Wembley, England. Written off as Liverpool’s most expensive flop, record signing Andy Carroll is finally starting to deliver and his team has an FA Cup appearance to show for it.
For the first time since arriving 15 months ago for 35 million pounds ($55 million), the former Newcastle striker has scored in consecutive games.
An 87th-minute header completed a comeback against Everton and clinched a 2-1 victory that kept the League Cup winners on course for a cup double.
“It’s the best feeling ever,” Carroll said. “I’ve had some criticism, but I’ve just kept on going. I get the winner here and it’s a great feeling. I believe in myself every day.”
But the Wembley winner was only Carroll’s 10th goal in 51 Liverpool appearances, dismal form that has been a key factor in his side’s Premier League struggles.
Saturday was also fruitful for another divisive striker. Carlos Tevez scored a hat-trick in the Premier League as Manchester City thrashed Norwich 6-1 to keep the heat on Manchester United in the title race.
But with the leaders not in action until Sunday, the spotlight on Saturday was on the FA Cup. While Liverpool is below Everton in eighth in the Premier League, the title race is still on between the Manchester rivals.
City is two points behind United ahead of its neighbor’s match against Aston Villa. But City’s players will be wondering where they might be had Tevez not gone to Argentina on an unsanctioned six-month break.
The relegation zone remained unchanged. Wolverhampton stopped a run of seven straight defeats with a 0-0 draw against Sunderland but remained bottom.
Blackburn, which is five points ahead of Wolves, was condemned to a fifth straight loss by Swansea. Gylfi Sigurdsson curled in his seventh goal in 14 league games in a 3-0 win.
Queens Park Rangers missed a chance to move further than two points clear of Bolton in 18th after Graham Dorrans gave West Bromwich Albion a 1-0 win.