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 Viduka (18')
 Fowler (27', 70') 
(2-0)  Moore (85')
Weir (91')
Derby County (H) Match Reports Index Sunderland (A)
 
 
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Match Summary
 
Match Reports
 


 
Leeds v Everton:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Leeds 35
 Everton 3
 Draws 11
 Premiership
 Leeds 6
 Everton 0
 Draws 3
 Last Season:
 Leeds 2-0 Everton

 
The injury to Gravesen on Saturday meant that he was replaced by Abel Xavier, as expected; Moore returned to the bench where someone called Idan Tal also sat, along with Gazza and Blomqvist.  

After a bright opening when both Watson and Radzinski could easily have scored, Everton held their own for the first 15 mins.  But the signs were growing that increasing Leeds pressure was building toward the inevitable result and it happened on 18 mins when Viduka strolled through to nod home a cross with a free header.  It all happened when David Weir was struggling with an injury.

But Mark Pembridge was the one who was surprisingly substituted by Paul Gascoigne after just 22 mins with a possible recurrence of calf trouble.  Everton could do little to make much impression before Leeds went 2-0 up, and the inevitable scorer was none other than Robbie Fowler, with his much anticipated first goal for Leeds.  No more Woodgate/Bowyer hangover.

No changes for the second half, which started unsurprisingly with Everton once again pirouetting on that back foot.  Kewell and the Gang were out to entertain after the problems of last week.  Everton's dismal lot got seriously worse when Pistone then twisted his ankle, and Joe-Max Moore came on in his place.  

Radzinski could have had a penalty after 58 mins but Peter Jones was unimpressed.  however, it heralded a better spell for Everton, when both More and Naysmith came close to scoring.  They held off Leeds for a while... until Batty's shot was deflected and it fell kindly for Fowler: 3-0 with 20 mins left, and Everton effectively destroyed.

The goal seemed to be a signal to Walter Smith that it might be the moment for a cunning tactical substitution: bring on Idan Tal to save the game, from 3-0 down!  Chances still came Everton's way, with Gemmill this time coming close.

In the dying minutes, a perfect thrilling volley from Joe-Max Moore on a great feed from Watson crashes into the net for an excellent late goal.  What was that about him being too similar to Radzinski???  Then, in stoppage time, an excellent Idan Tal corner is nodded home by Davey Weir!  3-2!!!

A great recovery, but far, far too late to really make a difference.



M A T C H    F A C T S
 Sports Match Info  
  FA Premiership 2001-02, Game 17
8:00pm  Wednesday 19 December 2001
Elland Road, Leeds
Referee: Peter Jones
Att: 40,201
Position: 9th
Line-ups Subs not used
Leeds Martyn, Mills, Ferdinand, Matteo, Harte, Kelly, Batty (80' Bakke), Johnson, Kewell, Viduka (89' Keane), Fowler.  Robinson, Wilcox, Duberry. 
Everton: Simonsen; Pistone (51' Moore), Weir, Xavier, Unsworth; Alexandersson (75' Tal), Gemmill, Pembridge (22' Gascoigne), Naysmith; Watson, Radzinski.  Gerrard, Blomqvist.
Unavailable:  Campbell, Ferguson, Gravesen, (injured); Nyarko (loan); Cadamarteri (on trial at Barnsley) 
Playing Strips Formations
Leeds: White shirts; white shorts; white socks 4-4-2
Everton: Royal Blue shirts; blue shorts; blue socks. 4-4-2
  Yellow Cards Red Cards
Leeds: --
Everton: Gascoigne (88')  --
 
Premiership Scores
Tuesday
Arsenal 1-3 Newcastle
Wednesday
Leeds 3-2 Everton
 


Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Newcastle 33
2 Liverpool 33
3 Leeds 32
4 Arsenal 30
5 Chelsea 27
6 Man Utd 27
7 Tottenham 27
8 Aston Villa 27
9 Everton 23
10 Fulham 23
11 Charlton 22
12 Bolton 21
13 Sunderland 20
14 West Ham 20
15 Blackburn 19
16 Middlesbrough 19
17 Southampton 16
18 Leicester 14
19 Derby 13
20 Ipswich 9
After 19 December 2001 
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
From The Terrace Match Report
Blue Kipper Match Report
Everton Fans' Reports
Rob Burns Too little, Too Late
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

Well, thank God for that!  The mighty Derby, without Ravanneli, swept aside by the might of the Blues... 1-0, from a set-piece scramble.

It's enough to make you worry...  BUT no need to as we have three great games coming up.  Leeds away (not won in 50 years!); Sunderland away (Reidy will look after us... not!); and United at home just as they begin to get themselves back on track!

But today is Leeds, Elland Road and can you believe it?  Mr R Fowler.  Fowler hasn't scored for the Whites yet; probably waiting for us...  Can you really believe that he won't?

Leeds are however not in the greatest form.  2-2 against Leicester after being 2-0 up with 15mins to go would affect anyone's confidence.  Injuries to Dacourt, Bowyer and now potentially Johnson (late fitness test) leaves them playing Kelly at right midfield and Bakke apparently very much unfit alongside Batty in the middle of the park.

As you look at the rest of the team, you do begin to realise why they are doing so well in Europe: Kewell - back to his outstanding and bewitching best; Viduka - personally I think superb; and Fowler, 'nuff said.

At the back, Ferdinand and Matteo are backed by Martyn; Harte and Mills provide the cover.  Mills is probably the weaker and he played in the last England game.

So how do we beat them?  Can we beat them? Of course we can!  If we haven't beaten them in 50 years, then surely it's our turn!  If Leicester can draw, then we must have a chance!!

Our team may also show a few changes from "First Choice".  At the back, Pistone and Stubbs are doubtful, which will probably see Xavier back in the middle where he was playing excellently before Gerrard knocked him out (and knocked himself out of the team!) and Watson reverting to right-back.

If Watson does go back then JMM (Pepsi?) will start alongside Rads (I will not even discuss Unsworth starting upfront).

Midfield sees Gravesen likely to miss out which gives Walter a few options: Will Gazza be a straight replacement or does Pembridge come into the centre and Blomqvist make his debut? (... assuming that Tal left England some weeks ago, as it appears, and hasn't returned yet...).  I expect to see Gazza, as Pembridge would give a bit more stability than Blomqvist but let's be honest who the heck knows???

I think a draw is probably the best we can hope for but it is achievable.  Rads and JMM would do very well to get through that back four but Leeds' midfield is nowhere near as strong as it can be and (Kewell apart) is potentially weak.  We have to exploit that and try and push on.

Viduka and Fowler showed good signs against Leicester of being a good partnership but we have to remember that Leicester are awful!  In the previous game against Fulham they had drawn a blank.

Xavier for Stubbs does not weaken the backline and either Watson or Pistone are good fullbacks.  We probably will struggle up-front but lets hope for a mammoth effort, an injury to Fowler and a dour 0-0 (unless Rads can for once repay my faith in him .....).

(By the way, as I write it is Ray Wilson's birthday oh for his like in a Blue Shirt nowadays...)

BlueForEver



Too little, Too Late

by Rob Burns

If the Everton supporters travelling to Elland Road tonight sought comfort in thick coats, hats, scarves and gloves, the players who wore the blue shirt for the first half looked as if they never wanted to leave the dressing room.  For the fourth game running, the Toffees failed to turn up for the first half and it was the lack of effort, interest and commitment during the first 45 minutes which was the difference between the two sides. 

Perhaps this was predictable with the enforced change that saw Gravesen, our brain and our engine, sidelined with a head injury sustained in Saturday's war of attrition with Derby.  But, with Gemmill and Pembridge at the heart of the midfield and Alexandersson and Naysmith on either side, Walter resisted the temptation to try and contain a Leeds side reeling from Leicester's surprise comeback on Saturday, and with our friend Robbie Fowler still looking for his first strike.  

Xavier regained his place from the injured Stubbs in the centre of defence, with Pistone surviving and Unsworth playing on the left.  Watson again started up front in an effort to out-weigh the Leeds defenders alongside Radzinski.  

The game itself had been overshadowed by the extraordinary decision by David O'Leary to serialise his thoughts on the whole Bowyer/Woodgate thing the fans were sheep-like and uneducated in their support for Bowyer throughout; this and the barrage of abuse from the Everton following were all the distractions that Fowler needed to get his career back on track. 

Leeds started like a steam train and overran Everton, who were simply not at the races.  Unable to cope with attacking full-backs (for me the lynch-pin to all of the successful sides in recent years), Pistone and Alexandersson were continually exposed on the right.  The Swede was second to every ball, slow to react and passed woefully.  Kewell, with Hart in support, had a field day. 

Danny Mills picked up most of the Everton forward moves on the left and was lightening-quick to break and punish.  From such a move, Mills broke clear of the defensive line and (with Unsworth, Xavier and Weir all watching) moved inside the area and lifted a fantastic cross for Viduka to head cleanly beyond Simonsen. 

The opener had surely been coming as Leeds were allowed to boss in all areas.  Particularly poor in the centre of midfield, Pembridge lacked sharpness and strength, whilst Gemmill increasingly enigmatic in the Everton shirt was a spectator.  Hurriedly retreating instead of making tackles upfield; standing between the defenders as Leeds attacked without committing to either marking or tackling; we were always a man light.

Pembridge was apparently carrying an injury and was swiftly replaced by Gascoigne.  This was probably a blessing in disguise for Walter Smith who had seen his side overrun and in need of a man to hold up the ball and spread the passing.  Gazza, sadly, took him at his word and for a third match was guilty of holding on too long, trying too much and losing out to a passionate and intelligent opposition.

Everton's biggest fault was simply a lack of enthusiasm, which showed as Leeds bombarded the area and we failed to break out too often electing to go for the long ball or simply giving up possession in the middle.

Mills found Fowler who streaked through and hit a low shot beyond Simonsen.  Answer enough to the taunts of a crowd desperate for songs and sport which they could not find on the pitch.  Chances went a-begging for Everton - 3 to Leeds' 11 according to the big screen at half time - Watson blazed a shot over the bar after a good ball from Radzinski, and later hit a tame shot at Nigel Martyn. 

Leaving the field at half time, Everton were in a sorry state and had done nothing to warm the hearts of the support neither did the half-time highlights reliving the joyful memories of the opening 45 minutes. 

An urgent start to the second half signalled yet another late reformation from Everton.  Finally sharing the spirit of the supporters, the blues showed a new desire.  Naysmith in particular was the catalyst for many of the moves with surprise MOM candidate Davey Unsworth playing some great one-touch moves with the Scot down the left. 

On the other flank, Alexandersson found his feet and tried to raid down the right.  Pistone forged ahead of him but his contribution was short-lived as he seemed to fall awkwardly in the Leeds area; after an age, he was stretchered off to join the lengthening casualty list. 

Radzinski was pushed in the box with no reward, and Naysmith got behind a cross to head at the 'keeper.  The blues opened out, played football (in spite of Gascoigne and Gemmill who still proved inadequate in the middle) but as they did so were vulnerable.  David Batty made one of the home side's few chances as he won in the tackle and slid a ball through for big-nose who buried his third chance of the match.  

Moore, introduced for Pistone, with Watson reverting to right back, was as unimpressive as he had been against Derby.  Despite seeing lots of possession, his first touch was too often a let down for Radzinski whose running off the ball was excellent and should have been complimented by at least one or two defence-splitters. 

Instead it was Moore on the end of a Steve Watson deep cross who hit a left footed volley home with finesse to put the Blues back in with less than 10 minutes to go.  Leeds were certainly rocking from the fight-back.  Credit to Abel Xavier, David Weir and Steve Simonsen who held up the back line and made the vital interceptions as Leeds hit on the break. 

To really put the pressure on them, the back-from-the-dead Idan Tal on for a disappointing Alexandersson hit a corner which Weir rose to convert.  Tal had fire in his belly and it would be a good thing if he was given the nod ahead of the Swede at the Stadium of Light. 

The scoreline, as from Saturday, flattered Everton in terms of their performance. Again we cried out for effective strikers whilst the midfield continued to let down their manager.  Alexandersson is increasingly a luxury player and increasingly reminds me of Anders Limpar swinging from genius to virtual obscurity from week to week. 

Both Gemmill and Pembridge are lacking character when the chips are down and Gascoigne is proving to be a player for fair weathers.  Walter Smith is no longer offering excuses for the poor performances of his players and repayment of his faith is long overdue from some quarters, particularly in the offensive areas.  Sunderland could be seriously hurt by Everton on Saturday if our temperamental team can be persuaded to show up for BOTH halves of the game.



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