Everton vs. Sunderland  1 - 1

Article

Cahill: I was due a goal

19 March 2012 09:44

Everton's Tim Cahill admits he was 'due a goal' after netting just his second of the season in the 1-1 draw with Sunderland in the FA Cup.

Cahill, 32, had only scored once this season, in a 1-1 league draw with Blackburn, before Saturday's game where he put in an improved performance which won praise from assistant manager Steve Round.

The Socceroo's goal came on 24 minutes when Nikica Jelavic glanced Leighton Baines' left-wing cross goalward, with Cahill instinctively re-directing it past Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet.

Speaking on the club's website after the game, Cahill said: "I suppose I was due a goal. I was already in mid-air."

"As soon as (Nikica) Jelavic touched it, I had to adjust and it hit the back of the net. All season I've been trying to get myself in the right positions."

Cahill, who previously made the FA Cup final with Millwall, added: "But this cup means so much to me, and also to the fans. I really wanted more to go in and hopefully go on and win."

The two sides are now set for a replay where the winner will play Liverpool in the semi-finals.

Cahill continued: "I've been involved in so many big games. We've just got to make sure we don't hide. We really need to put everything into it."

"We went 1-0 down so you've got to look at it as we've got another bite at the cherry. We were just short of doing the job. The thing is we've got a massive chance to really do something special with this football club."

Article

Cahill praised for FA Cup goal

18 March 2012 07:09

Tim Cahill has been praised for a 'terrific' performance capped by a goal in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Sunderland in the FA Cup.

Cahill, who has struggled for form this term, netted just his second goal of the campaign with a 24th-minute header.

The goal came from Leighton Baines' left-wing cross which was met by Nikica Jelavic.

The Croatian's header was instinctively deflected by Cahill leaving Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet with no chance.

The 32-year-old, who was left on the bench in the midweek 3-0 Merseyside derby loss to Liverpool, also had several other chances to score with Everton assistant manager Steve Round claiming he looked refreshed.

"I thought Tim was terrific today. He looked fresh and full of energy," Round told the club's website.

"He was a threat in both boxes and he linked us up really well. He deserved his goal."


Article

O´Neill hails Mignolet heroics

18 March 2012 02:38

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill praised goalkeeper Simon Mignolet after his stunning double save denied Everton victory in their FA Cup tie.

Mignolet helped Sunderland salvage a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park on Saturday after denying Johnny Heitinga and Nikica Jelavic in quick succession in the dying stage of their quarter-final clash.

Everton had been the better team after Phil Bardsley scored the opener for Sunderland, but could only manage one goal, from Australian Tim Cahill, as the visitors hung on for a draw.

O'Neill said: "I think we started the game brilliantly, got the goal and we were playing very well."

"The equaliser knocked us back, we lost a bit of confidence with it. There was a big surge from the home crowd."

"I thought the second half could have gone either way but they pressed us more towards the end of the game. I am delighted we are still in the hat, I probably would have taken that at the start of the game."

"I thought it was a magnificent double save, really brilliant. I think if we had been beaten there I would have been really disappointed. I wouldn't have been sure we deserved to be beaten."

"I think on reflection a draw was probably a fair result."

Everton assistant manager Steve Round was frustrated at not winning the match after creating a number of fine chances.

"We thought we did everything we could in the second half except stick the ball in the net," Round said.

"We piled on the pressure and had opportunity after opportunity, culminating in that double save, which was tremendous from their perspective."

"The lads are disappointed in there that we couldn't turn pressure into a goal."

"It took us a while to get a foothold but the last 20 minutes of the first half and all the second half, I thought we were terrific and unfortunate not to win."

Everton were also disappointed Royston Drenthe was not awarded a penalty four minutes before Bardsley opened the scoring, with replays suggesting the Dutchman should have been awarded a spot kick after being brought down by Craig gardner.

Round said: "It was a clear foul. Maybe it was too early for the referee but he was right there on the spot and we don't know why he didn't give it."

"I thought Roy (Drenthe) didn't get much of the rub of the green. I thought he was fouled on numerous occasions."

"Whether they think he is diving or not - obviously he isn't because he is getting fouled."

"He is so small, he hits the deck. We are a little disappointed he didn't get more fouls than we expected."

Article

FA Cup: Everton 1 Sunderland 1

17 March 2012 16:06

Everton and Sunderland produced a scintillating 1-1 draw in their FA Cup quarter-final at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Phil Bardsley had opened the scoring for the visitors before Tim Cahill's opportunistic strike restored parity for the Toffees.

The home side bombarded Simon Mignolet's goal but were unable to produce a winner thanks to some fine saves from the Belgian.

David Moyes made six changes to the side humbled at Anfield on Tuesday. With Steven Pienaar cup-tied, Royston Drenthe started for Everton.

Nikica Jelavic made his second start for the club at the expense of Denis Stracqualursi, while Phil Neville, Johnny Heitinga, Leon Osman and Cahill were all named in the starting XI.

Unsurprisingly Martin O'Neill stuck with the same starting XI that recorded an impressive 1-0 win over Liverpool a week ago, with Nicklas Bendtner shaking off a knee injury to partner Fraizer Campbell. Lee Cattermole and Stephane Sessegnon missed out through suspension.

A ferocious atmosphere was treated to a similarly heated start, with both Osman and James McClean coming close in the first three minutes, but both headers were steered off target.

Referee Andre Marriner was in the thick of the action early on, first turning down Everton appeals for a penalty after Drenthe was upended by Craig Gardner, and then awarding Sunderland a free-kick for what seemed a fair challenge from Leighton Baines.

From the resulting free-kick, Jack Colback opted to play the ball short to an unmarked Bardsley, who unleashed a thunderbolt that flashed past Tim Howard before nestling in the corner of the American's net, sending the 6,000 travelling fans into raptures.

Chants of 'We're all going to Wembley' from the Sunderland faithful were soon extinguished by the home side as they hit back immediately.

Good work from Drenthe down the Everton left allowed Baines time to measure a cross. The England international picked out Jelavic who nodded his effort towards goals, only for Cahill to instinctively divert the ball past a helpless Mignolet.

Having notched his eighth career goal against the Wearsides, Cahill threatened to grab his ninth just 10 minutes before the break.

From a Baines corner, the Australian produced a trademark leap to tower above Michael Turner, but his header was well saved by Mignolet under pressure from Heitinga.

The home side again came close to taking the lead as Drenthe's free-kick clipped the woodwork on its way over, but O'Neill's men survived the onslaught and entered the break on level terms.

Everton began the second half as they had ended the first, with Mignolet twice preventing Cahill from doubling his afternoon's account.

As the visitors offered little in response, Moyes' men continued their relentless assault on the Sunderland goal, with Jelavic again dominating in the air but seeing his header land agonisingly on top of Mignolet's goal.

Substitutions from both managers disrupted the flow of play a little, as the game threatened to linger harmlessly towards a draw, with both sets of players seemingly paying for a frantic first half of football.

With just five minutes to play Moyes had one last roll of the dice, introducing the ever-productive Denis Stracqualursi.

It was, however, his strike partner Jelavic who almost had the last word, as Mignolet produced a stunning save from Johnny Heitinga's header before jumping to his feet to deny the Croatia international.

The two teams will now have meet again at the Stadium of Light to decide who will appear at Wembley.

Article

FA Cup preview: Reds chase domestic double

17 March 2012 00:48

Liverpool's quest to secure a trophy double this campaign continues on Sunday when they host Stoke City in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

The Reds returned to winning form in the Merseyside derby with Everton on Tuesday, as inspirational captain Steven Gerrard nabbed a hat-trick to move them two points behind sixth-placed Newcastle United in the Premier League.

The win ended a three-game losing streak in the league and gave Kenny Dalglish's side plenty to build on ahead of their date with last season's FA Cup finalists.

Tony Pulis' Stoke are virtually assured of top-flight football next season, with a 14-point buffer on the relegation places allowing the Britannia Stadium outfit to focus on trying to go one better in the FA Cup this term.

Stoke's campaign has seen them avoid Premier League opposition and included wins over Gillingham, Derby and Crawley Town.

All of those fixtures have come away from home and they will once again hit the road to face the Reds in front of their partisan fans at Anfield.

Also on Sunday, Chelsea take on Leicester City at Stamford Bridge, the latter being the only non-Premier League side remaining in the competition.

The Championship side, managed by Nigel Pearson, defeated rivals Birmingham City midweek in a massive confidence boost heading into the away tie.

Chelsea, meanwhile, will look to continue building momentum under interim manager Roberto Di Matteo.

The former West Brom boss will be looking to make his mark in London, and any piece of silverware his side can claim this term will see the Italian firm as a potential permanent boss after season's end.

Elsewhere, Everton host Sunderland at Goodison Park on Saturday, fresh from their trouncing by rivals Liverpool.

David Moyes' men had gone 10 matches unbeaten prior to their loss at Anfield, while Sunderland most recently defeated Liverpool 1-0 in the league.

Martin O'Neill's Sunderland manufactured a 2-0 win over Arsenal in the fifth round, with wins over Middlesbrough and Peterborough preceding that for the North-East club.

Everton's run to the final eight has been their best since they reached the final in 2009, with the club still in contention for its first title since they lifted the prestigious trophy in 1995.

Also on Saturday, Tottenham will host Bolton at White Hart Lane looking to overcome a form slump.

Harry Redknapp's men have lost three straight league games and were forced to a replay to get past League One's Stevenage in the fifth round.

Bolton surpassed Championship side Milwall to reach the final eight and, following league losses to big clubs Chelsea and Manchester City, defeated Queens Park Rangers 2-1.

The Reebok Stadium side are still struggling in the league, sitting just a point above the drop zone.

Owen Coyle's Bolton made the semi-finals in the FA Cup last season before getting thrashed by Stoke.

Article

Howard instils FA Cup focus

16 March 2012 08:33

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard wants to put Tuesday's defeat to Liverpool behind him and earn a place at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Howard's side lost 3-0 at Anfield as Steven Gerrard netted a hat-trick on the eve of David Moyes' 10-year anniversary in charge of the Premier League club.

Everton had gone nine games unbeaten before the defeat and Howard is keen to recapture that form in their quarter-final clash with Sunderland this weekend.

The United States international told the Daily Mirror: "It (Anfield) is never a nice place to lose, but with the anniversary and everything, it's even more so. Ten years is a lot of results, a lot of highs and lows."

"We had gone into the game on the back of a really good run, but unfortunately it didn't end in the storybook way we all hoped. But this is a good team, this is a good bunch of boys, and there is definitely no problem with the character in the squad."

"We will be up for the fight at the weekend, and it would be fantastic to get a good result to give everyone a lift after what has been a long week. It won't be for the lack of trying."

"Losing derbies always hurts, but we are professionals, we want to see it out, so we will get back to work and hopefully get a result."

Howard insisted that this weekend's game has not become any more crucial because of the Liverpool loss, and believes that the players will be motivated by the desire to finally win a trophy in Moyes' reign.

"I don't think the FA Cup game has any more importance because of losing the derby - the chance of going to Wembley is enough to lift everyone's spirits," he said.

"We all want a place in the semi-final. We will keep going, because the confidence is certainly still there. That's because of the way we were playing before Anfield."

"We still feel our form is good and we will count that defeat as just a blip, push on and hopefully get a good result at the weekend, which will really help to put this behind us."

Article

Bendtner knee injury responds

14 March 2012 13:29

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill said Nicklas Bendtner could be fit for the FA Cup quarter-final tie at Everton on Saturday.

The striker, on loan from Arsenal, was stretchered off during the 1-0 win against Liverpool last weekend shortly after scoring the decisive goal following a clash with defender Martin Skrtel.

But the early indications of the knee injury are not as bad as first feared and O'Neill has revealed the player himself opted to start training again.

"The news on Nicklas is encouraging," O'Neill said.

"We had originally been expecting to wait 48 hours for swelling to go down around the knee before we could consider a scan."

"But the knee itself got much better in the 24 hours immediately afterwards, which looked good and it meant he felt quietly confident about doing a little bit of training yesterday."

"The very fact that he felt confident enough to want to try it out is obviously a good sign, but we just have to wait and see how it develops over the week and see whether there's any reaction."

Sunderland have been resurgent since O'Neill's appointment and, despite suffering a 4-0 reverse at West Brom, they hit back with a 1-1 draw at North East rivals Newcastle and followed that up with a 1-0 home win over Liverpool.

However, the manager is expecting a tight game on Saturday and believes his side have the quality in attacking through Bendtner and Fraizer Campbell to nick a goal at any given moment.

"You can never pre-judge a game, but it wouldn't surprise me if the cup game against Everton is a tight affair and that being the case, you need players who can nick you a goal and players who can stop them going in at the other end."

"We had that at the weekend in what was a very tight game against Liverpool, but we were defensively very solid and we had players like Fraizer Campbell and Nicklas who always had the ability to be dangerous in attack."

Article

Big clubs avoid each other in FA Cup

19 February 2012 19:32

The big clubs remaining in the FA Cup have managed to avoid each other in the quarter-finals.

The draw for the last eight was conducted on Sunday, with none of Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool to play each other should they make it through to the next round.

Leicester City face a trip to either Chelsea or Birmingham after they drew their fifth round tie on Saturday, while Bolton awaits for Stevenage or Tottenham, who will contest a replay next week after their 0-0 draw on Sunday.

Liverpool's 7-1 rout of Brighton means they will host Stoke City, who won through to the last eight with a 2-0 win over Crawley Town on Sunday.

Everton will host Sunderland in the last of the quarter-finals, with the ties to be played over the weekend of March 17-18.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
13 6 +0 7
14 6 -1 7
15 6 -2 6
16 6 -2 6
17 6 -1 5

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
15 6 -2 6
16 6 -2 6
17 6 -1 5
18 6 -9 4
19 6 -7 3