MOYES: TAKE IT AS RED FOR SEMI
Everton boss David Moyes insisted Liverpool will go into next month's FA Cup semi-final showdown between the derby rivals as favourites.
The Toffees booked a dream trip to Wembley to face their city rivals with a superb 2-0 quarter-final replay victory at Sunderland despite arriving at the Stadium of Light less than an hour before kick-off because of traffic congestion.
However, Moyes was adamant the men from Anfield would be expected to emerge triumphant on April 14 after winning both Barclays Premier League clashes earlier this season.
He said: "Liverpool will be favourites. They have beaten us twice this year, haven't they?
"They have to go into the game as favourites, and we will go there and play."
Moyes was thrilled to have secured a trip to Wembley weeks after celebrating 10 years at Goodison Park to rekindle memories of their most recent successes.
He said: "I think anybody would think going to a semi-final would be an achievement, whether you have been there one year or 10 years.
"But the thing about Everton is they have got a history of being in finals, semi-finals, winning things.
"I have not been in as many as I would like to be, but I actually think there are mitigating circumstances for that in a way.
"But Everton as a football club are used to it, it's been there many times before and this isn't a strange place for them."
The visitors' achievement was all the more impressive as they did not reach the stadium until just 50 minutes before kick-off.
Moyes joked: "The Sunderland police bolstered us with the way they performed before the game. It gave us a wee edge.
"They never got us here in time - and I hear it's quite regular up here."
Everton took the lead with 24 minutes gone when Nikica Jelavic calmly converted Magaye Gueye's inviting cross to cap a confident start by his side.
Sunderland responded, but could not find a way back into the game, and their hopes were all but dashed within 11 minutes of the restart when substitute David Vaughan turned Jelavic's shot into his own net.
Stephane Sessegnon might have reduced the deficit on the hour, but was denied by the woodwork, but the visitors could really have won far more comfortably on a night when they failed to make the most of the chances they created, but were not made to pay for it.
Moyes said: "If we hadn't won, there would have been something not right.
"We created a lot of chances and we actually didn't finish the game off at times."
Opposite number Martin O'Neill admitted his side were simply not at the races as their hopes of making home advantage count proved forlorn.
He said: "Everton were better than us. They deserved to win the game. We didn't perform well enough - we didn't perform at all, and that's really disappointing.
"We were ready for the night and to see the sort of atmosphere just before kick-off, the noise level, was something we should experience more often here at the Stadium of Light.
"It was a great evening, a great night for football and we disappointed.
"There was high expectation, of course, having done so well to get here, to have forced the replay, to have come back here to the Stadium of Light where, outside of Arsenal, who got a couple of late goals on us, we have done pretty well.
"But it doesn't matter whether you are home or away, you have to perform, you have to be able to pass it, you have to be able to control it, you have to be able to do those things under pressure, and we didn't do it well enough.""
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