I've always said, as have many others, that penalties is the worst way to go out of any competition no matter what round you're in.
Poor Joel Robles, he kept us in the game all the way through only to smash the bar with his penalty and ultimately lose us the game. It doesn't get much crueler than that.
The first half we were just not interested in attacking or scoring, we just contained them for some unknown reason. However, when we finally took the shackles off around the 65th minute we were already a goal down. Kevin Mirallas was the game changer and what a game he had.
Mirallas, as we now know, has been playing with an injury of late so imagine if he was 100% fit? It's scary to even imagine! We probably wouldn't have gone to extra time or penalties that's for sure.
Joel Robles- 8- There isn't a better time for the Spaniard to start hitting his straps. I don't think he could have done anymore throughout normal time, the saves he made were world class, he commanded his area above a physical Andy Carroll and co and provided us with a little stability at the back, something I never thought I'd say about him! If we do bring another goalkeeper in then when Tim Howard returns he has a job on his hands being 3rd choice keeper in my opinion, because Joel has shown us his true capabilities.
Seamus Coleman- 7- 'Getting there' is probably the best way to describe Coleman. Gradually game by game his confidence is building, he's looking to beat the man in front of him now instead of coming inside and he has the threatening turn of pace back that we've not seen for a short while. Seamus certainly put in a strong defensive performance in the replay and he wasn't caught out of position anywhere near as much as he has been in the past month or so.
John Stones- 7.5- I read Jamie Carragher's tweets about Stones "putting his team in danger" by carrying the ball forward from the back. Okay I'll accept it does carry a degree of danger but not if you have the potential to be one of the best centre backs in the country, something Carragher wouldn't know anything about. Since he has come back from injury for the second time he has injected some calmness and composure back into the defence - none of this get it and whack it out rubbish Sylvain Distin does. John gets the ball down better than some central midfielders and plays a pass better than some of them as well. There's only criticism: I was majorly disappointed not to see the 'Panenka' chip penalty he did on last year's pre-season tour in America!
Phil Jagielka- 7- I don't think we can really fault Jags at all for his performance on Tuesday night, he battled and fought for every ball and we've been needing that from him for a while. He was towering over Carroll winning headers for most of the match and he realised instead of clearing the ball out of play, to play it up into Lukaku or down the line for him to run onto. Overall a much more consistent performance from our captain.
Leighton Baines- 7.5- Some might disagree with that rating but in all honesty, he didn't put a foot wrong. Baines was as solid as possible in defence and only got caught a couple of times, one being late into injury time, but the most positive thing I saw from him against West Ham was he was not just calling for the ball in a wide attacking position, he was screaming and demanding it. Recently we've seen him get forward down his wing and just stand expecting the ball without moving his lips but now he's actually asking for the ball, he is seeing a lot more of it.
Muhamed Besic- 6.5 - There was no justification for taking Besic off when Martinez did on Tuesday night. The lad is 22 and has the legs, determination and fire to drive us forward in a close cup match but instead he is dragged off. When he was brought off he went straight down the tunnel and didn't reappear to watch the penalties at the end, that's the sign of a player that has pride and is hurt and angered by being taken off, and rightly so. As usual he won the 50/50 challenges in the centre of the pitch and made some outstanding passes to move us forward from defence to attack in one ball. As a fan I'm unhappy that Gareth Barry remains of the pitch at the age of 34 and in the current bad form he's in over a 22 year old battler who will give blood, sweat and tears to win the game. It's only a 6.5 due to the time he was on the pitch.
Gareth Barry- 6- This was the perfect opportunity for Barry to get himself going or edge near some decent form and I feel he let the game pass him by again. He wasn't on the ball enough for a central midfielder (maybe that's a good thing?!) and didn't really fill me with confidence when he made tackles.I've criticised Barry in recent weeks for diving in and not A: winning the ball or B: committing a foul and bring the play to an end. The reason I've given him a 6 is because I felt he improved on that a little against West Ham. In reality that's all Barry needs to do; hold up play when they attack and link the defence to the midfield were necessary.
Ross Barkley- 5.5- Slow, timid, lack of ambition, uninterested in winning the ball back and confused is just some of the ways I'd describe his performance in the replay on Tuesday. Recently I've noticed he has to make 3-4 touches of the ball before he can make a pass. Since we saw that goal against QPR his performances have steadily declined. Whether he wants to stay at Everton or leave he needs to improve to do either.
Aiden McGeady- 5.5- Maybe I'm being to generous with my rating there but I honestly feel a tad sorry for him, he looks completely out of his depth at times and like a rabbit in the headlights when someone challenges him. Martinez won't sell him because McGeady was one of his first signings, the one he really wanted, so he will keep going with him until it gets to a point were McGeady has had enough of playing badly or he finally does something useful for the team.
Steven Naismith- 8.5- Every single game Naisy is there or thereabouts. His commitment, desire, passion, fight and above all ability make him the player he is. I'm running out of plaudits for him at the moment, he is everything a fan would want to see from an attacking midfielder. I hope he can keep it up until the end of the season.
Romelu Lukaku- 8- Rom is coming back to the player we saw last season. We're playing to his strengths finally and getting the ball into his feet and credit to him he is doing the rest. He had their centre backs scrambling at times in the second half and he created the space for Mirallas to run in to when he came on. He is no Yakubu!
Kevin Mirallas- Sub 9.5- Possibly the best performance you'll see from a second half sub. As I touched upon earlier, he has admitted he is carrying an injury just at the moment. Just imagine if he was 100% fit he would have bagged a hat-trick and set Lukaku up with three as well. The free kick was something Ronaldo or Messi would have been proud of and his driving runs were something very few defences could cope with. Far too good for us not to do everything we can to keep him beyond this season.
Bryan Oviedo- Sub 8- A typical Oviedo performance, he wanted the ball and wanted to beat his man at every opportunity. He didn't look to come inside or pass it back but just to get down his wing and force their fullback into something and it worked as he and Baines supplied more crosses into the box as the game went on. Oviedo on the left and Naismith or Mirallas on the right from here on in please Roberto!