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Saturday, 14 April 2012
Liverpool FC 2 Everton FC 1
A LATE header from Andy Carroll secured Liverpool FC's place in the FA Cup final as they recorded a 2-1 win over Merseyside rivals Everton at Wembley.
Carroll rose in the 87th minute to settle a pulsating contest, after Luis Suarez's goal had cancelled out Nikica Jelavic's first-half opener for Everton.
It was reward for a much-improved second-half display from Kenny Dalglish's men, who had been rocked on their heels by Jelavic's strike.
For David Moyes and Everton, there are only thoughts of what might have been. They began the game strongly, and merited their half-time lead, but left deflated after a third derby defeat of the campaign, albeit one played out in front of what will be remembered as a phenomenal occasion for the city of Liverpool.
Dalglish had sprung something of a surprise in his starting 11 by including Daniel Agger at left back, with Jose Enrique left on the bench. Brad Jones, as expected, started in goal in the absence of Pepe Reina and Alexander Doni, with young Hungarian Peter Gulacsi as his understudy.
Everton, meanwhile, fielded the same side which had secured their semi-final place by beating Sunderland in the last eight, with Magaye Gueye given the nod over Seamus Coleman and Victor Anichebe on the left hand side of midfield.
There was a fervent atmosphere inside Wembley, with red and blue united before kick-off as they paid tribute to the late Gary Ablett, and, 23 years on, to the victims of the Hillsborough disaster.
Fittingly, it was a Scouser that had the game's first opening, inside three minutes. Glen Johnson released Andy Carroll with a slide-rule pass, and the frontman's cut-back was swept over the bar by Jay Spearing from the edge of the box.
Everton soon responded, Leighton Baines bending a 25-yard free-kick onto the roof of the net after a foul on Nikica Jelavic.
It was open start, with Everton FC maintaining a high defensive line, and Liverpool looking to exploit the space in behind it.
Martin Skrtel drew a save from Tim Howard in the 14th minute after Carroll had cushioned Steven Gerrard's cross down to him.
Everton, who had begun nervously, soon settled. Jelavic almost ran clear onto Leon Osman's pass, but was thwarted by a backtracking Gerrard, before the Croatian sent an ambitious overhead kick into the grateful arms of Jones, after an adventurous run from Phil Neville.
And on 24 minutes, it was David Moyes' side who took the lead.
Read More http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-fc/liverpool-fc-news/2012/04/14/liverpool-fc-2-everton-fc-1-andy-carroll-s-late-strike-seals-wembley-return-for-reds-100252-30759047/#ixzz1s2K0vair