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Liverpool 2 Everton 1 - FA Cup Semi Final (Apr 14 2012) - 1st team 2011-2012 - The Liverpool Way Jump to content
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Liverpool 2 Everton 1 - FA Cup Semi Final (Apr 14 2012)

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LIVERPOOL 2 Everton 1

Report by Dave Usher

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Scorer(s) – Luis Suarez, Andy Carroll

Half Time - 0-1

Venue - Wembley Stadium

Date - Sat 14 Apr 2012

Star Man – Andy Carroll

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I believe the great Titi Camara said it best on twitter: "I sorry everton we always win" Does that rival Nick Barmby's "I want to play for Liverpool" as the 'six worst words in the English language' in the eyes of poor old Bill Kenwright? You'd have to ask Bill, that's if you can find him. He seemed to go AWOL after Carroll's late winner and hasn't been seen on our screens since. You couldn't keep him off the TV before that, ESPN seemed to have their own 'Kenwright Cam' running throughout the game.

 

I felt somewhat cheated not being able to see him blubbering at full time, but at least he had no shortage of 'Luvvy' pals present to console him. I imagine Dame Judy Dench in particular will have been a tower of strength for him.

 

Even in a year when we've had our worst run of results in over 50 years we've still beaten them twice in the league and just for good measure handed them a heartbreaking loss in an FA Cup semi final at Wembley. They may actually end the season above us in the table, but there's no trophy for that and just like the last time it happened back in 2005 there'll be silverware in the reds cabinet and none in theirs. Is it any wonder they hate us so much?

 

As much as I am revelling in the heartache this result will have caused Kenwright and Moyes, all piss taking aside I do feel sympathy for the average Evertonian. It was fitting that we faced them on the anniversary weekend of Hillsborough, they were there for us and shared in our grief back then and although relations have soured between the two sets of fans since, they were there for us once more and came out of this fixture with a lot of credit. It may not have been holding hands and singing 'Merseyside' along Wembley Way, but it was a day for the city to be proud of. You could have heard a pin drop during the minute's silence and it was heart warming to see so many blues holding up 'Don't buy the S*n' posters to the cameras at every opportunity.

 

Like many of you I have blue friends and family members and I take no pleasure in their disappointment. I'm delighted we won obviously, but I won't be rubbing it in when I see them (and hopefully they're not reading this report!). Losing a semi final is horrible (slightly less so since it no longer denies teams a trip to Wembley) and losing one to your fiercest rivals is unthinkable. I feel for those blues I know personally, as most of them are sound. Kenwright and Moyes? That's a whole different kettle of fish, I'll never tire of seeing their sad little heartbroken faces as their hopes and dreams were shattered once again.

 

The pressure on both teams going into this game was monumental. Defeat for us would have put Kenny under immense pressure. In a week in which Damien Comolli had been canned - in part due to the disappointing results of the players brought in by him and Kenny - the last thing Dalglish needed was a Wembley defeat to an Everton side that had recently overtaken us in the league. We've been on a terrible run but the cup results had compensated for that somewhat. Win this and the poor league form could continue to be swept under the carpet. Lose this and… well let's put it this way, there'd be a lot of people at the club fearing they'd be going the same way as Comolli.

 

As for the blues, there was more pressure on them to win this game than there has been in many a year. A club that thrives on going into derbies as the plucky underdog with nothing to lose, the little man with the chip on his shoulder trying to stand up to the big bad neighbourhood bully, this time they went into it with expectations they don't usually have. Above us in the table, on a great run of form and facing a Liverpool side that has been struggling desperately and suffering from a confidence crisis, a lot of people expected them to win this game. Everton (and specifically Moyes) don't like being in that position going into a derby as they just don't know how to handle it.

 

Remember a few years ago when Gerrard was sent off early in a derby game at Anfield? Suddenly the onus was on the blues to go out and win the game, and they froze like a rabbit in the headlights. A similar thing happened at Wembley, as they went in at half time a goal to the good and with a great chance of winning the game. I can imagine them sitting around in the dressing room thinking "Oh my God, we could actually win this!!". They came out for the second half and played scared, desperately hoping to protect what they had instead of trying to go out and win the game.

 

Say what you want about Liverpool, but when it's all on the line and the pressure is at it's most intense, we've usually found a way to come through it and get the job done. Add this one to the ever lengthening list. We put ourselves in a hole at half time, a mess completely of our own making, but the second half saw the players dig themselves out of it with a display of determination and character that could have seen them win by three or four goals in the end.

 

Kenny's starting line up wasn't met with universal approval but I have to say if I'd been picking the side I'd have had 10 of the 11 he went with. The one choice I disagreed with was Henderson over Maxi. I don't know what the Argentine has to do to earn a place in the side, but clearly scoring two in the previous game isn't enough. Maybe he'll have to score three? He's done it before, twice in fact. 14 goals from his last 20 starts is an impressive return, but it's not enough to get the nod over Henderson. Baffling.

 

The other bone of contention was Agger starting at left back. That didn't surprise me at all, it made perfect sense as Enrique's form has been so suspect since the turn of the year I wouldn't have taken a chance on him in this game either. You could argue that it backfired as Agger and Carragher were both guilty of hesitation that cost us a goal, but that one moment aside the defence played well overall and Brad Jones had very little to do.

 

The goal was an awful one to give away. There was no danger as the ball bounced between Carragher and Agger. It looks like Agger feigns to clear the ball with his right foot but hesitates and decides to leave it to Carragher. Carra is waiting for Agger to launch it, and eventually he panics and hits an off balance clearance straight at Cahill. The ricochet fell fortunately to Jelavic who buried it. He was offside, but it was such a close one and it happened so fast that it's difficult to blame the linesman too much for that. The two defenders were more to blame than the linesman, someone has to take the decision to clear the ball but it's one of those unfortunate things that happen occasionally.

 

It was the kind of awkward hesitation like when you're walking down the road and someone is walking toward you. You step to one side to avoid them as they step the same way. You step back the other way, and so do they and before you know it you're in an embarrassing dance and apologising sheepishly. That's what happened to Agger and Carragher, and it couldn't have happened on a worse stage.

 

Everton had done little to deserve their lead, and whilst we weren't playing particularly well we'd still had the better openings and not looked in any real trouble. The first chance of the game fell to Spearing when he couldn't keep his shot down after good approach play by Johnson and Carroll. Earlier we'd been denied a great opportunity when Gerrard's attempted through ball to a free and clear Suarez was well intercepted by the head of Howard Webb. Skrtel had a half chance too, his shot was saved after Carroll had nodded the ball down to him.

 

The goal knocked us back a bit and the rest of the first half was pretty poor. Henderson being moved to the left wing didn't exactly help matters and made Maxi's exclusion even more infuriating. I don't think Henderson could have done much more than he did to be fair to him, it's just not his position. It's like playing Spearing up front or Maxi centre half.

 

Suarez spent much of the first half in an annoying feud with Heitinga. The Dutchman kept blocking his path by standing in his way when he was trying to close down the keeper or latch onto a Carroll flick. Suarez got increasingly frustrated about it and things got heated between the pair as half time approached. Eventually Suarez ended up doing some kind of MMA style takedown on the defender. That kind of distraction is only going to benefit Everton and Heitinga will have been delighted at the effect he had on our dangerman in that first 45 minutes as Suarez was a complete non-factor.

 

Everton had the lead at the break but I'm not having it that they'd done enough to deserve it or had played particularly well. The only difference between the sides was one terrible moment of hesitation in our defence. That aside, Jones didn't have to make a save and neither did Howard. Neither side performed in the first half and the occasion looked like it had gotten to both teams.

 

The second half was a different story. Suarez forgot about his ongoing arguments with Heitinga and Webb and we dominated from start to finish, although there was one major similarity with the first half in that it took a defensive howler for a breakthrough to be made. We'd started the half brilliantly and had the blues pinned back in their own half. Carroll was guilty of an incredible miss when he headed wide after brilliant work by Downing on the right.

 

He buried his face in his shirt but to his credit he didn't let his head go down after it and he gave the blues all they could handle and then some. At Newcastle he was known for getting smashed on Jager Bombs and Newcy Brown, now he just sinks bitters a couple of times a year.

 

Downing had the beating of Baines and another good run and cross from him saw Suarez completely miss his kick. We had four players in the box for that attack, including Glen Johnson. We were dominating but as always, you wonder whether a goal is going to come as we've had so much trouble putting the ball in the net this season. Fortunately Distin was there to give us a helping hand.

 

The blues are complaining about a foul on Cahill in the build up to the goal. I've watched it several times and don't see any foul, just a coming together of players. They've always got to have something to moan about after derby defeats, but that's really clutching at straws if it's the best they can come up with. Carroll flicked the ball into space for Suarez to chase, Distin got there first and should have played it down the line with his stronger foot. Instead he tried a backpass on his weak foot and left it well short. Suarez was onto it immediately, as Distin put his head in his hands and walked off the pitch.

 

As Howard came out Suarez took the shot early with the outside of his right foot and rolled the ball into the net. Worth noting that Carroll had made a great run into the box and was square of Suarez and would have had a tap in had Suarez chosen to pass to him. Carroll has not always made those kind of runs, which is why I mention it as it was good to see.

 

The big fella was inches away from making it 2-1 when he showed good footwork on the edge of the box to create space for a shot that flashed just wide. He was then denied by Suarez as his shot struck his strike partner. We were causing Everton plenty of problems and were dominating possession. Spearing and Gerrard were bossing the midfield, although the skipper was having to play a much more disciplined role than he had when bagging a hat-trick at Anfield the other week.

 

Kenny shuffled his pack by sending on Maxi for Henderson and then Bellamy for Downing. I thought both changes were made at a good time and helped the team. Downing wasn't happy, once again muttering his disapproval as he saw his number go up. He'd played quite well and got a few good crosses in, but he really has no cause for complaint as it was the ideal time to get Bellamy on and so it proved.

 

Straight away he was into the action, Carroll flicking the ball on for him to run in behind Osman. He was pulled back but didn't go down and eventually won a corner. Predictably he let both referee and linesman know of his disapproval of their failure to spot the offence. From the corner the ball wasn't cleared properly and Gerrard was clattered by Coleman. It should have been a second yellow card but Webb went for leniency and Coleman survived.

 

It mattered not, as Bellamy whipped in a beautiful cross and Carroll held off the attention of Fellaini to head the ball past Howard. No more than he deserved, his all round play was very good and Everton really struggled to deal with him once again. Fitting that 'Wor Horse' was the matchwinner on Grand National day. This has been a huge week for Carroll's Liverpool career. He's been playing well for several months but the goals haven't come and he's missed chances.

 

Whilst his general play in terms of holding up the ball, winning flick ons and defending set pieces in his own box has been generally very good of late, he hasn't been doing a significant part of his job - putting the ball in the back of the net. All the dirty work he's been doing for the team is great and all, but without goals it's not enough. We need him to be Fernando Llorente, not Emile Heskey.

 

In his defence he hasn't been helped by frequently being left out or substituted and not having a lengthy run in the side. This week may prove to be a turning point for his Liverpool career and hopefully he can go on to establish himself here. And even if he doesn't, he'll always be remembered for this game at least.

 

Everton's goose was cooked at 2-1, they had nothing left and we really should have made it safe by scoring a couple more. Maxi missed a sitter when he hit the post following great set up play from Suarez, and Suarez himself was denied by Howard after Gerrard played him in. Everton pumped a few long balls into the box to try and put pressure on Jones, but he did what he had to do very well. He punched a couple away, and then in the last minute he came out and caught a high ball under pressure. That's a killer whenever that happens, it halts any momentum the opposition is trying to build and allows you to waste precious seconds as you push up the field waiting for the keeper's clearance. His team-mates certainly appreciated it.

 

The final whistle saw Carroll mobbed by team-mates, whilst Brad Jones was also getting some love, especially from a delighted Pepe Reina. An emotional Carragher sank to the floor in relief, whilst at the other end a distraught Distin was busy apologising to the Evertonians. Those who were still there at that point anyway, not that I blame any blue who got off at full time as the last thing you want to see is your rivals celebrating on the pitch.

 

I felt for Distin, he seems like a good pro and that mistake will live with him for the rest of his life. Also have to say that Phil Neville was the epitome of class in his post match interviews. Tim Cahill wasn't quite so dignified; "I think it's going to be difficult for them. They've had an indifferent season and they've just got away with it today. 'A few decisions didn't go our way but I'll just say they've got a lot of work to do to win it." Not as much as you have Timmy boy. And what decisions might those be? Distin's decision to play a suicidal backpass? Bellamy's decision to plant a free-kick right onto Carroll's bonce? Moyes' decision to have his team camp in their own half after half time maybe?

 

Moyes claimed before the game that the whole country wanted Everton to win. Probably true, much the same way they wanted Chesterfield to beat Boro a few years ago, or for Wycombe to beat us back in 2001. With that in mind, I guess that means you let the whole country down then, doesn't it, loser? Poor old Moyesy, Kenny has won more in one season back in charge than Moyes has in his entire life. "David Moyes, a winner in every sense of the word" proclaimed the ESPN commentator. Yeah, in every sense except the actual, y'know, winning part.

 

David Moyes is a survivor, Kenny Dalglish is a winner, he has the medals to prove it. Fingers crossed he'll have one more to add to the collection in a few weeks.

 

Team: Jones; Johnson, Skrtel, Carragher, Agger; Henderson (Maxi), Gerrard, Spearing, Downing (Bellamy); Suarez, Carroll:

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Guest davelfc
At Newcastle he was known for getting smashed on Jager Bombs and Newcy Brown, now he just sinks bitters a couple of times a year.

 

Very good.

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I saw that Cahill comment on bbc gossip last night and I thought "what a bitter prick" but it looks like the end of what he actually said was edited because I read it again in the guardian today and it was a bit different:

 

"It didn't seem as though they caused us many problems. We pretty much handed the game over," said Cahill. "They scored the two goals and they have to do that to beat us. But they are going to find it difficult to win the final. But they seem to have the luck on their side when they play Everton. They get the rub of the green and a few decisions didn't go our way. But I have a lot of respect for Kenny and his boys and if they win the cup, then fair play to them."

 

not trying to shoot you down Dave. another example of the media manipulating an interview.

 

bbc gossip reported it as:

 

Everton midfielder Tim Cahill poured scorn on Liverpool's hopes of FA Cup glory after the Toffees were beaten in Saturday's semi-final. "A few decisions didn't go our way but I'll just say they've got a lot of work to do," said Cahill.

Full story: Mail on Sunday

 

didn't read the mail

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I saw that Cahill comment on bbc gossip last night and I thought "what a bitter prick" but it looks like the end of what he actually said was edited because I read it again in the guardian today and it was a bit different:

 

"It didn't seem as though they caused us many problems. We pretty much handed the game over," said Cahill. "They scored the two goals and they have to do that to beat us. But they are going to find it difficult to win the final. But they seem to have the luck on their side when they play Everton. They get the rub of the green and a few decisions didn't go our way. But I have a lot of respect for Kenny and his boys and if they win the cup, then fair play to them."

 

not trying to shoot you down Dave. another example of the media manipulating an interview.

 

bbc gossip reported it as:

 

Everton midfielder Tim Cahill poured scorn on Liverpool's hopes of FA Cup glory after the Toffees were beaten in Saturday's semi-final. "A few decisions didn't go our way but I'll just say they've got a lot of work to do," said Cahill.

Full story: Mail on Sunday

 

didn't read the mail

 

He's still a bitter fucker though, and one of my favourite moments of the game was his little tantrum over a disputed throw in after about 92 minutes that wasted a nice 30 seconds for us.

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Great report.

 

Fair play to the Everton fans and fair play to Phil Neville.

 

It's been a really stressful couple of years being an LFC fan and I am starting to think that it has affected my mental health because no matter how much I fight it, I now think that Phil and Gary Neville are top blokes.

 

I've tried Prozac; beer; therapy; beer; electro-shock treatment; and beer, but nothing seems to work. What the fuck is happening?!

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Kenwright update...he's turned up on Corrie tonight ...morose as ever

 

Wouldn't be surprised if he insisted on two separate storylines being filmed, with the more miserable performance screened if they lost at the weekend.

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Compare that to Blue Kipper report .Like Sean Dundee v Robbie Fowler

Brilliant work Dave

 

Think I prefair the Bluekipper report, its got a more scouse feel to it. 'wid al dem speling mistake yano, about the dirrrtttyyy kopites and that Number 7'

 

 

Great report Dave.

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David Moyes is a football genius, class chant that one.

 

 

Good read as always and I did admit to my mate i had a little sympathy for the blues, it was little and only fleeting but it was there.

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Top report as per usual Dave.

 

That bluekipper report is fantastically bitter, as are the predictable comments underneath it. The old' "the redshite have spent 120m" gem is there in spades. They don't even give us a capital 'R' for "Redshite".

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