Everton 0 Chelsea 1

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 23 January 2008
Chelsea completed a thoroughly professional job on Everton as they left Merseyside with a one-goal victory to secure their place at Wembley.

Everton boss David Moyes had demanded his team pull off "the performance of the season" in order to face Tottenham Hotspur in the Final.

Both the Toffees and Chelsea were missing their African contingent due to their Africa Cup of Nations commitments, but it could be argued Chelsea started the tie with the weaker team with Michael Ballack, John Terry and Frank Lampard all absent.

Only 3,800 Chelsea fans made the trip up the M1 for this semi-final tie and the noise discrepancy was instantly noticeable as Evertonians lifted the roof off Goodison Park before kick-off.

Almost everyone in the stadium anticipated an upset, but Chelsea were determined to hang onto their first leg lead.

Manuel Fernandes started in a reshuffled Everton pack with Tony Hibbert dropped to the bench in favour of captain, Phil Neville.

In the first 20 minutes of the first half, Chelsea were outplayed and outmaneuvered in all areas, though it speaks volumes that Petr Cech had only one save to make. For long periods, Chelsea were penned back in their own half without being seriously troubled.

Chelsea held firm as wave after wave of Everton attacks, orchestrated by Fernandes, Mikel Arteta and Tim Cahill rained down upon them. Claude Makelele and Ricardo Carvalho were equal to the task though, and as the half wore on, the home side's play became increasingly ragged.

The closest Everton came to levelling the aggregate score was when Arteta whipped in a wicked cross which connected with Joleon Lescott's head . Unfortunately, Cahill, just a yard from the goal was not quick enough to react and Cech smothered the danger.

As for Chelsea, they seemed happy to soak the pressure up with the only real danger coming from Shaun Wright-Phillips' shot, which deflected wide off Leon Osman and a Florent Malouda drive which should have been on target. At this stage Nicolas Anelka's only contribution as the lone striker was two offside flags.

The second half started with Chelsea actually looking like an attacking threat and it in the first minute Anelka's shot hit Tim Howard's crossbar off Phil Jagielka's head.

Everton eventually found their rhythm again and threatened the west Londoners goal in patches. However the game was eventually killed off when a long, raking ball from Malouda found Joe Cole running between Lescott and Nuno Valente.

Joe Cole made no mistake from ten yards out as he buried the ball into the net and broke Everton hearts.

Chelsea defended in numbers after that, with Everton not being able to find a way past a sea of yellow shirts.

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