Liverpool Vs. Everton, FA Cup Semifinal 2012: Everton Lead 1-0 At Halftime

Everton have the upper hand at halftime as Croation striker Nikica Jelavic's 24th minute strike has given the Toffees a 1-0 lead in the FA Cup semifinal against local rivals Liverpool.

A thunderous noise from both sets of fans got the game underway, and it was Liverpool who had the first strike on goal, as some good running by Andy Carroll allowed the gangly striker the chance to hold the ball up and play in Jay Spearing who's measured effort went narrowly over Tim Howard's crossbar with only 3 minutes on the clock.

Everton's first chance of the game came after just 6 minutes when Daniel Agger cynically blocked off Nikica Jelavic 25-yards from goal, however Leighton Baines direct strike from the freekick wasn't troubling stand-in goalkeeper Brad Jones.

Liverpool won a dangerous freekick of their own in the 14th minute when Luis Suarez was tripped on the edge of the area by Sylvain Distin, however Stewart Downing could only smash the ball into the wall, while Martin Skrtel's effort on the rebound was tame, and straight at Howard.

Everton made the breakthrough in the 24th minute after some calamitous defending from Liverpool. Jamie Carragher and Daniel Agger both waited for each other to do something inside the area. In the end, all that happened was Carragher cannoned the ball into Tim Cahill, with the ball breaking to an unmarked Jelavic to slot past Jones from close range.

Everton might want to have considered themselves lucky to be ahead, as on the TV replays it showed Jelavic was ever so slightly offside before scoring the games opening goal. Not that anyone at the time seemed to complain.

As the half continued, Liverpool looked decidedly toothless in their attempts to get back into the game, where as Everton were standing strong, and looking like they could increase their lead in a very open and exciting game.

For more thoughts and reaction to todays game check out our Liverpool site, Anfield Asylum, and for an Everton slant check out Royal Blue Mersey.

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