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Everton at West Ham: FA Cup Round 3 Instant Reaction

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One of the most Everton games of all time

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I'm not sure what to say after that. What a ridiculous, incredible, uplifting, heartbreaking, just plain bonkers game of football.

The upshot is that Everton are out of the FA Cup, and in the cold light of day that's a real disappointment - especially in a season in which the team's league performance has been so poor. But you can't just look at the game we just watched and say ‘Everton lost'. There was so much more to it than that.

There was the exciting first half an hour where we looked brilliant - harrying West Ham and pressing high up the pitch. Then there was the half hour that followed it where the Blues' back line remembered that they'd forgotten how to defend, and were punished by a painfully straightforward goal from Enner Valencia.

Then McGeady got sent off. I wrote just a few days ago that he might just come good in the second half of the season, so I take full responsibility. The guy's clearly frustrated, and I'm not convinced his grazing of Mark Noble was worthy of a second booking, but to even consider sliding in as he did having already been yellow carded was an act of colossal stupidity. I won't blame him for the loss, but... well, I'll leave it at that.

Still, with 10 men Everton were superb, and just about deserved their equaliser, even if they did then ride their luck from East London up to Liverpool and back in the final 15 minutes. It obviously helps if one of those 10 men is Kevin Mirallas, too. Fully fit or not, it should be clear now if it wasn't already that he's our best player. His superb free kick highlighted that fact, and then he underlined it in bold a few times by pulling off an obscene assist for Lukaku in extra time - teasing the Hammers defence before laying it on a plate for his compatriot. The pair's celebration paid tribute to their late teammate Junior Malanda - it was a touching moment of perspective in the midst of a completely madcap game.

After that there were more chances, a couple of penalty decisions that Neil Swarbrick managed to get doubly wrong, even more chances, a goal conceded from a corner - to the surprise of precisely zero Evertonians - a few more chances to round things out, and then penalties. 20 of them.

A word for Joel Robles, who had his best game in an Everton shirt by an Astronomical Unit: Everton wouldn't have made it to penalties without him, even if he was then pretty dire in the shootout itself. One performance isn't going to make me reconsider my desire for a new keeper at Goodison, but fair play to Joel, he had a blinder tonight.

There's a lot more to say about this game and its effect on the team going forward, and Royal Blue Mersey will cover it in the days to come, but for now I'm going for a lie down. Come on you Blues.