Semi-final thanks to Romelu
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