The first half of the match was pretty much rubbish as the two teams played to a scoreless tie at half time. Tom Cleverley earned one solid chance for the Toffees and Chelsea controlled possession in the opening 45 minutes, but their lone shot on goal came from a Willian free kick, which may have been high anyway, but Joel Robles tipped it over just to be safe.
The start to the game reflected just how much the two teams cared. Both Chelsea and Everton have had disappointing campaigns by their standards. Wining this match and advancing in the tournament represents what may be their only opportunity to salvage anything from the 2015-16 season. They didn't want to screw up, but in doing so gave the audience little to watch early on. That changed in the second half.
Everton began playing more interesting balls and connecting on their passing. Romelu Lukaku had a breakaway of sorts with a defender hanging on him at one point. All that was needed was a slight touch to get around goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, but Rom couldn't quite get to it.
Chelsea came close to scoring first. Diego Costa worked his way into the box and got past Robles and headed towards the end-line. From an impossible angle, he sent the ball towards goal where it scooted parallel to the line, but never crossed it and there were no other white shirts near by to knock it in. Everton was lucky to still be tied 0-0.
From there out it was "The Romelu Lukaku Show" as he scored both of the Toffees goals. The first (77') was especially fantastic as he made it out of nothing. Lukaku dribbled into the opposition's box by fighting off Cesar Azpilicueta and Branislav Ivanovic and then he just made Gary Cahill look dumb before slotting the shot past his countryman Courtois in goal.
The second goal (81') came soon after, but the big man just used pure shot power and gave us the final score line of 2-0.
Lukaku's winner for Everton against Chelsea . pic.twitter.com/I15AGykk5m— Footballnus (@footballnus) March 12, 2016
Away from the goals, there were two red cards handed out. Both Costa and Gareth Barry were sent off with their second yellow cards near the end of the match. For Costa, it was because he was being his crazy self. His first yellow came after hitting Barry in the face in the first half and the second yellow was from getting in Barry's face and seemingly biting his neck following a tough tackle, for which Barry was given a yellow himself. Barry got sent off for a dumb tackle on Cesc Fabregas in the middle of the field a few minutes later. It's unfortunate, but it likely means we get to see Mo Besic start an upcoming game. So, glass half full.
Diego Cannibal Costa trying to make love to Barry and give him a hickey pic.twitter.com/iJ5U33hVBH— SemperFiUnited (@SemperFiUnited) March 12, 2016
Overall, there is not much to complain about here. A 2-0 victory at home, where Everton have struggled, against a Chelsea team that has been playing extremely well as of late is an impressive accomplishment. Lukaku was marvelous again. Ross Barkely had a quiet game and the Barry sending off was just stupid, but it all added up to Everton moving on in the FA Cup and playing at Wembley.
Elsewhere in the FA Cup, Crystal Palace won earlier today. The two games tomorrow are Arsenal v. Watford and Manchester United v. West Ham. That sounds like a winnable competition for the Toffees...we hope.