<% 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: Tottenham Hotspur v Everton, Premiership Season 2002-03
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 FA Premiership (23); White Hart Lane, London; Sunday 12 January 2003; 2:00pm
  Poyet (14') 
Keane (50', 68', 81') 
Attendance: 36,070
Halftime: 1-1

McBride (10')
Watson (58')
Radzinski (70')

Referee: Steve Dunn

Match Summary

A shock for many Evertonians was the news that Richard Wright had picked up an injury and was ruled out, giving Espen Baardsen his chance in goal for the Blues against one of his old clubs, barely a week before his one-month emergency loan contract was due to end. 

Brian McBride made his expected debut also, as he starts a three-month loan spell from MLS side Columbus Crew.  The Egyptian defender, Ibrahim Said, on loan from Al Alhy, was on the bench, along with young Leon Osman back from three months loan with Carlisle United.

With almost an entire squad missing from injuries and suspensions, this was always going to be a big challenge for David Moyes and the players whose pride took such a knock last week at Gay Meadow.

Everton started well, getting the ball forward effectively with Radzinski running well at the Spurs defence.  The early efforts were rewarded in grand style when a nice passing movement started by Yobo saw Naysmith feed the ball back to Gemmill who set up McBride, making a perfect run onto his perfect through ball, and the American was off to the races, neatly slotting home past his compatriot Kasey Keller in the Tottenham goal for a dream start to his brief Premiership career.  Another excellent pick by David Moyes! 

But at the other end, it looked sadly like the forced selection of Espen Baardsen would lead to trouble as he was clearly mentally unready for this one, fluffing a simple Stubbs backheader for an unnecessary corner and it was almost inevitable that Poyet should score, pushing the ball wide of the despairing Norwegian.

Things were therefore even after 15 minutes, and that's the they stayed until half-time as Spurs came into the game more after a shaky start, and Everton failed once again to capitalize on the psychological advantage of that early goal.  Corners were taken short, and largely wasted; promising free-kicks were poorly utilized or blasted high, wide and not so handsome.  As usual, there was no-one to command the midfield, and Unsworth didn't help, pushing the ball long on most occasions.

Fortunately, after another dreadful misjudgment, Baardsen started to handle the ball with more confidence, and the at-times desperate defending lead by Yobo to protect Baardsen would hopefully be less necessary...

But the second half turned into a goal-fest, with Spurs coming off slightly better than Everton, thanks initially to a favourable offside decision that saw Keane gain the advantage and waltz around Baardsen.

But Everton, to their credit, fought back manfully from this setback, and it was Steve Watson who slotted home the equalizer from short range after Keller had miraculously turned around a point-blank goal-bound Stubbs header.

But the ding-dong tone of the second half had been established and it was Keane again who benefited from an uncharacteristic Yobo error when the usually immaculate defender stepped forward to try and intercept a forward ball but missed it completely and once again, Robbie was off to the races, firing in with Baardsen well stranded.

Surely that was it: 3-2.  No, the attacks kept coming, with Iversen shooting fractionally wide, then Li Tie picking up the ball and advancing into the centre with determination before releasing a strong ball toward Naysmith in the D.  He saw Radzinski advancing and fired a perfect one-touch pass into the path of the advancing Pole, who launched an inch-perfect rocket that flashed between Keller's outstretched glove and his right-hand post.  All square for the third time!

Twenty minutes left.  Free-kicks, subs, wild shots... who would get the anticipated winner?  Well, with Keane on a hat-trick, the ink on the script was already drying when Stubbs misjudged a lofted ball from deep and once again it was raceday for the Irish lad, dodging past Yobo before drilling home the winner past a despairing Baardsen.

So, a fabulous achievement by Everton to finally score 3 goals in a Premiership match this season...  Now, what do we do about stopping the other lot from scoring?  Seems we've lost our defensive prowess somewhere along the way.


Brian McBride: Likely to be thrown straight into the fray at White Hart Lane

Spurs v Everton:
Prior League Games
 Tottenham 32
 Everton 13
 Draws 20
 Tottenham 6
 Everton 0
 Draws 4
 Last Season:

Tottenham 1-1 Everton 

BBC Match Preview
Electronic Telegraph

Premiership Scores
Bolton 0-0 Fulham
Chelsea 4-1 Charlton
Liverpool 1-1 Aston Villa
Man City 2-1 Leeds
Middlesbro 2-2 So'ton
Sunderland 0-0 Blackburn
West Brom 1-3 Man Utd
West Ham 2-2 Newcastle
Birmingham 0-4 Arsenal
Tottenham 4-3 Everton

Match Facts
 Tottenham Hotspur  (4-4-2)
 White shirts, dark blue shorts, white socks
Everton   (4-4-2)
 Blue shirts, white shorts, blue socks
Poyet (c)
Iversen (79' Acimovic)

Subs not used: Sullivan,
Taricco, Blondel, Gardner

Yellow Cards: Doherty (70')

Red Cards:
Yobo (86' Carsley)
Unsworth (c)
Li Tie (91' Osman)

Subs not used: Alexandersson, Pembridge, Said

Yellow Cards: Gemmill (28')

Red Cards:


(Suspended:) Gravesen, Rooney, Weir
(Injured:) Campbell, Ferguson, Gerrard, Hibbert, Linderoth, Rodrigo, Simonsen, Watson, Wright, Yobo
(On leave:) Wei Feng
(on Loan): Nyarko, Pilkington
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
Lyndon Lloyd Defensive Errors...
Links to Other Media Reports
Electronic Telegraph Match Report
BBC Sport Match Report   David Moyes
4 the Game Match Report
Sky Sports Match Report
Sporting Life Match Report
SoccerNet Match Report
The Guardian Match Report
The Independent Match Report
The Times Match Report
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report
Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Arsenal 49
2 Man Utd 44
3 Chelsea 41
4 Newcastle 39
5 Southampton 36
6 Everton 36
7 Liverpool 35
8 Tottenham 35
9 Man City 34
10 Blackburn 33
11 Middlesbrough 30
12 Leeds 30
13 Aston Villa 29
14 Charlton 29
15 Birmingham 25
16 Fulham 24
17 Bolton 20
18 Sunderland 19
19 West Ham 17
20 West Brom 16

After 12 Jan 2003

Match Preview

Almost a year ago in this same fixture, Everton were lamenting the loss of Jesper Blomqvist to injury, Duncan Ferguson played a full 90 minutes and Paul Gascoigne registered an assist when his free kick was cleared to David Weir who smashed home a wonderful volley to earn the Blues a point and keep Walter Smith's side 13th.

Things will be very different this time around.  Smith's successor, David Moyes, takes his wounded side to one of Everton's worst grounds bidding to bounce back from the humiliation suffered in the FA Cup at Gay Meadow and register a first win since mid-December.

Ferguson hasn't started a game so far this season and both Blomqvist's erratic creativity and Gazza's fleeting appearances are a distant memory.  Most striking, however, is the fact that Everton sit proudly in 5th position although for how much longer really depends on the result at White Hart Lane, where we haven't won since the Championship-winning season of 1986-87.

Moyes will be hoping that this 100th Top Flight Season that has seen the Elland Road hoodoo fall, the Toffees' dismal record against Arsenal improve, and the club register six straight wins for the first time in 15 years will bear witness to the laying to rest of the Blues' White Hart Lane ghost.

His task is complicated by suspensions, injuries and a lingering flu outbreak that have combined to rob him of his first choice line-up for the past few games.  The attack is where his biggest problems lie, with Kevin Campbell struggling with injury, Nick Chadwick about to go under the knife to solve a niggling groin injury, Ferguson still not back in full training and Wayne Rooney starting a four-match ban.  All signs point to loan star Brian McBride making an immediate debut alongside Tomasz Radzinski.

David Weir and Thomas Gravesen both serve one-match suspensions so Alan Stubbs will likely be partnered by Joseph Yobo, with Steve Watson at right back (if, Watson doesn't make it, Ibrahim Said could also be thrown straight into the mix) providing these latter two recover in time. 

Expect Li Tie to take the dominant midfield role.  David Unsworth should get the nod at left back, with Gary Naysmith on the left side of midfield although it is high time Kevin McLeod was given the opportunity to show that his sterling efforts in pre-season can be transferred to the big stage.

The rest of the midfield is anybody's guess. Scot Gemmill and Niclas Alexandersson may have done enough at Shrewsbury to earn places in the starting line-up, but Mark Pembridge and Lee Carsley's superior playing time this season may give them the edge.  A lot depends on how much Moyes wants to shake things up.

Given the events in the cup last Saturday, the number of players missing, and Everton's dismal record at Tottenham, Moyes would probably settle for a point, although that probably won't be enough to keep tabs on the pack chasing Arsenal or prevent the likes of Southampton or Liverpool pushing us further down the table should they record victories.

Defensive errors cost Moyes's men dear

Blame the White Hart Lane hoodoo or the injury curse that this season appears to have gone after our goalkeepers, if you will, but this one came down to catastrophic defensive errors that allowed Tottenham to win a game Everton certainly didn't deserve to lose after looking like the home side for long periods.  The result leaves David Moyes's side without a win since mid-December and further adrift of the pack chasing Arsenal at the top of the Premiership.

Moyes, already forced to juggle his starting line-up because of suspensions and injuries, had to make another unwanted change when Richard Wright injured his knee in the pre-match warm-up.  Espen Baardsen, drafted in on a short-term contract as cover for the injured Paul Gerrard and Steve Simonsen, was handed the jersey but he never looked comfortable on his return to White Hart Lane, which really didn't help matters.

Still, Everton took the initiative and the lead with a bright start that saw a welcome return to football played on the deck and to feet, capitalising on the speedy and elusive Tomasz Radzinski.  However, it was American debutant Brian McBride who raced onto Scot Gemmill's perfect through-pass to slide the ball past his compatriot Kasey Keller and make it 1-0.

Within three minutes, though, Tottenham were level following a needlessly-conceded corner.  Alan Stubbs, instead of clearing from the six yard box, elected to attempt a cushioned back-header that Baardsen couldn't hold and the ball squirmed over the by-line.  From the resulting corner, the ball was nodded to Poyet who headed past Baardsen with the visitors' defence in disarray.

With matters back on lever terms, Everton resumed control over possession and attempts on goal, Watson forcing a save from Keller, Radzinski blasting just over from 25 yards and Stubbs going close, first with a far-post header and then with a trademark dead-ball exocet from outside the area.

For Spurs, Anderton stung Baardsen's hands with a shot from distance before sending a dangerous free kick straight across the face of the goal.  Half-time: all square.

In the second half, Everton had the first effort on goal a fierce drive by Alessandro Pistone but it was Glenn Hoddle's side who scored first after they caught the Blues' defence napping with a ball over the top to Keane, who may have been marginally offside.  The Irishman had time to round Baardsen and slot home to make it 2-1.

It was almost 3-1 soon afterwards but Baardsen pulled off one of his few good moments by palming Simon Davis' shot wide for a corner.  At the other end, Stubbs popped up on the end of a free kick to head what looked a certain goal until Keller parried it wide.

From the corner, Steve Watson swivelled onto a loose ball on the six-yard line to smash the equaliser past Keller.  2-2 and still anyone's game.

10 minutes later, the home side were back in front.  Just a minute after curling a shot just wide of Baardsen's goal, the ex-Leeds striker was picked out by Steven Carr on the edge of the area, Yobo dived in and completely missed the ball, leaving Keane to finish with aplomb into the far corner.

3-2 was inches from being 4-2 three minutes later when Stefan Iversen found himself one-on-one with the 'keeper, but he lifted his shot wide of the goal.

Three minutes after that, it was all square again after Radzinski was put through on the left side of the area and his first-time, left-footed shot flew inside the post to make it 3-3.

The momentum should have been with Everton as the White Hart Lane crowd was silenced for a third time, but there was time for one last defensive error to gift the points to Spurs.

While Stubbs mis-judged the bounce on a ball forward from the Tottenham defence and it flew over his head, Keane had read it perfectly, and he raced toward goal, beat Yobo and slotted past Baardsen.

With the wind now completely sucked from their sails, Everton offered little more in resistance.  Late substitutions that brought Lee Carsley on for Yobo and a Leon Osman debut for Li Tie made no difference; the Blues were condemned to their fifth-successive away game without a win and, you would hope, a heavy week of defensive training.

Lyndon Lloyd

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