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 FA Premiership (8); Goodison Park, Liverpool; Saturday 28 September 2002; 3:00pm
   Campbell (45')
 Gravesen (45')
 
 
Attendance: 34,371
Halftime: 2-0

Facts
Reports



Referee: Steve Dunn
 

Match Summary

Joseph Yobo made his expected Everton debut in a marginally changed lineout that saw Carlsey and Pembridge getting to start with Stubbs and Rooney on the bench, and the ineffective Alexandersson thankfully nowhere to be seen.  Other fit players overlooked include: Gemmiill, Watson, Chadwick, and Linderoth.

The game started brightly but Fulham had more of the running early on.  Weir was Everton's saviour on 5 mins as Malbranque almost scored after some more dreadful marking.

Everton started to settle after 15 mins following their now customary nervous start, with Yobo and Carsley both getting involved.  But lively action was notable for its absence (apart from the usual brace of Radzinski misses) as the game descended into a boring dirge for much of the first half.  Instantly forgettable, was the conclusion at 44� mins, but the final 30 seconds turned the game on it's head.

A brilliant free kick from Mark Pembridge, a flicked header from Kevin Campbell: GOAL.  Then Gravesen, a fierce shot, after a long run up field, firing low into the corner, and Everton were two up at half-time!

A much better second half saw Everton playing a lot better, and really taking the game to Fulham.  A couple of great chances included a block-buster drive by Unsworth, and a superb header from Campbell, both of which van der Sar saved brilliantly.  Radzinski continued to have trouble, failing to score from a sitting duck position, and later hitting the post with a superb snap-shot.

And a few minutes later, Radzinski hit the post again after getting in well to go one-on-one with van der Sar.  Everton kept pressing, and Radzinski nearly scored another from a corner when van der Sar uncharacteristically fumbled the ball on the line.

Four minutes of extra time and it all went very silly with another mass brawl.  Campbell gets only a yellow card, along with Melville.  Van der Sar threw himself theatrically to the ground but failed to draw anything from the ref, and the game was soon over.

A very important win for Everton, with Moyes once again spurning the need for playing his subs.  A clean sheet after having leaked 11 goals in the last 7 games, and a good debut from Yobo surely justifying the manager's team selection.


 Everton 10
 Fulham 0
 Draws 4
 Premiership  
 Everton 1
 Fulham 0
 Draws 0
 Last Season:

Everton 2-1 Fulham


Premiership Scores
Saturday 28 Sep
Leeds  1-4 Arsenal
Bolton  0-0 Sotton
Charlton 1-2 Man Utd
Chelsea  2-3 West Ham
Everton  2-0 Fulham
Man City 0-2 Liverpool
Sunderland 1-0 Aston Villa
Tottenham 0-3 Middlesbro
Birming'm 0-2 Newcastle
Monday 30 Sep
West Brom 0-2 Blackburn
 


Match Facts
 Everton   (4-4-2)
 Blue shirts, white shirts, blue socks
 Fulham (4-4-2)
White shirts, black shorts, white socks
  Wright
Hibbert
Weir (c)
Yobo
Unsworth
Carsley
Gravesen
Li Tie
Pembridge
Campbell
Radzinski

Subs not used:
Gerrard, Stubbs, Ferguson, Naysmith, Rooney 

Yellow Cards: Unsworth (35'), Campbell (90+')

Red Cards: �


Unavailable:

(Injured:) Pistone, Rodrigo, Watson
van der Sar
Finnan
Inamoto (55' Boa Morte)
Marlet
Malbranque
Hayles (60' Sava)
Knight
Legwinski
Davis
Goma (27' Melville)
Wome

Subs not used: Taylor,
Clark

Yellow Cards: Wome (44'),
 Hayles (45'), Melville (90+')

Red Cards: �
 
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
Steve Bickerton Match Report
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FA Premier Match Report
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Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report
Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Arsenal 20
2 Liverpool 18
3 Middlesbrough 14
4 Man Utd 14
5 Chelsea 13
6 Tottenham 13
7 Leeds 12
8 Blackburn 12
9 Fulham 11
10 Everton 11
11 Newcastle 10
12 Aston Villa 9
13 West Brom 9
14 Birmingham 8
15 Man City 8
16 Sunderland 8
17 Bolton 7
18 Southampton 7
19 Charlton 7
20 West Ham 5

After 30 Sep 2002



Match Preview

"The more things change..."

Why oh why can't we play for 90 minutes?  If we did, we would be at least 5 points better off (Villa and Birmingham) and probably a few more (City)...

As it is, we are back in our bottom-half-of-the-table position, hovering uncomfortably close to the bottom three; with games against United, Arsenal and Leeds coming up, we cannot afford to slip up against the other mediocre to poor sides in the near future.

Unfortunately for us, Fulham are anything but poor!

Thriving in Europe they have now added a cutting edge to their passing and will provide a very stern test to Moyes's Blues.

Six months ago, David Moyes walked into the Everton hotseat and watched as an Unsworth-inspired Blues ripped 3 points from Fulham despite losing Gravesen to a red card very early on.

Earlier in the season, a Smith-led Everton had capitulated at Craven Cottage as Weir was also ridiculously dismissed after being kicked by Hayles.

What this time?

Whilst our Oriental experiment is showing very promising signs, with Li Tie a constant in our midfield and Wei Feng pushing for a slot at the back, Fulham's has been even more successful.  Inamoto, signed from Arsenal after an excellent World Cup, has simply looked world class.  Driving from midfield, all action and scoring goals, he is a player that every team would like.  How he and Li Tie match up could be very very interesting!

Elsewhere, Cameroon international Woma has also added to a previously competent back-four which, supported by Van De Sar, is unlikely to hand over very many chances.

Upfront, Marlet has not yet justified a very high �10M fee and Saha has scored less than the simple British combatant Hayles.  The goal threat from Fulham tends to come from midfield more than the forwards with Legwinski and Malbranque, as well as Inamoto, more than capable of getting their names on the scoresheet.

For us, Radzinski and Campbell have shown they could be a partnership that could score a few despite my belief that Campbell is past it.  The biggest problem to me is not the defence but the inability of the midfield to put together a full 90 minutes.  Whatever the reason is, Moyes has to sort it.

If we keep conceding possession as easily as we did against Villa in the first half and in the last 10 minutes of the second, then any team in the Premiership will hurt us.

Gravesen, Li Tie and whoever must use the ball better. With three upfront and two of them with blistering pace, it shouldn't be that difficult!!

And then the defence?  Stubbs out, Yobo in.  Wei Feng to be challenging Weir's place.  Pistone... come back soon!

The defence is a shambles (11 goals in 7 games) but some of that does come from the constant pressure they are under.  If the midfield sort themselves out and compete against Fulham, a very unusual clean sheet may arise.

I'm not too confident for this one but we are unbeaten at home.  I think a 1-1 draw would be a decent result but it is essential that we start well.  Fulham are too good to give a headstart to but if, for once, we can start well and score the first goal of the game, we could still knick it.

(NB: no mention of Rooney - lets leave him alone for a bit!)

BlueForEver


Report

We started slowly - again.  As against Middlesbrough, we were pegged back far too easily and for fifteen minutes we were skating on thin ice.  In one particular break it took a terrific save from Wright and a goal-line clearance from Unsworth to keep the ball out.  All this as Yobo seemed to be bewildered by the pace of the game.

Then suddenly it changed. Gravesen took control in midfield, Li Tie started getting the best of Inamoto � and Yobo found the pace of the game.  The whole attitude was transformed and the game became more evenly balanced. Before we could take stock of the change there was a chance as Van De Sar was exposed chasing out for the ball with Carsley, but the Irishman could only turn the ball into the side netting.  Radzinski came racing into the box on another occasion but his pace meant that he was unable to control his swing at the ball and he fell with the goal at his mercy.

Everton continued to press forward, taking control and able to rebuff everything that Fulham offered and all this time Yobo grew in both stature and confidence.  With the impressive Nigerian at his side, Weir looked more assured than he had all season.  Even after the youngster fluffed a volleyed clearance, slicing it towards the Everton goal so that the Scot needed to tidy it up, there was no dampening of confidence from either player.

Half-time beckoned and a 0-0 score line was looking likely when Everton was awarded a free kick outside the Fulham area.  Pembridge hovered over the ball while the referee booked a Fulham defender and on the referee's signal he delivered a perfect cross into the box, which Campbell rose to and flicked into the far corner off the post.  King Kev looks so much sharper this season and I'm now eating my words about his demise as he's re-found the form he was in when he arrived. 

At 1-0 we started to swagger � and a terrific Radzinski feed into Gravesen, who was driving through the midfield with Fulham backing off was despatched into the net from 25 yards with supreme confidence by the Dane.  Two goals inside a minute and both of them to us!  Unbelievable!  The half-time interval was so much better at 2-0.

If Fulham expected us to sit back and defend in the second half, they were disappointed as we pressed forward for more.  Throughout the half we created chances with any one of maybe half a dozen players having decent opportunities to add to the goal tally.  Gravesen saw another drive come back off Van Sar, who somehow got down to his right to parry the ball. 

Radzinski, following up, was surprised by both the height and the pace of the ball and was only able to divert the ball beyond the post after some aerial contortions.  He also saw the ball come back off the right post from a snap shot on the turn and the left post from a curling shot beyond the keeper, but his best chance was dealt with by Van de Sar with some comfort; but I must question the fact that a penalty wasn't awarded as the Canadian was dragged back before he shot, leaving him off balance at the critical point.  Unsworth saw a shot from outside the box pushed over the bar by the Fulham stopper and Li Tie saw an effort go a-begging.

But by far the best defensive moment from a Fulham perspective was a save by Van de Sar from a tremendous Kevin Campbell header that had goal written all over it.

Fulham had a couple of chances, but nothing of real note and even a very tired Mark Pembridge was able to cope with what came his way. In the end we deserved the result and it was the Everton swagger that triumphed when the runes held that Fulham would take the points.  But what the runes didn't prophesy was the reaction of Kevin Campbell to comments that Andy Melville hurled at him as he lay outside the margins of the pitch after he (Campbell) had been clipped on the ankle by the Fulham defender. 

The situation suddenly erupted into anarchy as players from both sides each defended their man against the criticisms of the other side.  Referee Dunn failed to take immediate charge and the melee reached the point where it looked as though it was going to reach the state of the incident at Craven Cottage last year, but as suddenly as it had erupted, it settled down: until Van de Sar somehow fell to the floor in front of the perplexed Weir and an even more confused referee.  At this point the referee regained full control and yellow cards for both Campbell and Melville were almost the last actions of the game as Everton recorded only their second clean sheet of the campaign, to win 2-0.

Steve Bickerton
Blue Horizons



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