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 FA Premiership (21); Goodison Park, Liverpool; Saturday 28 December 2002; 3:00pm
Attendance: 0000
Halftime: 0-0


Referee: Name

Match Summary

As widely expected, Wayne Rooney gets a chance to make only his 5th start, and Li Tie comes back in after a rest to hopefully add some much-needed creativity in the middle of the park.  It is hard on Radzinski, perhaps, but he really has not been hitting the target regularly enough, and really fails to punish defenders with his blistering pace. 

A bit of a change around is just what the squad needed after the awful game at Birmingham.  Watson was named among the subs but was injured (in warm-up?), with Niclas Alexandersson taking his place.

Everton forced a few early corners but were then pushed back into some scrappy defending and had to fend off a succession of Bolton corners.  Everton seemed to lose their way a bit, giving away too much possession, with Bolton getting most of the play during the first quarter, and Stubbs being forced to clear off the line at one point.

Rooney started to get more into the game, skinning Pedersen and being scythed down for his trouble: card for Pedersen.  Stubbs then goes close with a header before Rooney has a somewhat ambitious shot from 20 yards.

Rooney's inventiveness then almost got him a goal, making the most of a Bolton pass that was only a little offline, and giving in to give Jaaskelainen a real fright.  Charlton and Rickets then got themselves in Dermot's little black book after a bad foul on Carsley, and arguing, respectively.

A flurry of activity in the Bolton goalmouth should have brought a goal for Everton just before half-time, with Rooney and Campbell both going close, Bolton having to clear off the line.  Rooney had been absolutely fantastic in the first half, but unable to make that brilliance count where it matters.

The second half was a bit flat until Moues decided to give Campbell a rest and get Radzinski on alongside Rooney.  All of a sudden it looked a lot better as Yobo came very close to scoring before Rooney had a fantastic shot saved by Jaaskelainen.

Rooney then came closer than anyone, firing a thunderous drive against the bar.  Everton were surging forward at this stage, desperate to score, but nothing was going in despite the plethora of chances being created.

Everton started to run out of ideas a little, with Weir getting booked for a body check on Gardner as he went past the labouring Everton defender.  Moyes took a final throw of the dice, bringing on Pembridge and Alexandersson for Naysmith and Carsley with just 12 minutes left.

Everton tried everything but the crippling failure to score would make then rue the day, and the appearance of an eminently beatable Bolton side that should have been dispatched long ago.  Hard to fault David Moyes's gameplan; Rooney was superb, but he cannot do everything.

David Moyes: Outspoken comments on referees backfiring?

Everton v Bolton:
Prior League Games
 Everton 36
 Bolton 7
 Draws 16
 Everton 3
 Bolton 0
 Draws 0
 Last Season:

Everton 3-1 Bolton

BBC Match Preview
Electronic Telegraph

Premiership Scores
Saturday 28 Dec
Aston Villa 1-0 Middlesbro
Blackburn 2-2 West Ham
Charlton 1-0 West Brom
Everton 0-0 Bolton
Fulham 0-1 Man City
Leeds 2-0 Chelsea
Man Utd 2-0 Brum
Sotton 1-1 Sunderland
Sunday 29 Dec
Newcastle 2-1 Tottenham
Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool

Match Facts
 Everton   (4-4-2)
 Blue shirts, white shirts, blue socks
 Bolton Wanderers  (4-4-2)
White shirts, black shorts, white socks
Weir (c)
Carsley (78' Pembridge)
Li Tie 
Naysmith (78' Alexandersson)
Campbell (55' Radzinski)

Subs not used:
Baardsen, Gemmill

Yellow Cards: Weir (76')

Red Cards:


(Suspended:) Unsworth
(Injured:) Ferguson, Gerrard, Hibbert, Linderoth, Rodrigo, Simonsen, Watson
(On leave:) Wei Feng
(On Loan): Nyarko, Osman, Pilkington
Bergsson (c)
Pedersen (84' Facey)
Ricketts (60' Tofting)

Subs not used:
Poole, Walters,

Yellow Cards: Pedersen (25'), Ricketts (32'), Charlton (32'), Bergsson (90')

Red Cards:
Match Reports

Everton Web Sites
ToffeeWeb Match Summary Match Report
When Skies Are Grey Match Report
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Everton Fans' Reports
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Links to Other Media Reports
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BBC Sport Match Report
4 the Game Match Report
Sky Sports Match Report
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SoccerNet Match Report
The Observer Match Report
The Guardian Match Report
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Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report
Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Arsenal 43
2 Chelsea 38
3 Man Utd 38
4 Newcastle 35
5 Everton 35
6 Liverpool 34
7 Southampton 32
8 Tottenham 32
9 Man City 30
10 Middlesbrough 29
11 Blackburn 29
12 Charlton 29
13 Leeds 27
14 Aston Villa 25
15 Birmingham 25
16 Fulham 23
17 Bolton 19
18 Sunderland 18
19 West Brom 16
20 West Ham 16

After 29 Dec 2002

Match Preview

After the purple patch in which Everton could hardly put a step wrong, things look just a little bit harder for David Moyes and his determined Everton team as they head into the New Year programme.  Tough losses against Newcastle and Chelsea have left their mark, and the defensive resilience which had dominated that wonderful purple patch now looks a little bit less impenetrable.

Moyes has preferred not to highlight injuries in his squad, in stark contrast to a previous complainant, but the number of players he has been without has hovered around an average of 5 or 6 over the first half of the season.  He has now lost two goalies, and looks like losing the excellent services of Hibbert, and young Chadwick will not be available to fill in any new gaps appearing at the front. 

And then there are the suspensions.  Five red cards so far, with the last two producing three-match bans...  Understandable in the normal run of things perhaps... except that both appear to be harsh in the extreme on the Everton players involved.  Unsworth was being manhandled by Gronkjaer, and it seems that Rooney was simply unlucky to have been labeled an assailant when chasing a 50/50 ball but unfortunately making contact with his studs showing after having won the ball. 

Moyes has already admitted it will be futile appealing Elleray's decision, which was heavily influenced by that bustard Savage's remonstrations.  So he may need to be a little more circumspect when giving his ice-cold analysis of what he sees on the field of play.

So, what (if anything) might he change for Saturday's visit of Bolton?  Given the relatively poor football played at St Andrews, he may feel it is now time to ring a few changes in front of his back four.  But he does not really have too many options.  Something must be done to provide greater creativity through the midfield but one can hardly imagine that McLeod is ready for such a mature role, and Osman is not due back until January 4th.

Li Tie has faded in midfield, but a recent rest may have done him good.  Pembridge has been trying his absolute best to make a difference, but the real spark of creativity is little more than a rare glimmer from Gravesen. Time to reintroduce Linderoth? (Yes.)  Alexandersson? (NO!!!)

Up front, it may now be tempting to play Rooney in most or all of the next three games (before his suspension kicks in), but it would be unfair for Radzinski to step aside; is SuperKev perhaps ready for a rest?  Where's that big Scots bloke with the nice arse when you went him?

As for Bolton, well they have been able to pull off a couple of great results amid a host of abysmal ones that see them sitting uncomfortably just above the drop zone.  Which side might we expect to see at Goodison?  On the premise that lightening doesn't strike twice, can we hope that it's not the one which boasts wins against the likes of Newcastle and Manchester United?

Michael Kenrick



Steve Milne

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