Next was a goalless draw with Tottenham at Goodison Park. The result was significant as the shutout enabled Tim Howard to break a record for the number of clean sheets kept by an Everton goalkeeper in a Premier League season.
Another home game followed, and West Ham were beaten 3-1 for the second time in the season. After falling behind, Everton rallied and Louis Saha (twice) and Joseph Yobo’s only goal of the season saw them overcome the ten-man Hammers.
The win put David Moyes’ side above Aston Villa and into fifth place, meaning the position was Everton’s to lose ahead of the final game of the season at Fulham.
It was a ground at which the Toffees hadn’t won since 1966 – but that jinx was ended thanks to two excellent Leon Osman strikes.
Fifth place was confirmed, as was a return to Europe, and the FA Cup final beckoned.
Everton were underdogs but a quiet confidence surrounded the players ahead of the Wembley clash with Chelsea.
And they got the dream start in the final itself. Saha sent statisticians scuttling for their record books when he rifled in a brilliant volley after just 25 seconds – the goal was the fastest ever at a Wembley cup final.
But Chelsea’s class showed and they equalised through Didier Drogba in the first half before Frank Lampard won it in the second.