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On This Day In Everton History: May 30th

Cup final heartache again for the Blues in today’s feature

Chelsea v Everton - FA Cup Final
Everton finished FA Cup runners-up in 2009
Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Let’s take a look at how this date shaped Everton history as we know it!

2009: Everton fall in FA Cup Final

Coming into the 2008-09 campaign, Everton were riding high.

The team had finished in 6th place and 5th place the two previous seasons and had made it to the round of 16 in what was then called the UEFA Cup.

With the Toffees playing so well, the hope was that this year was the year they would finally make the jump back in to the Champions League for the first time since the 2004-05 campaign.

Unfortunately, though, things did not go as planned. The Toffees opened up the new season winning just two of their first 12 in all competitions and were kicked from the UEFA Cup in the first round after a 4-3 aggregate loss to Standard Leige.

Everton would turn things around after that, but they didn’t hit their stride until mid-December. That’s when they turned it up a notch and went on an impressive run that saw them lose just four games the rest of the season and finish in fifth place once again, qualifying for the UEFA Cup, which would also change it’s name that year to what we know it as, the Europa League.

But, amid all the success in the league, the Toffees were dominating the FA Cup, as well. After defeating Macclesfield Town 1-0 in their first match of the competition, Everton were set to take on their Merseyside rivals in the next round.

With a lot more on the line than just a spot in the next phase of the FA Cup, the two sides drew before the Toffees saw off Liverpool 1-0 in the replay to advance to the fifth round of the competition.

Soccer - FA Cup - Fourth Round Replay - Everton v Liverpool - Goodison Park
Dan Gosling’s goal saw off Liverpool in the FA Cup fourth round
Photo by Nigel French - PA Images via Getty Images

There they took care of business against Aston Villa with a 3-1 home win, before defeating Middlesbrough in the quarter-finals to claim a spot in the semis.

With a chance to play in the FA Cup Final for the first time since they won it back in 1995, Everton took the field alongside Manchester United hoping their luck would not fade just yet. After both teams failed to score in regulation or extra-time, this one went to penalty kicks where the Toffees prevailed 4-2 to advance to the final.

That brings us to May 30, 2009. After a 14-year drought, Everton were finally back in the FA Cup Final with a chance to win their first piece of silverware since that fateful day in the mid-90s. The only thing that stood in their way was a Chelsea team that the Toffees had played to a scoreless draw twice already that season, so there was no question that this would be a tough battle, but no one expected the game to start out the way it did.

Just 25 seconds after the match kicked off, the Toffees were already putting pressure on the Chelsea defence and the ball landed at the feet of Louis Saha, who took the shot first-time off the half volley and buried it in the back of the net for the lead. The goal was, and still is, the fastest goal ever scored in an FA Cup Final.

Unfortunately, the clock would strike midnight on Everton’s run through the FA Cup shortly after. 21 minutes later, Didier Drogba levelled things for the London side and on 72 minutes, they would take the lead, as Frank Lampard buried one past Tim Howard to give Chelsea the 2-1 advantage.

The Toffees would fight to level the match once again, but their efforts would go unrewarded as Chelsea held off the pressure to secure the 2-1 victory and the FA Cup trophy. Everton had failed at their quest for their sixth FA Cup title and their first trophy in over a decade and it would be costly.

To this day, as we all know very well, the drought continues with the Toffees failing to advance to the finals of any competition since that day in 2009.

And THAT is today in Everton history.