Mikel Obi Flops As Everton Knocks Out Chelsea

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Phil Neville hit the winning spot-kick Saturday  as Everton booked their place in the last 16 of the FA Cup with a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Chelsea.

Nigeria’s Mikel Obi was a flop for Chelsea and coach Ancelloti used half-time to replace him   with first-choice holding midfielder Michael Essien and the move seemed to give Chelsea added impetus

Frank Lampard put Chelsea ahead in the fourth round replay with a low strike in the first half of extra-time.

But visitors Everton stunned Stamford Bridge by equalising at the death through a Leighton Baines free-kick.

In the shoot-out, both sides missed once before Ashley Cole fired over and Neville slotted home for a 4-3 triumph.

It prompted wild celebrations from the visiting players and supporters, all revelling in Everton’s first victory at Chelsea since 1994 and their first away win against a fellow Premier League club in the FA Cup since 1990.

The reward for David Moyes’s men is a meeting with Championship outfit Reading at Goodison Park on 1 March, and they are now only four wins away from avenging their 2009 defeat by Chelsea in the final of this competition.

Chelsea were bidding to become the first side in 125 years to win three FA Cups in a row, but must now regroup for Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 first leg away to FC Copenhagen.

This result is another severe blow to Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti, who has already seen his team’s title defence come off the rails and their Carling Cup bid was ended by Newcastle.

Everton, by contrast, will be ecstatic and Moyes must hope his charges can use this win as a springboard for their struggling Premier League campaign.

The Toffees felt they did enough to merit victory in the original tie at Goodison Park and set out as if desperate to make up for that missed opportunity.

Sunday’s 2-0 loss at Bolton would also have provided a source of motivation, with Moyes describing it as “one of the worst performances” he had seen during his nine-year reign.

The visitors bristled with intent early on and managed to pin Chelsea inside their own half by holding a high line and getting their full-backs forward at every opportunity.

But their Achilles heel this season has been the absence of a sustained cutting edge up front, and so it proved again as Jermaine Beckford struggled to impose himself on a Blues defence missing ineligible new signing David Luiz.

Predictably, therefore, it was Chelsea who came closest to opening the scoring when a Lampard set-piece was glanced on to his own post by Phil Jagielka before John Terry put his follow-up over the bar.

That was Chelsea’s first meaningful chance and it seemed to spur them into life as Lampard saw a close-range shot blocked and Tim Howard saved with his legs to deny Florent Malouda from the rebound.

Chelsea had an injury concern over Didier Drogba – in for the Cup-tied Fernando Torres – but the Ivorian soon recovered to put Malouda through on goal, only for Howard to foil the Frenchman.

The hosts were by now on top and, after Drogba had fizzed a shot over from 30 yards, they were left furious when Ramires was cautioned for diving following a challenge by Howard in the penalty area.

They spent the beginning of the second period encamped in Everton’s half and two Drogba free-kicks came close to breaking the deadlock – the first picked up well by Howard, the second headed wide by Lampard.

Everton managed to weather that storm and carved out a couple of their own openings, Leon Osman heading straight at Petr Cech from a Baines free-kick and Beckford skewing way off target from Mikel Arteta’s cross.

But back came Chelsea and two chances in quick succession, Howard reacting brilliantly to deny Lampard before an Ivanovic effort was inadvertently cleared off the line by team-mate Salomon Kalou.

Yet the Mersysiders held out once more soon grew in confidence, substitute Diniyar Bilyaletdinov crossing from Coleman to power a header at Cech.

Moyes opted to replace Beckford with Anichebe and the move almost paid immediate dividends as the stretching Nigerian narrowly failed to convert another Bilyaletdinov centre.

At the other end Lampard squandered a glorious chance – floating a chip over the bar when he surely would have scored with a more direct strike – before Everton thought they had won it.

Baines stepped in from the left to unleash a fierce right-footed drive that Cech could only Parry for Fellaini to tap home, but he was adjudged offside and replays suggested the decision was just about correct.

Extra time arrived and Ancelotti used the break to introduce Anelka in place of Malouda – a clear signal of the Italian’s desire to continue attacking.

Soon after, Moyes replaced Osman with holding midfielder Johnny Heitinga – suggesting he was ready to settle for penalties.

Everton’s move invited Chelsea forward and it was Anelka whose cross found its way to Lampard via the chest of Drogba, the England midfielder slotting a low finish into the bottom corner.

The previously-tense atmosphere suddenly fell flat and Chelsea looked set to take their place in the fifth round.

But Everton had other ideas and after they were awarded a free-kick on the edge of area, Baines stepped up to curl a delightful equaliser into Cech’s top left-hand corner.

—Culled from BBC Sport.