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  Romelu Lukaku gives Everton edge

Romelu Lukaku gives Everton edge

AFP
Published : Jan 8, 2016, 1:40 am IST
Updated : Jan 8, 2016, 1:40 am IST

Romelu Lukaku scored in Everton’s 2-1 win over Manchester City in their League Cup semi-final first leg on Thursday. — AP

LUKA.jpg
 LUKA.jpg

Romelu Lukaku scored in Everton’s 2-1 win over Manchester City in their League Cup semi-final first leg on Thursday. — AP

Romelu Lukaku’s 19th goal of the season gave Everton a 2-1 win over Manchester City in their League Cup semi-final first leg clash on Wednesday.

 

Everton haven’t lifted a trophy since the 1995 FA Cup but they took a step closer to Wembley and a possible repeat of their 1984 League Cup final with local rivals Liverpool thanks to Lukaku’s late winner.

Liverpool lead Stoke 1-0 from the first leg of their semi-final and Manchester City will still be hopeful of turning this tie round as they look to repeat their 2014 success in the competition.

When Jesus Navas cancelled out Ramiro Funes Mori’s first-half goal, City looked to hold a slender advantage ahead of the home leg in three weeks’ time but Lukaku’s headed goal 12 minutes from the end means the underdogs hold sway.

Having won only three of their 11 Premier League games at Goodison Park this season — conceding 20 goals in the process — home advantage could have been seen as negligible for Everton as they looked to reach the semi-finals of the competition for the first time since 2008.

 

City’s win at Watford last Saturday was their first away from home in the league since September but they did score four times in winning at Sunderland to launch their League Cup run and had rattled in 13 goals in three ties to reach the last four.

They started as they meant to go on as they continue a pursuit of four possible trophies with all the possession in Everton’s half in the opening stages.

But Roberto Martinez — who masterminded Wigan’s shock FA Cup final win over City in 2013 before joining Everton as manager later that month — is happy for his team to soak up early pressure as he tries to solve Everton’s defensive problems.

 

And having kept City at arm’s length, bar a header from Nicolas Otamendi which went just wide following a corner, Everton grew into the game as an attacking threat.

Location: United Kingdom, England, Liverpool