Moyes' magic

Toffees sticking to their task gamely, says Iain

Dowie was impressed by a lethal display from Everton

Dowie was impressed by a lethal display from Everton

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Everton continued their positive run of results with an emphatic 4-0 win over lacklustre Sunderland at Goodison Park.

"I think Everton will finish above Liverpool and beat them in the FA Cup semi-final. That's my view."

Iain Dowie

Quotes of the week

Magaye Gueye, Leon Osman, Steven Pienaar and substitute Victor Anichebe were all on target as the Toffees warmed up for Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against arch-rivals Liverpool with a clinical display.

Dowie told Soccer Special afterwards: "It was very impressive. From minute one, Everton were always the side pressing. They've moved the ball well and Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar were at the heart of everything.

"Johnny Heitinga, whose had an excellent spell of form, was very good at stepping out and spraying the ball around. They also got James McFadden involved in the game early on.

"I wouldn't say they were quite at the races as an effective attacking unit in the first half, but the second half they started like David Moyes had had a bit of a word with them and told them to be more aggressive.

"Then they got the goal from Magaye Gueye. It was a fantastic strike and after that it was really about Osman and Pienaar, who dictated play and both got scintillating goals.

"To top it off, Moyes took Marouane Fellaini off and brought on Victor Anichebe and he got a deflected one, so it couldn't have gone any better for them."

Fluency

"I thought Fellaini played very well, Osman and Pienaar were oustanding, Phil Neville was quality at left-back. Moyes won't leave out Leighton Baines, but a lot of players put their hands up and said: 'Pick me for next week's FA Cup semi-final.'

"I think Everton will finish above Liverpool and beat them in the FA Cup semi-final. That's my view. Moyes raised some eyebrows with his selection but he feels his squad is good enough.

"You go to Everton and you know what Moyes' sides are going to be like. They're energetic, they're well coached and nobody will be wanting to play against them.

"Maybe the game against Newcastle will be a difficult one for them if they're already in the FA Cup final, but if they don't get there, I think they're going to finish very strongly. Don't forget, they also have a better goal difference than Liverpool now."

Lack of depth

Sunderland have enjoyed a remarkable revival under Martin O'Neill, but Dowie believes a lack of squad depth has left the Black Cats struggling for energy late in the season - and sees changes in personnel over the summer.

Dowie said: "For Martin O'Neill, it looked a game too far. There was no Nicklas Bendtner and that made a massive difference. Stephane Sessegnon played as a lone front man and that's not his strength. He only had Craig Gardner playing off him. Connor Wickham came on and tried to rescue the game but it was too late by then.

"I think Sunderland need to finish strongly. In some ways, this will give O'Neill the ammunition to go the board and ask for some funds to spend. Lee Cattermole has had a knee ligament problem. He started and was very good. As soon as he went off, it looked much more of an open game.

"Bendtner is a very crucial player for them. You might not have said that a few months ago, but he's certainly turned around his form and he's leading the line very well. You always need a focal point in your attack and they didn't have it today.

"I think realistically, Sunderland are a top eight or top 10 team. If they went out and spent an awful lot of money then they could challenge for the top six or seven places but at the moment they are a way off that."