<% 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 Leeds United, Premiership Season 2002-03
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 FA Premiership (26); Goodison Park, Liverpool; Saturday 1 February 2003; 3:00pm
   Unsworth (pen 55')
 Radzinski (67')
 
Attendance: 40,153
Halftime: 0-0

Facts
Reports



Referee: Mark Halsey
 

Match Review

Troubled Leeds United came to Goodison Park in the midst of the kind of turmoil Everton fans experienced during that controversial week in November 1998 when Walter Smith threatened to quit after Duncan Ferguson was sold to Newcastle United without his knowledge.

Terry Venables was believed to be weighing up his future in the week prior to his side's visit to Goodison after Jonathan Woodgate was sold to Newcastle, coincidentally, against the manager's wishes as the Yorkshire club counts the enormous cost of reckless spending and failure to qualify for Europe.

The Lilywhites left Liverpool L4 contemplating another defeat as David Moyes's side coasted to Everton's first double over Leeds for 51 years and their third win on the bounce in front of a capacity Goodison crowd.  After a decidedly rocky spell over the Christmas and New Year period, the Blues are very much back on track for a much-coveted European place.

Strangely, though, despite the emphatic nature of their victory at Bolton four days earlier, Everton had an under-whelming first half, with Leeds carrying the greater threat and creating the better chances.  Eirik Bakke fired wide and Harry Kewell could only find the side-netting while for Everton it was midweek goal hero Steve Watson who had two attempts at breaking the deadlock; one that went over and the other — another overhead kick — was saved by Paul Robinson.

In the second half, Tomasz Radzinski should have opened the scoring when put in the clear by Li Tie's through-ball but, not for the first time this season, with just the 'keeper to beat he dragged his shot agonizingly wide of the post.

Within minutes, however, he had atoned for the error.  Tormenting the Leeds defence time and again with his speed, he was bundled over by Danny Mills in the 55th minute leaving the referee with no choice but to award a penalty which David Unsworth converted from the spot.

Ten minutes later, Radzinski's retribution was complete as worked a nice move with Li Tie and raced onto another of his precision-weighted passes to make no mistake with the finish and secure a somewhat faltering 2-0 win.

With Leeds's travelling fans voicing their disapproval and the visiting players showing less stomach for the fight, Everton cruised through the latter stages and wrapped up another three points which leave them in 5th place, level on points with Chelsea.

 




Tomasz Radzinski: A trademark miss and a trademark goal

Everton v Leeds:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Everton 22
 Leeds 11
 Draws 17
 Premiership  
 Everton 4
 Leeds 0
 Draws 6
 Last Season:

Everton 0-0 Leeds


Premiership Scores
Saturday 1 Feb
Arsenal 2-1 Fulham
Bolton 4-2 Brum
Chelsea 1-1 Tottenham
Everton 2-0 Leeds
Man City 1-2 West Brom
Middlesbro P-P Newcastle
Sotton 0-2 Man Utd
Sunderland 1-3 Charlton
Sunday 2 Feb
West Ham 0-3 Liverpool
Aston Villa 3-0 Blackburn
Tuesday 4 Feb
Brum 0-1 Man Utd
 

Match Facts
 Everton   (4-4-2)
 Blue shirts, white shorts, blue socks
 Leeds United  (4-4-2)
Yellow shirts, shorts, and socks
  Wright
Pistone
Unsworth
Weir {c}
Stubbs
Watson
Li Tie
Gemmill
Naysmith
Radzinski
McBride (72' Campbell)

Subs not used: Gerrard
Gravesen, Yobo, Pembridge

Yellow Cards: —

Red Cards: —

Unavailable:

(Suspended:) Rooney
(Injured:) Ferguson, Hibbert, Rodrigo
(On Loan): Nyarko
Robinson
Mills
Kelly
Matteo (71' Radebe)
Lucic (45' Harte)
Bakke
Smith (79' Milner)
Okon
Wilcox
Kewell
Viduka

Subs not used: 
Martyn, Johnson

Yellow Cards: Bakke

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
Julian Cashen Tommy is Rock-on
Paul Waring Match Report
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 Guardian Match Report
The Independent Match Report
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report
Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Arsenal 56
2 Man Utd 53
3 Newcastle 48
4 Chelsea 45
5 Everton 45
6 Liverpool 42
7 Southampton 39
8 Charlton 39
9 Tottenham 39
10 Man City 37
11 Aston Villa 35
12 Blackburn 34
13 Leeds 31
14 Middlesbrough 30
15 Fulham 27
16 Birmingham 26
17 Bolton 24
18 West Brom 20
19 West Ham 20
20 Sunderland 19

After 4 Feb 2003



Match Preview

Having recorded consecutive victories for the first time since November, Everton go into Saturday's game looking for a third straight win, precisely the same scenario as when they last met Leeds United — and we all remember what happened on that thrilling day at Elland Road three months ago!  Wayne Rooney's late strike put to bed a 51-year-old hoodoo and Everton went on to win another three games on the bounce, a run that saw the Blues rise to third in the table.

That omen aside, David Moyes's team will be facing a Leeds club that despite a revival of sorts in recent weeks remains in crisis both on and off the field, with star players being sold to address serious financial problems and manager Terry Venables disgruntled at the dismantling of his team.  Seeing three points evaporate into the Stamford Bridge air in the last ten minutes of Tuesday night's clash with Chelsea won't have done anything for the confidence of a team firmly rooted in the bottom half of the Premiership.

Leeds?  Do you feel sorry for them?  I think all Evertonians should.  For Bowyer, Keane, Fowler, Dacourt and now Woodgate read Jeffers, Ball, Hutchison, Barmby and Dacourt.  Just as Smith looked like he might be putting something together, the whole house of cards collapsed.  Now Leeds and Venables are having the same thing happen to them, with Ridsdale doing a passable impression of Peter Johnson.  And the latest Jonathan Woodgate bombshell appears to have really gotten the fans backs up.

One difference, however, is that they still have some genuine quality: Viduka, Kewell and Alan Smith are still top-class strikers.  Their midfield now lacks some bite; with Kewell playing upfront, they have sacrificed some width and pace on the flanks but at the back Kelly, Mills, Harte, Matteo and Robinson are all again top-class.  Any team that pushes Chelsea as much as they did is a good team — underestimate them at your peril!

What they are definitely lacking is confidence but that has been more evident at Elland Road rather than on their travels where they have won 5 games — same as us — and no-one has won more.

Everton, on the other hand, having arrested a 6-match winless stretch, are buoyed by a much-improved injury situation and a more potent midfield combination that created — and converted — a number of chances at The Reebok on Tuesday.  If Alan Stubbs (dead leg) and Alessandro Pistone (ankle) shrug off mild knocks, it would be realistic to expect Moyes to again name an unchanged starting line-up.

If you get in the team and do well you stay there.  A very simple philosophy but just how strong does a manager have to be to stick with it?  Thomas Gravesen, Joseph Yobo and Kevin Campbell will be substitutes for the third game running, although it shouldn't escape notice that that lineup comprises possibly the strongest bench at Everton in many years.

And their replacements, fully believing that if they are given a start and do well will keep their places, have played out of their skins and Moyes has kept his promises.  Gemmill, forced in due to injuries and suspensions when a move to Stoke was on the horizon, has performed admirably in our last two wins and hence Gravesen — potentially our best central midfielder — has to wait once again for his chance. Read the same for McBride and Weir.

The players know that if they give everything and we do well, they stay first choice; the obvious flip-side also being: One bad game, one poor result and the waiting players will be coming in and will then have the 1st team shirt — a long wait could then ensue for you to get it back — couldn't it Alexandersson?

Stubbs's dead leg at Bolton may open the door for Yobo.  If his head is in order then he can be a great asset.  Kewell is as tricky as anyone; if we can get a grip of the midfield and Yobo can stop Kewell, then this is definitely winnable.

It won't be an easy game and another victory by 1 goal may ensue but if we could possibly be on 45 points by 5pm Saturday then we are going to have a heck of a finish to this season!

2-1 to the Blues - Radz with another home goal.

Lyndon Lloyd and Lee Doyle


Tommy is Rock-on, but El Tel steals the Headlines

It's typical of Everton's few years out of the limelight that after a well deserved and tactically astute victory, a brilliant display of front running by Tomas Radzinski, and a first win double over these opponents for over 50 years, the only person anybody was interested in hearing from was the opposition manager.

To be fair, in some respects, the less attention we get as we just sit there in a European place, the less the pressure on the players.  Nevertheless it's galling that our consolidation of 5th place is overshadowed by the machinations in the Leeds boardroom.

Having said that, it's hard to suppress a wry smile at Leeds' fate.  From high spending Champions League semi finalists to 'everything must go' desperation sellers in two short seasons.  Leeds were always a team I rather liked — dating back to my formative years as a fan in the early 70s when they were the main opposition to Liverpool's domestic dominance.  In recent years however, players like Bowyer and Smith, together with the objectionable David O'Leary, have taken away any such sympathy and, after the years of belt tightening at Goodison, it's good to see a few egos at Elland Road taken down a peg.

The supporters might deserve some sympathy, were it not for the ludicrous transformation in their attitude to 'El Tel'.  Made unwelcome when he arrived, on the simple grounds that he's not from 'oop North', Venables is now cast as a great coach and the one man who can save the club.  Interviewed, he said it was 'nice' to hear the supporters chant his name.  If he'd been more honest, I reckon he'd have said that he hoped the chant choked those supporters who had vilified him just weeks earlier.

Anyway, having complained about Leeds stealing the headlines, I now devote much of my report to — well — Leeds. Sorry about that, but you're right if you think it's because I've not got a lot to report from the match itself.

Another full house.  Always good to see every seat full.  No surprises from Moyesy in the line up, where he was content to stay with the winning line up from the previous fixture against Bolton.  However, we were served up a very scrappy first half.  All the passion that has characterised our displays this season seemed absent, although we carved out what was pretty much the only decent opening of the game early on when Naysmith made a good break down the left and pulled it back for the arriving Watson, who couldn't control his shot and sent it wildly over the bar.  In terms of possession and passing, Leeds then proceeded to shade the half, though in truth, neither goalkeeper had a real save to make.

Whatever Moyesy said at half time — and his post match comments suggest he made some tactical changes, though they weren't apparent to this observer (presumably this is why Moyes, rather than yrs trly, is manager). We just seemed to up the pace and begin to win the ball and use it better.

Whether we had pinpointed Mills as a weak point against Radzinski's pace, I don't know, but a couple of incidents involving these two players changed the game.  First, a long ball from the back sends Rad on his way.  He skins Mills for pace, gets in to the box, and then screws a characteristically weak finish well wide.  This must have put all sorts of doubt in to Mills's mind because he was caught out by an identical ball just minutes later.  This time he was in such a panic that he leant all over Tomasz, leaving the ref with no option but to point to the spot.  As the last defender, Mills must have looked to the ref in some trepidation, but for some reason no card was produced — this from the referee who dismissed Yobo against Newcastle for a far more innocuous offence.  Not that I necessarily wanted to see a sending off, but the inconsistency is baffling.  Anyway, due punishment was exacted when Unsie, having been forced to wait around for a while, buried the pen with customary finesse.  Get in there!!!!!

Shortly later, Radzinski got the goal his performance deserved, as ever, a much more difficult chance than the one he missed.  This was all about good football, a neat one two with Li Tie getting him in on goal for a fine lifted finish from a tightish angle with defenders closing in. 

Tommy is having a great season, and with a bit more composure, would have twice as many goals as he has.  As it is, he's got 4 in the last 8 games and has a fantastic attitude and work rate to go with it.  It's a pity we can only accommodate Rooney, arguably our best player, by omitting Radzinski, our next best; Moyesy obviously prefers the classic 'little and large' pairing up front, but it's a pretty hard choice between Rad and Rooney on current form.

Indeed, Radzinski almost had a tap in at the death when SuperKev, played in by another excellent little ball by Li Tie, was caught in two minds and left his square ball to the unmarked Radzinski too late.

So, while this wasn't vintage, it was a hugely satisfying three points.  Three wins on the belt have restored the momentum, and we now have a bit of breathing space from the teams below us.  A strong bench is evidence that we have at last got some genuine competition for places, and those 'in possession' are having to work hard to keep in the team.  It's great to see someone like Pistone, whose class has never been in doubt, finally adding resilience and work rate to his game. 

Steve Watson, who looks at least two short sizes smaller, is another player Moyes seems to have transformed. In the midfield I still think we look lightweight against the top teams.  However there is nothing to fear in our next few fixtures, and with the spectre of relegation already banished, we can look up the table with genuine hopes of a top-six finish.

Come on you Blues!

Julian Cashen



Report

Had a bad feeling going into this game, I thought there'd be a reaction from Leeds following the off-field shenanigans they've been through this week.  And so it seemed, when Leeds started the better of the two teams, passing the ball around well and generally stronger in the tackle, winning most of the 50-50 balls.  We looked weak in the middle of midfield and I expected Tommy Gravesen to be introduced sooner rather than later.  Leeds were physical throughout, and were blessed with a referee who was willing to turn a blind eye to some meaty challenges.

For all their possession though, Leeds created very few real chances.  Even though they dominated possession, we went into the break at least equal, if not ahead, in goal attempts.

No changes at half time; whatever Moyes said obviously worked, because we were soon in control.  Li Tie began to make some useful passes and we started to exploit Radzinski's pace against a very static Leeds back four.  On one break, Radz screwed a shot wide when he should really have done better, although he redeemed himself shortly afterwards, winning a penalty from a similar through ball.  Unsy put the penalty away with no problems, and suddenly we were in the driving seat.

Referee consistency alert: the Radz was past the last man when he was bundled over.  The Leeds defender, Danny Mills didn't get so much as a booking when a sending off was a distinct possibility.  Don't ask me why!

Previously we've tended to sit back a bit when we've edged in front.  With half an hour to go, I expected an onslaught from Leeds, but it never materialised.  Instead, we extended our lead when Li Tie played a beautiful ball into the path of Radzinski who curled a delightful shot round Robinson.  Get in!!

After that, we were never really troubled.  We should have made it 3-0 in the last minute when SuperKev broke free and, instead of shooting (from an admittedly very tight angle) he tried to set up the Rad, but his weak pass was easily cleared.

Defensively we were very solid.  For all Leeds's early possession, Wright didn't have a shot to save all game.  Pistone in particular was very solid and classy, although the other three each played their part.  Yobo will be warming the bench for a while at least, and I really can't see a way back in for Tony Hibbert at the moment.

Up front, McBride was tireless, if a little less accurate shooting than he has been, but Campbell looked rusty when he came on.  The Rad scored one and made one, and was the crowd's man of the match on the fancy new ˜text-in" vote system, and will not be easily shifted by Rooney when he returns from suspension back next week.

Midfield remains a concern.  Whilst Stevie Watson is a shoe-in on the right, Naysmith still looks out of his depth at this level (when is Rodrigo due back?).  Whilst Li Tie shone in the second half (and was subject to some rave reviews on the phone in) both he and Gemmill looked very lightweight in the tackle.

A priority at the end of the season is to find the cut-price Keane/Vieira out there to strengthen the midfield.  Everywhere else is looking pretty secure, with a degree of cover (on the bench today we had Yobo, Gravesen, Pembridge and Campbell — oh, and Gerrard) in all areas.  Sort out central midfield and we become real contenders.

Man of the match today: Li Tie came on strongly in the second half, The Rad was everywhere up front, and Davie, Stubbsy and Unsy were majestic at the back.  Ultimately it's a toss-up between Steve Watson and Sandro, with the Italian shading it in the end.

Moment of the match: Alan Smith (narky little get) gets into a tussle and earns a stiff talking to from the ref.  As one, the Street End start singing: "Sold in the morning, You're getting sold in the morning."  Priceless.  But, there for the Grace of God go ... well, the Red Shite and Man Citeh, probably.

Bring 'em all on; Everton are back!

Paul Waring



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