<% 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 Southampton, Premiership Season 2002-03
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 FA Premiership (28); Goodison Park, Liverpool; Saturday 22 February 2003; 12:30pm
  Radzinski (83', 93')
 
 
Attendance: 36,569
Halftime: 0-1

Facts
Reports
Beattie (33')


Referee: David Elleray
 

Radzinski rocket snatches it in injury time

The script for Everton's 4000th top flight fixture was written for Wayne Rooney but it was fitting that Tomasz Radzinski was to be the hero of the hour instead, atoning for what had been up to that point a below-par performance for both him and the rest of the starting line-up.

Rooney, playing for the first time since becoming England's youngest ever international, entered the fray with 25 minutes to go presumably with the hopes of his manager that he could bring some fresh energy to an Everton team that had been beating its head against the proverbial brick wall.  But it was Radzinski, who had already missed a gilt-edged opportunity to level matters, who rose to meet Rooney's pin-point cross in the 83rd minute to equalise and then fire home a fabulous winner with almost the last kick off the game.

Down 1-0 since James Beattie broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute after he had sprung the offside trap and lifted the ball over Richard Wright into the empty goal, David Moyes's men had put in plenty of effort but everything they threw at the Southampton defence was repelled.  Where they had had by far the better of the opening half hour but been thwarted by a succession of blocked shots, they descended for a while into a comedy of attacking errors after the Saints' goal.  That was until the introduction of first Kevin Campbell and then Wayne Rooney in the second half which put the ship back on an even keel.  The ensuing onslaught on Antti Niemi's goal eventually paid dividends.

Up until Beattie's opener, Everton had visibly been the better side but after Steve Watson (perhaps the pick of the bunch in the first half), Scot Gemmill and David Unsworth had all seen goal-bound shots ricochet off defenders in the first 25 minutes, you got the sense that it was going to be a long afternoon.  When a ball over the top caught the Blues' defence standing as Beattie's arced run kept him onside and set up his 17th Premiership goal off the season, that feeling was confirmed.

There was to be no quick response from the team beaten only once at Goodison Park so far this season; indeed, Southampton nearly doubled their advantage three minutes later when Wright completely mis-kicked a clearance that fell straight to Brett Ormerod, but he and Alan Stubbs collided on the edge of the area and the danger evaporated.  Then, Anders Svensson burst through the midfield and despatched a sliced shot that went narrowly high and wide before Gemmill and Radzinski saw half-chances go begging.

With no changes for either side at half time, Everton burst out of the gates and were appealing for a penalty within a minute of the restart when Julian Telfer blocked a Gary Naysmith cross with his hand, but referee David Elleray gave a corner instead.  Brian McBride had a tame shot from 20 yards saved while David Weir and Ormerod tangled in the opposite area but, thankfully — and credit to Elleray here — the referee waved play on.

It was at this point that the Blues began to kick it up a notch.  Radzinski used all his speed and physical presence to beat Michael Svensson to the ball in the area but, faced with a glorious chance to emulate Beattie, he underhit the lob and Niemi was able to save comfortably. 

The Canadian international then burst clear on the right flank and squared it to Naysmith whose first-time shot was palmed over brilliantly by the Saints 'keeper.  Two minutes later, McBride's diving header at the near post appeared to have been handled clear but again Elleray, officiating his last match at Goodison Park, signalled a corner from which Stubbs saw a downward header tipped over again by the acrobatic Niemi as Everton piled on the pressure.

Back down the other end as Gordon Strachan's men made a rare foray into the Everton area, Beattie met a cross with a sweet volley but Wright produced a stunning block to deny him before Weir had to head off the line from the same player to keep the score at 1-0.  Sensing the need for change, Moyes replaced the industrious but largely ineffective Li Tie with Thomas Gravesen and McBride with Kevin Campbell after 58 minutes.

The chances continued to arrive with Radzinski's snapshot at the far post somehow fisted wide by Niemi before Gemmill found Campbell with a delightful chip over the defence but, under pressure, the striker could only loft the ball over the bar.

Rooney made his expected entrance on 64 minutes but, in a move that exemplifies what a wonderfully positive manager Moyes is, it was Naysmith who gave way and not Radzinski (who usually makes way for the teenager).  And he nearly repaid his manager's faith a minute later when, with a portent of what was to come in the final minute, Radzinski cracked an angled drive off the outside of the post.  Rooney, for his part, took just three minutes to record his first effort on goal, a trademark control, manoeuvre and shot that was too close to Niemi.

Everton continued the pressure but, as their corner count approached 20, they still couldn't make the breakthrough.  Niemi was looking invincible, typified by another scrambled save off the line in the 81st minute.  A minute later, the Goodison roof came off.

Rooney, demonstrating again that he is the complete player, delivered the kind off measured, inch-perfect cross none of his teammates had been able to pull off, Radzinski rose to meet it in the middle of the goal area and headed emphatically past the 'keeper to make it 1-1.

Sensing blood, the one-way traffic continued as the Blues looked for a winner, which nearly came from Rooney but he was crowded out as he twisted and turned in the area.  Campbell nearly forced an own goal in the 86th minute but the ball rolled wide for yet another corner before Southampton embarked on their time-wasting strategy first by sending on Kevin Davies for Fernandes and then playing keep-ball down by the corner flag as 3 mins of injury time ticked by...

Then, Wright picked up the ball and quickly kicked clear, Gravesen picked up the defender's knockdown and laid the ball off to Radzinski who raced towards the area.  With just Gravesen and a host of red-and-white shirts to his left, he picked his spot and fired an unstoppable Exocet into the top right-hand corner to send Moyes, the players and the fans into bedlam.  A minute later, it was all over and three points, which had looked highly unlikely for much of this sunny February encounter, were secure.




Tomasz Radzinski: Two cracking goals in the last seven minutes

Everton v Sotton:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Everton 24
 Southampton 5
 Draws 6
 Premiership  
 Everton 7
 Southampton 1
 Draws 2
 Last Season:

Everton 2-0 Sotton


BBC Match Preview
Electronic Telegraph

Premiership Scores
Wednesday 19 Feb
Fulham 3-0 West Brom
Saturday 22 Feb
Bolton 1-1 Man Utd
Everton 2-1 Sotton
Charlton 3-0 Aston Villa
Chelsea 1-2 Blackburn
Leeds 0-3 Newcastle
Man City 1-5 Arsenal
Sunderland 1-3 Middlesbro
Sunday 23 Feb
West Brom 1-2 West Ham
Birmingham 2-1 Liverpool
Monday 24 Feb
Tottenham 1-1 Fulham
 


Match Facts
 Everton   (4-4-2; 65': 4-3-3)
 Blue shirts, white shirts, blue socks
 Southampton (4-4-2)
Red & white shirts, black shorts, red socks
  Wright
Pistone
Weir (c)
Stubbs
Unsworth
Watson
Li Tie (59' Gravesen)
Gemmill
Naysmith (65' Rooney)
Radzinski
McBride (59' Campbell)

Subs not used:
Gerrard, Yobo

Yellow Cards: —

Red Cards: —

Unavailable:

(Recovering:) Chadwick, Hibbert, Linderoth, Rodrigo
Niemi
Lundekvam
Oakley (c)
Beattie
M Svensson
A Svensson (88' Davies)
Higginbotham
Prutton
Fernandes (70' Dodd)
Telfer
Ormerod (61' Tessem)

Subs not used:
Jones, Williams

Yellow Cards: Prutton (21')

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 Last-Gasp Tomasz
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 60
2 Man Utd 55
3 Newcastle 52
4 Chelsea 48
5 Everton 48
6 Charlton 45
7 Liverpool 43
8 Tottenham 43
9 Blackburn 40
10 Southampton 39
11 Man City 38
12 Aston Villa 35
13 Middlesbrough 34
14 Leeds 34
15 Fulham 34
16 Birmingham 29
17 Bolton 26
18 West Ham 23
19 West Brom 21
20 Sunderland 19
After 25 Feb 2003


Match Preview

After a two-week break in which Rooney took the opportunity to set another massive record — the most articles written about a footballer ever in one 7-day spell — Moyes and his boys get back down to business at Goodison Park.

After an ultimately disappointing defeat down at the Valley, thanks in part to Mr Winter — bitter blaming of Ref?  Yep, but hardly unwarranted — we welcome the third surprise European contender this year: Southampton.

Just like ourselves and Charlton, their manager deserves a large degree of praise for taking an unfancied bunch of players, organising them, and instilling them with the confidence to take on the so-called elite and on occasion beat them.

However, I would suggest that, whilst Charlton and ourselves have succeeded thanks to a well-balanced team, Southampton's success is done predominantly to an excellent run of form by James Beattie.  Whilst harsh, you may still claim that if you stop Beattie you stop Southampton.

Stopping Beattie may fall to Stubbs or Yobo if Stubbs is still struggling to overcome his ankle injury.  Personally, whilst Stubbs has been outstanding, I would love to see Yobo get back in the team and be given a chance to reacquire his early-season form that was nothing short of outstanding.

In midfield, Watson should be fit again and I imagine he  will go straight back in to the side leaving Moyes having to drop one of Gravesen, Li Tie, or Gemmill.  Surely Gemmill!!

Southampton's midfield with Fernandes is extremely pretty and given time they can certainly pass the ball.  Deny them the time, put pressure on them, and you can force them back.  Svensson has little steel and, whilst Oakley will try, Gravesen has far more class.

Upfront is again ultra competitive.  Radz and McBride or Rooney and Campbell?  Can we ignore a present England international and leave Rooney on the bench?  Do we break up a partnership that has seen us win 3 games in the last 4 and scored 7 in the last 5 games?

I simply don't know — That is what Moyes gets paid for (though I don't think I could leave Rooney out anymore — just how damn good is he!!)

The nation — the World — will be watching on TV again and we have a chance to go equal on points with Chelsea again.  Europe still beckons and so must those vital 3 points!

3-1 BlueForEver

Lee Doyle


Last Gasp Tomasz earns Blues Just Desserts

For football supporters of all Clubs, games like today's come along perhaps once or twice a season and — as my mother remarked sagely after the match — it makes you feel sorry for people with no interest in football.  Here was a game with everything: trailing at half time, Everton battered away only to find a keeper on the very top of his game; we were treated to the dramatic entry of one Wayne Rooney who proceeded to provide a pinpoint cross for the first goal; and then, deep into the 93rd minute, a fabulous winner from Tomasz Radzinski, redeeming himself after numerous customary misses.  It was a moment that virtually lifted the roof off the old stadium.

In truth, the way the game started gave no hint as to the drama that was to unfold...

Line up

In my report on the Charlton game, I commented that Gravesen had made 'an unarguable case for selection'.  Obviously, Moyes knows best, but I was rather glum as I saw Gemmill and Lie Tie lining up in central midfield.  This meant, with Stubbsy recovered from the knock he took at Charlton, that the only change was the restoration of Steve Watson to the right of midfield.

First Half

Whether it was the early morning kick off, or the two-week break, we struggled to pick up the pace at all in the first half.  Southampton were no better and most of the half seemed more like a practice match, or an end-of-season affair.  It was simply lifeless.  To be fair, while creating very little by way of chances, we dominated the game, with Li Tie showing good touches in midfield.

Southampton had obviously done their homework, however; Pistone and Watson, such a barnstorming combination down the right in recent games, were unable to get in to the game in any attacking sense.  On more than one occasion, we were left very exposed at the back, with there being no protection for the defence from midfield whatever.

From one such situation, Southampton almost scored.  Li Tie gave the ball away and suddenly the defence was back-pedalling, outnumbered by attackers.  From the break down the middle, the ball was fed to Beattie in a promising position on the left but fortunately he lacked the confidence for a left-footed finish, tried to find a colleague at the far post, and the danger was cleared. 

Shortly later, disaster struck.  David Weir made a horrendous error in stepping beyond Beattie to play him offside.  Even had the rest of the back four been aware that he was about to step up and moved out with him, the fact is that Weir himself was playing Beattie on when the ball was kicked.  The result was the ball bouncing through to Beattie on the edge of the box in 15 yards of pace; he was able to keep his head and lift it over the advancing Richard Wright and just beyond a scrambling Pistone into the net.

We were undeservedly but not altogether unsurprisingly behind; moments later, it almost got much much worse as a horribly sliced clearance by Wright spun up into the air and fell to a Saints striker who was dispossessed by what looked suspiciously like an illegal last ditch challenge from Stubbsy.  Ellearay, amazingly, let it go...

So we reached half-time one goal down.  We'd had our moments, mainly involving Radzinski, but nothing that hinted at the dramatic second half we were to witness.

Second Half

Moyesey, as ever, gave his starting line-up the chance to put things right, though if he'd shaken it up a little earlier, perhaps we wouldn't have been leaving things to the last gasp.  Anyway, from the off, there was a new purpose about the side. 

We had our first real opening when Radzinski shrugged off his marker and got clear one-on-one with the keeper only to seem to be caught in two minds between shooting and lobbing, then ending up patting what amounted to little more than a back-pass into the arms of Niemi.  Then, Radzinski again, broke down the right, turned the defender in the box and teed up Gary Naysmith for a belting effort from the edge of the box bringing a brilliant one handed tip-over from the keeper.

We really were battering them, though we had one scare ourselves when a fine cross from their left found Beattie unmarked where our left back should have been.  He set himself and produced an absolutely textbook volley for which Wrighty had positioned himself brilliantly to keep out.

Fifteen minutes or so gone, and some action from the bench: SuperKev replacing McBride, who had provided plenty of perspiration but little inspiration and been well marshalled by the Saints defencep; and Gravesen replacing… Li Tie! — Gemmill somehow being chosen to stay on.  Immediately, SuperKev in particular made a difference, putting himself about with real determination.  Then five minutes later and still no goal, on comes the Boy Wonder — with just 20 minutes or so left to inspire an increasingly unlikely looking comeback.

From this point on, events, other than the goals of course, became rather a blur, as we were absolutely battering them, and carving out chance after chance.  We seemed to have around fifteen corners in the last quarter of the game, all of which were scrambled away or brilliantly dealt with by their keeper.  From one in particular, Wayne Rooney connected with a volley at full power from about six yards out only for the keeper to produce a truly unbelievable save.  When the keeper was beaten, defenders came scrambling to the rescue, and one header from Campbell seemed to hit a defender in the face before bobbling across the face of goal and being cleared from just in front of the onrushing Wayne Rooney.

Amidst the relentless bombardments, Campbell got free but lobbed just over.  Then Campbell played in Radzinski superbly and the Canadian fired a rocket which smashed the top the post — little did we know he was merely range-finding for his fabulous finalι.

Then, just when it looked like being one of those days, the goal we had threatened finally arrived.  Unsworth once again bypassed the midfield with a probing ball down the left.  A superb pinpoint cross by Rooney, and there was Radzinski with a brilliant spring, rising between two of the tallest defenders ion the Premiership to send a perfectly directed and unstoppable header into the back of the net.

The sensation of relief was palpable; but could we go on to get the winner?

We maintained our tempo in the last seven minutes and threatened on a couple of occasions, but the charmed life of the Southampton goal continued.  Two minutes of the allotted three minutes of stoppage time played, and we conceded a corner.  Saints are of course trying to run the clock down.  They get a throw in, again in our corner.  It goes into our box, a bit of pinball, Wrighty gathers and launches it upfield where Radzinski has four defenders for company.

The ball is cleared to the arriving Gravesen, he feeds Radzinski on the right still with plenty of defenders in attendance.  Radzinski sprints in to the box and absolutely hammers an unstoppable shot right into the top corner!!!!  You beauty!!!!  An absolutely fabulous strike to send the crowd delirious!!!!  Ninety-two minutes and fifty odd seconds on the clock!!!!  What a brilliant way to seal three points!!!!

A match-winning performance from Radzinski.  OK, he missed a few chances but he created problems all afternoon with his running and his pace.  The goal was brilliant and he'd been unlucky to hit the post with a dress rehearsal from the exact same spot a few minutes earlier.

Verdict

After a pretty poor first half, just about everyone did well in the second half, but the substitutes, together with Radzinski, changed the game.  It gives an interesting selection conundrum for the next game; SuperKev looked really up for it and surely the drive provided by Gravesen in midfield has to be recognised with a starting berth.

These are good dilemmas to have.  On the negative side, I think we are looking exposed on the left flank, and the reinstatement of Tony Hibbert will allow Pistone to move over to left back and give the team a better balance and more solidity defensively.

But for now we can just enjoy the warm glow of a great victory.  We've had a few good games in recent years, but its so much more pleasurable when the last gasp winner consolidates a European spot rather than grabs three precious points in a relegation dogfight.

We now have a couple more winnable fixtures before a tricky run-in but, if we can keep this spirit and determination going, we do not have to fear anyone.

Come on you Blues.

Julian Cashen



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