Andy Carroll's late header sent Liverpool through to the FA Cup final as they came from behind to beat Everton at Wembley.
Nikica Jelavic took advantage of a mix-up between Jamie Carragher and Daniel Agger to give Everton the lead midway through the first half - but an Everton defensive error just after the hour gave the Reds a route back to their second major Wembley final this season.
Sylvain Distin's backpass never carried the weight to reach Everton keeper Tim Howard and Luis Suarez was only too happy to take advantage to race through and score.
And with three minutes left Carroll - who had missed the easiest of chances early in the second half - glanced substitute Craig Bellamy's free-kick past Howard to give Liverpool the chance to add the FA Cup to the Carling Cup they won on penalties against Cardiff.
Did you know?
- Liverpool last reached the FA Cup final in 2006 when they beat West Ham
Manager Kenny Dalglish has had his problems in the Premier League, with director of football Damien Comolli paying the price when he left the club on Thursday, but cup competitions have sustained Liverpool's season after heavy investment last summer.
And if Liverpool can claim another domestic trophy when they face either Chelsea or Tottenham at Wembley next month it will provide an answer to the Scot's critics.
For Everton manager David Moyes, who gave the dejected Distin a consoling pat as he left the Wembley pitch, this will be a moment of bitter disappointment as his side failed to produce the form they have displayed in recent weeks.
Liverpool were forced to field third-choice keeper Brad Jones with Pepe Reina and Alex Doni suspended but - the dangerous Jelavic apart - Everton were never able to apply enough pressure to test the Australian.
The minute's silence in memory of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster was perfectly observed before the match began, before both sides had early opportunities to gain the advantage.
Carroll found space in the Everton area to set up Jay Spearing, who took his time but fired well off target from 15 yards.
Everton's response was a free-kick from Leighton Baines that landed on the roof the net after Agger had clumsily hauled Jelavic to the ground.
It was the Blues who went ahead after 24 minutes thanks to a calamitous piece of defending from Liverpool involving Agger and Carragher.
The pair hesitated over a routine clearance, forcing Carragher to lash the ball against Tim Cahill and into the path of Jelavic, who scored with the composure that has become his trademark since his January move from Rangers.
Liverpool needed to move through the gears but Carroll was guilty of an astonishing miss just moments into the second half. The striker only appeared to have to make contact with Stewart Downing's cross to score but headed wide, to the obvious anguish of Dalglish.
Dalglish's side were applying most of the pressure, but it still took another defensive gift for Suarez to equalise after 62 minutes. Distin's backpass fell well short of Howard, leaving the Uruguayan to race clear and finish under pressure from John Heitinga.
Everton were deflated after the concession of such a cheap goal and Carroll almost put Liverpool ahead with 13 minutes left, pulling a shot inches wide from 18 yards.
Jelavic had been a constant threat and he was again the danger man with an angled drive that flew into the side-netting before a goalmouth scramble ended with Carroll again unable to apply the finishing touch.
Carroll's persistence was finally rewarded in the closing minutes. Everton substitute Seamus Coleman's rash challenge on Steven Gerrard was heavily punished as Carroll, with his back to goal, deflected a header beyond Howard to seal another Wembley appearance for Liverpool.
- 01 Jones
- 02 Johnson
- 05 Agger
- 23 Carragher
- 37 Skrtel Booked
- 08 Gerrard
- 14 Henderson Booked (Maxi - 75' )
- 19 Downing (Bellamy - 84' )
- 20 Spearing
- 07 Suarez
- 09 Carroll
- 42 Gulacsi
- 03 Jose Enrique
- 34 Kelly
- 11 Maxi
- 33 Shelvey
- 18 Kuyt
- 39 Bellamy
- 24 Howard
- 03 Baines (Anichebe - 88' )
- 05 Heitinga
- 15 Distin Booked
- 18 Neville
- 04 Gibson
- 17 Cahill
- 21 Osman
- 25 Fellaini
- 07 Jelavic Booked
- 19 Gueye (Coleman - 68' Booked )
- 12 Hahnemann
- 02 Hibbert
- 06 Jagielka
- 23 Coleman
- 11 Stracqualursi
- 14 McFadden
- 28 Anichebe
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.90:00 +4:12
Sylvain Distin crosses the ball, clearance made by Martin Skrtel.90:00 +4:04
Phil Neville produces a cross, clearance by Glen Johnson.90:00 +2:02
Short corner taken by Craig Bellamy from the right by-line.90:00 +0:57
Marouane Fellaini is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Brad Jones takes the free kick.90:00 +0:41
Luis Suarez takes a shot. Save by Tim Howard.89:56
Johnny Heitinga challenges Luis Suarez unfairly and gives away a free kick. Steven Gerrard restarts play with the free kick.89:33
Phil Neville sends in a cross, save by Brad Jones.88:35
Luis Suarez delivers the ball, Seamus Coleman manages to make a clearance.87:53
Leon Osman concedes a free kick for a foul on Steven Gerrard. Free kick taken by Martin Skrtel.87:15 Substitution
Substitution Victor Anichebe is brought on as a substitute for Leighton Baines.86:18
Craig Bellamy provided the assist for the goal.86:18 Goal scored
Goal! - Andy Carroll - Liverpool 2 - 1 Everton Andy Carroll finds the back of the net with a headed goal from close range. Liverpool 2-1 Everton.85:25
Seamus Coleman gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Gerrard. The ball is crossed by Craig Bellamy,84:49
Corner from the right by-line taken by Craig Bellamy, Marouane Fellaini manages to make a clearance.82:59 Substitution
Substitution Craig Bellamy is brought on as a substitute for Stewart Downing.82:59
Andy Carroll has an effort at goal from close range which goes wide left of the goal.82:07
Centre by Marouane Fellaini, clearance made by Jamie Carragher.81:41
Free kick awarded for a foul by Andy Carroll on Tim Cahill. Leighton Baines takes the direct free kick.81:01
Nikica Jelavic produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the goal.
Andy Carroll has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide right of the target.80:01
The ball is sent over by Nikica Jelavic, clearance by Steven Gerrard.79:36
Leon Osman produces a cross, clearance by Glen Johnson.79:11
Andy Carroll sends in a cross, Leighton Baines makes a clearance.78:12 Booking
Booking Seamus Coleman shown a yellow card.77:38
Effort from the edge of the area by Andy Carroll goes wide of the right-hand post.77:26
A cross is delivered by Steven Gerrard, Phil Neville manages to make a clearance.76:29
Leon Osman takes a shot. Save by Brad Jones.75:36
Corner taken left-footed by Leighton Baines from the left by-line, clearance by Andy Carroll.75:30
Seamus Coleman delivers the ball, Glen Johnson makes a clearance.74:23 Substitution
Substitution Jordan Henderson leaves the field to be replaced by Rodriguez Maxi.72:40
The referee gives a free kick against Nikica Jelavic for handball. Martin Skrtel takes the direct free kick.72:02 Booking
Booking Booking for Jordan Henderson for dissent.70:36
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Johnny Heitinga by Andy Carroll. Phil Neville takes the direct free kick.69:00
Tim Cahill is penalised for a handball. Jamie Carragher takes the direct free kick.67:35 Substitution
Substitution Magaye Gueye goes off and Seamus Coleman comes on.66:35
Darron Gibson crosses the ball, save by Brad Jones.65:29
Glen Johnson has a drilled shot. Save by Tim Howard.65:18
Centre by Daniel Agger, Sylvain Distin manages to make a clearance.63:47
Stewart Downing decides to take a short corner, Glen Johnson produces a cross, Phil Neville manages to make a clearance.63:38
Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Blocked by Leon Osman.63:18
Luis Suarez fouled by Phil Neville, the ref awards a free kick. Luis Suarez takes the direct free kick.61:18 Goal scored
Goal! - Luis Suarez - Liverpool 1 - 1 Everton Luis Suarez gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Liverpool 1-1 Everton.60:24
Glen Johnson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Marouane Fellaini. Tim Howard restarts play with the free kick.60:15
The ball is sent over by Stewart Downing, Johnny Heitinga makes a clearance.59:40
Tim Cahill gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jay Spearing. Brad Jones takes the direct free kick.59:26
Marouane Fellaini sends in a cross.58:07
Johnny Heitinga takes the direct free kick.58:07 Booking
Booking Nikica Jelavic booked for unsporting behaviour.58:07 Booking
Booking Martin Skrtel receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.57:42
Unfair challenge on Nikica Jelavic by Martin Skrtel results in a free kick.55:52
Leon Osman takes a shot. Comfortable save by Brad Jones.55:18
Jay Spearing fouled by Marouane Fellaini, the ref awards a free kick. Jay Spearing takes the direct free kick.54:55
Nikica Jelavic has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide right of the target.54:20
A cross is delivered by Glen Johnson, Phil Neville makes a clearance.53:11
Free kick awarded for a foul by Leon Osman on Jordan Henderson. Brad Jones takes the direct free kick.52:42
Magaye Gueye takes the inswinging corner, save by Brad Jones.52:00
Andy Carroll concedes a free kick for a foul on Marouane Fellaini. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Leighton Baines from left channel, clearance made by Daniel Agger.49:34
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Magaye Gueye played to the near post, Glen Johnson manages to make a clearance.49:27
The ball is crossed by Magaye Gueye, clearance made by Daniel Agger.46:32
The ball is delivered by Stewart Downing, Headed effort from close range by Andy Carroll goes wide left of the target.46:03
The ball is crossed by Stewart Downing, save by Tim Howard.45:01
The game restarts for the second half.45:00 +1:08 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.44:12
The referee blows for offside against Nikica Jelavic. Brad Jones restarts play with the free kick.42:19
Free kick awarded for a foul by Martin Skrtel on Nikica Jelavic. Strike comes in from Nikica Jelavic from the free kick.41:25
The ball is swung over by Stewart Downing, Andy Carroll produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.41:01
Short corner taken by Stewart Downing from the right by-line.39:16
The ball is sent over by Glen Johnson.36:27 Booking
Booking The referee shows Sylvain Distin a yellow card.36:12
Long range shot by Steven Gerrard goes wide right of the target.34:53
Stewart Downing crosses the ball, save made by Tim Howard.34:24
Outswinging corner taken by Stewart Downing from the left by-line, clearance by Tim Cahill.33:20
The referee blows for offside against Nikica Jelavic. Martin Skrtel takes the direct free kick.29:15
The ball is delivered by Luis Suarez, Phil Neville manages to make a clearance.28:05
A cross is delivered by Glen Johnson.27:36
Stewart Downing produces a cross, Marouane Fellaini makes a clearance.26:49
Centre by Stewart Downing.23:09
Tim Cahill provided the assist for the goal.23:09 Goal scored
Goal! - Nikica Jelavic - Liverpool 0 - 1 Everton Nikica Jelavic scores a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Liverpool 0-1 Everton.22:13
The official flags Luis Suarez offside. Johnny Heitinga takes the free kick.21:41
Magaye Gueye challenges Jay Spearing unfairly and gives away a free kick. Glen Johnson restarts play with the free kick.20:14
A cross is delivered by Phil Neville, Nikica Jelavic takes a shot. Save made by Brad Jones.17:11
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard from the right by-line.15:52
Corner taken left-footed by Magaye Gueye, Foul by Sylvain Distin on Daniel Agger, free kick awarded. Brad Jones restarts play with the free kick.15:43
Leon Osman takes a shot. Jamie Carragher gets a block in.12:57
Sylvain Distin gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Luis Suarez. Strike on goal comes in from Daniel Agger from the free kick. Martin Skrtel takes a shot. Save by Tim Howard.9:05
Jordan Henderson concedes a free kick for a foul on Darron Gibson. Direct free kick taken by Johnny Heitinga.4:55
Unfair challenge on Nikica Jelavic by Steven Gerrard results in a free kick. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Leighton Baines.3:55
Foul by Marouane Fellaini on Stewart Downing, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Daniel Agger.2:24
Effort on goal by Jay Spearing from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.1:06
Free kick awarded for a foul by Darron Gibson on Steven Gerrard. Jamie Carragher takes the free kick.0:37
The assistant referee flags for offside against Luis Suarez. Indirect free kick taken by Johnny Heitinga.0:00
The referee gets the game underway.
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