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Page last updated at 16:28 GMT, Sunday, 15 February 2009

Everton 3-1 Aston Villa

By Marc Vesty

Tim Cahill
Cahill wrapped up the game with the third goal

Everton booked an FA Cup quarter-final spot for the first time since 2002 after overpowering Aston Villa.

The home side were ahead after just three minutes when Jack Rodwell fired in from close range.

Villa levelled from the penalty spot through James Milner after Gabriel Agbonlahor was fouled by Tony Hibbert.

But Everton went back in front with a Mikel Arteta spot-kick after Steve Sidwell brought down Victor Anichebe and Tim Cahill added the third late on.

This FA Cup tie had all the makings of a classic after a blistering first 25 minutes that resulted in three goals and plenty of goalmouth action but it ultimately ebbed away into a comfortable victory for Everton against a Villa side which lacked its usual bite.

Everton took the lead in the third minute when Arteta's corner was met by a bullet header from Cahill, his effort was stopped on the goal line by the blatant hand of Stiliyan Petrov but rebounded to 17-year-old Rodwell who poked home his first Everton goal.


Referee Martin Atkinson should have taken action against Petrov but, much to the chagrin of Everton boss David Moyes, the Bulgarian was allowed to continue without so much as a word.

Three minutes later, Villa hit back against the run of play when Agbonlahor was set clear, he burst towards the edge of the penalty box but tumbled under Hibbert's mistimed lunge to give the visitors a penalty.

Milner stepped up to strike a weak spot-kick that Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard got a hand to, but he only managed to turn the ball against his own body before watching it squirm beneath him into the net.

The game had no shortage of full-blooded challenges and the first yellow card was produced when Cahill appeared to deliberately use his hand to rise above two Villa defenders and flick Arteta's cross towards Friedel's goal.

The big American goalkeeper saved comfortably but Cahill was booked and will now be suspended for Everton's game against Newcastle next weekend.

Soon after Atkinson was forced to give the second penalty of the game when the impressive Anichebe bundled through a posse of Villa players before being wiped out by Sidwell who got nowhere near the ball inside the 18-yard-box and received a yellow card.

Penalty expert Arteta stepped up and sent Brad Friedel the wrong way to slot his spot-kick into the bottom left corner for his seventh goal of the campaign.

Two minutes later Petrov finally received a card when he was booked for a foul on Rodwell, before Everton's Dan Gosling created himself an angle but his low drive crashed into the side-netting.

Both teams were unable to take command of possession with counter attacks providing the most likely sources of goalmouth action.

That proved to be the case on 32 minutes when Ashley Young darted down the left and checked on to his right foot to swing in a tantalising ball to the edge of the six-yard box which Agbonlahor somehow headed wide with the goal at his mercy.

Everton continued to shade the best of the possession in the second half with Arteta at the heart of most of the good things that came from the home side.

Villa worked hard but there was little quality and they struggled to get wingers Milner and Young into the game leaving Carew stranded and ineffective.

That was until the hour mark when Milner finally found some space, whipped over a cross and a nonchalant flick from Carew forced Howard into an incredible acrobatic save down to his right.

As the goalmouth action petered out, Villa had a couple of half chances, a header from Sidwell rolling wide and an Ashley Young drive threatening row Z, but it was Everton who secured the quarter-final spot with 15 minutes to go.

Anichebe, more than justifying his recall, sent over a troublesome cross from the left that evaded the Villa centre-halves as well as Gosling but Cahill was unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box and he bundled home to put his side into the next round.

Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines, Gosling, Neville, Arteta (Castillo 90), Rodwell, Cahill, Anichebe (Yobo 88).
Subs Not Used: Nash, Van der Meyde, Jacobsen, Baxter, Wallace.

Booked: Hibbert, Cahill, Rodwell.

Goals: Rodwell 4, Arteta 24 pen, Cahill 76.

Aston Villa: Friedel, Gardner, Knight, Davies, Luke Young, Milner, Sidwell (Delfouneso 83), Petrov, Ashley Young, Agbonlahor, Carew.
Subs Not Used: Guzan, Harewood, Salifou, Shorey, Albrighton, Lowry.

Booked: Sidwell, Petrov, Milner.

Goals: Milner 8 pen.

Att: 35,439

Ref: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Everton's Mikel Arteta 8.17 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

see also
We need luck to win Cup - Moyes
15 Feb 09 |  FA Cup
Live text - FA Cup fifth round
15 Feb 09 |  FA Cup
Sunday's football photos
15 Feb 09 |  FA Cup

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