Everton boss David Moyes delighted with striker Nikica Jelavic

 

Everton boss David Moyes hailed the impact of striker Nikica Jelavic after he inspired his side to an FA Cup quarter-final replay victory at Sunderland.

The Croatia international put the visitors ahead after 24 minutes and then prompted substitute David Vaughan to put through his own goal 11 minutes after the restart to seal a 2-0 win at the Stadium of Light.

Jelavic, who arrived on Merseyside from Rangers in January, is still getting to grips with football south of the border, but is already making a significant impact.

Moyes said: "I think he has played very well. He looks hungry, he looks like a centre-forward, and we have missed that.

"The boys like him. They like the way he plays, they like his style.

"He and Darron Gibson, Steven Pienaar and Landon Donovan came in January, and we have been able to pick up a little bit from that."

 

Everton produced as dominant a display by an away team as the Stadium of Light has witnessed this season, and certainly during Martin O'Neill's reign.

They went ahead when Jelavic slid home the impressive Magaye Gueye's cross midway through the first half, and they never looked back.

It took Vaughan's own goal to increase the visitors' advantage 11 minutes into the second half, but it was no less than they deserved.

Indeed, they might have won even more comfortably had Jelavic been more clinical and Black Cats keeper Simon Mignolet less resilient, with Stephane Sessegnon's shot against the angle of bar and post on the hour a rare clear-cut opening for his team.

The win booked the Toffees a Wembley semi-final date with derby rivals Liverpool and a chance to avenge their two league defeats earlier this season.

However, Moyes insists they cannot contemplate their big day in North London on April 14 just yet.

He said: "We have got a lot of games to go. I am just so thrilled that we won that game tonight.

"Everton played well tonight and because of that, it ranks really highly because through this season, we have won a few games - even some big games - and I actually don't think we have played that well in them.

"But I actually think we did play well at times tonight, we really did."

The game proved a sobering experience for O'Neill, whose side failed to reach the heights they have for much of his reign.

He said: "I don't think we would be kidding ourselves or kidding anybody to know that we have work to do.

"The team has put heart and soul into the matches since December. It is not too often they can be criticised - tonight is definitely one of those.

"But it is a reminder of the job [still to do]."

PA

Comments