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Liverpool (H) Sat 7 Feb 2015, 17:30, Barclays Premier League

Vic: The Perfect Preparation

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Victor Anichebe says Monday's 4-0 win over Sunderland was the perfect preparation for the FA Cup semi-final showdown with Liverpool.

The striker completed the scoring as the Blues hit four second-half goals to see off the Black Cats in style at Goodison Park.

That came despite five key players being rested for the game - a demonstration, Anichebe says, of the soaring belief around the Club at present.

"Today was a special game," the Nigeria international told evertontv after the Blues extended their run of form to just two defeats in 17 games. "It started off a bit slow but in the second half it livened up.

"I think the introduction of Royston [Drenthe] got everyone off their seats because he started taking people on. The whole team did really well today and everyone played their part in the second half. We'll use that going into the semi-final and hopefully our good form can continue.

"Everyone is really confident at the moment and whatever the result had been today I think we would have gone into the semi-final thinking we could do well. Also, we've got the fans behind us. Everyone's so excited for the semi-final.

"It's going to be a great day for the city, for both sets of fans, and hopefully we can go down there and do well."

Nikica Jelavic, Leighton Baines, Tim Cahill, Sylvain Distin and Darron Gibson were the first-team regulars to stand down for the visit of Martin O'Neill's side and Anichebe praised the way those who came in maintained their focus.

He said: "It would have been easy to be distracted today. I think the manager, Steve Round and all the coaches have done well to take away all the hype of the semi-final and keep us concentrated on the league, which is really important and we're doing remarkably well. Hopefully we can keep it going until the end of the season."

Anichebe's strike, a snatched volley at the second attempt, was diverted past goalkeeper Simon Mignolet thanks to a sizeable deflection off Jack Colback.

It could yet be put before the Premier League's Dubious Goals Committee but the substitute is adamant his tally for the season now stands at six.

"I'm claiming it," he said. "I'm a forward so I claim everything. I missed the first shot from the ball from Steven [Pienaar] and then I did some sort of swivel thing and I'm going to say it was a piece of skill! I think the shot was going in, so I'm claiming it."

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