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 FA Premiership (5); St Mary's, Southampton; Wednesday 11 September 2002; 7:45pm
   Pahars (pen:72')
 
 
Attendance: 29,190
Halftime: 0-0

Facts
Reports



Referee: Steve Bennett
 

Match Summary

Despite some growing and disturbing injury problems,  Everton started the game reasonably well, with both sides jockeying for position.

Some great attacking work should have seen Everton take the lead after 25 mins when Radzinski missed a sitter, quickly followed by a great move in which Campbell's shot was well saved by Paul Jones.

Gordon Strachan was then "sent off" after having a right bargy with the fourth official, presumably annoyed that Everton were actually giving his side a good game... 

Everton edeavoured to make and spurn chances in continuation of a worrying trend that has become a nasty habit: failure to score...   Another superb chance involved Gravesen laying it on a plate for Radzinski just before half-time but Jones saved well.

Weifeng Li showed some excellent touches and good defending.  Paul Gerrard did well and made some good saves, but Gravesen, after good work, got himself booked for persistent foul play.

The second half started as the first had finished, with Pembridge playing a central role in a move that saw Gravesen shoot strongly while Jones fumbled it away.  Alexandersson then showed the Saints his heels but it was deflected away for yet another corner.

But Southampton made some key changes before the hour mark, with Andrei Kanchelskis coming on for his debut along with scourge Pahars as the initiative seemed to pass to The Saints.  Com'on, Moyesy: Subs NOW!

Another fantastic move saw Radzinski get through again, but Campbell fired the rebound from Jones into the side netting!  Then it was Li Tie who fluffed a chance as the game started to slip away, with Pahars cleverly winning a penalty on a wonderful dive that Weir went mad over.  Pahars converted firmly and Everton were well and truly screwed.

Rooney finally came on with just 10 minutes left � 10 mins! Come on, Moyesy , get a grip!  How utterly ridiculous, with Everton tiring and all Southampton had to do was sit on their undeserved lead!

Rooney did brilliantly to create a final chance for Campbell but he failed to connect.  The 2 mins of added time were soon up and Everton had lost an eminently winnable game.

Serious questions must be asked of Moyes after his failure to make key substitutions much, much earlier in this vital game.  It's all very well in hindsight, but it was surely abundantly clear that this game needed subs at half-time or very soon thereafter � exactly the mechanism by which Southampton truly grabbed victory from the jaws of what should have been a thoroughly deserved defeat.  

Credit to Gordon Strachan for his blunt honesty: "Let's be clear, Everton deserved to win.  I'm not even sure it (Saints' winning goal) was a penalty.  Despite the win I'm down and embarrassed.  The players are saying we deserve a bit of luck and it's about time we had some but I believe you get to where you want to go with ability not luck.  We've got our first win but that performance has set us back about two weeks."


Wei Feng Li: Finally makes his senior debut


Saints v Everton:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Saints 16
 Everton 11
 Draws 8
 Premiership  
 Saints 5
 Everton 2
 Draws 3
 Last Season:

Saints 0-1 Everton 


BBC Preview

Premiership Scores
Tuesday 10 Sep
Arsenal   2-1 Man City 
Middlesbro 3-0 Sunderland
Wednesday 11 Sep
Aston Villa 2-0 Charlton 
Blackburn  2-3 Chelsea 
Fulham  3-2 Spurs
Liverpool  2-2 Brum
Man Utd 0-1 Bolton 
Newcastle  0-2 Leeds
So'ampton 1-0 Everton 
West Ham 0-1 West Brom
 


Match Facts
 Southampton (4-4-2)
 Red & white shirts, black shorts, red socks
Everton  (4-4-2)
 Blue shirts, white shirts, blue socks
  Jones
Dodd  (65' Telfer)
Lundekvam
Williams
Bridge
Fernandes
A Svensson (56' Pahars).
Marsden
Delap
Beattie ,
Ormerod (56' Kanchelskis)

Subs not used:  
Niemi, M Svensson.

Yellow Cards: Marsden (43'),
Beattie  (59'), Pahars (90')

Red Cards: �
Gerrard
Hibbert
Weir
Li Weifeng
Unsworth  (84' Rodrigo) 
Alexandersson (79' Rooney)
Gravesen
 Li Tie
Pembridge
Radzinski
Campbell

Subs not used: 
Watson, Gemmill, Linderoth

Yellow Cards: Gravesen (45'), 
Weir (72'),  Li Weifeng (90') 

Red Cards: �

Unavailable:
(Suspended:) Stubbs;

(Injured:) Ferguson, Moore, Naysmith, Pistone, Simonsen, Wright, Yobo 

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
Jonathan Martin 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 Guardian Match Report
The Independent Match Report
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report
Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Arsenal 11
2 Tottenham 10
3 Leeds 9
4 Liverpool 9
5 Chelsea 9
6 Middlesbrough 8
7 Man Utd 8
8 Fulham 7
9 Aston Villa 6
10 Charlton 6
11 Man City 6
12 Bolton 6
13 West Brom 6
14 Blackburn 5
15 Birmingham 5
16 Everton 5
17 Southampton 5
18 Sunderland 5
19 Newcastle 4
20 West Ham 1
After 11 Sep 2002


Match Preview

And so, after pretty disappointing results against Birmingham (1-1) and Man City (3-1), we move to St Mary Axe � scene of our 1-0 victory last year.

Southampton are one of only two teams yet to register a win so far this season and will be keen to not keep the fans waiting much longer.

Antti Niemi, their recent signing from Hearts (who allegedly was wanted by Ferguson at Man Utd) will battle with Paul Jones for the keepers spot.  Pahars appears fully fit after playing 80 mins for Latvia in their 0-0 draw with Sweden and will renew his very dangerous partnership with James Beattie.

Those two along, with Fernado Fabrice, are the Saints' most potent threats.

Although we have few injuries from the second set of internationals already this season, team selection is dogged by a growing injury crisis among the rest of the players at Goodison.  Wright is now not expected to be fit this month, and Simonsen has a hamstring strain.  Expect a 4-4-2 formation with Radzinski and Campbell taking the striking berths.  Unsworth or Pembridge will battle for left side of midfield � hopefully Pembo getting the nod, especially if Unsworth is needed in defence... or will we get a first glimpse of Li Weifeng?

The Reserves' 1-0 win against United a week ago should also be giving us all some more cause for optimism.  Yobo played the full 90 but, later sustained amother knock on his recovering ankle and is now very doubtful.  However, his pace would be a great asset against Pahars who will skin Weir and Unsworth if he gets a run at our defence.

Rodrigo also shone in the reserve game with all commentators mentioning that he gave Gary Neville a torrid time.  He may push for a left spot or even oust Alexandersson from the right � though that may be asking for too much!

Nick Chadwick got his first run-out but he is probably some way from a first-team outing � it will be very interesting to see whether Moyes sticks with Campbell or the very promising (and semi-forgotten) Chadwick when he is fit.

If we can hold out for the 1st half then Southampton's bad start to the season could begin to pressure them.  The Saints can also be short of pace at the back.  Last year at Goodison, Radzinski showed that he has plenty of pace to burn them away.

A 1-0 win would be enough to allow us to consider ourselves satisfied with our start to the season after the recent stumbles and that is a very possible scoreline.  Radz to score on the break, Wright to get his 2nd consecutive clean sheet and Yobo perhaps to get his first outing?

BlueForEver


Report

Was it really only 5 months ago that we were last at St Marys?

Rather than the balmy April afternoon when we saw the Blues cruise (which could be a new idea for ferry trips across the Mersey when Kings Dock is built!) to a 1-0 nil win that effectively guaranteed the 100 top-flight seasons, we had a barmy September evening when everything that could go wrong almost did!

First up, probably the strangest team we've had out in years.  A minor injury crisis saw Gerrard back in goal and no reserve goalie on the bench � five outfield players!  Not a masterstroke by Moyes, just a reminder of how fickle fate can be.  Less than a week after seeing Andrew Pettinger leave the club, we are suddenly left with only one fit keeper!

Then a back-four crisis � Stubbs suspended, Naysmith & Pistone injured (you're kidding...), which meant Unsie had to play left back and Li Wei Feng making his debut playing alongside Weir in the middle.  What odds would you have got back in April that we'd be back here with two Chinese internationals out in the middle and Chinese characters splashed across the shirt fronts.  Truly we have come a long way since the days of Walter.

The game itself: It wasn't a great game, wasn't a game to make the likes of Arsenal et al quake in their boots.  But it did show up a couple of interesting things...

Sometimes you have to make harsh decisions � and the future of Kevin Campbell at this club is one such harsh decision that someone has to make, sooner rather than later.  Everything he did was re-active � not pro-active.  When a great little ball is played to him, he has to pick himself up off his heels and move, whereas the likes of Radzinski and Rooney are already on their toes, expecting something to happen.

Everything with Campbell seems to be a surprise, like he's unaware that people actually do play little balls into space for him, that rebounds do come back off the keeper, etc. etc.  The time has come for everyone to acknowledge that his best years are behind him, that he should no longer be first choice up front, that he's really only a squad player these days.  He'll forever be remembered for keeping us in the Premiership when he arrived, for being the first black captain of this club and for all the hard work that he's done in the past.

Which leaves us with a major problem!  If the reports are true about Ferguson (and there seems to be little doubt that he will ever be even half the player he was), then we are left with a strike force that consists of Radzinski, Chadwick and the Boy Wonder.  Scarey eh?  What do we make of a summer transfer policy that didn't buy a new number 9?

The other thing about last night was Li Tie and Li Wei Feng.  Blimey � where did we dig these two from? 

Li Tie is superb: his work rate is excellent, he's always available off the ball, always looking to make space to pull opponents away, and he gets up and down the pitch as tho' he's got a bike out there! 

And, considering Li Wei Feng was making his debut at this level, he too hardly looked out of place.  OK, so he's a little na�ve at times, but that will come with more exposure.  He's also fast, athletic, uses the ball well � everything that Stubbs isn't.

OK, so Stubbs is a 100% player who would die for the club, but I believe Moyes is after much more than that.  In fact, if you're going to succeed in the Premiership these days, then you need much than just whole-hearted endeavour.  That's why the likes of West Brom and Birmingham will almost certainly soon be heading back down again.

The two Li's offer us something that we haven't had much of recently: athleticism.  If I was going to criticise them at all, it would be for the dodgy haircuts....  Someone have a word.

The game itself was tragic; we bossed it for long periods with no reward.  Gerrard had so little to do in anger, that he occasionally looked a half-decent keeper.  But at the other end, oh dear. 

You can't go away from home and miss the chances we did then complain when a dodgy penalty is given against you.  Radzinski did superbly to jink past three or four players before rounding the keeper and slotting the ball way over the bar.  Weir glanced a header inches the wrong side of the post, Campbell had half chances that he should have done better with at least one.

Then Pahars came on.  You just knew something was going to happen...  And so it was, that Weir leant on him in a one-on-one, Pahars went down like a sack of spuds and the ref (Lennie Bennett) � who had penalised Weir for almost every challenge he made � pointed to the spot.  Anyone ever seen Gerrard save a penalty?  No, nor had we. 

Finally, Moyes did what he should have done earlier and brought on Rooney and Rodrigo, and we ended up playing 3-3-4!  But it was all huff and puff, with no result.  Bitterly disappointing: 5 points from 5 games is relegation stuff.  And to cap it all, most of the other results went against us.

It's easy to say that, if we play like this, we'll win more than we lose � which is only true if you've got someone up front putting it in the net.   The transfer window can't come quickly enough... Taxi for Mr Moyes � a taxi to take him to the airport and onto the next flight to Beijing to pick up some more Li's hopefully.

Performances:

  • Gerrard: 7 - Had little to do, but did it well enough
  • Hibbert: 8 - This guy is quality.  Wouldn't mind seeing him right side of midfield
  • Weir: 8 - Class. Would have been MotM except for the penalty.
  • Li Wei Feng: 7 - An absolutely solid start.  Saturday's team will be interesting.
  • Unsworth: 6 - Distribution was poor at times - but then, what you see is what you get with him
  • Alexandersson: 5 - Back to his invisible Walter Smith days
  • Gravesen: 6 - Only started to play once we'd gone a goal down.  Great shot from distance that almost beat Jones, useless shot in the last minute when everyone was up in the box.  Sums him up.
  • Li Tie: 9 - My Man of the Match.  First time I've seen him and I'm impressed.  More of the same, please.
  • Pembridge: 8 - Solid game, again you know what to expect from him.
  • Radzinski: 7 - works hard, gets into positions, frequently misses, occasionally scores.  Tomasz, stop reading that book entitled "How to be a striker" by A Cole
  • Campbell: 5 - enough said above

Moyes: 6 - Very disappointed in him tonight � I thought he was up for making brave decisions.  He waited far too long to bring on the subs, by then the game was lost.  If we'd brought an attacking player on earlier, then we would probably have been out of sight by the time they scored.

Ref: 4 - Was it Lennie Bennett, Alan Bennett or Gordon Bennett? � the latter actually.  He made so many poor decisions that I lost track.

Jonathan Martin



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