<% 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 Sunderland, Premiership Season 2002-03
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 FA Premiership (24); Goodison Park, Liverpool; Saturday 18 January 2003; 3:00pm
  McBride (51', 57')
 
 
Attendance: 37,409
Halftime: 0-1

Facts
Reports
Kilbane (34')


Referee: Phil Dowd
 

Match Summary

A great sigh of relief was heard from all Evertonians at the news that Richard Wright was back in goal for the Blues, with Paul Gerrard on the bench.  David Weir is back from suspension and wearing the captain's armband; Gravesen is only on the bench, as is Yobo, dropped after making a key error last Sunday... 

Brian McBride gets his home debut, with Radzinski his partner up-front; Campbell only makes the bench, but Wayne Rooney who signed his new contract last night is still suspended. 

Stubbs should have scored in the first minute, a nice ball coming in from a Naysmith corner but he headed over the bar.  Five minutes later, an almost identical scenario, Stubbs heads just wide.  Stubbs got another opportunity from a free kick on the edge of the Sunderland area but he drilled it into the wall and Everton got another corner. 

Four corners in the first 8 minutes, signs of good Everton pressure, but no goals.   But Sunderland then showed signs of life, Thornton drilling one in at Wright, who had it well covered.  Another Everton attack saw Pistone launch in an excellent cross that McBride got on the end of, but Sorensen saved well.  Pistone then beat his man again and swung another great cross in but Sunderland defended it.

A brilliant move got the ball out to Pistone who sent in another brilliant corner and it was Steve Watson who got in a tremendous flying header and hit the post!  Are we ever going to score in this one???

After all the pressure, the inevitable happened, when Sunderland scored with Phillips setting up Kilbane who beat Watson to drill it past Wright.  The goal took the wind out of Everton, who started to falter, and Philips had another pop as the first half drew to a close, Wright forced to make a fantastic save to keep the damage at one.

Li Tie had looked well out of it in the first half, David Moyes taking him off and bringing on Tommy Gravesen.  But Sunderland were at it again, winning an early corner that Wright could only punch away but another superb save was required from Wright to keep out the Black Cats.

A great move then saw Gemmill escape down the right, and get the ball in to Brian McBride, whose overhead kick was luckily defected in and Everton were thankfully level.  Radzinski then missed a total open goal, the ball going off the outside of his boot and screwing wide of the post.

Another great chance with Gemmill the creator, and the ball being cleared dramatically off the line form Unsworth and it looked a lot like hand-ball.  Watson and Radzinski combined well with Radz's shot then blocked amazingly by Craddock.  And more superb pressure saw McBride finally get a second within six minutes, controlling the ball well and firing in to the bottom corner.

Everton then played out the rest of the half in a reasonable degree of control over the pesky Black Pussies, without really consolidating the clear superiority they had.  The half was not without the odd scare either, McCann laying on a good opportunity for Williams, needing another good save from Wright.

 

 


Brian McBride: Two vital goals from the Yank make
 it a dream Goodison debut


Everton v Sunderland:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Everton 43
 Sunderland 17
 Draws 10
 Premiership  
 Everton 2
 Sunderland 1
 Draws 1
 Last Season:

Everton 1-0 Sunderland


Premiership Scores
Saturday 18 Jan
Aston Villa 0-1 Tottenham
Blackburn 1-1 Brum
Charlton 1-1 Bolton
Everton 2-1 Sunderland
Leeds 0-0 West Brom
Man Utd 2-1 Chelsea
Newcastle 2-0 Man City
Southampton 0-1 Liverpool
Sunday 19 Jan
Arsenal 3-1 West Ham
Fulham 1-0 Middlesbro
Wednesday 22 Jan
Charlton 4-2 West Ham
Newcastle 1-0 Fulham
 


Match Facts
 Everton   (4-4-2)
 Blue shirts, white shirts, blue socks
 Sunderland  (4-4-2)
Red & white shirts, black shorts, red socks
  Wright
Pistone
Unsworth
Stubbs
Weir (c)
Watson
Gemmill
Li Tie (46' Gravesen)
Naysmith
Radzinski
McBride (75' Campbell)

Subs not used:
Gerrard,
Yobo, Pembridge

Yellow Cards: Gemmill (30'), Weir (84')

Red Cards:


Unavailable:

(Suspended:) Rooney
(Injured:) Ferguson, Hibbert, Linderoth, Rodrigo, Simonsen
(On leave:) Wei Feng
(On Loan): Nyarko, Pilkington
Sorensen
Williams
Babb
Thornton
McCartney
Thirlwell (65' Arca)
McCann
Kilbane
Craddock
Flo (73' Proctor)
Phillips (c)

Subs not used:
Macho,
Thome, Gray

Yellow Cards: Craddock (43'),
McCann (47'), Babb (93')

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
Richard Marland 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 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 52
2 Man Utd 47
3 Newcastle 42
4 Chelsea 41
5 Everton 39
6 Liverpool 38
7 Tottenham 38
8 Southampton 36
9 Blackburn 34
10 Man City 34
11 Leeds 31
12 Middlesbrough 30
13 Charlton 30
14 Aston Villa 29
15 Fulham 27
16 Birmingham 26
17 Bolton 21
18 Sunderland 19
19 West Brom 17
20 West Ham 17
After 19 Jan 2003


Match Preview

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Report

Suddenly the parameters and expectations have changed.  No longer are we receiving plaudits for how well we are doing; instead, people are pointing out that it was only 1 win in 9 (or whatever the figure was) [er... 10 Ed].

I suppose it was inevitable; having reached fifth place, the desire now becomes to retain, or, perhaps, even better that position.  In the light of that sort of expectation, the Sunderland game was an important game to win.  We are undoubtedly sliding; we need to arrest that slide as quickly as possible.

The team news was promising; there were doubts as to whether we would have a fit 'keeper and a fit centre forward.  Fortunately, Wright was cleared to play in goal and McBride in attack.  Other than that, the big surprise was the dropping of Yobo to the bench.

This game had a strange ebb and flow to it.  For the most part, the flow was in our direction but, at some crucial junctures, it very nearly went against us.

We started very positively.  Within the minute we had won a corner and seen Stubbs miss with a free header.  To compound the error, he did the same after 5 minutes.  Both were clear headers; both should have been on target and Stubbs knew that more than anyone.  In addition to that, Radzinski should have done better when put clear in the box but his feet seemed to get in a bit of a muddle.  Watson had hit the post with a header, and McBride drew a fine save from Sorenson.

We should have been out of sight; instead, we got a painful reminder of what can happen when you don't take your chances.  Sunderland hadn't done much more than a few pretty passing movements in midfield but, on 30 minutes, they sliced us open.  Phillips was allowed to wander through the midfield area before releasing Kilbane who just got goal-side of Watson; Kilbane's shot found the far corner.

Suddenly, our earlier composure was gone and Sunderland came damn close to getting another Wright producing a decent save to deny Phillips.  Fortunately, we managed to stutter our way to half-time without inflicting further damage on ourselves.

The second half brought a change Gravesen coming on for Li Tie.  It also brought a return to Everton domination.  For 10 to 15 minutes, we blitzed them, forcing corners and putting them under severe pressure.

It was during this period that McBride scored his brace.  First, Gemmill made a good run into the space to the side of the box.  He bided his time before dinking in a cross.  The cross was actually behind McBride but he improvised an overhead kick which he made powerful connection with but which required a big deflection to loop over Sorenson.  His second followed good work from Radzinksi, the ball was passed in to McBride on the edge of the box, he seemed to get the ball trapped under his feet a little, but this looked like a supremely skilful pullback which mesmerized the three defenders in front of him, who all fell in a heap as he managed to adjust and get in a good shot to the bottom corner.

At this time we were on fire and it seemed inevitable that we would score again.  However, it was a little too frantic; it was like we were still chasing the game.  All very entertaining, but Sunderland nearly caught us out on the break.

Realisation seemed to dawn on the pitch that we needed to be a little more circumspect.  However, we seemed to go too far the other way and sat back a little too much, inviting Sunderland onto us.

It was edgy, but not desperately so.  They did have a few sniffs but we survived and it was three very welcome points

  • Wright 7  A few near gaffes but two excellent saves.
  • Pistone 8  Excellent both defensively and attacking.
  • Unsworth 7  Did his usual unfussy job.
  • Stubbs 7  Two bad misses, but defensively sound.
  • Weir 7  His usual reliable job.
  • Watson 7  Another good performance making the right midfield berth his own.
  • Li Tie 6  A couple of good passes but not one of his better games.
  • Gemmill 8  Always looking for the pass, and very influential today.
  • Naysmith 7  His usual honest committment.  Nothing special.
  • Radzinski 8  Another very good performance that just lacked goals; where have we heard that before?
  • McBride 7  Two good goals and a very competent display.  A few times he betrayed his rustiness, but a more-than-decent performance.  Never thought I'd hear Goodison chanting "U - S - A"!!!
  • Gravesen 6  Very prominent during our purple patch not so noticeable afterwards.
  • Campbell 5  Looks a little leaden footed obviously lost a little fitness.

Team 7  A bit of an up-and-down afternoon, but we got there in the end and played some nice stuff en route.

Man of the match Gemmill; Pistone was a real contender but Gemmill was always there... looking for the ball and using it well.

Richard Marland



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