News24

Can Everton stop United?

2009-03-09 12:22

London - Everton will look to stop Manchester United from completing a clean sweep of English domestic trophies this season after being drawn against Sir Alex Ferguson's side in the semifinals of the FA Cup.

Sunday's draw saw Arsenal or Hull playing Chelsea in the other semifinal, with both last four games being staged at Wembley Stadium on the weekend of April 18-19.

The draw means a 'dream' final between Premier League leaders United and second-placed Chelsea is still a possibility.

Less than an hour after they came from behind to defeat Middlesbrough 2-1 in their quarterfinal, Everton found themselves with the draw no-one wanted.

United, who thrashed Fulham 4-0 in the quarterfinals on Saturday, are aiming for an unprecedented five major trophies in one season having already won the Fifa Club World Cup and the English League Cup as well as reaching the last 16 of the Champions League.

They will be firm favourites to defeat the Merseysiders but the last time Everton won the FA Cup, in 1995, they did so after a 1-0 win in the final against United.

Louis Saha, who scored Everton's winner against Boro, knows better than most the quality of the squad at Old Trafford having played for United.

"I think it is going to be a really tough game but we have been great all season so far," he told Everton TV.

"We have shown great commitment in the FA Cup so, obviously, we have to show that to keep winning the next two games.

"You have to beat the big teams at some point and this will be a big test for us because they are the best team around."

And while traditionalists are unhappy with the semifinals being played at Wembley, there are no such concerns for United's Park Ji-Sung.

The South Korea star, who scored his side's fourth goal against Fulham, has yet to play a match at Wembley and the winger told MUTV: "I'd love to be involved because I haven't yet experienced what it feels like to play there.

"Injuries have meant I've missed out when we've been there and I didn't play in the recent Carling (League) Cup final win.

"I know what a great stadium it is and hopefully I'll get the chance to play this time."

Arsenal, a round behind after their delayed fourth round replay against Cardiff, must defeat Premier League new boys Hull if they are to face Chelsea in what would be a repeat of the 2002 all London FA Cup final which the Gunners won 2-0.

Arsene Wenger's men reached the quarterfinals with a 3-0 win over Championship side Burnley at the Emirates Stadium earlier Sunday.

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