<% Dim oCs, oRs, strSQL set oCs = server.createobject("ADODB.Connection") oCs.Open "Driver={Microsoft Excel Driver (*.xls)}; DBQ=" & Server.MapPath("/season/02-03/data") & "/premtable.xls;" strSQL = "SELECT * FROM [Summary$] ORDER BY Pos ;" Set oRs = oCs.Execute(strSQL) %> ToffeeWeb: Everton v Chelsea, Premiership Season 2002-03
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 FA Premiership (17); Goodison Park, Liverpool; Saturday 7 December 2002; 3:00pm
 Sent off: Unsworth (89')

Attendance: 39,396
Halftime: 1-2

Stanic (5')
Hasselbaink (28')
Gronkjaer (90')

Referee: Eddie Wolstenholme

Match Report

David Moyes promised that it would be different from Wednesday when Chelsea steam-rollered their way into the Worthington Cup Quarter Finals at the expense of Everton's dreams of Cardiff...  Looking at the scoreline, it wasn't much different at all.

Claudio Ranieri's band of foreigners walked away with a 3-1 victory and Everton's unbeaten home record, having withstood a second half barrage from which Moyes's side was unfortunate not to profit.  Ultimately, they paid for a sloppy first half during which they afforded Chelsea far too much respect and handed them a two-goal lead with a couple of largely preventable goals inside the first half-hour.

Mario Stanic the Croatian who was within a bank manager's decision of signing for Walter Smith a couple of years ago had the Londoners a goal to the good after just 4 minutes.  An inswinging corner from the right that should have been blocked by Carsley skidded between his legs instead, flew past three Everton defenders to Stanic who headed past Richard Wright.

In the 28th minute, Frank Lampard took aim with a fierce shot that Wright parried straight in front of him and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was the quickest to react, slotting into the corner to make it 2-0.  Shades of Wednesday at Stamford Bridge all over again.

Everton, for their part, could have been ahead as early as 20 seconds from kick off, but Gary Naysmith could only guide a diving header just wide.  Aside from that, the Toffees were restricted to long-range efforts by Gravesen and Li Tie the latter's left-footed effort the most embarrassing moment of the game, screwing as it did closer to the corner flag than the goal before Tomasz Radzinski latched onto Kevin Campbell's dummy, set himself and fired straight at Cudicini.

Five minutes later, though, the home side made a vital breakthrough with their best move of the half.  Campbell held the ball up on the edge of the area before kicking the ball to the right where Naysmith collected and fired past Cudicini.  2-1, and we had given ourselves a platform for the second half.

Unfortunately, although they increased their share of possession and nullified the Chelsea attack for the first 15 mins of the second period, Everton didn't really create a worthy opportunity.  With the introduction of Wayne Rooney for Radzinski and Scot Gemmill for Li Tie just after the hour mark, things began to happen in attack.

Campbell had an effort cleared off the line by Graeme Le Saux after he had collected an attempted clearance from a corner in front of goal but just couldn't dig the ball out from under his feet to get a proper shot allowing the Chelsea man to kick clear.  Then, Lee Carsley rose in the six-yard box to meet a free kick but a combination of Cudicini and Gallas somehow kept the ball out.

A minute later, Campbell nodded the ball onto the crossbar from three yards out as Chelsea rocked back onto their heels.  Unfortunately, the equaliser never came.  Despite the general improvement in the brand of football at Goodison since the arrival of David Moyes, the recent hit to the team's confidence saw the return of a more direct approach.  An over-reliance on the long ball to the front two in the hope of something happening from the knock-downs failed to reap dividends.

Gravesen had a tame volley from the angle smothered by the 'keeper; Rooney beat substitute John Terry for pace but he too was thwarted by Cudicini covering the angle; and Carsley's diving header glanced frustratingly across goal as the Toffees pressed.

In the last 15 mins, Everton lost their momentum and the game wound down to its unsavoury conclusion.

Lampard and Gallas were booked for time-wasting, Yobo was caught messing around in his own half by Zola who, thankfully, curled high and wide with just the goalkeeper to beat, and Wright had to make a diving save from substitute Jesper Gronkjaer.

Then, with a minute to go, a shirt-pulling tussle between Unsworth and Gronkjaer saw both players go to ground on the touchline and a bit of afters had half the players on the pitch rushing in to separate the protagonists.  Referee Wolstenholm summoned the two players for the expected yellow card which he showed to Gronkjaer but reserved a red for Unsworth to the utter dismay of the crowd and the watching David Moyes.

With their last throw of the dice, Everton lumped another high ball into the area, Campbell collapsed under the challenge of two defenders, the faithful bayed for a penalty, the referee waved play on and Gudjohnson fed Zola (suspiciously offside?) who sprinted into Everton's empty half before laying the ball on for Gronkjaer to pour a bucket of salt into the home side's wounds to make it 3-1.

The match will, no doubt, be remembered for the controversy at the end and the seemingly unfair treatment of Unsworth but it shouldn't mask the fact that this was a far-from stellar display by an Everton side that lacked imagination going forward and relied too much on the long ball and set pieces.

If Moyes has any pretensions about European qualification to go with his obvious desire to arrest the recent run of defeats, he will have to go back to the drawing board with his offensive strategy.  Getting the ball back onto the deck and using the channels to release Radzinski again would be a start.

Two successive Premiership defeats against two sides with high aspirations will come as a reality check to the team and the supporters and it will be up to Moyes and the players to prove that there is more in their arsenal than was on display at Goodison Park today.  Doing the double over Blackburn next week would be the perfect way to start.


Double Standards: David Unsworth sees red after Gronkjaer gets only a yellow

Everton v Chelsea:
Prior League Games
 Everton 33
 Chelsea 10
 Draws 10
 Everton 3
 Chelsea 2
 Draws 5
 Last Season:

Everton 0-0 Chelsea

Premiership Scores
Saturday 7 Dec
Aston Villa 0-1 Newcastle
Bolton 1-1 Blackburn
Charlton 2-0 Liverpool
Everton 1-3 Chelsea
Fulham 1-0 Leeds Utd
Man United 2-0 Arsenal
Middlesbro' 2-2 West Ham
Southampton 2-0 Birmingham
Sunday 8 Dec
Tottenham 3-1 West Brom
Monday 9 Dec
Sunderland 0-3 Man City

Match Facts
 Everton   (4-4-2)
 Blue shirts, white shirts, blue socks
 Chelsea  (4-4-2)
Dark blue shirts, shorts and socks
Unsworth [Sent off: 89']
Li Tie (63' Gemmill)
Radzinski (63' Rooney)

Subs not used:  
Simonsen, Pistone, Weir

Yellow Cards: Stubbs (12')

Red Cards: Unsworth (89')


(Injured:) Alexandersson, Ferguson,
Gerrard, Linderoth, Pembridge, Rodrigo, Watson.
(on Loan): Nyarko, Osman, Pilkington
De Lucas (75' Terry)
Le Saux
Stanic (59' Gronkjaer)
Hasselbaink (82' Gudjohnson)

Subs not used: 
De Goey, Morris

Yellow Cards: Stanic, De Lucas, Gallas, Hasslebaink, Lampard, Gronkjaer

Red Cards:
Match Reports
  Chelsea (A) WLC4

Everton Web Sites
ToffeeWeb Match Summary
EvertonFC.com Match Report
When Skies Are Grey Match Report
Blue Kipper Match Report
Everton Fans' Reports
Richard Marland Match Report
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 Observer Match Report
The Guardian Match Report
The Independent Match Report
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report
Premiership Table
Pos Pld Pts
Arsenal 17 35
Chelsea 17 33
Man Utd 17 32
Liverpool 17 31
Everton 17 29
Newcastle 16 28
Tottenham 17 27
Southampton 17 26
Middlesbrough 17 25
Blackburn 17 24
Charlton 17 23
Man City 17 23
Fulham 17 22
Birmingham 17 20
Aston Villa 17 19
Leeds 17 17
West Brom 17 15
Bolton 16 14
Sunderland 17 14
West Ham 17 13
After 9 Dec

Match Preview

Bruised, battered and Blue. We were certainly taught a lesson on Wednesday night by an excellent Chelsea side inspired by the brilliance of Zola. Still this is the same Chelsea side that has beaten both United and Liverpool 5-0 in the not to distant past but has also struggled to draw 1-1 at Bolton only two weeks ago.

Moyes will have learnt plenty from the hammering, very probably as much as he learnt in the previous 6 wins. If he just accepts that we can't play 4-3-3 then that will be a start! Still with a whole international midfield out its hardly surprising that he played 3 forwards.

Moyes is very keen to not talk about injured players but a reality check does show us that Alexandersson, Linderoth, Carsley, Pembridge (after 30 minutes) and Rodrigo were all injured which when added to the injury of Steve Watson and the perennially injured Big Dunc actually means we had 7 senior members of our 1st team squad unavailable and rested Hibbert and Stubbs.

With only the rested players likely to return for Saturday Moyes has a heck of a job on his hands to turn that result around.

Two major concerns will be testing his grey matter:

1. Who to play right side midfield - There is the potential that Watson will be back but that has to be unlikely. We may see a Pistone/Hibbert right side which should be solid but may be ultimately lacking in an attacking sense - Who would have thought that we would miss Lee Carsley a few weeks ago?

2. How on earth to stop Zola. If he drops deep someone has to be ready to pick him up. His two passes in the first half were simply wonderful but on both occasions he had the time to collect the ball, turn, look up and pick his pass - Give him that time at Goodison and he will hurt us again. Li Tie is the obvious choice.

To me how we cope with Zola is key. We are unlikely to score more than one - That Chelsea defence is awesome and we can't count at Gallas again. If we let Zola run the game they will score more than one.

It makes for a cracking game. Moyes should have our boys smarting for revenge and Chelsea are running into Championship style form. A draw would be a creditable result and would keep our unbeaten record intact.

1-1 and we stay top 5.



Having reached the dizzy heights of third place, there were many who
insinuated that we were in a false position. Chelsea was in a run of games
that would let us know where we truly stood. Newcastle away had ended in
defeat, albeit in circumstances that made a judgement difficult. Chelsea at
home would prove to be another good test for us, especially in the light of
Wednesday's Worthington Cup defeat at their hands.

With Lee Carsley recovering from his bruised foot the team lined up as
expected with Naysmith filling in for the injured Pembridge.

Despite an early chance for Naysmith, he should have done better with a
diving header even if it did arrive at an awkward height, it was Chelsea who
looked the better team early on. They had a bit of early pressure, a couple
of corners and then we conceded a soft one. A Le Saux corner from the right
it glanced off Gravesen's head at the near post and Stanic came in unopposed
at the back post to convert all too easily.

Despite the early wake up call we still struggled to get into the game.
Chelsea weren't playing particularly well but they were closing us down very
efficiently and disrupting the flow of the game at every opportunity. Then
on 25 minutes we made things even harder for ourselves. Lampard was allowed
a shot from distance, it was hit with some power and there was also quite a
bit swerve on the ball. Rather than catch it Wright tried to parry it down,
it's actually something he does quite often. However his parry put the ball
too far away and Hasselbaink was quicker to react than any of our defenders
and he gratefully accepted the gift.

It now looked bleak but we continued to plug away and were rewarded with a
goal just before half time. Campbell did very well on the edge of the box to
slip the ball into Naysmith's path as he ran into the area, Naysmith kept
his nerve to finish well, and suddenly we were back in the match.

Having got the fillip of the goal we came out all guns blazing in the second
half. We looked much more assured and looked more like the team of November.
Crucially, though, just like the team in November, we struggled to convert
territorial advantage into goals.

We did come mighty close though. Le Saux cleared off the line with his head,
Campbell hit the bar, Rooney pulled a sprawling save out of Cudicini. There
were also a number of scrambles, but the ball just would not cross the line.

Chelsea, for their part, were restricted to a couple of long distance raids.
Their approach was summed up when they put John Terry, a centre back, on for
an attacking midfield player, Di Lucca. They really were under that much

The game ultimately finished amidst some acrimony. Chelsea had aggrieved
the faithful with their spoiling tactics and general "professionalism".
Stanic was booked early in the first half for diving and that summed them up
rather. Gallas was booked for time wasting, Hasselbaink for a crude
challenge on Unsworth, Lampard for feigning injury (when invited to leave
the field of play for treatment his condition suddenly improved). Add this
to any number of bizarre decisions by the referee, who I reckon had lost
control of the game by about the twentieth minute, and the frustration was
well and truly welling up. This all boiled over in injury time, Unsworth was
wrestled to the ground by Gronkjaer there was then some further wrestling as
they tried to get up (I must say that at the time I did think that Unsie had
lamped him). The referee decided, in his wisdom to book Gronkjaer and send
off Unsworth with a straight red.

To rub salt into the wound, we were then denied a very good penalty shout
(Desailly on Campbell), before they sprung our offside trap and Gronkjaer,
who else, rolled the ball into an empty net. That was virtually the last
kick and the ref blew his whistle to a crescendo of boos, aimed squarely at
him. Stubbs went over and, very forcibly, made his feeling's about the
referee's performance known. Moyes added to those views when the referee
finally made it to the touchline. Chelsea's reaction to the final whistle
also told a story, they celebrated with much gusto - they knew they'd been
in a battle.

All the stuff at the end shouldn't hide the truth of the game - that we lost
by conceding two soft goals and that we don't have the necessary guile to
consistently unpick tight, well organised defences. Our industry, heart and
energy could never be questioned, but it's always an uphill battle after
conceding to a team like Chelsea.

So, where does all that leave us. I think it fair to say that third was a
false position for us. If you analyze our good run it was largely against
teams we should have beaten. That we did beat them all is a sign of progress
in it's own right. Against better, in form sides, we have been found
wanting. But it wasn't by much and a very strong case could be put for us
deserving something out of both the Newcastle and Chelsea games. We are
definitely worthy of a place in the upper reaches of the table.

  • Wright 6 For the most part he did OK, but still not 100% confident in him.
    He definitely should have done better with the goal, if he was unhappy about
    catching a well struck swerving shot, he should have put it well out of
    harms way.
  • Hibbert 8 Yet another excellent performance. I've noticed that they've
    started leaving him back as the last defender when we have corners. A sure
    sign of the team, and managements confidence in him. One other thing that
    caught my eye was a cracking tackle over on our left flank. Someone was
    trying to out pace him on the outside, he was last man so couldn't afford
    any slip ups. The player gave Hibbert one slight opportunity to knick it off
    him, Hibbert saw the, brief, opportunity and executed it to perfection. A
    sure sign of a confident player on top of his game.
  • Yobo 7 Perhaps not as commanding as of late, especially in the first half,
    but not a bad display.
  • Stubbs 7 Another accomplished display.
  • Unsworth 7 Played well, didn't deserve to be sent off.
  • Carsley 6 Still doing a decent job, but this was a day crying out for a bit
    of pace and guile down the flank.
  • Gravesen 7 His usual mixed bag.
  • Li Tie 6 Did ok, but subbed midway through the second half.
  • Naysmith 6 Very adept at getting into scoring positions, maybe the rest of
    the midfield should take note. His general play was OK but he's still
    struggling a little.
  • Radzinski 6 One of his quieter days.
  • Campbell 8 Excellent. Played with a great deal of intelligence and deserved
    a goal.
  • Rooney 6 Always provides something. Got the beating of Terry once, desipte
    Terry's attempts at pulling him back (more spoiling tactics from Chelsea),
    and was only denied by a good Cudicini save.
  • Gemmill 6 Did his usual quietly efficient job.

Team 6 Undone by sloppy defending but gave Chelsea a game and a half.

Man of the match - Hibbert edges it from Campbell.

Richard Marland

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