Romelu Lukaku looking forward to running out at Wembley

13 March 2016 01:53

Striker Romelu Lukaku is looking forward to a Wembley appearance in the FA Cup semi-final after enjoying the best night of his Everton career at Goodison Park.

The Belgium international scored both goals, the first a brilliant, dribbling effort past four opponents, late on in the 2-0 victory over Chelsea which had the old stadium bouncing.

Lukaku has played just 18 minutes at the national stadium as a substitute for Belgium in a 1-0 defeat in 2012 but going there with his club will mean much more to him as Everton chase their first trophy since 1995.

"It was the best night I have had in the stadium since I arrived at the club," he told evertontv.

"I am happy to go to Wembley. I am happy for the team, for the club, as it is something we all wanted.

"We have come close before so we are now 180 minutes away from glory.

"There is a lot of belief. We know we are a good team and if we have a good day it is tough to beat us.

"It is up to us to be concentrated and do the job.

"It (Wembley) is different for Belgium. It was a nice experience but now playing with my team-mates at Wembley, the biggest venue for football, is going to be good."

Lukaku became the first Everton player since Gary Lineker 30 years ago to score 25 in a season after his magnificent double lit up a match which had failed to spark into life for 78 minutes.

Collecting a pass on the left wing he set off on a run which left Cesar Azpilicueta, Jon Obi Mikel, Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill mesmerised before firing past international team-mate Thibaut Courtois.

His second five minutes later was less spectacular but just as clinical as he beat Courtois from the other side of the penalty area with his right-foot this time.

That goal finished off Chelsea but there was still time for Diego Costa to be sent off for a second yellow card after clashing with Gareth Barry and appearing to attempt to bite his opponent before the Everton midfielder also saw red for a foul on Cesc Fabregas which will see him miss league matches against Arsenal and Manchester United.

"Romelu's goal is going to be one of the best goals scored in the FA Cup and well worth it to take us to Wembley, a great memory for every Evertonian," said manager Roberto Martinez, who met new majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri as he attended his first match in an official capacity.

"A newly-born Evertonian," was how the manager described the Iranian billionaire.

"He brings an incredible financial muscle and wants to get us back to where we were in the 1980s and win trophies.

"We are so much looking forward to the new era. Now we have got a completely different future. Going to Wembley is part of every Evertonian."

For Chelsea's interim boss Guus Hiddink, who suffered his first domestic defeat since taking over from the sacked Jose Mourinho in mid-December to follow a Champions League exit in midweek, there is now little to look forward to.

"They (the players) like to win, most of them are used to winning," he said.

"Until December it was very bad and my first task was to get out of the relegation zone as soon as possible, which we surprisingly did in a few weeks from 16th to 10th.

"But it is difficult to achieve the Champions League places and maintain two roads to achieve success.

"Now they are gone. That is a pity but I think a club like Chelsea you must play with responsibility.

"We have to go on with pride for the club."

Source: PA

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