Carroll heads Liverpool into final
After all the criticism, Andy Carroll could revel in achievement as he completed Liverpool's recovery to take their place in the FA Cup final. The £35m signing headed home the winner from a free-kick by the substitute Craig Bellamy three minutes from the end.sports Updated: Apr 14, 2012 23:32 IST
After all the criticism, Andy Carroll could revel in achievement as he completed Liverpool's recovery to take their place in the FA Cup final. The £35m signing headed home the winner from a free-kick by the substitute Craig Bellamy three minutes from the end.
Semi-finals often seem to be swayed by error more than virtuosity. In this case, Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool side were 1-0 down and in difficulties before Sylvain Distin's outlandishly short attempt at a back-pass allowed Luis Suarez to run through and equalise in the 62nd minute.
Everton’s opener demonstrated that Daniel Agger and Jamie Carragher both hesitated over making a clearance in the 24th minute and the latter kicked the ball against Tim Cahill. The rebound dropped into the path of Nikica Jelavic, who shot home efficiently.
Prior to the interval, Liverpool had great territorial command. With their opponents content to drop deep, there was congestion for Liverpool to overcome. At that stage, however, there was no flow to the build-up and the strikers Suarez and Carroll had extremely limited scope.
Only a point separates the club in the Premier League, but it is Everton who have that small advantage and, at Wembley, they also had the edge in the first half.
Liverpool struggled with the expectations that come when a squad appears more glamorous than its challengers.
The leveller from Suárez meant that Moyes's side had no further reason to be cautious but Liverpool had seized the initiative. A Carroll drive from the edge of the area went marginally wide in the 78th minute. This game had difficulty in coming to a conclusion, but ultimately produced a stirring close.
Terry, Cole fit
Skipper John Terry and left back Ashley Cole are both available for Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley on Sunday after recovering from injuries.
Terry has been nursing a rib injury while Cole missed Chelsea’s last two games with an ankle problem.
With regular right back Branislav Ivanovic suspended for the clash, the availability of the experienced Terry and Cole is a major boost for the Di Matteo who faces three crucial games in eight days.
Chelsea face a pivotal period in their season with the clash against Spurs being followed by the first leg of their Champions League semi-final at home to Barcelona on Wednesday.
First Published: Apr 14, 2012 23:30 IST