dreams of FA Cup treble

February 19, 2011 22:00 IST

Everton skipper Phil Neville scored the decisive spot-kick to give his side a 4-3 penalty shoot-out 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 fired past Petr Cech after Ashley Cole had blasted his penalty high and wide as Everton completed a remarkable fightback and ended Chelsea's dreams of becoming the first club for 125 years to win the FA Cup three times in succession.

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. That appeared to be enough to see Chelsea through, but 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, who minutes earlier had saved the tie, 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 scored to make 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 FA Cup three years in a row in 1884, 1885 and 1886.

Lampard, who scored when Chelsea beat Everton 2-1 in the 2009 FA Cup final, lashed in from close range after 104 minutes after Everton failed to clear a cross from substitute Anelka that bounced off Drogba's chest and fell sweetly for the Chelsea midfielder.

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 dominated the match for long periods, although Chelsea created more scoring chances, and saved the match with barely a minute to play when Baines perfectly placed his free kick high and wide of the despairing Cech.

Three FA Cup fifth-round ties were going ahead later on Saturday with Premier League Birmingham City facing League One (third division) Sheffield Wednesday, Stoke City playing League One leaders Brighton and Manchester United meeting minor League Crawley Town at Old Trafford.

Source:
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