West Ham & Everton serve up FA Cup magic but prove replays should be wiped out for good

The manic second half of extra time of West Ham’s 9-8 penalty victory over Everton was not simply a great advert for the FA Cup; it was a superb demonstration of why the replay needs to be abolished. It seems crude to say so after the fantastic spectacle that this replay eventually served up but, for a good 70 minutes, this was as sterile and dour an affair as any that you could imagine; much like the 90 minutes at Goodison Park a week previously.

That it sprang to life was not due to the nature of the replay itself but that of extra time, a lesser-spotted FA Cup beast due to the obligation of the re-arranged return fixture. It became an end-to-end epic in the final 15 minutes as the game stretched out, the midfield disappeared without a trace and left a chasm between attack and defence.

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