Monday, March 9, 2009

Everton v Middlesbrough, FA Cup, March 8

If football was like tennis or something then maybe this one would have been a tie. Boro clearly won the first half and Everton the second and no one would have complained. Sadly, no one appointed any judges to score football games and Boro lost this one by the odd goal in three.
There’s not too much to add to that. It was a fun-filled cup game with lots of attacking play.

There were moments of goalkeeping madness at both ends though Boro paid a heavier price as Everton equalized through a goalkeeping blunder and completely took charge of the game after that. And to rub salt into Boro wounds, they scored twice in their period of domination where the visitors managed only one in their supremely commanding first half performace.

The usual suspects looked good for both the teams: Tuncay and Downing for Boro, Fellaini, Cahill, Pienaar for Everton. I think Pienaar is slightly underrated and could be very useful in a top four side, though there does seem to be an obvious lack of vacany in these positions at any of the really big clubs. Maybe that’s why Moyes has managed to keep him and that’s good for him and Everton.

Everton will take on Sir Alex and his boys in the semi-final and I will be rooting for them to win this one. Two non big four winners in two years will be a delightful occurrence in these times. It won’t be easy but you were never going to win this thing without defeating Man U anyway and if Everton do pull that off, they will have put some fear in their opponent hearts come Cup final day in 2009.

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