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14 April 2012
• Wembley Stadium, London
Referee: H. Webb
• Attendance: 87231
L. Suárez 62'
A. Carroll 87'
N. Jelavić 24'
That's it from me, thanks for joining us and look out for all the best reaction coming up on the site. Cheers all!
Handshakes all round and hugs for Dalglish and Carroll the match-winner. You'll Never Walk Alone rings out around the stadium and the red side of Merseyside rejoice at the prospect of another cup final.
90' + 4'
The ball bundles around as the Toffees finally chuck the ball into the box but Liverpool clear and Howard Webb blows the whistle! 2-1 Liverpool and they'll meet Chelsea or Tottenham back at Wembley in three weeks.
90' + 3'
Carroll and Bellamy fight for the ball in the corner with Cahill and force a red throw-in. This is surely it? Suarez has been announced as the man of the match over the PA system. But Everton break...
90' + 2'
At one end, Everton see an attack halted by the referees whistle, whilst Suarez forces a corner at the other. They'll hold this in the corner and that should be that. Only a minute left...
What a chance! Suarez keeps the ball in on the byline and squares for Maxi who has to score! He doesn't though and from three yards, taps onto the base of the post.
Goal Andy Carroll
GOAL!!! Bellamy swings the ball over and that man Andy Carroll heads home!! It was far too simple. A simple ball into the six yard box and Carroll nods over his shoulder past Howard. He deserves that for a good second half. Everton dead and buried...
Erm, Coleman probably should be getting a second yellow there but he escapes after his foul on Gerrard. It's a booking if he hadn't already been carded in my opinion. Bellamy stands over the wide free kick...
Downing's day is over and he is replaced by Bellamy, who quite frankly, is a brilliant option to bring on at this stage of the game. Quick, pacy legs against tiring bodies...
A long ball ricochets around the box but as it drops to Carroll his shot is blocked by his own man Suarez and off for a goal-kick.
Decent chance at the other end as Cahill heads the ball to Fellaini, who flicks into Jelavic's path. The Croatian's effort beats Jones but hits the side netting.
He's done better this half, and Andy Carroll again fights for a ball before hitting a ball from 25 yards well wide. He'd done so well initially but taking a shot was the wrong call when he had better options elsewhere.
Yellow Card Seamus Coleman
Chance! Everton give away possession on the edge of the box and Carroll collects and shifts the ball a yard to find room before lashing a left-footed strike just wide of Howard's post. Close!
Baines and Osman link up on the left and the latter finds space on the right corner of the box to open his body and curl a shot at goal. It's on-target and although Jones saves it, he looked far from comfortable.
Yellow Card Jordan Henderson
Hmm, Henderson is booked for dissent for the decision not to award a corner and as his temper boils, Dalglish decides to take him off for Maxi Rodriguez. This could be an inspired substitution...
So Everton are down to ten men as Heitinga took a blow to the head in an aerial challenge with Carroll. At the other end, Brad Jones continues to fly from his line and punch long balls clear. It's working at the moment but you do fear one of these punches could land at blue feet...
Downing vs Baines in a foot race and it's almost the winger's ball which would have been a major surprise. But Baines does well, shouldering him off the ball and clearing.
Everton know they need more of the ball but they're struggling to deal with wave after wave of attack. Seamus Coleman comes on for Gueye in the first substitution of the game.
Are Liverpool turning the screw? Johnson this time finds enough room on the right to cut in and fire a low shot at goal. It's saved by Howard who tries to calm his team down in what has been a bad second half so far.
Liverpool pressure keeps coming and Suarez knocks a cross over to the right for Downing. The winger opts not to strike one on his right and cuts back to cross again but it's poor and cleared to safety.
Goal Luis Suárez
GOAL!!! It's 1-1 and it's another defensive error. Sylvain Distin tries to play it back to Howard but Suarez reads it well and latches on before sliding the ball past Howard. 1-1 and game on. Oh Distin...
Downing has been better down the right this half, and crosses low and hard into the six yard box. It's scrambled away by Everton before Fellaini is fouled to give Everton some relief.
Bit of confusion at the back for Liverpool as a header drops into the area and neither Skrtel or Jones decide who should go for it. In the end it's hoofed clear for an Everton throw-in. From the resulting move, there's more hesitation in the area from Liverpool and Everton look to have found a way in on goal from the tangle of bodies but Webb blows for a red free kick.
Yellow Card Nikica Jelavic
Yellow Card Martin Skrtel
Croatian and Slovak relations at an all time low? Jelavic is felled by Skrtel and there's a bit of afters as they tangle on the floor. Howard Webb deals a yellow card to both of them.
Osman, Jelavic and Cahill link up on the edge of the box before Osman finds room for a left-foot shot. However it's low and weak and gathered by Jones.
Jelavic finds room to get one on one with Skrtel for the first time and after a bit of shimmying, gets the ball on his right but thumps it over and wide. Decent chance for the Croatian.
Dodgy keeper? Brad Jones tries to claim but gets under it and concedes a corner. From the next set piece, his punch goes skywards but Osman's attacking header is deemed a foul and Liverpool start again.
At the other end, have Everton awoken? They have another close range free kick after Fellaini took a tumble...
Another couple of promising chances but Suarez's footing isn't stable enough to weave his considerable magic on the Everton defence. In a melee of a clearance, Gerrard gets the ball whacked into his face...
Well Everton have been lax since emerging for the second half and Liverpool should be level. Spearing has a chance to roll Suarez in on goal - it's an easy pass - except he overhits it and sends it through to Howard.
What a MISS!!! Downing, operating on the right now, heads down the flank and crosses deep to the back post for Carroll. The £35m man meets the cross and slams his header seemingly at goal! Except he doesn't and puts it wide at the back-post. He has his head in his hands. It was an awful miss.
Bright start from Liverpool as Suarez flicks the ball into the path of Gerrard. Neville hooks clear to safety as the Liverpool captain tries to latch onto it in the box.
We are indeed back underway...
We're not far from the 2nd half at Wembley and for Liverpool fans it's a concerning situation. They've looked blunt up top and Everton have had a fairly easy ride since taking the lead. What will Dalglish do to get back into this game?
Wayne Veysey sums up the first half for us: "Everton's fans rise to their feet and scream their support for their team at the end of a half that had little in the way of finesse or quality but leaves their team with one foot in the final. By contrast, there is a hush from the Liverpool fans to our left, who have watched their team dominate possesion but fail to achieve much with it. Everton are following the Jelavic road. Liverpool's route back into this tie could lie on the touchline, where Craig Bellamy has been stretching his hamstrings in the sunshine."
And that's half-time at Wembley. Everton lead 1-0 after a very avoidable goal scored by Jelavic. For what it's worth, replays showed his left leg was offside...
There's a great slo-mo of Suarez turning to chase a long ball but opting to rugby tackle Heitinga to the ground instead. Very odd.
It is Jelavic but it's wide of the near post and Jones collects for a goal kick.
Jelavic wins a free-kick from Skrtel on the edge of the box and looks to fancy his chances here...
There's a short corner and a few passes later the ball is tossed into the box for Carroll to attack. His header loops high into the air and is shepharded over and onto the roof of the net by Howard. Again, the service and quality in the last third is terrible.
Downing and Johnson link up well down the right flank but the full-back's cross is poor and drifts out of play on the far side. There has been a massive lack of quality in Liverpool's attacks so far.
Yellow Card Sylvain Distin
Suarez takes a bit of a knock and stays down for a second or two. Distin picks up a yellow card for his handoff on the Uruguayan but only after Gerrard unleashes a shot just over the bar from 25 yards.
A Downing corner is headed clear by Cahill but it's back with the winger. His cross is well caught by Howard though and Everton escape danger.
Osman is having a great game for Everton and he's at it again, drifting off the right, playing one-twos and generally causing panic for Liverpool. This time, Henderson gets back in and clears but it's obvious where Everton are hurting Liverpool at the moment.
It's been all Liverpool since the goal. 75% possession in the last five minutes shows how much it's kicked them out of their slumber. However, they're still yet to create anything meaningful which must be a worry given the attacking threat they have out on the pitch.
Good flick by Carroll to Suarez who canters down the right awaiting support. Gerrard arrives in the box but Suarez's cross is hooked clear and away from danger.
That's a lovely cross by Downing as Liverpool find a bit of space on the left and his back post cross looks set to be headed home by Carroll. But Baines does superbly to back into the big man and prevent him getting on the end of it. Foul? Not for me, it's clever from Baines.
Liverpool try and respond but Everton hold firm on the edge of their box, repelling Suarez and then Johnson as they probe the edge of the box. That was Jelavic's 6th goal in 11 games for Everton - what a signing he's turned out to be!
Goal Nikica Jelavic
GOAL!!! Everton lead at Wembley and it's Jelavic! It's an absolute gift as Agger and Carragher can't decide who is going to clear the ball. As Carragher eventually takes charge, he whacks it into Cahill and it drops to Jelavic in the box. He makes no mistake, slotting low past Jones!
But it's still a bit frantic and a touch timid out there. We've not seen too much class on the ball just yet - possibly because Luis Suarez has struggled to get on the ball.
Phil Neville gets past Downing on the right and plays a one-two with Osman. Neville is in the box and fires a low ball across the box which deflects up and into the air. Jelavic reacts and attempts his trademark overhead kick and although he connects and gets his effort on target, it's not a full-blooded strike.
But Liverpool can't find a red head and Everton counter. As space opens for Jelavic on the left, there's a brief window for through pass but it holds up in the Wembley grass and is cleared by Johnson. That was a chance for the Toffees.
Baines defends a long ball well but concedes a corner for his troubles...
That's the best move of the game from Everton and it revolves around Osman who kept finding pockets of space before his low cross was touched behind for a corner. Gueye's corner results in a Distin foul and a Liverpool free kick.
...no it's Agger. And it's rubbish...straight into the wall. But the resulting cross from Gerrard is nodded down by Carroll and turned at goal by Skrtel who forces Howard into the first save of the game. It's easily caught though.
Luis Suarez receives the ball on the edge of the Everton box and rolls Distin before being tripped. It's about 20 yards out and on the right corner. Could it be the left foot of Downing?
Still a fairly nervy opening from both teams and you can sense it amongst the fans too. It's a tentative atmosphere in the stands too.
Agger makes a wonderful tackle on a marauding Heitinga and shifts the ball forward to Downing. The winger cuts in onto his right foot but his shot is woefully sliced almost horizontally to his right. It's poor.
....decent effort...and it's the roof of the net from Leighton Baines. He got a lovely arc on the ball but just got under it a tad too much.
Nice string of passes from Everton leads to Jelavic pouncing on a loose ball from his own misplaced ball to Osman. As he nips in, Agger clips him on the edge of the box and Howard Webb is quick to give the free-kick. Chance...
Glen Johnson plays a neat one-two with Henderson down the right before laying Andy Carroll in. The big man gets into the Everton box and cuts back for Spearing who hits it first time and just over. Good move from Liverpool but a poor finish from the man who is yet to score for the Reds.
The first long ball up to Carroll sees him win his header against Heitinga. Nothing comes of the attack but it highlights one of the key battles of the day already.
We're off - Everton are kicking from left to right as I watch it.
Here we go, kick-off is just moments away and has followed a presentation to mark the 23rd anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. There will now be a period of silence before we get underway.
We have Wayne Veysey at Wembley today and he has this for us: "Good afternoon from a sunny Wembley, which is filling up nicely for the first of two mouthwatering semi-final showdowns. The red half of the stadium is currently reverberating to the strains of the Liverpool anthem 'You'll Never Walk Alone'. Scarves aloft. Lungs at not-quite maximum capacity. Everton fans naturally boo throughout."
With Everton, it's largely what I expected although I did think Jagielka would start with Distin rather than Heitinga. I'm also surprised to see Drenthe miss out completely. I can see Everton having the better of the midfield battle but do they have enough to hurt Liverpool? I'm not so sure.
First thoughts - Dalglish has been very positive in his selection. Two up top with the rejuvinated Carroll partnering Luis Suarez as well as Gerrard in midfield. That will mean a lot of work for Spearing and Henderson though. Also, I'm very surprised to see Maxi Rodriguez and Jose Enrique miss out.
And Everton: Howard; Neville, Distin, Heitinga, Baines; Osman, Fellaini, Gibson, Gueye; Cahill; Jelavic. Subs: Hahnemann, Hibbert, Jagielka, Stracqualursi, McFadden, Coleman, Anichebe
First up, the Liverpool team: (4-4-2): Jones; Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Agger; Gerrard, Spearing, Henderson, Downing; Carroll, Suarez. Subs: Gulacsi, Enrique, Maxi, Kuyt, Shelvey, Kelly, Bellamy
Good afternoon everybody and welcome to our live coverage of the first FA Cup semi-final of the weekend with me Jay Jaffa. It's the most-played fixture at this stage - Liverpool v Everton! Team news coming right up.
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