Phil Jagielka says he cannot wait to return to Wembley after helping Everton reach the Emirates FA Cup semi-final with a 2-0 victory over Chelsea.
Romelu Lukaku was the hero for the Toffees as he netted twice against his former club, including a stunning opener, to give Roberto Martinez’s men the win.
Everton 2-0 Chelsea
Emirates FA Cup
Saturday 12 March 2016
Both Diego Costa and Gareth Barry received their marching orders from referee Michael Oliver for two bookable offences late on as the game reached a dramatic crescendo after 75 cagey minutes.
And Jagielka admitted it was a relief to get the win and a clean sheet to boot as Everton joined Crystal Palace in the last four.
“It’s great to be through to the semi-final because we’ve had an indifferent run of form in the league so far, so it’s nice to put a good performance in,” said the England international.
“It’s fantastic for Romelu to get two goals, two great goals and I look forward to going to Wembley.
“The second goal took the pressure off a little bit and we managed to see the game out.
“A clean sheet is always important, especially after last week, one thing we always want is a clean sheet and it was nice to come away with that.”
The game started at an intense pace with Tom Cleverley testing Thibaut Courtois after just 40 seconds.
But that was as close as either side came to a goal until Costa fired agonisingly across the Everton goal after rounding goalkeeper Joel Robles on 57 minutes.
As the game inched towards a replay Lukaku came to the fore and, in the 77th minute, picked up a loose ball on the left, beat four Chelsea players and fired low past his compatriot.
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Another goal followed five minutes later, this time from the right, as the Belgian timed his run to perfectly ghost into the box and shoot right-footed between the legs of Courtois.
The game boiled over as time ticked down with Costa reacting to a Barry tackle to receive his second yellow and the Englishman following him down the tunnel three minutes later.
But it did not take the shine off a stunning double for Lukaku who insists he had nothing to prove against his former club.
“It feels great, I am just happy for the team and to do something we wanted,” said Lukaku.
“I think the first goal is the best thing, I didn't know where I was going but then I was in the box. I saw Gary Cahill not know where he was going so I shifted it onto my left foot.
“I don’t think I have anything to prove to Chelsea, I went there as an 18-year-old and learned the trade of being a professional footballer. I will always be grateful to them.”