Liverpool vs. Everton  2 - 1

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Carroll: This is the best feeling ever

14 April 2012 17:11

Andy Carroll said scoring the winning goal in Liverpool's 2-1 FA Cup semi-final victory over Everton was 'the best feeling ever'.

The 35-million-pound striker headed home the winner in the 87th minute to complete a stunning comeback for Liverpool, who had fallen behind to an early Nikica Jelavic goal, only for Luis Suarez and Carroll to salvage a historic win.

Carroll has copped plenty of flack for his lack of goals since arriving at Anfield, but has now scored the winner in the Reds last two matches.

"It's (scoring the winner) the best feeling ever and for the lads and the fans it's even better," Carroll said.

"We worked hard and to get the goal at the end was great.

"I had a few chances that I probably should have scored earlier but I kept at it and it was a great ball in from Craig (Bellamy) and thankfully I did score.

"I've had some criticism but I've just kept on going and to get the winner here is great.

"I believe in myself every day and I've got my chance now, I've got two goals in two games, it's great."

Carroll's team-mates had nothing but praise for the striker after the match, with his captain, Steven Gerrard telling ESPN: "He takes criticism on the chin. That's what we bought him for - to step up and score big goals - he's delivered today."

Jamie Carragher also hailed Carroll's winning goal, suggesting the striker's price-tag should be forgotten after such an important goal.

"A goal against Everton in a semi-final he'll be remembered forever for that," Carragher said. "That goal is worth 35 million pounds on its own for me."

Goalkeeper Brad Jones played with confidence given that it was just his fourth outing as a Liverpool player and he also praised Carroll's dedication to his game.

"He's fantastic. The media knock him but as a guy he's a top man, he works hard despite what the media want to say," Jones said.

"He stays back, does extra training. He deserves this goal at Wembley."

Article

FA Cup: Liverpool 2 Everton 1

14 April 2012 15:51

A late Andy Carroll header helped Liverpool come from behind to secure their place in the FA Cup final after beating Everton 2-1 at Wembley.

The Toffees opened the scoring when Jamie Carragher’s nervy clearance ricocheted off Tim Cahill and fell into the path of the Nikica Jelavic, who slotted the ball past Brad Jones in the 24th minute.

Liverpool however responded in the second-half after Luis Suarez capitalised on a mistake by Sylvain Distin to coolly poke the ball past Tim Howard to get his side back in the game.

Dalglish's side took the lead with just four minutes to go as Carroll leaped the highest in the area to head Steven Gerrard’s free-kick past Howard to send Liverpool to the final.

Kenny Dalglish's side started the game well and had the first real opportunity as Carroll was put behind the Toffees defence by Glen Johnson.

The striker cut the ball back to Jay Spearing on the edge of the area who shot first time but his effort went just over the bar.

The game was scrappy in the early stages as both teams looked nervy, this showed when Agger smashed his free-kick into the wall and the Toffees failed to clear as a result the ball was knocked back into the area for Skrtel but he could only shoot straight at Tim Howard.

Despite no side dominating it was the Blues who took the lead when they launched the ball long to Cahill as Carragher and Agger failed to clear the danger when the ball bounced around in the box.

The former England international's panicked clearance was charged down by the Australian and fell into the path of Jelavic who poked the ball past Jones into the net.

Liverpool tried to get back into the game and enjoyed lengthy spells of possession in the latter stages of the half, but due to some resilient defending from the Toffees and poor quality, especially in the wide areas, they could not force Howard into action before half-time.

The Reds came out strongly after the break and should have been level within a minute as Downing put a wonderful cross towards the back-post where Carroll was unmarked, however the 35-million-pound man unbelievably headed wide from two yards out, much to the frustration of his manager.

But Dalglish's side got their equaliser through Suarez who calmly poked the ball past Howard after capitalising on a mistake by Distin, whose pass-back to the American was weak allowing the striker to nip in and get the Reds back into the game.

Both teams were having half-chances but were unable to carve a clear cut opening as Carroll and Jelavic were unable to hit the target after getting free in the box.

After missing a host of chances in the game Carroll finally got on the scoresheet as he rose highest in the area to head home Bellamy's free-kick past Howard from close range in the 86th minute to give Liverpool the lead and send the Reds' supporters into raptures and his club into the final.

Article

Gerrard looks for new Liverpool heroes

13 April 2012 04:40

Steven Gerrard says that Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against Everton gives his teammates a chance to etch their names in Liverpool folklore.

Last time the Reds travelled to Wembley they secured their first piece of silverware since 2006, with victory over Cardiff City on penalties sealing the Carling Cup trophy earlier this season.

And now Gerrard believes the scene is set for someone to emerge as a hero and secure another trip to the iconic stadium for Kenny Dalglish's men.

"I think it's happened a lot of times, big players have had a big impact on big games but anyone can be the hero on the day," the 31-year-old said.

"It's one of those occasions that's set up so well for heroes. Big games, big heroes - let's hope they're in red shirts."

Saturday's kick-off will be the first Merseyside derby clash at Wembley since 1989, which came just a month after the Hillsborough disaster, and Gerrard has welcomed the commemoration of the 23rd anniversary of the tragedy before the game.

"This is not only a semi-final is it? It is a semi-final against Everton," he added. "For everyone at this club and everyone at Everton this is massive.

"I'm not going to play it down because everyone knows how big it is for me and everyone at the club.

"FA Cup semi-finals are very big at the best of times, but when you are playing your local rivals there's an extra bit of spice involved and it makes it that bit bigger.

"It's my responsibility and that of the other experienced players in the dressing room to help the younger lads that are going to be involved.

"It's important that we don't get too fired up and lose a man. I've been guilty of that in the past and we will be aware of that.

"There is a big responsibility on the players and supporters that this game gets played in the right manner and it is a fair game and a good game and afterwards people are talking about the good things.

"It does fall on this weekend (of the Hillsborough anniversary) and everyone does need to pay their respects."

Liverpool's Premier League form has been in stark contrast to that of Everton's lately, with David Moyes' men one point ahead of their rivals in the table, but Gerrard does not believe this will be a factor in this weekend's clash.

"I don't think the league position's got anything to do with this game and I don't think you need any extra motivation going into a local derby at Wembley in front of 92,000 in an FA Cup semi-final," he said.

"That's the motivation. I don't think any player on the pitch will be thinking about league position once the game starts.

"The thinking will be: 'What can we do on this pitch to get into the final?'"

Article

Moyes anticipating ´magical´ semi-final

11 April 2012 18:36

David Moyes is delighted to be able to take Everton back to Wembley to face Liverpool in Saturday's FA Cup semi-final.

It is 23 years since the two Merseyside clubs faced each other at the old Wembley and Moyes explained how he feels honoured to be the man who takes Everton to the game.

"It's magical to go to Wembley again," he said on Wednesday.

"To take Everton to Wembley and to take them into a derby game as well is something special.

"It hasn't happened that often. It used to happen a lot. I think the 1980s was probably the time when it happened most but I think to be the manager of Everton, take them back to Wembley again and to get the supporters there, I think that's special."

Moyes has had to contend with numerous injuries to his players this season but has revealed he could have a completely fit squad going into Saturday's tie, something which he feels gives them a good chance of progression.

"I think everybody is okay. We've got a few knocks and bruises, which you would expect after a game, but with a bit of luck we'll have a fully fit squad," he said.

"I was always going to have difficult decisions, we've got a squad which is playing well at the moment and we could quite easily pick a number of players. It's good, we've got a good choice to make.

"We've made changes probably for the last six weeks and in the main it has worked very well for us. I think when you've got a squad of players and you've got most of them fit, you've got to keep them all hungry and playing and giving them games at the right time. We've tried to do that and we've tried to get the decisions right as often as we can."

Everton suffered a slow start to the season but since the turn of the year, the Toffees have found a rich vein of form and have climbed back up the Premier League table.

Moyes hailed the quality and commitment of his players, particularly those who came to Goodison Park during the January transfer window.

"The form the players are in, the confidence they're playing with, the results, the goals we're scoring in games - all those things have definitely shown we've improved," he said.

"On numerous occasions now I think I've said the boys in January made a big difference but there's big credit to the boys who were already here.

"They've buckled down and got their form back going again and we rely a lot on the boys who have been around a long time and they're all in good form, thankfully."

Premier League table

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Premier League table

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