Sir Alex Ferguson rested eight of his first team regulars for the FA Cup semi final at Wembley then saw one of his former players come back to haunt him as Everton took the spoils after a penalty shoot out.
With the defensive units of Ferdinand and Vidic for United and Lescott and Jagielka for Everton completely on top throughout, a largely reserve United team and Everton’s full strength line up produced a 0 – 0 draw after 90 minutes and half an hour of extra time, which meant that spot kicks were employed to find a winner.
United soon had an advantage after Everton’s Tim Cahill blasted the first penalty over the bar but then up stepped Tim Howard in his Nike Air Legend II’s to put a dampener on' Fergie’s day.
First he saved a weak effort from Dimitar Berbatov and he followed that up by blocking United’s second spot kick from Rio Ferdinand. Meanwhile, Leighton Baines, another ex United player Phil Neville, James Vaughan and lastly Phil Jagielka all scored as David Moyes’s team went through to the final against Chelsea' 4 – 2.
The defeat was Ferguson’s first in an FA Cup semi final and Moyes was quick to heap praise on his goalkeeper and the successful penalty takers saying:
As a man Tim deserves the plaudits. He’s worked really hard at his game. You saw it also with Phil Neville, who always does his best for Everton. James hasn’t played for four months and Jagielka missed one last season so there weren’t many options.
He wasn’t madly keen on taking one, but scored in training and it stuck in my mind, so good on him. Jagielka has really come on as a player and he showed that today.
The FA Cup final between Chelsea and Everton will take place at Wembley on 30th May.