It took extra time and, eventually, a penalty shootout to separate Chelsea and Everton at Stamford Bridge in their FA Cup 2010/2011 Fourth Round Replay match on the afternoon of Saturday 19th February 2011.
Everton, despite having their first penalty well saved by Petr Cech in the Chelsea goal, won the shootout 4-3 and progress to the Fifth Round after a match that finished normal time at 0-0 ended Extra Time at 1-1 in dramatic fashion.
Everton captain, Phil Neville, stepped up to confidently slot home the winning penalty and send visiting fans into raptures.
The match had finished 0-0 at normal time; and when Frank Lampard put the hosts in front, at last, just before the end of the first half of extra time, on 104 minutes, home fans breathed a sign of relief, as their team, who had the better of the possession and more chances in front of goal were in front at last. Lampard’s goal came from a half-cleared Anelka cross, with the attacking midfielder well placed to slot home into the bottom corner of Tim Howard’s net.
But the home supporters’ delight, building as the final whistle approached, was removed by Leighton Baines, when the defender struck a beautiful direct free-kick into the top right corner of the Chelsea goal to set up the nerves of a penalty shoot-out. Baines’ goal came on 119 minutes, with around a minute remaining on the clock.
In the shootout, then, it was ironic that Baines, so recently the visiting hero, had his teams’ opening penalty expertly saved by Petr Cech in the Chelsea goal.
Lampard had already scored the opening penalty for the hosts, so when Drogba powered his penalty home, Chelsea had a great advantage with a 2-0 lead.
Jagielka put his penalty away to make it 2-1, before Tim Howard put Everton back in the shootout by saving from Anelka and, when Arteta put his spot-kick away, Everton were back on level terms, at 2-2.
Essien for Chelsea and Heitinga for Everton both scored to make it 3-3 before Ashley Cole drilled his penalty high and wide offering Phil Neville the chance to win the match from the final penalty kick, which he took, sending Cech the wrong way, before being enveloped by his onrushing teammates.
This match, in 90 minutes, was not a classic, by any means, but, once sparked into life in extra time, this became as dramatic and exciting a cup-tie as one might hope to see. What the FA Cup is all about, in other words.
Everton are rewarded with an FA Cup 2011 Fifth Round home tie against Reading on 1st March 2011.