Everton

FA Cup Weekend Dream Team

This weekend’s action certainly won’t be remembered for the football, but here’s a team of top performers anyway…

 Simon Mignolet

Made some excellent saves as Everton pressed for the winner the so desperately needed. One, from a Heitinga header, was extremely impressive as the keeper showed great athleticism in tipping over the Dutchman’s effort. Starting to establish himself as a top performer.

 Phil Bardsley

Was a doubt before the game, but Martin O’Neill claimed the fullbacks desire to partake in the tie was too much to ignore. And the former Villa man repaid his managers faith in thumping a fierce drive into the bottom corner for Sunderland’s opener. Has shown before his capabilities for scoring spectacular goals.

 Gary Cahill

Looks to finally be settling in at his new club. Looked slightly nervy early on but grew into the game well and his goal should do him a world of good. Fitting tribute to former team mate Fabrice Muamba, with the message ‘pray for Muamba’ on everybody’s minds.

 Martin Skrtel

Has enjoyed his best season for Liverpool, and helped ensure his side would be returning to Wembley for at least the second time this season. Dealt with the height of Crouch commendably and always provides his own threat from set pieces.

 Leighton Baines

Can’t sing his praises enough. So consistent in his ability to balance direct wing play with stout and disciplined defensive work, the former Wigan man should hopefully be able to challenge Ashley Cole for an England place after another fine season. Troubled Sunderland all day with his deliveries from wide areas, and provided the cross which led to his side’s vital equaliser.

 Stuart Downing

Hasn’t had too many highlights this season, other than running blindly at copious full backs before tripping over his own shoe laces and  kicking the ball out of play. But scored a good goal and played with more intent and purpose down the flanks which contributed massively to keeping Liverpool’s season alive, just.

 Steven Gerrard

Gives his all too frequently toothless side a real drive and purpose in their play. The nation should be crossing their fingers that the number 8 stayed injury free for the remainder of the campaign as he still withholds all the capabilities required to hurt the best in the world.

 Tim Cahill

Perhaps not his most influential game in terms of his all round play, but showed once again his tremendous ability in the air with a deceptively brilliant goal. Some how managed to maneuver his head into a position which allowed him to divert the ball past the excellent Mignolet.

 Juan Mata/Florent Malouda

Hard to pick between the two as they both excelled in the same advanced role and both contributed hugely to the game in only 45 minutes. Mata linked with Torres superbly and continues to help his fellow countryman’s development to no end in the capital. Malouda turned back the clock in an elegant display, and he too enjoyed all the freedom an attacker could wish for behind a ruthless Torres.

 Fernando Torres – STAR OF THE WEEKEND

Finally. The £50 million man, who thus far has failed to reproduce a mere morsel of his old form, struck two goals after over 24 hours on the pitch without scoring. His all round game was excellent, laying on another two for his teammates in a scintillating display which, though long overdue, should surely give the 27 year old the confidence he’s been so badly lacking.

 Luis Suarez

Scored a good goal and, along with Gerrard, provides his side with a much needed star quality. Has reacted pretty well since his ridiculous antics last month.

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