LONDON - Everton reached the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time since winning the competition in 1995 when they came from behind to beat Middlesbrough 2-1 in an exciting quarter-final on Sunday. Earlier, Arsenal set up a quarter-final against Hull City when they cruised past Championship side Burnley 3-0 in a delayed fifth-round match at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal and Hull will meet on March 17 or 18 as they bid to join Chelsea, Manchester United and Everton in the last four. Chelsea won 2-0 at Coventry City on Saturday and Manchester United crushed Fulham 4-0 at Craven Cottage. Everton battled back at Goodison Park with two goals early in the second half after David Wheater had headed Middlesbrough in front just before halftime. Wheater rose unchallenged to meet a cross from Matthew Bates and although Everton keeper Tim Howard got one hand to the ball and scooped it out of the net with the other, it had clearly crossed the line. Everton's goals also came from headers with Marouanne Fellaini outjumping Robert Huth to loop the ball over stranded keeper Brad Jones after 50 minutes. Substitute Louis Saha took advantage of slack Boro defending to add a second from Steven Pienaar's cross seven minutes later. Everton defender Phil Neville, who won the FA Cup three times with Manchester United, told Setanta Sports: "We are going to enjoy the semi-final but we want to bring silverware to this club, it's been too long since we won any." Boro will now have to concentrate on avoiding relegation from the Premier League. "I just think we got done on two balls into our box we didn't deal with," their manager Gareth Southgate said. We know Everton get their set plays and crosses and we worked on that all week, but didn't see it through." DEFEAT AVENGED Arsenal avenged their League Cup defeat by Burnley in December with superb goals from Carlos Vela and Eduardo da Silva. Emmanuel Eboue wrapped up victory seven minutes from time with an unstoppable shot. Burnley, who beat Premier League Fulham, Chelsea and Arsenal to reach the League Cup semi-finals this season, never looked like causing another upset. "When you score goals it always lifts the confidence and the belief and it is important for us to go to Roma (in the Champions League on Wednesday) with a feeling that we have done the job well," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. Vela opened the scoring after 25 minutes when he raced away after being played in by Andrei Arshavin and chipped the ball over keeper Brian Jensen. Eduardo brilliantly volleyed in a perfect cross from Alex Song with the outside of his left foot and Burnley manager Owen Coyle said Arsenal's quality proved decisive. "I felt comfortable at 0-0, but a mistake by ourselves led to the first goal for Arsenal, but you have to admire the quality it was a sublime finish and the second goal was even better," Coyle said.
8 March 2009
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