Recent years have brought the Toffees some fascinating cup ties. A few weeks ago, we relived 2009's classic victory over Liverpool en route to the FA Cup final, which the Merseyside club ultimately lost to Chelsea. Two years later, Everton drew Chelsea again, this time at home in the 4th round of the cup. Louis Saha's 62nd minute goal was cancelled out by Salomon Kalou in the 75th minute, and the match ended a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park, leaving the clubs bound for a replay at Stamford Bridge. Three weeks later, the sides stepped out in front of 41,113 and gave the supporters their money's worth.
Tim Howard had to be on the top of his game through much of regular time, as can be seen in the highlights here. Chelsea first came close in the 20th minute, when the Everton back-line failed to deal with a Frank Lampard free kick, but John Terry skied a shot over the bar from 6 yards out, gifting the Toffees a reprieve. Minutes later, Florent Malouda jinxed his way around right-back Phil Neville, forcing a solid close-range save from Howard. Just past the half hour mark, Ramires sprung onto a long ball down the right, and the USA keeper charged the Brazilian, and ultimately did not hit the man or the ball. His presence though, was enough, as Ramires took a tumble, drawing the ire of referee Phil Dowd, along with a yellow card for embellishment.
In the second half, Howard continued his display. In the 64th minute, he did well to deny Frank Lampard from point blank range, sending the Englishman's shot from 4 yards out away for a corner kick. On the ensuing set piece, Branislav Ivanovic's shot from a similar distance was blocked by Neville, and Everton once again escape unscathed. It appeared it was simply not to be Lampard's day when in the 82nd minute he failed to convert another opportunity, this time a chip from the top of the box. The Toffees did manage to create a massive chance of their own, just before the full time whistle; a Leighton Baines rocket of a right footed shot from the top of the box was stopped by Petr Cech, but spilled right onto the boot of Marouane Fellaini, who made the simple finish to put the ball into the back of the net. Just as the 90th minute celebration was about to get underway, the linesman's flag went up. The big Belgian was the smallest of steps offside, and the referee's assistant rightly called back the goal. Soon after, Phil Dowd whistled for the end of full time; extra football was on the way.
Chelsea had the better of play through the first 15 extra minutes, and finally grabbed the reward they deserved in the 104th minute. Sylvain Distin whiffed on a cross into the box, sending it into the corner where Nicolas Anelka worked his way through two defenders and managed to send in a cross. John Heitinga and Phil Jagielka failed to deal with it, and Didier Drogba chested it directly into the path of Lampard, who finally snagged his goal. The first period of extra time end with the score 1-0.
The Toffees created very little in the second period of extra time in truth, but were given a gift by Ivanovic when he plowed through the back of faux center forward Phil Jagielka 25 yards from goal in the 119th minute. Leighton Baines and Mikel Arteta both lined up over the free kick, and the tension at Stamford Bridge was palpable. Arteta, of course, was the preferred man on set pieces at the time. The Spaniard produced his fair share of impressive free kick finishes in his time in blue, and is a more than capable player, but with the ball lined up on the right side of the pitch, the shot always going to be best for a left footed player. Baines stepped up to it, put his left foot through it, and curled it almost majestically into the top corner, leaving Petr Cech helpless. Baines sprinted to the end-line where he was mauled by his teammates in front of the visiting supporters. When the celebration was done, extra time was all but over, and penalties were on the way.
Lampard, who had dominated proceedings at times during the match, was the obvious first choice shooter for Chelsea. Howard guessed correctly, but Lampard simply put too much on the shot, and slammed it into the inside of the top of the goal. Everton countered with Baines, another natural choice given his late heroics. But the Englishman was out of magic, and Cech managed to save his tame penalty with relative ease. Drogba was up next for Chelsea, and the man with 12 FA Cup goals to his name sent Howard the wrong way, putting Everton firmly behind the 8-ball. Phil Jagielka stepped up next for the Toffees. To understand how the team could be sending up a center-back for its second kick, just take a quick look at the lineup. After Moyes made his three substitutions, the lineup from back to front was Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Neville, Coleman, Arteta, Heitinga, Bilyaletdinov, Fellaini, and Anichebe. Perhaps to say the Toffees were behind the 8-ball was an understatement.
At any rate, Jagielka stepped up and managed to convert his penalty, sending Cech the wrong way and slotting it into the bottom corner. At 2-1, Anelka stepped up for Chelsea, and somewhat nonchalantly took a subpar shot, that Howard was able to dive and punch out, giving Mikel Arteta a chance to level the score. The Spaniard stepped up and rocketed a shot, perhaps a little close to the keeper for everyone's liking, but found the back of the net on the sheer power of the strike. Michael Essien shot next for Chelsea, and made things look very simple, sending Howard the wrong way and smashing the shot into the top corner. Heitinga was Everton's next shooter, as the team sheet really began to look thin on offensive firepower. The Dutchman took a huge run-up from directly behind the ball, and hit it with enough power to just beat Cech, who had Heitinga's location picked. The score was 3-3.
Without a doubt though, the most memorable moment of the entire match came away from the penalty spot. Heitinga walked toward the endline, pumping up the supporters, then turned back to walk toward the center circle as Ashley Cole approached to take the next penalty for Chelsea. In a move right in line with the fiery character of the defender from Holland, Heitinga absolutely deliberately walked right into the English left-back. Cole appeared perturbed by Heitinga's intrusion momentarily, then proceeded to take his place at the spot. Heitinga's mind games worked; Cole put his shot well high and wide, and Phil Neville approached the spot with a chance to win it for Everton.
The skipper, though he was not exactly an offensive dynamo, certainly never lacked confidence, and more importantly, nerves of steel. Fizzer stepped up and took maybe the best penalty of the shootout. He picked the upper 90, and Petr Cech never had a chance. Neville calmly walked to the front of the travelling supporters, took a bow, and then allowed the pandemonium to ensue. The Toffees had prevailed, 4-3 in penalties.