Everton has accomplished much under manager David Moyes, but it has not enjoyed a good run for the famous FA Cup trophy. That changed today as Everton moved into the final eight with a 3-1 victory over Aston Villa at Goodison Park. This was Villa’s first domestic loss since November 9, and it avenged the Villians’ thrilling, last-second 3-2 victory over Everton in December.
Everton’s goals came from 17 year-old Jack Rodwell, Mikel Arteta (on a penalty kick), and Tim Cahill. Victor Anichebe assisted on one goal and drew the penalty after a powerful run. Anichebe was just reinstated in the side after a training ground dust-up with Moyes. It has been clear for some time that Anichebe would not be banned for long, but his return may have been hastened by the fact that so many attacking players were unavailabe to Moyes this week.
Cahill, considered by some to be the best Austrailian soccer player (“Socceroo”) ever, wore a black armband in honor of the victims of the bushfires that have ravaged his country this week.
The match featured two American goalkeepers, Tim Howard or Everton and Brad Freidl of Villa. Howard contibuted a first-rate save with Everton clinging to a 2-1 lead.
Both Howard and Freidl are considered (correctly in my view) to be easily among the top ten keepers in the English Premier League. Villa’s back-up keeper, Brad Guzan, is also American. He is Howard’s understudy in the U.S. national team. With Howard suspended for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against El Salvador, Guzan is expected to start (Freidl retired from ithe national team several years ago).
In its cup run, Everton has knocked off two of England top four teams (Liverpool and Aston Villa). The other two — Manchester United and Chelsea — are still alive. With luck, we will avoid both of them, and Arsenal too, in the quarterfinal draw.
UPDATE: We will face the winner of the West Ham-Middlesbrough replay. And the match will be at home.
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