I was optimistic about this one and I'm sure most Evertonians were. It's never wise to start predicting derby wins but after a string of promising performances against the top teams recently, Everton went into this one in bullish mood with the backing of a snarling Goodison behind them.
It started off noisy and nigly, tackles flying in but little quality and few efforts on goal. In fact I can only recall two in the first half - a snapshot from Alonso that flashed wide of Howard's post and an Osman volley that comfortably cleared the cross bar.
But the most significant moment early on was Steven Gerrard limping off with a hamstring injury - much to the delight of Everton fans all over the stadium. It was a shot in the arm for Everton and a blow for Liverpool seeing their talisman go off. In a scrappy first half though, our passing wasn't good enough as the likes of Fellaini, Osman and Pienaar all too often squandered possession. Although Liverpool had more possession then, they again found it hard to get past our defence and as ever, Jagielka and Lescott were outstanding - as were the fullbacks.
Our already threadbare squad was stretched even further in the second half as Pienaar and Fellaini picked up injuries, forcing Moyes to throw on the youngsters Dan Gosling and Jack Rodwell. They both acquitted themselves well with Rodwell looking very comfortable on the ball and strong in the tackle, Gosling looking lively down the right.
Everton started to turn the screw and almost took the lead when Arteta slipped the ball through for Cahill and his lay off fell perfectly for Osman, but the midfielder's shot cannoned off the outside of the post.
The tide turned further in Everton's favour moments later, when Lucas was shown a second yellow card for a rash challenge on Lescott. How Rafa can say it wasn't a yellow is ridiculous - Lescott was in full flight and had acres of space to run into behind Lucas.
Down to 10 men, Liverpool only had one thing on their mind. Penalties. They're like Germany - they never lose them and they'd have been the much more confident team had it come down to spot kicks. In the meantime it was all Everton and Gosling would have put us ahead but for a great double save by Reina.
Liverpool continued to waste time and feign injury as the blues piled forward. At one point I was furious with Arteta for putting the ball out while Torres lay on the ground for ages pretending to be injured. The minute the ball was out he was back up and another attack was wasted. Torres himself offered absolutely nothing all night - although he won't come up against many defenders better than Phil Jagielka, who was again, immense.
Cahill was again brilliant upfront and he almost gave us the lead, flashing a header wide as he once more arrived first to a corner.
Extra time arrived though and still we couldn't make the breakthrough. It showed how low we were on numbers as Phil Neville had to come off and was replaced by Andy van der Meyde. Extra time was tight and Everton did most of the pressing but as time ticked away, I was almost resigning myself to a penalty defeat. I just couldn't see us winning a penalty shoot out, no matter how much we'd deserved to win it in normal or extra time.
All the fears went out the window though after 117 minutes. Van der Meyde whipped in a great cross that found Dan Gosling at the back post but the youngster still had plenty to do. With four defenders around him, he cut back onto his right foot and curled a brilliant finish into the far corner with the aid of a slight deflection. Bedlam ensued all around Goodison and it unbelievable watching Gosling run past the Liverpool fans pumping his fist as the whole stadium went mad, knowing that Liverpool had no time to come back into it, especially with 10 men and no Gerrard or Torres on the pitch.
Moments later it was all over and Everton fans were grinning from ear-to-ear. And probably still are! Great to see Gosling walking off with the matchball on a night that he and everyone connected with the club will be talking about for a long, long time.