Everton's Wembley dream snuffed out by Arsenal

, 8 March, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent
Arsenal 4- 1 Everton

Everton's FA Cup dream was extinguished in clinical fashion by Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium as Arsene Wenger's side broke a tight game open in the final half hour.

The Blues had recovered from conceding an early goal to level matters in the first half and the tie was evenly poised in the second until a clumsy foul by Gareth Barry on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain handed the Gunners the chance to reclaim the lead from the penalty spot.

Ex-Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta obliged from 12 yards at the second attempt and Arsenal tacked on two more goals as the Blues chased the game to put a flattering gloss on the scoreline that masked the contribution to the contest from Roberto Martinez's men.

Roared on by the 5,000+ fans permitted by Arsenal, the visitors started the match in confident fashion, keeping possession and chasing everything that moved when they didn't have the ball. A slip by James McCarthy in the middle of the field after just six minutes, however, allowed Santi Cazorla to drive to the heart of the Blues' defence and slide a pass to Mezut Ozil who side-footed home with a first-time finish.

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The Gunners threatened to increase their lead with a succession of corners over the remainder of the half and the jittery Joel Robles almost gifted them a second when he inexplicably palmed the ball onto his own post. Steven Pienaar, meanwhile, passed up a great chance at the other end when he failed to get a proper connection on Kevin Mirallas's superb cut-back from the byline.

Everton would equalise, though, in the 32nd minute following a counter-attack led by Ross Barkley's long run that ended with him picking Mirallas out at the back post. The Belgian should have scored himself but Romelu Lukaku was on hand to control and then tap in his inadvertent knock-back and it was 1-1.

With Mirallas having shot tamely at Fabianski and Lukaku wasting another good chance on the break when he allowed Oxlade-Chamberlain to tackle him inside the box late in the first half, Everton would rue another missed chance nine minutes after the break. Lukaku took advantage of a slip by Thomas Vermaelen and teed up by Barkley but he swept a shot over the bar.

13 minutes later, the tie swung decisively in Arsenal's direction. Barry's trip on Oxlade-Chamberlain left referee Mark Clattenburg with little option but to award a penalty and Arteta kept his composure on the re-take to beat Robles from the spot. Then, while Martinez was preparing Gerard Deulofeu in an attempt to rescue the tie, Olivier Giroud converted from Bacary Sagna's pass from the byline and the French striker wrapped things up as the Blues were carved open on the counter-attack, Ozil the provider this time with Everton struggling to get men back.

It was finale that underscored Arsenal's superior finishing power and a ensured a miserable end to Everton's quest for a first trophy in 19 years, one that forces Martinez to focus all his energies now on finishing as high up the Premier League table as possible after the remaining 11 games.

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