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Page last updated at 19:20 GMT, Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Carling Cup as it happened

Carling Cup semi-final second leg:
Everton 0-1 Chelsea FT
(agg: 1-3)

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times GMT)

606: DEBATE
To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Ben Dirs

2157: Right, here's some full-time Player Rater gumph: Everton's top performer was Arteta, with an average of 7.28, and their worst performer was Carsley apparently, with 5.69. Chelsea's top man was Anelka with 7.50, while Bridge stunk the place out with 5.99. Right, thanks for reading and thanks for all your comments, including the abusive ones. To be honest, I like the odd bit of beef to be thrown my way every now and again, spices up proceedings no end.

"Re: 21:46, there's also Ugly Kid Joe..."
Anon via text

2154: FULL-TIME: Referee Bennett blows the final whistle and puts Everton out of their misery. Chelsea reach their third Carling Cup final in the last four years, and you have to say they deserved it.

2151: Deep into stoppage time now as Ben-Haim replaces Anelka for the visitors. Carvalho bombs forward and feeds Pizarro, but the Peruvian striker's shot is blocked by Howard.

2148: Pizarro's right-foot shot is turned past the post by Everton stopper Howard before Ashley Cole replaces Malouda for Chelsea. Matt Smith, via text, has just pointed out that James Vaughan didn't score against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Tim Cahill did. Sorry. Shades of Geoff Thomas from Ashley Cole as his attempted chip drifts well wide of the post.

"That's why I called my new-born son Joe! Still, as my wife has retrospectively pointed out, there is Joey Barton."
Anon via text

2146: The rain falling now at Goodison as the home fans pipe put a bit of Que Sera Sera...they've pretty much given up hope...

2143: Wright-Phillips lets fly with a ripper of a right-foot shot which Howard is able to turn away. Consternation in the office as the chief sub announces that Morrissey is in the crowd at Goodison. It turns out that he thinks Fabio Capello looks like the former Smiths frontman, which is the worst lookey-likey since a mate's dad pointed out I looked like Kanu. For the record, I'm 5ft 10in and white...

2141: Vaughan shows good strength foraging down the right wing, but the ball breaks free and Neville is booked for a late tackle on Wright-Phillips. Pizarro is on for Cole.

"What execution...thanks Joey. Absolutely brilliant." JT on 606

"The way they announced James Vaughan was like he was going to end world poverty. I'm not saying he won't. It's a heavy burden on the lad is all."
Zippy, George and Bungle on 606

2138: Moyes makes changes: James Vaughan is thrown into the fray with Fernandes going the other way. Vaughan scored against Chelsea in the league at Stamford Bridge.

2134: Belletti earns a booking, although I'm not sure why. Arteta whips in the resulting free-kick and Cech elects to punch clear when perhaps he should have caught it. England boss Fabio Capello is in the house, of course, and I reckon he'll like what he just saw from little Joey.

2132: Nice turn from Wright-Phillips but he loses his head and balloons his shot well over. Fernandes is booked for dissent - he reckons he should have had a free-kick and there are clear signs of frustration from the home side.

2128: GOAL Everton 0-1 Chelsea (agg. 1-3)
That's an absolute peach of a goal from Joe Cole. Malouda is given acres of space in midfield, finds Cole with a ball over the top and the England man brings it down with his right foot before pinging a shot past Howard in the Everton goal. Perhaps Howard should have stayed upright for longer, but you can't take anything away from Cole, that was peche de la peche.

2126: Makelele is booked for not retreating 10 yards and then goes off on one and has to be calmed down by team-mate Wright-Phillips. Cech then gets away with a fumble as Jagielka is ruled to have pushed him. Cahill it was with the follow-up shot, and referee Bennett has made a ricket there, Jagielka didn't even blow on him.

"The lack of atmosphere is appalling - Everton fans need to show some passion, stand up and help inspire the team."
Mr Muscle on 606

2122: The game really starting to get spicy now - there's chaos in the Chelsea box as Johnson hits the deck and is unable to pull the trigger, before Anelka goes down in the Everton box under Lescott's challenge, but doesn't even claim a penalty.

2118: Neville has a fierce shot saved by Cech, diving low to his right, before Cech kicks away Jagielka's deft flick. Everton coming back into this game as the home fans crank up the volume.

2115: Joe Cole feeds Belletti in the Everton box but his shot is blocked by Lescott. Perhaps Cole should have had a dart himself. Thank you Anon, although if you reckon calling me a &@$ amounts to "constructive criticism" I'd hate to hear what you say to your kids when they show you their homework.

"I'm anon 2053. Haven't really wasted more than 30 seconds with the text. Are you implying I'm slow? All i was after was some informative commentary as I can't see the game. Best site I could find and bit of a bonus that you accept constructive criticism."
Anon via text

"Did you know Lawro actually can't use a computer as his nails are too long?"
Auntie Anon via text

2110: Wright-Phillips is released but Lescott toe-ends the ball away before the England winger can get a shot off. Chelsea seem to be out-singing Everton at Goodison, which is a good indication of how this game is panning out.

"What exactly is a silly sausage? I was in Clitheroe yesterday at the world famous Cowmans Butchers, who do a large range of sausages, but not a silly one in sight."
Bosworth on 606

2104: The second half is under way at Goodison and I expect Everton to come out firing following a half-time volley from manager Moyes. That said, it's Anelka who has first the first chance, rattling the crossbar with a right-footed bender from the egde of the box. Tim Howard was nowhere, but Anelka is still on a duck and Everton are still in the race.

2059: Here's some Player Rater chit-chat: Top Everton player Mikel Arteta 7.55, lowest Everton player Nuno Valente 5.44. Top Chelsea player Nicolas Anelka 7.49, lowest Chelsea player Steve Sidwell 5.58. Pretty close all round, no clear leaders.

2053: That's what makes this job worthwhile, heart-felt texts like the one below. Here's some half-decent humour: you've just spent a chunk of your evening sending an abusive text to some bloke writing a text commentary. You silly sausage, whoever you are.

"Enough with your personal input already Dirs. It's not 'quirky' or 'funny'. Just makes you sound like a bit of a *@&%$. Unless you've got some credible opinions or can magic some half-decent humour I would just stick to reporting the facts." Anon via text

2048: HALF-TIME: Still goalless at the interval, and the game is just simmering under nicely. Everton set the pace, but Chelsea drew onto their shoulder as the first half progressed and were pretty much in control when the half-time whistle blew.

2046: Anelka lets fly with a speculative shot from range, but the ball trickles tamely wide. But you can't go giving this boy space like that, he'll nail you eventually.

2042: Andy Johnson carves out some space but his shot is deflected into the side netting. Chelsea break, but Anelka is unable to get a clean shot away and the ball is safely pouched by Howard in the Everton goal.

2039: Extraordinary outburst from Zippy, George and Bungle on 606 (see below). It is clear that this man (or woman) wasn't at Cotton's Park on 2nd October to witness Campion Old Boys narrowly squeak past local rivals Upminster. It was really quite a depressing afternoon.

"This is the worst game of the season so far - in ALL competitions and including ALL sports." Zippy, George and Bungle on 606

2033: Chelsea are dominating now and Everton are moving deeper and deeper. Plenty of racket from the Chelsea fans as Malouda breaks free, but a period of sustained pressure ends with a ballooned strike from the Frenchman.

2030: Good, pulsating game so far at Goodison, and Chelsea are beginning to get a handle on the game after a bright start from Everton. Anelka twists and turns on the edge of the box but is only able to get a weak shot away.

2026: That's a bit naughty from Carsley, jumping in with his studs up and catching Wright-Phillips in the shin. Referee Bennett brandishes some yellow, to the delight of my colleague, who's got some bet on or other. Petr Cech's wife Martina gave birth yesterday. A beautiful baby girl apparently, with big flapping hands.

2022: Andy Johnson gets a first sniff at goal, swivelling smartly and shooting a couple of yards wide of Cech's right-hand upright. Johnson adopts the double-teapot and shows us what he thinks of that effort with a rather extravagant a nose flob.

2020: Malouda releases Anelka but the lino flags for offside. Replays suggest the Frenchman was a yard on...

2016: Arteta looks like he'll be the key man for Everton tonight - he's keeping Bridge very honest down that right flank and skipping past him for fun. If he can produce a couple of killer final balls, Everton could be laughing.

2011: Great chance for Everton, Lescott left alone in the box and his downward header parried away by Cech in the Chelsea goal. Good, pin-point corner from Arteta, who has started very brightly indeed. A throaty roar ripples around Goodison, like a Maserati slipping into top gear. Ian Darke reckons they call Cahill and Osman the "Midget Gems" on the blue side of Liverpool. Bit weird if you ask me.

2008: Arteta finding some space on the right flank but his probing cross his dealt with comfortably by Carvalho. Belletti has a punt from outside the box, but his left-footed effort curls just over.

2003: Chelsea earn a free-kick 30 yards out, but Alex can only find the wall with his long-range effort. However, the ball bounces free and Wright-Phillips's shot from the edge of the box is nodded wide by Jagielka.

2002: Play is under way at Goodison...

2000: We have a minute's silence at Goodison for great post-War Everton striker Wally Fielding. He played 410 games for the Toffees, scoring 54 goals. Immaculately observed, well done fans.

1958: Players are out and Goodison is rocking - the roar as they made their way onto the pitch almost took their heads off. No doubt about it, Everton's fans think this is a cup worth winning. News on Ballack is that he's picked up a calf strain.

"The day there are two teams outside the top four in a cup final is a good day. Good luck Everton."
Reeski on 606

1952: Graeme Sharp has just been on Radio 5 Live and expressed his surprise at George Burley's appointment as Scotland manager. He reckons Graeme Souness should have got the job. Got to be honest, I reckon Souness would have been a ruddy disaster. Eight minutes to kick-off...

1943: England boss-man Fabio Capello has just rocked up at Goodison. God that man is sharp, bet he's not wearing a 15 Asda suit. Andy Johnson will want to have a good game, as might Shaun Wright-Phillips. Looking forward to seeing Anelka in action tonight...good piece of business that from Avram Grant...

"It's not easy to pick a team with so many players in midfield. We cannot defend, it's not our style. I never criticise others and I have a lot of respect for Everton and their manager. The papers tried to create something and they need to show some respect. Our desire is to be in the final and we'll do everything we can to achieve that."
Chelsea boss Avram Grant

"Is that seriously Chelsea's starting line-up? Well, have fun in the final Everton..."
chelsealad on 606

TEAMS:

Everton: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Lescott, Nuno Valente, Osman, Cahill, Carsley, Arteta, Fernandes, Johnson. Subs: Wessels, Hibbert, Vaughan, Stubbs, Anichebe.
Chelsea: Cech, Belletti, Carvalho, Alex, Bridge, Makelele, Malouda, Sidwell, Joe Cole, Wright-Phillips, Anelka. Subs: Cudicini, Ashley Cole, Pizarro, Ferreira, Ben-Haim.

1933: A couple of you have asked for the full teams. The truth is, they haven't dropped on the wires yet, but I'll stick them up as soon as they do. I fancy a 1-0 win for Everton this evening, as if anyone gives a monkey's what I think...

"I hope there's nerves among the players, that's what playing in big games is all about. Chelsea will sit in at times but they've got good players and will get forward at times. We need Andy Johnson to occupy their defenders and cause them more problems than they cause us. It's a big task, but one that we're prepared for..."
Everton boss David Moyes

"No Ballack in the squad? We start with Sidwell? Erm, I think we will need a miracle..."
Vonotos on 606

1926: Bit of chat on away goals: these only count after extra time, so only if Everton win 2-1 will the game go to penalties...

1919: TEAM NEWS: Everton's Manuel Fernandes starts and full-back Tony Hibbert drops to bench. Chelsea include Steve Sidwell and Wayne Bridge in the starting XI, while Shaun Wright-Phillips returns from injury to take his place in midfield. Germany midfielder Michael Ballack has not travelled, while left-back Ashley Cole is a substitute.

1915: All right? I think we should be in for a rather splendid game of football this evening, with Everton looking to reach their first final since their FA Cup triumph in 1995 and Chelsea still chasing glory on four fronts. If it's anything like last night's game, it will be a crackerjack encounter.



see also
Carling Cup photos
23 Jan 08 |  Football
Player Rater
03 Dec 06 |  Live Text


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