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 Chadwick (58')  (0-1)  Jansen (10') 
Cole (62') 
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Everton v Blackburn:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Everton 35
 Blackburn 14
 Draws 14
 Premiership
 Everton 3
 Blackburn 3
 Draws 1
 Last Time (1998):
 Everton 0-0 Blackburn

 
Nick Chadwick made a miraculous recovery after spraining his ankle badly when being fouled by Paul Jones last week.  Not many other surprises in the line-up, with Moyes favouring Carsley and Gravesen over the presumably lightweight but skillful Blomqvist and Linderoth, who were both on the bench.  Paul Gerrard is in goal again.

Jansen opened the scoring on 10 mins when Dunn's cross was headed in very simply by Matt Jansen.  A poorly defended goal.  Everton fought back when Alexandersson sent in a great cross but Unsworth did poorly despite having plenty of time, drilling it across the face of the goal and beyond Chadwick.

Some better pressure came on around 20 mins but Weir and then Unsworth could only fire wide.  Stubbs was then lucky to be given only a yellow card after being the last man to pull down Matt Jansen just outside the penalty area.  Everton continued to strive against a lively Blackburn side, but could not create the final ball needed to break them down.

An excellent free-kick was flicked on by Matt Jansen forcing a brilliant save from Gerrard, the rebound being fired onto the post by Flitcroft but they were both offside.

From the resulting pressure, a couple of Everton corners ensued.  For once, an excellent corner from Unsworth was headed on by Davey Weir, and Chadwick did brilliantly to control the ball on his thigh then back-heel it deftly past the keeper... GOAL!

But it wasn't long before Blackburn were back in front.  A fierce strike from Damien Dunn was saved brilliantly by Gerrard but Cole was following up intelligently and nodded his dropped ball over the line to really push Everton onto the back foot.

Radzinski came on, and then Blomqvist replaced Unsworth (rather than the obviously tiring Chadwick) but it made little difference.  Everton won a free-kick inside the Blackburn area for obstruction but failed to make anything of it. 

A very disappointing end to the season's home campaign as the Moyes magic finally wore off.  A lot of solid work will be needed over the summer to shape anything better than mid-table mediocrity out of these players who seem resolutely unable to raise their game in response to the enthusiasm and drive the young manager has brought to Goodison Park.  

The highlight of the dying minutes was a male streaker who briefly evaded the authorities before being apprehended.  Perhaps Blackburn really did have more to play for, or did those Everton players really have no desire for the InterToto???

 

M A T C H    F A C T S
 Sports Match Info  
  FA Premiership 2001-02, Game 37
4:00pm  Sunday 28 April 2002
Goodison Park, Liverpool
Referee: Jeff Winter (Stockton-on-Tees)
Att: 34,976
Position: 13th
TV: Sky PPV
Line-ups Subs not used
Everton: Gerrard; Watson, Weir, Stubbs, Pistone; Alexandersson (74' Radzinski), Gravesen, Gemmill, Unsworth (83' Blomqvist); Campbell, Chadwick.  Pettinger,   Linderoth,  Carsley. 
Unavailable:  Ginola, Hibbert, Naysmith, Simonsen (injured); Nyarko (on loan) Suspended:
Ferguson
Blackburn Friedel, Taylor, Short, Berg, Unsal (64' Johansson), Duff, Flitcroft, Tugay (64' Gillespie), Dunn, Cole, Jansen.  Hughes, Yordi, Kelly. 
Playing Strips Formations
Everton: Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; blue socks. 4-4-2; 4-3-3
Blackburn: Red & black shirts; black shorts; red socks 4-4-2
  Yellow Cards Red Cards
Everton: Stubbs (25'), Unsworth (61')  --
Blackburn: Jansen (27'), Cole (44')  --


Premiership Scores
Saturday
Tottenham 1-0 Liverpool
Aston Villa 2-1 Sotton
Charlton   2-2 Sunderland
Derby   0-1 Leeds
Fulham   0-0 Leicester
Middlesbro 0-2 Chelsea
Newcastle 3-1 West Ham
Ipswich   0-1 Man Utd
Sunday
Everton   1-2 Blackburn
Monday
Bolton   0-2 Arsenal
 


Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Arsenal 81
2 Man Utd 76
3 Liverpool 74
4 Newcastle 71
5 Chelsea 64
6 Leeds 63
7 Tottenham 50
8 West Ham 50
9 Aston Villa 47
10 Middlesbrough 45
11 Fulham 44
12 Blackburn 43
13 Everton 43
14 Charlton 43
15 Southampton 42
16 Bolton 40
17 Sunderland 39
18 Ipswich 36
19 Derby 29
20 Leicester 25
 After 29 April 2002
M A T C H     R E P O R T S
Everton Web Sites
ToffeeWeb Match Summary
EvertonFC.com Match Report
When Skies Are Grey Match Report
SATIS? Fanzine Match Report
From The Terrace Match Report
Blue Kipper Match Report
Everton Fans' Reports
Steve Bickerton InterToto?  Just Say No!
Richard Marland Pay attention at the back!
Links to Other Media Reports
Electronic Telegraph Match Report
BBC Sport Match Report
FA Premier Match Report
Sky Sports Match Report
Sporting Life Match Report
SoccerNet Match Report
The Guardian Match Report
The Independent Match Report
The Times Match Report
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report


Match Preview

And so another Season has almost gone by and we have stayed in the top flight ... just.

Walter has gone; Moyes has arrived; Duncan has lost his God-head; Campbell his respect; Chadwick has shown promise; Rooney has instilled blind faith.

Will it be the season that we look back on as the nadir of a dreadful decade of ineptitude and underachievement?

I pray that it is.  I pray I will look back on an awful, morale- and pride-destroying performance at West Ham and laugh at how things have changed and how those days will never return.  (I fortunately was out of the country for the 'Boro game and have still not managed to force myself to watch the goals).

Blackburn arrive four places below us but with a foot in Europe already.  I'm actually not sure how a team with the attacking threat of Dunn, Duff, Jansen, Cole and lately Yordi have managed to struggle but I guess you just look at Taylor and Short at the back and the reasons become clear.  Tugay has taken time to settle but he could well come through next year.

It would be great to think that we will celebrate the last home game at Goodison with the pressure off and a flowing win.  Sky TV camera's will be there obviously sick as they undoubtedly booked this game expecting a North/NorthWest relegation clash; as they did for last week's game at Southampton, and as they booked the games against Crewe looking for a cup upset.  You can't blame them but it is a bluntly clear sign of where others see us.

I'm sorry to spoil the party atmosphere but I am actually not too optimistic about this game.  If Moyes can get the boys up for it and bring home 3 more points then he will go up another notch in my estimation.

Gravesen and Gemmill will have to stop Tugay and prevent their strikeforce getting on the ball.  Duff is flying and Watson will have to work hard I wouldn't be surprised to see Carsley placed wide right again to stop him as he did against Bridge at Southampton.

Rads and Campbell should be able to get at their backline but Rads' confidence must be pretty low and Campbell is a shadow of himself.  Rooney is on Under-17's international duty and Chadwick obviously injured.  With Dunc suspended, we are back to where we have been all season bare bones!  Has anyone thought of playing Watson upfront?  I mean, what a finish?  Surely he must be worth a try?!?

Some width will be needed so the return of one of Blomqvist or Alexandersson (maybe Ginola?  Nope don't be silly!) would be very helpful.

One thing I do expect is goals even a 3-2 could result.

A win and the InterToto awaits, anything less and Fulham are highly likely to beat us to it (how on earth did they beat Leeds?)  To some, that would be a blessing in disguise; to me, it would be a disappointment any route to Europe should be embraced.

I'm going for a 2-2 draw and at least a rousing finish.

BlueForEver



InterToto?  Just say No!

by Steve Bickerton

The day was prefaced by a vision of what might be achieved by good organisation and a determination to win.

As Reuben Barajas's shot hit the back of the net, the home fans knew that the 10 men wearing the shirt had given them their all.  They'd fought back from one down to snatch a memorable win, that, thanks to the over confidence of their nearest challengers, who slumped to a 3-0 loss against relegation contenders, left them one victory away from the championship, in the manager's first season.

Such is the tale at Valencia this year where an expensively assembled squad, moulded into an effective, at times inspiring side yet at times dour, side are on the brink of their first championship for over 30 years.  Their young manager, in the mould of David Moyes, brought Tenerife up from division two last year and stepped into the hot seat at a club where style and flair means as much as winning.  In recent times managers have left because of their lack of style and despite success in both national and international competition.  The fans demand nothing less than the best.

At Everton, we might be on the road to similar glory, though in fairness there are some substantial differences.  Valencia has almost limitless access to South Americans with the right passports; Italian, Spanish, Portuguese who also play for their native countries, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, yet can play for the Spanish side as European citizens.  They have a club bank-rolled by fanatical support which is able to wield authority at bi-annual ballots, which define the direction of the club and which pays annual subscriptions to be part of the club.  It also has a 53,000 seater stadium, purpose built by the local government for which it has sole usage rights, and which it fills with fans at prices ranging from 3 a game upwards.  In short they are built from the foundations upwards for success.

So what of the similarities with Everton?  True, we don't have the access to South American talent (but we could) and true we're not directed by the will of fans (but we could be).  We certainly don't have the funds available to match the Valencian purse, but we could have a manager, who like Rafael Benitez, can galvanize his squad, ranging in age from 20 (Victor) to 37 (Carboni) to dig deep and give their all for the cause.  But he has to have the players around him who believe in his vision, who believe in his style and who, above all, can play for the fans.  Valencia have that.  Do Everton?

Blackburn had recently reached safety and what might have been a do-or-die battle to stave off relegation, when originally scheduled as the Sunday PPV game by Sky, became a fairly meaningless battle for "mid-table supremacy" as I'd read somewhere.  Who would show that they had the do-or-die attitude?  Who would play for the shirt and the fans if for nothing else?

Suffice to say that my preamble will be longer than the match report.  We've decided that we want to be on holiday now and that this InterToto route into Europe was just a bad joke.  With Blackburn attacking the Park End first half, Gerrard decided that any Blackburn forward worth his salt, despite being unmarked, wouldn't be audacious enough to go for a corner unchallenged.  So he rose to collect the ball as it came in from his left, only for Jansen to step two yards ahead of him and head into the open net.  Now, he was really sorry about his mistake, that's true and it was only the one, so we shouldn't be too harsh... but he has to go... at whatever price, to whomever will take him today.

We had a couple of chances in the first half to level it when an Alexandersson cross driven from the right found Unsworth unmarked in the box, but for Rhino to blast the ball across the goal and wide, with a lunging Chadwick unable to make anything of the unexpected opportunity.  Weir had a chance from a corner as the ball broke to him, but his half-volley bounced wide of the upright and Blackburn escaped with a goal kick.  

But the defining moment of the half was a break down the left, when Gemmill, in oceans of space, declined the offer of a cross with his left foot and played the ball back onto his right and into trouble.  He works hard, he tries hard, but he doesn't have the guile or the skill to make up for being one-footed.  He too must go in the summer clear-out, despite being an ever present under David Moyes.

At half-time, we were 0-1 down and in a moment of almost glorious comedy, we were presented with Everton's 2001-02 championship side.  Now, I'm not demeaning their achievement and I have nothing but admiration for them but, in fairness, our first-half performance almost looked as if they'd been out there playing.  This was Everton's Visually Impaired side, which had won their league by 21 points and with a goal difference of +84.  Our own men in blue have a thing or two to learn from them I feel...

The second half started brighter, with an early goal from Chadwick, a cheeky back heel from a scramble in the goal mouth.  Almost immediately, Campbell could have made it two, but his effort went wide and effectively our charge was over.  Blackburn hit back with a second goal as Gerrard, having made a superb save, picked the ball out of the net as two Blackburn players pounced to pick off the rebound.  Our defence stood and waved for what might have been a valid off-side appeal, but it wasn't given and once again we paid the price.

Overall it was lethargic, it was uninspiring and it was mainly gutless.  We now lie behind both Aston Villa and Fulham in the chase for an InterToto Cup place and, with a final day out at Highbury, who will no doubt be in party but not benevolent mood, our season is run.

Let's hope the wheeling and dealing from our bright young manager makes season 100 in the top flight the precursor to great times and not a regurgitation of the dross that has been displayed over the "last number of years" (as our erstwhile Scottish manager, rather than our present incumbent might have said).

Result: Everton 1 Blackburn Rovers 2 mid-table supremacy goes to the boys from Lancashire, Everton are certainly no Valencia.

Man of the Match: Tommy Gravesen at least he had the vision if nobody else was playing the same game.

Referee: Jeff Winter I refuse to go down the well trodden path, but please don't visit Goodison again!

See you next year.



Pay attention at the back!

by Richard Marland

So, we reach the end of another season of the Goodison roller coaster.  With our safety already assured, and Blackburn having assured their safety yesterday, this had an end of term feeling to it.

Gerrard kept his place despite murmurings of some sort of groin injury.  Alexandersson returned at the expense of Carsley to give us a slightly more attacking outlook.  Chadwick made his first Goodison start after making a quick recovery from his ankle injury.

The first 45 minutes were a nothing affair.  We weren't as abject as we had been against Leicester but we were still pretty poor.  Our passing game, yet again, never got off the ground, and we looked thoroughly listless and second best.

That's not too say that Blackburn were much better, but they did show marginally more interest and intent and got the reward of a one goal interval lead.  The goal itself left a lot to be desired from an Everton perspective.  Undone by a short corner routine, which was unprofessional in it's own right, downright criminal neglect when you consider they'd pulled the same routine just minutes earlier, we then left Matt Jansen unmarked on the six yard line as Paul Gerrard stayed rooted to his line.  Poor defending and poor goalkeeping, I still can't understand how no-one put in a challenge on Jansen.

Our attacking efforts of the first half didn't amount to much. Our best chance fell to Unsworth as he found himself all alone just beyond the far post.  Unfortunately he had time to think as he controlled the ball before producing a nothing ball - too wild to be deemed a shot, hit with too much pace for any Blue shirt to get a touch.

For the second home game in succession the players were, quite rightly, booed off the park.  Also for the second home match in succession Moyes resisted the temptation to ring the changes.  The second half was an improvement, but it was still a long way from acceptable.  We managed to build up enough momentum to gain an equaliser, Chadwick converting with a back heel following a bit of a goal mouth scramble.

For a brief while I even thought we might throw off our torpor enough to go and win it.  It was a short lived hope.  Blackburn soon reestablished their lead and it again left serious question marks over our defense.  Another corner produced an attempt on goal, Gerrard did very well to save it down at his left hand post.  However he managed to push the ball back into the danger area where Andy Cole had a simple conversion.  None of our players even had the notion of following up the initial shot.

Despite there being plenty of time left on the clock we never looked remotely like rescuing matters.  Substitutions were made.  Radzinski came on after a four minute wait on the touchline - we wouldn't substitute whilst we were on the attack, and we wouldn't substitute whilst we were defending.  We had to wait for a Blackburn throw deep inside their own half before it was deemed acceptable conditions for making a substitution.  Blomqvist came on with about 10 minutes left.

Despite having so many attacking players on the pitch we never attacked with any sense of purpose or conviction.  Even into the dying minutes and despite being only one goal behind there was no sense of urgency.  Summed up the overall performance really.

Despite being implored to stay by our overly verbose stadium announcer, I really didn't feel like staying and applauding our underperforming team.  A performance like today's just kicks the hope and optimism out of you.  Two home games ago we were all hopeful and buoyant.  The Leicester and Blackburn games have nipped that particular bud of optimism.  In a sense maybe that's as well, this has been a dreadful season, and now that the boost of a new manager has been dissipated, we shouldn't forget that we are left with a mediocre squad that has been struggling for a long time.  We are probably finishing the season on the right note.

Ratings

  • Gerrard 5 His days must now be numbered. At fault for the first goal and an edgy performance all round. It's clear that no-one has any confidence in him, certainly not Weir and Stubbs and certainly not the crowd who took to giving him ironic cheers whenever he caught the ball successfully. Not very helpful and somewhat harsh, but he's cost us too much.
  • Watson 6 He's back to being willing but limited. Maybe needs a break to get his fitness fully sorted.
  • Pistone 7 Probably the most accomplished today, did OK.
  • Weir 7 Did OK but not at his best these days.
  • Stubbs 6 He definitely needs the season to end as his performances have tailed off badly. His passing was abysmal today.
  • Alexandersson 6 Had a few good moments and I feel he could make a good contribution if other parts of the team were functioning better.
  • Gravesen 6 As usual opinions seem to be split on Thomas. I thought he was poor - a couple of good passes but mostly the game seemed to be passing him by.
  • Gemmill 6 His usual tidy bits and pieces, but he really needs to be improved upon.
  • Unsworth 6 His usual effort and endeavour and didn't do much wrong. However, I felt that their right back looked very vulnerable and "there for the taking", alas Unsworth isn't the man for that kind of job.
  • Campbell 6 Did a couple of decent things but still lacking fitness and sharpness.
  • Chadwick 6 Doing OK but still seems somewhat limited. Still, can partly compensate for that with his general willingness and knack of scoring goals. If he continues like this will be an asset next season even if it's only from the bench.
  • Radzinski 6 Mostly operating in wide positions and never really did anything particularly eye-catching.
  • Blomqvist 5 Not on long and didn't see much of the ball.

Team 5 Lacklustre and uninspiring. Got what we deserved.

Man of the match Pistone rose above the mediocrity.



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