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Sunday, Sep 22nd

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Chelsea's hope of salvaging what remains of their wretched season by winning the FA Cup ended in disappointment at Goodison Park today with former striker Romelu Lukaku coming back to haunt his former employers by scoring a fantastic second half brace to win the tie 2-0 for Everton.

Everton made three changes to the side that was beaten 3-2 by West Ham United in their last Premier League game with Leighton Baines, Tom Cleverley and Gareth Barry providing a stronger and considerably more experienced backline for the Toffees. Chelsea meanwhile made just one change to the side that was beaten by Paris St. Germain in midweek with Eden Hazard replaced by Nemanja Matic. The big news for Chelsea was that Diego Costa was fit to start, while John Terry returned to bolster the side, but was left on the bench.

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After consecutive days of thrilling 3-3 draws in midweek between Liverpool - Arsenal, and Newcastle - Manchester United, it was Chelsea's turn to be involved in a thriller of their own with John Terry stealing an unlikely 97th minute for the Blues at home against Everton, in a game that saw 6 goals scored in a epic second half.

Chelsea made just one change to the side that drew 2-2 against West Bromwich Albion in midweek with Nemanja Matic replacing Oscar with Cesc Fabregas moving higher up the pitch into his best position in attacking midfield. Everton meanwhile looked a little at sea with Bryan Oviedo slotting into a right sided full back role, while Aaron Lennon and Kevin Mirallas got the nod on either side of Romelu Lukaku.

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Manchester City were denied a late penalty when John Stones appeared to foul Raheem Sterling in the box, and it proved to be a decisive call as the title contenders were held to a nil-nil draw at home by a battling Everton side, that had actually shaded the first half.

Everton had the better of an entertaining but goal-less first half with Manchester City bossing the ball but Everton having the better opportunities to take he lead.

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Manchester United's profligacy in front of goal this season has been well stated and it comes as no surprise that they are looking to strengthen their striking department in the January transfer window with a move for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku, deemed unworthy of Chelsea in 2014 and sold for a considerable sum of £28 million by the Blues to Everton, has been in red hot form this season, scoring goals for fun, even as his Everton side are struggling to make a run for European places this season.

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Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has been the subject of continuous speculation this winter with Italian clubs by the dozen lining up with loan offers for the Belgian international, only to see their offers rebuffed with the Red Devils declaring that the only way the player was going to leave the club this winter was if a team made a permanent offer to sign him.

One club that certainly won't be doing that are 7-time European Champions AC Milan, who dismissed rumours linking them with a bid for Fellaini.

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There are still 90 huge minutes to be played in two League Cup semi-finals, but fans of Liverpool and Everton will go to sleep for the next three weeks dreaming about the possibility of an All Merseyside Cup Final as Everton like their neighbourhood rivals Liverpool take a slender lead into the second leg of their League Cup semi-final.

Unfortunately for Everton, unlike Liverpool, they will be the away side when they do battle in the second leg, and their opponents are Manchester City.

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Tottenham played some absolutely exhilarating football, especially in the first half, but had to leave Goodison Park with a share of the spoils after Everton shifted their shape in the second period and were able to nullify the threat of the away side in a very entertaining affair that finally ended 1-1.

Aaron Lennon, drafted into the Everton line-up to face his former club, scored the opening goal for Toffees, completely against the run of play after Spurs had peppered the Everton goal and were unfortunate not to be in front after Harry Kane's effort early in the game hit the post and danced across the face of goal.

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