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 FA Premiership (27); The Valley, London; Saturday 8 February 2003; 3:00pm
  Kishishev (19') 
Lisbie (83')
 
Attendance: 26,623
Halftime: 1-0

Facts
Reports
McBride (69')


Referee: Jeff Winter
 

Match Summary

One change was forced on David Moyes who would have otherwise continued his unswerving conviction of playing a winning line-up.  Steve Watson did not make the grade after suffering an injury last week, and the mad bald Danish fella who runs around, waving his fists in the air and charging down opposition players is back in the side.

Oh, and on the bench, there's a lad called ... Wayne Rooney!

Incredibly, this is only the third Saturday away game of the season — the first Saturday afternoon away fixture for Everton since way back in August!

The match started brightly with Charlton running at the Blues ferociously, but Everton had a quick corner, then Charlton almost scored... and all of this inside the first 90 seconds!  And Gravesen received his obligatory lecture from the ref Jeff Winter inside the first 5 mins...

Pistone got a terrific header in from another Everton corner but it was saved by Kiely.  A promising sign for the blues was a sequence of 5 corners they won in the first 10 mins as they put Charlton under some real pressure, with Gravesen going down in the area but it was really just a fall.  In another incident, Lie Tie was booked for a foul on

Everton then got caught trying to play for offside as Jensen got the ball in for Bartlett's shot that Wright could only parry and Kishichev banged in the rebound.  Not part of the game plan.

Jensen was now beginning to cause Everton problems, putting in dangerous balls and creating a real threat but he could not stop Radzinski breaking for a trademark opportunity but Keily managed to get a foot to it.  Then a great move by Charlton finished with Parker's direct shot at Wright after the Everton goalkeeper reacted superbly to close him down.

A free kick on the edge of the Charlton area was well worked by Gemmill but Stubbs could not convert and got hurt in the process as the first half came to an end, and he ominously went off on a stretcher with his leg strapped.

No other changes at half-time and Everton started the second period well with another sequence of corners, Gravesen swinging in some nice ones for a change.  But Charlton were proving a tough not to crack.

Then, just as it seemed the game was drifting away from the Blues, with every Evertonian calling for Rooney to come on, a great ball in from Li Tie and McBride smashed a superb shot past Keily with his right foot.

The goal set up this game for a fantastic finish, with neither side prepared to accept just one point as both sides looked to attack at every opportunity...  when would Rooney be introduced?

It wasn't to be as a mistake by Li Tie allowed Lisbie through and he scored a killer goal to put Charlton in he driving seat.  And, with barely 6 mins remaining, that was the point at which Mr Moyes chose to introduce The Boy, replacing Unsworth. 

Limited chances came Everton's way in the last few minutes, but one free-kick should have been executed much better, with Parker easily blocking Pistone's late effort.  Then, Rooney got the ball, moved it onto his right foot, and struck a beautiful shot but it went over instead of under the bar.  That was the chance, and the chance was gone. 

Always a tough game on paper for the new Everton, and this result was no disgrace for Moyesie's boys.



The Roonster: Available again following suspension, but starts on the bench


Charlton v Everton:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Charlton 10
 Everton 8
 Draws 1
 Premiership  
 Charlton 1
 Everton 2
 Draws 0
 Last Season:

Charlton 1-2 Everton 



Premiership Scores
Saturday 8 Feb
Liverpool 1-1 Middlesbro
B'ham City 1-3 Chelsea
Blackburn 1-0 Sotton
Charlton 2-1 Everton
Fulham 2-1 Aston Villa
Leeds 1-0 West Ham
Tottenham 4-1 Sunderland
WBA 1-1 Bolton
Sunday 9 Feb
Man Utd 1-1 Man City
Newcastle 1-1 Arsenal
 


Match Facts
 Charlton Athletic  (4-4-2)
 Red & white shirts, white shirts, white socks
Everton   (4-4-2)
 Blue shirts, blue shirts, blue socks
  Kiely
Kishishev
Powell
Rufus
Fish (c)
Parker
Euell
Jensen (87' Konchesky)
Bartlett (67' Johansson)
Lisbie
Fortune

Subs not used: Rachubka, Bart-Williams,  El-Khalej

Yellow Cards: —

Red Cards: —
Wright
Pistone
Stubbs (45' Yobo)
Weir
Unsworth (84' Rooney)
Gravesen
Gemmill (91' Campbell)
Li Tie
Naysmith
McBride
Radzinski

Subs not used: Gerrard, Carsley

Yellow Cards: Li Tie (9')

Red Cards: —


Unavailable:

(Injured:) Ferguson, Hibbert,
Rodrigo, Watson
(On Loan): Nyarko
 
Match Reports

Everton Web Sites
ToffeeWeb Match Summary
EvertonFC.com Match Report
When Skies Are Grey Match Report
Blue Kipper Match Report
Everton Fans' Reports
Paul Gregory Match Report
Julian Cashen Unhappy Valley
Links to Other Media Reports
Electronic Telegraph Match Report
BBC Sport Match Report
4 the Game 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
Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Arsenal 57
2 Man Utd 54
3 Newcastle 49
4 Chelsea 48
5 Everton 45
6 Liverpool 43
7 Tottenham 42
8 Charlton 42
9 Southampton 39
10 Man City 38
11 Blackburn 37
12 Aston Villa 35
13 Leeds 34
14 Middlesbrough 31
15 Fulham 30
16 Birmingham 26
17 Bolton 25
18 West Brom 21
19 West Ham 20
20 Sunderland 19

After 9 Feb 2003



Match Preview

1 defeat in 13 and 3 straight wins?  Great being a Blue, isn't it?

Actually, that is Charlton's recent record!

Alan Curbishley has put together an excellent side "down at the Valley" and anyone who looks at our recent form and simply expects another 3 points is sadly mistaken.

Charlton's side reminds me very much of Howard Kendall's great team of "no-stars".  Organised and strong at the back, fluent in midfield and proficient upfront with a touch of pace.

Sitting in 8th place only 6 points behind us, they have to be considered challengers for a European spot.  Jaskelinen in goal; Fish and Powell at the back; Parker (due an England call up and very exciting) and Jensen in the middle; and Euell and the lightening quick Lisbie upfront — they are a difficult proposition for any team.

The one criticism that may be directed at them is that they lack some steel in the middle of the park.  Jensen and Parker are excellent footballers but can be found lacking when the studs are flying.

So a good side and a difficult afternoon ahead?  So what!  This Blues team is also flying.  After putting the bad run of form over Christmas and the New Year behind us, we really do look back on track.

Barring injury, we all know the team: Same again!

Pistone and Watson are apparently struggling but both are expected to be fit.  Losing either would be a real blow, but to me the loss of Pistone would be the biggest blow.  He has been absolutely brilliant since he got fit.  Great distribution, very fast and reads the game superbly.  Yobo would replace him but Yobo is a centre-back (an excellent one).

We will be put under pressure in this one.  Lisbie's pace may see us defend quite deep which brings Euell's height and timing of runs into the equation; but, with a good performance from Wright, a clean sheet is possible and we know that we can score goals.

Rooney is available again but must surely start on the bench as Radz fully deserves his starting place.  Nine Premiership goals (considering how often he has been brought off or dropped) is an excellent return and he frightened the life out of Leeds on Saturday.  A return to his 70-minute stints is very likely with Rooney's cameo shows available once again.  It would be great to see them both perform together but that just doesn't seem to work at the moment.

This will be a very difficult game and potentially an excellent match — watch ITV totally ignore it on Saturday night.

Given our run I'll going for a slim 1-0 to the Blues but don't be surprised if we come away with a point — and don't be disappointed either.

BlueForEver

Lee Doyle



Report

Both teams went into this fixture in good form and it showed as there was not much between them in this lively encounter.

Thomas Gravesen came back into the starting line-up for the first time since the Shrewsbury debacle, in place of the injured Steve Watson.  Gravesen looked a completely different figure to the player who had such a massive dip in form over Christmas and I thought he performed admirably today.  The absence of Watson’s width and ability to get into the box and cause problems was part of the reason that we didn’t do better today but Gravesen showed a great touch and even won a few tackles!  A changed man — and I’m perhaps his harshest critic at times.

Everton started the game brightly, roared on by a packed away end and our keenness to get forward right from the off seemed to take Charlton by surprise; maybe away teams have kept it quiet first half at the Valley in recent weeks.  We had a lot of possession early on without creating too many clear-cut scoring opportunities and this was the theme for the rest of the game.

The match was played at a frantic place with the referee Jeff Winter constantly breaking up the ebb and flow of the game by stopping play for the slightest of misdemeanours — usually in favour of the team in red.  Li Tie received a yellow card for perhaps the first foul in the game, much to the annoyance of the Everton bench.

Charlton took a perhaps undeserved lead against the run of play when a static Everton defence seemed to freeze waiting for an offside flag that never came.  Kishishev was at hand to slot home for the Addicks, calmly scoring past the hapless Richard Wright.

Soon after, Everton had a just penalty claim turned down by referee Winter when Thomas Gravesen was bundled over in the Charlton penalty area.  Not many decisions went in the Blues' favour today and, later on in the game, an even more clear cut shove on McBride in the area similarly went unpunished.

Claus Jensen and Scott Parker began to take hold of the midfield as the half progressed, showing silky skills, good movement and a controlled touch.  If only Everton had a player of either of their abilities — a creative midfielder is a must-buy during the next transfer window.  The Charlton duo caused the Everton backline countless problems with Jason Euell also looking a much-improved centre-forward compared to the sorry figure we watched last season.  In fact, a slip by David Weir nearly let Charlton in for a second goal but they were eventually denied as the Everton backline charged back in droves.

Tomasz Radzinski was given an excellent opportunity to level the scores towards the end of the half but Dean Kiely got down quickly to block his shot.  Alan Stubbs was then stretched off with a suspected broken leg after a nasty collision as he attempted to shoot and was replaced by Joseph Yobo who looked very assured when he came on.

Everton had the better of the first half although Richard Wright did pull off a tremendous stop at some point during an entertaining first 45 minutes.  It is a bit of a haze looking back.

Second Half

There were no changes at half time and Everton seemed to step up a gear but lacked the creativity to break Charlton down.  The game plan seemed to involve hitting Brian McBride's head but he didn’t get too much success up against Richard Rufus.  Tomasz Radzinski did some excellent running off the ball but didn’t get in many goalscoring positions.

Dean Kiely didn’t have much to do in reflection but then again neither did Richard Wright to be fair.  Wright, apart from one flap, put in one of his most commanding performances since his move in the summer.  He claimed crosses well; his kicking and distribution were first-class throughout.

Brian McBride scored an equaliser for the Blues with a turn followed by a swerving left-foot shot which crept past the Charlton goalkeeper.  The whole team went to McBride when we scored and formed a huddle showing the excellent team spirit which exists in the camp now that David Moyes is at the helm.

With the fans baying for the introduction of Rooney, it looked like Everton may have enough in them to go and kill the game off.

The otherwise anonymous Gary Naysmith had an excellent opportunity to put us in front when he went past two Charlton defenders before skewing a left-footed shot high over the bar.  A few minutes later Charlton got back into the game and after a few scares Li Tie (who had showed some nice touches through-out) misplaced a header back to Richard Wright and Kevin Lisbie strolled in to steal all three points for Charlton.

Rooney and Campbell were introduced soon after but it all seemed too late.  Rooney in fact had the chance to write all the headlines (in front of the watching England coach... except Sven had already left...) when an excellent first touch took him away from two players, (with a turn of pace not seen in English football since Gascoigne's glory years).  He unleashed a screamer of a shot from 25 yards which was about a couple of feet over the cross bar.  For a minute I think everybody in the ground held their breath and thought he was going to do it again!

McBride had a similar opportunity to his goalscoring effort late in the game but his shot went agonisingly wide.

And that’s how it finished, a good solid performance in a close game.  Definite progress.

Player Ratings (from Paul Collyer)

  • Wright 7 - Flawless for most of the game including one cracking save to keep it only 0-1 but possibly blew his England chances with a "miss the cross by miles" moment late in the game.  I'm confident Richard will be as good as DM hopes but, in all honesty, I think he's a year or two away from international standard.
  • Pistone 9 - Top class in every department
  • Unsworth 6 - Simply Unsie
  • Stubbs 6 - OK, but always troubled by their pace.  I hope he is ok although we thought at half time it was a broken leg
  • Weir 8 - Excellent.  He has this habit of being first to balls played into strikers' feet. And he's rock solid in the air.
  • Yobo 7 - Started the second half nervously but by the last 20 minutes was in complete control.
  • Li Tie 6 - From the sublime to the ridiculous.
  • Gravesen 6 - See Li Tie.  Great when in attacking positions, but has no idea about tracking back which made Pistone's performance all the more impressive.  During one of the many times that he decided to play central midfield, he tried to take on two people at one time on the half-way line.  In the event he got lucky before releasing Radz one-on-one with a great ball and that incident said it all about Tommy.
  • Gemmill 7 - Tidy and does his job well
  • Naysmith 6 - Gives us balance but that's it.
  • Radzinski 8 - Everywhere and always unselfish.  Maybe too unselfish but it was clear that the reason Rooney never came on after 60 or so mins was that Radz was the logical player to be withdrawn but in no way deserved to be.
  • McBride 8 - Paul Rideout but with more goals in him.  An excellent bit of business by David Moes.
  • Campbell - No time for a mark but helped us put their goal under seige for the last 5 minutes
  • Rooney - Got the ball twice in his 5 minutes.  With his first touch, he took 2 or 3 out of the game.  A couple of minutes later, he controlled the ball with his head, went past 2 and hit the most ferocious shot about a foot over from 30 yards.  An astonishing impression in such a short time.

Finally, a mention for Mr Winter.  He was poor, and I am told for the first goal, the linesman put his flag up and then down again.  At which point our team visibly stopped for at least a second....  did he consult the linesman?  Er... NO!

Paul Gregory



Unhappy Valley as Blues let it Slip

Julian Cashen:  I joined the prawn-sandwich brigade today having been invited to The Valley.  Really, it opens your eyes as to why we need King's Dock.  The New Valley is a purpose-built new stadium with brilliant facilities, including ample and immaculately clean toilets.  Compare that to the scrum under the Lower Bullens stand, with huge queues for inedible pies and piss poor lager, and toilet facilities adequate for maybe one tenth of the people looking to use them.

Inside the ground, the Evertonians had the whole of the stand behind one of the goals, although it seemed to fill up very late, a consequence perhaps of the traffic gridlock around the ground.  No surprises in the line up, with the only change from the previous winning formula being the introduction of Gravesen for the injured Watson.  Pistone, the other injury worry, had obviously taken note of Moysey's comments about putting in a good run of games, and was present and (mostly) correct at right back.

First Half

Almost from the opening whistle, we showed an unusual unsteadiness at the back which was to provide Charlton with numerous opportunities over the course of the game.  Within the first couple of minutes, a loose ball by Lie Tie left a Charlton attacker bearing down on Richard Wright; mercifully the attempted lob dropped a foot or so wide.

After the initial few minutes, however, we began to assert ourselves.  Virtually everything we did that was good came down the right.  While I thought Pistone looked terribly out of shape defensively at times, his attacking play, and in particular, the quality of his crossing, were absolutely first class.  It was he, too, who got on the end of one of many excellent corners from Tommy Gravesen to bring a greatsave out of Kiely.  Then, brilliant work from Gravesen in the middle of the park took three opponents out of the game, an excellent pass sent Radzinski through, but Kiely was quickly off his line to save.

In the meantime, defensively we were all at sea, and had Richard Wright to thank for some excellent saves — one desperate, clawing tip-over being particularly eye-catching for the watching Sven-Goran Eriksson.  Indeed, Wright did his cause a power of good, with a display of good shot-stopping, but — even more impressively — fine handling throughout the game.

However, it was no surprise when we fell behind, though the manner of the goal was sickeningly disappointing, being as blatant an offside as you will see.  Anyway, Winter, the ref with the orange skin — with his expanding girth he really is becoming more and more akin to the Tango man — didn't get a decision right all afternoon, and he certainly wasn't going to give this.  So, an Addick gets it, yards offside, Wrighty makes a brilliant save, Unsworth is flat footed and totally fails to react, and it's banged in from close range by their right full back.

After that, we survived the rest of the half, without scares but not without incident.  On the stroke of half-time we are awarded a slightly soft free-kick on the edge of their box. Gemmill gives Stubbsy a hospital pass attempting to square it to him for a shot on the edge of the box; there's a collision, and you can tell immediately from Stubbsy's immobility on the ground that it's a serious one.  Exit Stubbsy, on a stretcher; enter Joey Yobo.

Second Half

From the start of the second half we went at them, while still looking insecure at the back, in what was a generally open and enjoyable game.  We had a lot of pressure, without creating anything clear-cut.  When the goal came, it was no surprise that it came from more good work down the right, the ball being worked eventually to Radzinski in the box; it goes through Li Tie and tees up for McBride, who adjusts his feet quickly to send in a decent shot just inside the post which beats Kylie all ends up.  A thoroughly deserved equaliser and, over on the touchline, Rooney and Campbell return to the dug out.

To be fair, there was no real need to make changes as we were on top, with Gary Naysmith having a great chance to give us the lead when he blazed over from the edge of the box without a defender in sight.  However, our defensive frailty had not altered despite the introduction of Yobo and it was no real surprise when they nicked one.  Careless play by Li Tie followed by some decent passing around the edge of the box by them, and a neat enough finish by Lisbie.

This meant an introduction for the boy wonder who nearly saved the game for us with a great shot from the edge of the box.  He nearly made me a few bob too, as I had bet 2-2; Rooney to get the last goal; and Charlton at half time and draw at full time.  Roughly six inches lower and I'm a very happy man indeed.  With Campbell also a very late substitute and Davie Weir acting as an extra attacker, we ended up battering them with four forwards, but it was all too little too late and we trooped home disconsolate from a game we didn't deserve to lose.

Conclusion

Moyesy has a real dilemma with Rooney which I do not envy him.  Radzinski has played brilliantly and is worth his place.  For him to be looking over his shoulder, always expecting to be replaced, will do nothing for the confidence which is becoming more evident in his game.  On the other hand, there is little point in bringing on Wayne when he will only get three touches of the ball, as yesterday.  He's in the full England squad, but not in Everton's starting line up.  All the Charlton fans around me were looking forward to seeing Rooney play and on the evidence of what he did when he came on were asking how on earth we can leave him on the bench.

For the rest of the squad, Gravesen was my Man of the Match by a distance and made an unarguable case for staying in the team.  Li Tie looked a little off the pace while Gemmill made little impression.  The defence looked insecure but down the left I think we have a problem; Unsy was for me back to his most frustrating, and Naysmith didn't offer much either.

The Ref had a bad game but I think these things even themselves out over the course of the season and I think Moyesey should watch his post-match comments.  We don't want to be labelled whingers and nor do I think that criticising referees is likely to get us any favours in future games.

Nevertheless, this was a good performance and we certainly deserved to get something from the game.  We dominated for spells but need to tighten up and it is to be hoped that, with Stubbs out probably for a few weeks at least, it is to be hoped that Yobo can recapture his early season form. If he can, and Moyes can solve the striking dilemma, there is no reason why we can't consolidate the UEFA Cup spot.

Trivia

From the Charlton programme: the Club with the biggest average audience for televised games: Everton.  A whopping average of 1.579M people have watched games involving the Blues, compared to an overall average of 1.117M for all televised matches.

Come on you Blues!

Julian Cashen



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