Gerrard keeps Liverpool in FA Cup
Steven Gerrard was Liverpool's hero yet again on Sunday as they remained in the FA Cup after being held to a 1-1 draw by city rivals Everton at Anfield for the second time in a week. When the teams met on Monday, it was Everton who fought back to force a draw and dent Liverpool's Premier League title ambitions, but Sunday's fourth round tie saw the Reds come from behind.
Everton took the lead in the 27th minute when Liverpool failed to mark Tim Cahill in the box. The Australia midfielder's header from Steven Pienaar's corner was nodded home from close range by Joleon Lescott. But Gerrard, as he's done so often before, dragged Liverpool back into the match with a well-struck shot six minutes before the hour although Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard ought to have saved at his near post.
Gerrard, who opened the scoring on Monday, said Liverpool had deserved to win this match. "In the league game Everton were worthy of a point but for 90 minutes we've dominated the game and they've scored off a set-piece which is disappointing," he said. "I thought we were fantastic. The only thing we'll look at is set-pieces and being a bit more clinical in front of goal."
Asked about the undesirability of a replay, Gerrard said: "Both sides could have done without it, both would have wanted to progress tonight."
Earlier, Arsenal were also left contemplating the somewhat unwelcome prospect of a replay against Cardiff City after their Welsh opponents held them to a goalless draw at Ninian Park.
"We could do without it, but let's not complain because we play football," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. "It's one more game to play. If that's the price we have to pay to stay in the hat, we're happy to do it."
Cardiff, beaten in last year's final by Portsmouth, spurned several good chances in the first half in a match where Arsenal missed opportunities of their own against the second-tier Championship club. This match was a repeat of the 1927 final which Cardiff won 1-0 to become the only non-English club to win the FA Cup.
Cardiff's Roger Johnson praised the Bluebirds' defending which helped earn them a second crack against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on February 3. "We have given sloppy goals away late on this season, that has been our downfall," he said. "But we were strong today and held on."
Holders Portsmouth were knocked out of the FA Cup on Saturday after losing 2-0 at their Fratton Park home to Cardiff's bitter Welsh rivals Swansea, who also play in the Championship.