Semi-fi­nal thanks to Romelu

Tof­fees in

The Football League Paper - - FA CUP QUARTER-FINALS - By Martin Parker

ROMELU Lukaku’s sen­sa­tional solo goal helped Ever­ton over­come Chelsea and progress to an FA Cup semi-fi­nal in a match that saw Diego Costa and Gareth Barry re­ceive their march­ing or­ders.

The match looked like it was head­ing for a re­play un­til the Bel­gian col­lected the ball on the left, beat four Chelsea play­ers and fired home to give his side the lead.

He then sealed the vic­tory with his se­cond goal five min­utes later be­fore tem­pers flared and Costa picked up a se­cond yel­low on 84 min­utes and was fol­lowed down the tun­nel by Barry three min­utes later.

The game started at a blis­ter­ing pace with the Tof­fees threat­en­ing in­side the open­ing minute as Tom Clev­er­ley forced Thibaut Cour­tois into early ac­tion.

It was a feisty open­ing and the first book­ing came af­ter ten min­utes as Costa was cau­tioned for a foul on Gareth Barry be­fore the striker had a penalty ap­peal turned down fol­low­ing a chal­lenge in the box by Phil Jagielka.

Chelsea grew into the half and but chances were at a pre­mium for both sides un­til the clos­ing minute of the half when Wil­lian’s free-kick was well saved by Ever­ton goal­keeper Joel Robles.

On 50 min­utes the dead­lock was al­most bro­ken as for­mer Chelsea man Lukaku was brought down and Ramiro Funes Mori latched onto the re­sult­ing free-kick only to see his header loop onto the roof of the net.

Costa then came within inches of giv­ing Chelsea the lead on 57 min­utes when he found some space in the box, rounded Robles and fired across goal from the nar­row­est of an­gles.

It was the best chance that the game had seen but it did lit­tle to ig­nite the ac­tion as both sides strug­gled to break the dead­lock.

But Bel­gian striker Lukaku was not go­ing to be de­nied for long and, on 77 min­utes, he pro­duced a mo­ment of magic to send Good­i­son Park into rap­tures.

Lukaku picked the ball up on the left and showed in­cred­i­ble strength as he shrugged off the chal­lenge of Ce­sar Azpilicueta and Ne­manja Matic.

From there he burst past John Obi Mikel in the box and wrong-footed Gary Cahill be­fore fir­ing low past his com­pa­triot for the opener.

And he sealed the vic­tory af­ter 81 min­utes af­ter hold­ing his run per­fectly and ghost­ing into the box on the right be­fore fin­ish­ing right-footed be­tween the legs of Cour­tois.

If that wasn’t bad enough for Chelsea Costa re­ceived his march­ing or­ders af­ter re­act­ing to a chal­lenge from Barry – who him­self was sent off for a se­cond book­able of­fence four min­utes later.

STAR MAN ROMEL

U LUKAK

U Ever­ton

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