BenItez: the name has inspired agonised conversation all season on the red side of Stanley Park. This time the suffering was Everton's. It fell to Christian Benitez, Birmingham's striker, to heap further misery upon Merseyside as he gave early warning that its FA Cup campaign was about to come to grief.
Benitez scored with a stooping header as early as the seventh minute, the sort of goal that Benitez the manager might even have knocked in, although on the evidence of this season not before he had removed his specs rather sadly, checked and cleaned them, and put them on again.
Birmingham's Benitez is 33 and life's many little tortures have yet to afflict him and a clear-sighted finish looked inevitable from the moment Keith Fahey's cross eluded Leighton Baines.
Birmingham have surely produced little as impressive as their second goal, scored by Barry Ferguson, three minutes before the interval.
Sebastian Larsson's cross was dummied by Ferguson, and James McFadden supplied a return pass and Ferguson curled the ball around Tim Howard left-footed.
"Barry has to be one of the best midfield players in the Premier League. Both goals were delicious, but the second was a contender for goal of the month, if not goal of the season." said Alex McLeish.
Leon Osman, a half-time substitute, gave Everton hope, finishing calmly after Leighton Baines had skipped around Stephen Carr's sliding challenge but Everton failed to complete the fightback.