WHEN the semifinals of the FA Cup between Everton and Manchester United, went into penalty shootout, I walked into the kitchen, grabbed a bottle of water, and just sat at the dining table to drink it.
I was preparing for the worst. I was not trying to manage my expectation, but Everton are awful when it comes to penalties.
So, I was just getting ready for what was going to be the usual result of us losing right at the end.
We lost to Fiorentina in the UEFA Cup last season, after a superb fight back at Goodison Park, and this time, we played a lousy game and were lucky that United themselves were not great.
To compound matters, our best penalty taker for the day was substituted (Saha), or injured (Yakubu & Arteta).
So who was going to take the penalty?
Then stepped up, Cahill. “Cahill take penalty??”
I was telling myself.
He has not taken any in Everton shirt, and when he blazed it over the bar, I stooped down for a while and I did not even realise Berbatov missed his penalty.
But we got lucky in the lottery of penalty.
We won 4-2. For some strange reason, I have this feeling that Ferguson was not keen to win the game.
He played a virtual reserve team, save for Tevez, Vidic and Ferdinand. During penalties, he put his two centrebacks to take the penalties, which was odd, as managers usually place their strikers and midfielders to take penalties.
Could he (being a Scot) wanted another Scot in Moyes, to finally play in a Cup final. After all he has been praising Moyes almost every time the press ask him about Moyes.
He even thinks Moyes should replace him at United.
Ah.. ignore the mystery and controversy.
The most important result for the day was that Everton was in a Cup final.
The game itself was poor.
Both midfield cancelled each other out.
Everton just don’t have the creativity in the middle of the park to outplay United.
I must also accede that the Jagielka-Welbeck incident was a penalty.
My heart stopped for a moment there, but the referee (who is supposedly a United fan) waved play on.
From his angle, I think the ref felt the two players collided into each other.
Anyway, the feeling of winning in the semifinals of any Cup game has long eluded Everton fans.
I still remember back in 1995 when news came in that Everton beat Spurs to reach the FA Cup final.
It was good then, and it feels good now too.
Finally after 14 years, we are back in a final.
We will play Chelsea, but let’s worry about Chelsea later.
For now, we enjoy the moment, and we can safely say, that sometimes (just sometimes), there is divine intervention for Everton.