Home » EPL, FA Cup, Latest » FA Cup Match Report: Everton 2 Blackpool 0

Everton, beaten FA Cup finalists three years ago, enjoyed a relatively comfortable passage into this season’s quarter-finals as their recent resurgence continued courtesy of early goals from Royston Drenthe and Denis Stracqualursi.

Everton took a strangle hold on the game with a dominant opening in which they claimed two goals inside six minutes, the first after only 49 seconds of the fifth round tie.

Leighton Baines freed Magaye Gueye down the right flank and his cross picked out Marouane Fellaini who, in turn, slipped the ball wide to Drenthe. The winger steadied himself before placing an unstoppable shot into the corner of the Blackpool goal.

Drenthe was again involved in the second goal, sending over a right-wing corner which was helped on at the near post by Gueye. Stracqualursi reacted first and, despite being only a yard off the line, was allowed two attempts to connect cleanly with the ball before successfully depositing it into the back of the goal.

Blackpool might have claimed an injury-time consolation goal when John Heitinga was harshly judged to have brought down Lualua only for veteran Kevin Phillips to miss the penalty with a spectacularly poor high attempt.

At least Ian Holloway’s side had regained respectability after a torrid start but Gary Taylor-Fletcher was denied by Tim Howard, who blocked his progress on the six-yard line, and the influential Blackpool man was stretchered off having been injured in the 19th minute collision.

With Blackpool adjusting to his loss, Everton dominated the closing stages of the first half, coming close four times inside the space of a minute before the interval.

Fellaini’s shot hit Craig Cathcart and flew behind, Darron Gibson’s blistering 20-yard effort was kept out by Matt Gilks’ foot and Stracqualursi and Fellaini both headed wide from crosses.

After Thomas Ince had seen a free-kick comfortably saved by Howard, Phil Neville sent Stracqualursi clear beyond the Blackpool defence early after the restart but Gibson and Fellaini impeded each other as they met his cross, allowing Robert Harris to clear.

Gilks’ tremendous fingertip save kept out a fierce shot from the edge of the area by Drenthe, with Heitinga heading just over from the resulting corner.

Blackpool’s best hope of forcing their way back into contention appeared to be from a set-piece with Kevin Phillips offered a pair of opportunities, the first placed too close to Howard, the second beating the keeper but striking the crossbar.

Having survived that scare, Everton were soon back in the ascendancy with Stracqualursi making an acrobatic move to hook Leighton Baines’ far-post free-kick towards goal where Gilks saved well.

And Everton thought the tie was as good as over 10 minutes from time when Stracqualursi helped the ball onto Fellaini whose six-yard shot flew past Gilks but was cleared from the line by Harris.

Related Posts

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.