Shades of Rooney in Liverpool goal that knocked Everton out of FA Cup

Shades of Rooney in Liverpool goal that knocked Everton out of FA Cup
Two Liverpudlians at opposite ends of their soccer careers, Curtis Jones and Wayne Rooney, took centre stage in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Jones, a highly rated 18-year-old winger, scored a goal he may never beat to earn Liverpool a 1-0 win over Everton in a Merseyside derby at Anfield that had a familiar result.

Collecting the ball outside the area on the left, Jones bent a shot into the far corner off the underside of the crossbar.

“The ball came to me and I only had one thing in mind — to shoot,” said Jones, who joined Liverpool at age six and was one of a number of youth players on an inexperienced team selected by Jurgen Klopp. “Luckily enough it led to the match winner and a great goal.”

It was a goal that evoked memories of one scored by Rooney for Everton against Arsenal in 2002, which also flew in off the bar and rocketed him to overnight stardom. Eighteen years on, and now a deep-lying midfielder in the twilight of his career, the 34-year-old Rooney is still proving his worth on the soccer field.

The former Manchester United and England striker played with authority and discipline as second-tier Derby’s captain to inspire his new team to a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace, which became the third Premier League team to lose to lower-league opposition at the third-round stage this season.

“He influenced the game a lot because you could see his experience,” Derby manager Phillip Cocu said of Rooney, who had 77 touches of the ball — more than any other Derby player. “He knows when to receive the ball and has great delivery when he gives it. The other players know he will give the pass so they will make the runs.”

Rooney played the full 90 minutes in his second game for Derby since his return to English soccer after a spell in the United States with D.C. United.

The game was otherwise memorable for the rare use of a pitch-side monitor in English soccer as referee Michael Oliver checked an incident, following a VAR review, that led to Palace captain Luka Milivojevic sent off after a tussle with Derby midfielder Tom Huddlestone.

As for Everton, the team has yet to win at Anfield this century, its last victory at the home of its neighbour across Stanley Park coming in 1999.

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti fielded a strong lineup, a rare move by a Premier League manager in the FA Cup these days, but wasn’t rewarded despite his team creating three great first-half chances that were hit straight at Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian.

Tottenham’s honeymoon period under Jose Mourinho looks to be over. After a strong start under the self-styled Special One, it’s now just one win in the last five games for Tottenham, which had to come from a goal down to tie 1-1 at second-tier Middlesbrough. Lucas Moura headed in Tottenham’s equalizer in the 61st to rescue Tottenham, which played poorly and slow in the first half against Middlesbrough and fell behind to Ashley Fletcher’s goal in the 50th.

Mourinho said his team missed the presence of Harry Kane, who is out with a hamstring injury which his coach said “is not a small injury.”

“In this moment, it is not going to be, ‘Harry, Harry, Harry, Harry,’” Mourinho said. “We have what we have and we stick with them. The boys did what they can. You cannot transform Lucas or Son (Heung-min) into a No. 9 like Harry Kane.”

Unlike his mentor Mourinho, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard fielded his reserves for the home game against Nottingham Forest — and one stood out. Callum Hudson-Odoi drilled home the opener for his first goal in four months, then had a hand in Ross Barkley’s easy finish as Chelsea won 2-0.

The England winger is looking to return to form after coming back from surgery on his right Achilles in April. Lampard has been at pains to shield Hudson-Odoi from criticism following a subpar performance in the 2-0 home loss to Southampton on Dec. 26, while also demanding a hike in quality and this was certainly a step in the right direction.

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Sheffield United ended up only scraping to a 2-1 win over AFC Fylde, the last non-league team remaining in the competition. Queens Park Rangers, Barnsley and West Bromwich Albion, all from the second tier, were other teams to advance.
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