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 Campbell (4') (1-2)  Gerrard (11')
Owen (pen:30')
Riise (52')
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Everton v Liverpool:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Everton 31
 Liverpool 24
 Draws 27
 Premiership
 Everton 4
 Liverpool 1
 Draws 4
 Last Season:
 Everton 2-3 Liverpool

 
A promising start to the 165th Merseyside derby saw Everton score inside 5 minutes when the three classic elements of our current route-one tactics clicked perfectly: a hoof from Unsworth, a nod from Ferguson, a quick turn and shot from Campbell: 1-0.  Game on!

And how we laughed when that great footballer Steven Gerrard completely missed the ball and landed flat on his arse when he normally would have launched an Exocet from such a good position just outside the box... Oh, this was going to be FUN!

Wrong!!! 

Steven Gerrard made amends in full measure a few minutes later, scooting out wide and them hammering an unstoppable shot across his namesake and into the far roof of the net.  Paul Gerrard just stared at it: never even moved.

Everton huffed and puffed, trying to contain an obviously superior and much quicker Liverpool team.  Their lumbering approach was destined to pay the penalty... which is exactly what happened as Unsworth lumbered into Hesky on 30 mins.  Penalty; Owen; goal. 

Credit to Walter Smith: at half-time he made amends for some more bizarre team selection by pulling off the useless Xavier from midfield, and the lumbering Unsworth, giving Gazza his long-awaited comeback, and Radzinski his long-awaited debut.

Everton improved... but Alexandersson was still on the field, and he made himself visible by yielding to Riise for Liverpool's third and match-winning goal.  Hibbert came on to replace him eventually, and Everton looked even better, but it was too little too late: the game was already over as a contest.

Yes, Kevin Campbell had three fair-to-good scoring chances and, if they would have gone in, we could have won 4-3.  Would have, could have, should have...  It is going to be another long, hard season.



M A T C H    F A C T S
  Match Info  
  FA Premiership 2001-02, Game 5
12 noon,  Saturday 15 September 2001
Goodison Park, Liverpool
Referee: Paul Durkin
Att: 39,534
Position: 7th 
TV: PPV
Sub Debut:
Radzinski
Line-ups Subs not used
Everton: Gerrard, Watson, Stubbs, Weir, Unsworth (46' Gascoigne), Naysmith; Alexandersson (75' Hibbert), Gravesen, Xavier (46' Radzinski); Campbell, Ferguson.  Simonsen, Tal.
Unavailable:  Gemmill, Pembridge, Pistone, (injured); Nyarko (loan) 
Liverpool Dudek, Carragher, Henchoz, Hyypia, Vignal, Murphy (76' McAllister), S Gerrard (84' Smicer), Hamann, Riise, Owen, Heskey. Arphexad, Fowler, Wright.
Playing Strips Formations
Everton: Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; blue socks. 5-3-2; 4-3-3
Liverpool: Red shirts; red shorts; red socks 4-4-2
  Yellow Cards Red Cards
Everton: -- --
Liverpool: Murphy (76') --


Premiership Scores
Bolton  0-1 Southampton
Derby  2-3 Leicester
Everton  1-3 Liverpool
Fulham  1-3 Arsenal
Middlesbro  2-0 West Ham
Newcastle  4-3 Man Utd
Aston Villa 0-0 Sunderland
Charlton  0-2 Leeds
Ipswich  1-1 Blackburn
Tottenham  2-3 Chelsea
Leicester 1-2 Middlesbro

Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Leeds 11
2 Arsenal 10
3 Bolton 10
4 Newcastle 8
5 Man Utd 8
6 Chelsea 8
7 Sunderland 8
8 Everton 7
9 Aston Villa 6
10 Liverpool 6
11 Tottenham 5
12 Ipswich 5
13 Blackburn 5
14 Fulham 5
15 Derby 5
16 Charlton 4
17 Leicester 4
18 Southampton 3
19 Middlesbrough 3
20 West Ham 2
As of 17 September 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
Llyndon Loyd Woeful Blues abandon gameplan
Jenney Roberts Whither pride & passion?
Links to Other Media Reports
Electronic Telegraph Match Report
Sunday Telegraph Match Report
The Sunday Times Match Report
The Times Match Report
BBC Sport Match Report
FA Premier Match Report
Sky Sports Match Report
Sporting Life Match Report
SoccerNet Match Report
The Observer Match Report
The Guardian Match Report
The Independent Match Report
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report


Match Preview

After what may be feared as the resumption of normal service with depressing defeats against Manchester United and Crystal Palace, can the Everton players and fans lift themselves for biggest game of the season, the Goodison derby?

Many thought that the wonderful sight of Everton sitting atop the Premiership after three games must presage the dawning of a new era, the final turning of a corner that would confine the dreadful sequence of recent seasons firmly into the past.

But the last two matches have served only to suggest that Everton had flattered to deceive, thanks to a quirky fixture list.  In the cold light of day, has anything really changed?  Close results, few goals scored – and most from set pieces, including three penalties – combined with negative tactics and a host of other deficiencies signal yet another long hard struggle as the depressing decline of this once great club continues.  

Not the best way to prepare for the derby...

But take heart: Liverpool are hardly flying high, wallowing in 15th place in the League after loses to Bolton and Villa that gave Evertonians plenty to laugh about, and put a welcome dent in their much-hyped Championship aspirations.  But let no-one suggest that this is a good time to play them: that sort of nonsense helped to undermine what was supposed to be the rout of Old Trafford.

Everton must play with passion and pride – two ingredients sadly lacking in the dismal defeats to Manchester United and Crystal Palace.  Injuries are mounting again, with 9 players missing against Palace, but that well-worn excuse cannot account for the lethargy and lack of spirit that have slowed Everton's attack to walking pace. 

Perhaps we can look on the bright side, and place our hope in seeing Thomasz Radzinski make a dramatic debut to rescue the day for Everton.  Wouldn't that be great!



Woeful Blues abandon derby gameplan

by Lyndon Lloyd

On the back of a miserable week where, due to the events of Tuesday, Everton's insipid - but not altogether unexpected - Worthington Cup exit caused barely a flicker of emotion, it was hoped that the Blues could cause a welcome distraction from events on America's East Coast and get their season back on track with victory against Liverpool.

Sadly, the worst Everton performance in a derby match in recent memory condemned Walter Smith's side to a second-successive heavy league defeat and issued a stark reality check to any among the Goodison faithful who still felt following the Manchester United and Crystal Palace debacles that this season was going to see the Blues competing in the top half of the table.  Everton were, for the most part, out-classed, out-muscled and out-spirited by a Liverpool side that almost always comes out second-best in the commitment department from a Goodison derby.

Smith made changes from the side that lined up against United a week ago, drafting in Abel Xavier and Gary Naysmith, while Thomas Gravesen made his early comeback from the horrific flesh wound he sustained against Tottenham three weeks previously.  Paul Gascoigne and Tomasz Radzinski - neither of whom had played in the Premiership so far this campaign - were on the bench.

This did not appear to be a typical derby game.  The usual blood and thunder seemed to be absent as was Everton's passion to take the game by the scruff of the neck and not let up until the final whistle.  In fact, neither side got a grip on anything during the early exchanges; the ball pinged about haphazardly in the air for the most part before good work by Niclas Alexandersson set up Gravesen for the first shot of the game which fizzed wide of Dudek's goal.

Two minutes later, though, Goodison roared to life.  Finally, after God-knows how many attempts this season, a David Unsworth diagonal depth-charge was flicked on perfectly by Duncan Ferguson to Kevin Campbell who turned and buried the ball past the 'keeper to give the Blues a 4th-minute lead.  Memories of Anfield two years ago came flooding back, as did apprehension that the goal might have come too early for an Everton side patently unable to deal with intense pressure on their back four.

The intense pressure wasn't needed as Everton's defensive frailties were all to often laid bare by some unspectacular Liverpool attacking and, after 11 minutes, a bad defensive header by Unsworth went straight to Naysmith who could only divert the ball to the feet of Steven Gerrard and the England international set his sights and smashed an unstoppable effort past his namesake in the Everton goal to level the game.

With the stuffing knocked out of their early advantage, the Blues struggled to come up with a response.  Atrocious distribution from the back and an almost total lack of imagination and creativity in the midfield - both hallmarks of Everton so far this season - left few options other than launched balls up to Ferguson and Campbell which were easily dealt with the Reds' defence.

While Everton misplaced passes and posed little attacking threat, Liverpool were sharper, keener and first to almost everything, creating openings simply by running right through the home side's midfield, much like United did last week.  

Emile Heskey was a constant thorn in the side of Alan Stubbs and David Weir and although he broke free only to hit a tame shot at Gerrard after 22 minutes, his next intervention seven minutes later was crucial. In the clear on the left side of the area, he was barreled over by a reckless Unsworth challenge that was part obstruction and part body check, leaving referee Durkin little option but to point to the spot.  Michael Owen, who had hitherto never looked like scoring against Everton during his career, sent Gerrard the wrong way from the spot.

2-1, and Everton's hopes rested on some sort of revelation of hidden passion.  But it was the visitors from the dark side who continued to pose the greater threat, first when Gerrard tried to repeat his earlier goal from a similar position but was thwarted by the other Gerrard's parry to safety, and, secondly, when Dieter Hamman blasted well wide from a tight angle a couple of minutes before the break.

Walter Smith rang welcome changes during the interval: Unsworth, who is usually a vital component for Everton during Mersey derbies but whose limitations were badly exposed today, made way for Gascoigne and the ineffective Judder Man was replaced by debutant Radzinski.

Everton did improve at the beginning of the second half, but only just... and it took Gascoigne, looking slow and cumbersome, a while to get into the game.  Radzinski was largely a spectator to the midfield's ineffectual huffing and puffing, but showed pace and some nice touches on the rare occasions he saw the ball.

Within 7 minutes of the restart, however, the game was up.  Riise stormed unimpeded through the static Everton defence, easily eluded Steve Watson and thumped the ball past Gerrard to make it 3-1.  Just as at Old Trafford, it was just too damn easy.

Smith's side did respond, but continued to create few chances.  Kevin Campbell had the pick of the opportunities that were carved out, first seeing a glancing header cleared of the line by Henchoz, then shooting straight at Dudek in a one-on-one when he should have scored and finally seeing a powerful effort parried by the Czech 'keeper late on.  In between, Tony Hibbert, who had come on for Alexandersson with 15 minutes left, also steered a header wide of the far post.

Overall, Everton have the look of a team going nowhere in particular.  On the evidence of the first three games of the season, they look too good to go down, but if they keep playing the way they have in their last three games (including the League Cup defeat on Wednesday) they will be back at the wrong end of the table by Christmas.

Smith needs to make some tough but necessary decisions if he wants to reverse the familiar September slump, and he can start by scrapping the restrictive five-man defence and reverting to 4-4-2.  Either Gascoigne or Tal need to start from the beginning and, perhaps most pressingly, Duncan Ferguson needs to be relegated to the substitute's bench now that Radzinski - who looked today like a cherry on a pile of turd - is fit.

As has always been the case when the Big Man is on the pitch, he stifles creativity and leads the rest of the team into the temptation of launching high balls to his head, the majority of which he fails to divert anywhere useful.  The reasons why few were sad to see him go to Newcastle in autumn 1998 and why many, including myself, were shaking their heads when he was re-signed last summer still apply.  He is not mobile enough, doesn't create enough openings of his own and he – through no real fault of his own – forces the team to play one-dimensional football just be his presence.  If Smith can't get his team to play to Ferguson's strengths (by getting to by-line and cutting some crosses back for him to run on to, for example), then Dunc has to be removed from the equation to allow Radzinksi to take centre stage alongside Campbell.



Whither passion, pride, and commitment?

by Jenny Roberts

The American situation has served as a reminder that football IS just a game.  So, after living through one of the most traumatic weeks in memory, nearly 40,000 blues and reds gathered at Goodison together to watch what was only a football match, played out in spirit dampened by the past few days' events.

The pre-match atmosphere was so unlike a Derby - so dull and subdued - that any onlooker could perhaps have been forgiven for thinking that a simple Worthington cup tie was about to be played out, and not the 165th of these famous meetings which so capture the imaginations of all Merseysiders.

As the first drum rolls of Z-Cars were heard, we remembered ourselves, and a Goodison roar of old greeted the players.  The ball boys carried out both the British and American flags; the club captains laid memorial wreaths, and that same uncomfortable feeling returned, as side by side, we observed the minute's silence.

Upon Paul Durkin's whistle, pandemonium ensued, as the fans readied themselves for the afternoon's contest: Diving vs Honesty, Cheating vs Fairness, Jammy vs Unlucky - Red vs Blue.

And that was how the afternoon continued.  We began brightly enough, and really attacked the Park End.  A sudden opening left Campbell with the space to turn and shoot.  A collective inhalation of disbelief and the fleeting thought "Can he?  Will he?" were soon followed by that beautiful vision of a rippling net.  The crowd went delirious.  One-nil.

Only the absence of one Nick Barmby served to disappoint for the glorious handful of minutes during which we led proudly.  None of the songs which the Street End had rehearsed in eager anticipation on Wednesday night could be used against him - most of them far too derogatory to be mentioned here by title - and many felt robbed of the opportunity to show him the resentment which still remains.

Everything was going so well.  Even during one dodgy defensive spell, the ball was half-cleared, only to a group of red shirts outside the box, just waiting to shoot.  Steven Gerrard swung back to take the shot, completely lost his balance, and was subjected to cheers of sarcasm and amusement from the crowd.  And, admittedly, the thought did occur: Can we win this?

But he soon scored to equalise and make us all regret our earlier laughter.  1-1, and we were simply going to have to go for goal.  If only we hadn't sat back on our lead....

Instead of an encouraging surge forwards, we embarked on making a series of embarrassing basic defensive errors.  The midfield simply disappeared, and any positive attacking effort involved the typically predictable long-ball to Duncan's forehead.  We screamed out in desperation for creativity, for variety, for an injection of something new - some pace, some skill - something.  Yet Smith left us lingering on in frustration, apparently unable to recognise the symptoms of ensuing defeat.

And then we were so severely failed by the referee's poor judgement.  On 30 minutes, Emile Heskey was (clumsily, though not aggressively) tackled, but - unsurprisingly - made quite as much of it as he could.  Neither Durkin or the linesman had the sense to see through the cheat, and, much to our anger, pointed to the spot.  Ridiculous. 

The Street End did its best, booing and jeering, trying desperately to distract Owen - but all in vain.  The red mist descended, and we were truly miserable.  To make the situation utterly unbearable, the many Koppites who had (again) infiltrated the Everton ticket-selling system and obtained tickets in huge blocks for the Lower Bullens began to crawl out and chant.

Half-time came as a welcome break, with a penalty shoot-out raising hundreds of pounds for EDSA and for the American rescue effort.  Yet the crowd, normally so supportive of charity events at half-time, was sluggish to respond and was asked several times to provide applause for the participants.

Our luck had truly vanished, and although the optimists could, perhaps, have been hoping for a revitalised Everton, buoyed by an inspirational half-time team-talk from Walter Smith, despite a dual substitution and a much-needed change of formation, that was certainly not what we saw.  And, less than ten minutes into the second half, another bizarre error led to Riise widening the gap and putting the game completely beyond us.

The whole match descended into an angry squabble.  Angry at Durkin for every senseless error; angry at Liverpool for being so jammy, so dishonest and for getting away with it; angry at the Koppites who dared to buy tickets, wear colours and sing in our parts of the ground; and most angry at our own team for not caring enough to go out and win it.

And that's what hurt the most.  There were so many Reds in the Lower Bullens that the entire Street End stood up, looked over, and began hurling abuse in our direction.  But the team's lack of commitment cut deeper and smarted much more than those cocky Koppites.

As, for the first time in my life, I left an Everton match early, I pondered that thought, and wondered why our players don't seem to care anymore.  Walter Smith may truly believe that the likes of Abel Xavier meet the standards absolutely required of Merseyside Derby participants, but I and many more don't.  

Our greatest Derby threat has, in recent times been that we do have more players who are aware of the magnitude of such occasions than Liverpool do: Duncan Ferguson, Dave Unsworth, but especially Francis Jeffers and Michael Ball.  And although we did have two of those in our side on Saturday, we need more of them to have the required effect.  

And if Walter Smith was prepared to sacrifice two of them at the end of last season, he should be prepared to find their replacements within our ranks - young Evertonians, who value the shirt and will give the passion, pride, and commitment which it richly deserves.

We sing about knowing our history - it's time the players and management listened.



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