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

The Merseyside derby will grace English football’s finest stage at Wembley after Everton outclassed Sunderland in their FA Cup quarter-final replay.

Sunderland have never beaten Everton since David Moyes became manager in 2001, and they never looked like doing so here, with their barren run now stretching to 17 games. Where Sunderland were all nervous energy, their rivals were cool, calm and collected.

They weathered a brief storm midway through the first half to take the lead through Nikica Jelavic and then extended their advantage at the end of a dominant spell at the start of the second-half, when David Vaughan scored a comical own goal.

It was a desperately disappointing evening for Sunderland, who seemed to freeze in front of their biggest crowd of the year and few could argue Everton did not deserve to set up a semi-final meeting with Liverpool. On current form, Everton will surely start as favourites.

The first chance duly came the visitor’s way, with Leon Osman springing the offside trap, but Nikica Jelavic unable to get on the end of a dangerous cross. Minutes later, Tim Cahill moved into the area unchallenged, but his shot was too close to goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to trouble him. The warning signs were there.

Sunderland responded through Stéphane Sessègnon, who was unable to get enough power on a far-post header from Seb Larsson’s free-kick. The Swede quickly found James McClean in a similar position, but the young Northern Irishman was also unable to worry Tim Howard.

The home side appeared to be getting on top, but Everton remained composed and looked a threat whenever they got a set-piece to swing into the area. Twice Cahill got on the end of corners, but Mignolet managed to keep his headers out. Everton, though, were growing in confidence and duly took the lead when Jelavic ran on to a low cross from Magaye Gueye after Phil Bardsley had failed to cut it out at the near post.

First blood drawn, it was the perfect situation for Moyes’ side, who could now sit back and soak up pressure with a five-man midfield, while trying to counter whenever Sunderland’s offensives floundered. In turn, it was the worst case scenario for Martin O’Neill’s side, normally at their most dangerous when they are able to hit teams on the break.

With the onus on them to commit men forward, Nicklas Bendtner was denied an easy tap in by an excellent tackle from Leighton Baines, a Larsson free-kick flew wide, but the home crowd were getting tense and momentum failed to build.

Sunderland have only come back to win after conceding first once during O’Neill’s reign, and that was in his first game in charge against Blackburn. They never really looked like changing that statistic as Everton begun the second-half where they had ended the first – in control – with a sweet volley from Leon Osman swerving inches wide. It was only a temporary reprieve for Sunderland. The magnificent Marouane Fellaini stole possession from substitute Vaughan and fed the ball through to Jelavic. The Croatian’s shot was half blocked by Mignolet but, as Vaughan tried to clear, he somehow managed to sweep the ball into his own net.

It was an awful moment for the Wales international and Jelavic should have made the game safe four minutes later, when he was set up by Cahill, but fired wide. At the other end, Sessègnon hit the post from a Larsson corner after Howard had misjudged its flight. Sunderland’s best chance fell to Fraizer Campbell in stoppage time, but his poor finish summed up their evening.

Match details

Sunderland (4-4-2): Mignolet; Bardsley, Kyrgiakos (Vaughan 53), Turner, Bridge (Campbell 63); Larsson, Cattermole, Gardner, McClean; Sessegnon, Bendtner. Subs: Gordon, Elmohamady, Meyler, Ji, Kilgallon. Booked: Bardsley, Larsson. Goals: Jelavic 24, Vaughan (og) 57

Everton (4-4-1-1): Howard; Neville, Distin, Heitinga, Baines; Osman, Gibson, Fellaini, Gueye (Jagielka 81); Cahill; Jelavic (Stracqualursi 87). Subs: Hahnemann, Hibbert, McFadden, Anichebe, Duffy. Booked: Gibson, Gueye, Fellaini, Jelavic, Heitinga.

Referee: L Probert (Wiltshire)

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