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 FA Premiership (11); Upton Park, London; Sunday 27 October 2002; 4:05pm
   
 
 
Attendance: 34,117
Halftime: 0-0

Facts
Reports
Carsley (70')


Referee: A Wiley
 

Match Summary

With David Weir suspended and Tommy Gravesen suffering from a swollen knee, David Moyes was forced to make a couple of changes to the winning line-up that performed so well against Arsenal.  Wayne Rooney was, of course, on the bench.

The first half proved to be a cagey affair but ended in stalemate despite Everton really looking very good in the last 5 mins as they pushed hard for the opening goal. 

The Everton defence performed very solidly throughout the first half, effectively stifling anything and everything that an enthusiastic West Ham could conjour up, with Di Canio the obvious danger man.  

As ever, with more luck to supplement their obvious desire and impressive workrate, Everton would have gone in two or even three ahead, based on half-chances or better that should have been converted.  Campbell got on the end of an excellent ball after 25 mins but James had anticipated well to block a certain goal.

Then Carsley had a great chance to set up someone but chose to head weakly at the near post.  Just before half-time, the best chance of all fell to Li Tie, who pushed into the area beating the offside trap and drawing James off his line.  James fumbled and Li Tie got past him but should have done a lot better despite the impossibly narrow angle that ultimately defeated him. 

Were West Ham suitably softened up sufficiently for the young wonderkid to make an early second-half appearance? 

It turned out that West Ham were quicker to start, giving Everton a bit of a scare, but the defence once again held firm.  Rooney appeared soon after the hour mark, and was put through on goal in a moment of raw excitement but fluffed his shot a couple of feet over with only James to beat. 

But if that was also meant as a softener, it worked.  Although it was the Everton rearguard that finally produced the killer punch.  Unsworth capitalised on a rare misplaced Di Canio pass, and played in Pembridge down the wing.  Then he lobbed in a Howitzer of a cross from the return ball, that drifted away from James and straight onto the head of a powerfully rising Lee Carsley, and the ball was in the back of the net, perfectly aimed inside the far post by the under-appreciated Irishman. 

It was no less than Everton deserved for a solid and well organised performance, with Li Tie, Yobo and Linderoth masterfully controlling the centre of the field. 

West Ham finally felt threatened with 10mins to go, and mounted a fierce onslaught but Everton's defence held firm, with Wright playing well in goal.  Three well-earned points were the reward for another excellent team performance.  This man Moyes seems to know what he is doing!


Alessandro Pistone: Fit again...  But will he be selected?


West Ham v Everton:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 West Ham 21
 Everton 16
 Draws 12
 Premiership  
 West Ham 3
 Everton 3
 Draws 3
 Last Season:

West Ham 1-0 Everton


Premiership Scores
Saturday 26 Oct
Arsenal   1-2 Blackburn
Birmingham 0-2 Man City
Chelsea 2-0 West Brom
Liverpool 2-1 Spurs
Man Utd 1-1 Aston Villa
Mid'lesbro 2-2 Leeds
Newcastle 2-1 Charlton
Sunday 27 Oct
Sotton 4-2 Fulham
West Ham 0-1 Everton
Monday 28 Oct
Bolton 0-0 Sunderland
 

Match Facts
 West Ham United (4-4-2)
 Claret & blue shirts, claret shirts, blue socks
Everton   (4-4-2)
 Blue shirts, white shirts, blue socks
  James
Repka
Carrick
Dailly
Sinclair
Defoe
Di Canio (c)
Lomas (74' Cisse)
Pearce
Minto (82' Camara)
Cole

Subs not used:  van der Gouw,
Breen, Winterburn

Yellow Cards: �

Red Cards: �

Wright
Hibbert
Stubbs
Yobo
Unsworth
Carsley
Linderoth
Li Tie (90' Pistone)
Pembridge
Campbell (c)
Radzinski (63' Rooney)

Subs not used: 
Gerrard, Alexandersson, Naysmith

Yellow Cards:

Red Cards: �


Unavailable:

(Suspended:) Weir
(Injured:) Ferguson, Gravesen. Rodrigo

 
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 Carsley Header Seals All 3 Points
Julian Cashen What a difference 6 months make!
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
The Times Match Report
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report
 
Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Liverpool 27
2 Arsenal 23
3 Chelsea 19
4 Man Utd 19
5 Tottenham 19
6 Middlesbrough 18
7 Blackburn 18
8 Everton 17
9 Newcastle 16
10 Southampton 16
11 Fulham 15
12 Leeds 14
13 Birmingham 12
14 Aston Villa 11
15 West Ham 11
16 Man City 11
17 Charlton 10
18 West Brom 10
19 Sunderland 9
20 Bolton 8

After 28 Oct 2002



Match Preview

After the euphoria of the THAT goal � and THAT performance � we now need to refocus ourselves on a very winnable game against West Ham.

In the past, we have had good results against the better sides that we have then wasted by losing against weaker opposition the next week.  Two years ago we beat Chelsea and then Arsenal in back-to-back home games before losing 2-0 to Sunderland and then 5-0 to the soon-to-be-relegated Man City and spent the rest of the season struggling.  Three years ago a 1-0 win at Anfield was followed by a depressing 1-1 draw at home to Coventry.

However, you have to believe that Moyes is unlikely to let complacency slide in; Alan Irvine has already come out and warned the players that a lack of focus could easily see us trip up.

Upton Park � the scene of young Hibbert's debut 2 years ago in a 2-0 win � has been one of our happier hunting grounds and West Ham on the whole have often been on the end of our better performances over the last few years: a 6-0 home win and 4-0 away win being the highlights.  Overall, in the last 5 seasons, Everton have taken 20 points from the 30 on offer.

We go to West Ham also nearly fully equipped; only Ferguson and Rodrigo are unavailable through injury and Weir through his suspension due to his sending off at Old Trafford.  Pistone and Watson both played in the reserves 2-2 draw at West Brom on Monday, alongside Stubbs who is likely to replace Weir.

Chadwick also continued his comeback with his third goal in 4 reserve games and he must be surely pushing for a place on the bench.  Apart than Stubbs for Weir and maybe Chadwick on the bench, I would be surprised to see any more drastic changes to the starting 11 or the benched 5.

West Ham reported only Kanout� unavailable for their game against Fulham on Wednesday night (he is also unlikely to be available on Sunday).  Despite this, their 1-0 win (last minute Di Canio penalty), added to their 1-0 away win at the Stadium of Light last Saturday, means that they will be very confident going in to Sunday's game.  Nonetheless, the Hammers are yet to win at home this season and are still only 14th in the table; if we can start well then the pressures on them may begin to mount.

Yobo will have a very different proposition to cope with in Di Canio than those he has faced so far... but if Di Canio doesn't want to know or if Yobo can effectively shackle him (which I truly believe that he can) then West Ham are half a team.  Joe Cole will inevitably show moments of brilliance; Trevor Sinclair had a good World Cup and Jermaine Defoe is an excellent player...  But, this year, West Ham seem rather fragile in the centre of midfield and their defence will be very stretched by the excellent Radzinski and rejuvenated Campbell � who's record against West Ham is phenomenal!

Three points is distinctly possible though West Ham won't roll over. 2-1 to the Blues though maybe we won't have to wait quite so long this time - and maybe Blue Bill will get to see the winner!

BlueForEver



Carsley header seals all three points

Lee Carsley was the unlikely hero as Everton ground out a precious 1-0 victory at Upton Park in a scrappy affair that was affected by very high winds.  The Irish international powered a far-post header past David James from David Unsworth's cross with 20 minutes to go, rewarding the Blues' superiority and earning David Moyes his second successive victory.

The conditions appeared to have an overwhelmingly negative effect on the proceedings as both sides struggled to find any cohesion or carry an attacking threat.  Indeed, it took 26 minutes for the first real chance to arrive, Kevin Campbell latching onto Carsley's well-weighted through-ball but his effort was well saved by the advancing James to maintain the deadlock.

Both sides then tested the respective goalkeepers in the wind with long-range efforts but both Scott Minto for the home side and Tony Hibbert for the visitors saw well-struck efforts smothered.

As an uneventful first half wound down, West Ham finally began to create chances, two for Defoe that were dealt with well by Richard Wright.

After the break, it was Everton who emerged from the dressing room with the greater purpose.  Tomasz Radzinski had a chance within seconds of the restart and Mark Pembridge hit a tame free kick from 35 yards before Kevin Campbell header inches over the bar from another free kick, this time getting pummelled by James and spending a few minutes down getting treatment for a knock to the head.  At the other end, Ian Pearce headed a Paolo Di Canio corner into the side-netting.

The hour mark signalled the inevitable arrival of Wayne Rooney and his chance for more glory came just five minutes later, Campbell threading a lovely pass through the defence for the youngster to chase but, under the attention of two defenders, he scooped his shot narrowly over from 12 yards out.

Five minutes after that, though, came the decisive moment.  Unsworth played a one-two with the industrious Mark Pembridge on the left before lifting a high, outswinging cross that Carsley buried into the net between James and the far post to make it 1-0.  It took Glenn Roeder's side a full ten minutes to recover, but the final ten were a little nervy for Moyes whose side did just enough to hold on against a woeful home attack.

First Joe Cole battled his way through a crowd of players and opened up for a shot that Wright saved, then the same player met a Di Canio corner with a fierce volley that was deflected wide; then Defoe wasted a half chance by slicing high and wide from the angle.

With time ebbing away, Everton tried a quick counter-attack that very nearly paid rich dividends, but after Pembridge had found Campbell on the edge of the area with a square pass, the Blues' No. 9 fired a shot that was going wide until it deflected off Carrick and out for a corner and an opportunity to eat more seconds off the clock.

The Hammers then had two injury-time opportunities to snatch a draw � one by Defoe, a deflected effort that the 'keeper did well to adjust for, and one for Cisse, who half-volleyed weakly � but both ended up in the grateful arms of Wright.

As team performances go, it was a singularly unimpressive one but, given the conditions and the victory, Moyes will hardly be worried.  Disjointed and sloppy during the first half, his side noticeably stepped up a gear in the second 45 minutes and were rewarded with Carsley's first goal since scoring at Highbury on the final day of last season.

The partnership of Li Tie and Tobias Linderoth (in for the injured Thomas Gravesen) looked vulnerable on paper but while Li had a relatively disappointing game (despite nearly scoring at end of the first half from an impossible angle after he had beaten James to the ball and left the 'keeper stranded), Linderoth was busy and effective in the middle to balance it out.

At the back, Alan Stubbs did well enough despite not inspiring much confidence at times, but Joseph Yobo was a solid rock alongside him, constantly frustrating the home side with brilliantly-timed interceptions and tackles.

In the end, a second away win of the campaign and three hard-fought points that move Moyes's side up to 8th in the table.  Not a bad evening's work.

Lyndon Lloyd



What a difference 6 months make

Last time I was at Upton Park (or is it the Boleyn Ground?) it was for Walter Smith's last league game in charge.  As I said in my match report at the time, Everton put on a truly desperate performance that was the final straw for most Evertonians so far as Smith's tenure was concerned.  Indeed to quote from my report: 'Supporters can only take so much and this performance was dross of the first order and a disgrace to the name and traditions of the Club we all support with such fervour.  We were spineless, passionless, clueless.' 

The difference Moyes has made in little over six months with relatively few changes in personnel has been remarkable.  I'll confess to harbouring doubts myself only a few games ago when we lost in depressingly familiar style to Aston Villa, but this result, moving us to 8th in the table, and setting the seal on a great week, really does suggest that we may finally be turning the corner which has remained tantalisingly out of reach over recent seasons.

Let's not dress this up as a great game � it certainly wasn't.  But it was the result we needed to show that the defeat of Arsenal was not a flash in the pan, that our progress is genuine.  The Arsenal result could easily have heralded just another false dawn.  Instead, defeating a poor West Ham side has breathed belief into everyone connected with the Club.  Personally I have not dared to allow myself so much cautious optimism in years.

Upton Park has historically been a happy ground for us.  The weather cast my attendance into doubt but, after being cheated out of attending the Arsenal match by my son having to attend a party, I wasn't going to miss this one and duly took my seat high up in the Doc Martens stand.  The 'Appy 'Ammers have built a smart ground (other than the grotesque plastic castle adorning the main stand) but you have to wonder whether (like Southampton) in sacrificing the compactness and intimacy of the old ground, they have lost something of the atmosphere that used to intimidate visiting sides.

As to the team selection, no real surprises other than the absence of Tommy G.  However, we now have a bench that actually looks quite strong and gives the manager options.  We are, unbelievably, on the verge of having a full squad fit!!  

To be honest, the first half was no classic in blustery conditions.  Wrighty made a decent save early on but other than that we didn't have a scare to speak of.  For us, the best chance came when a super little ball from Carsley put SuperKev in, but he opted to blast it rather than dink it over the keeper, and James spread himself well to make the save.

Then, with the half time cup of tea beckoning, we really should have taken the lead.  The ball was dinked into the box, Li Tie sprang the offside trap, and James made a complete hash of things to leave Li Tie with an open net but a very acute angle.  To be fair to the keeper, Li Tie seemed to motion to knock the ball past him with his hand, which may have distracted him.  Whatever, we were left with a great opportunity for either a brilliant finish or a pull back to The Rad in acres of space on the penalty spot.  To the accompaniment of groans from the Everton contingent and a huge sigh of relief from James, Li Tie's cross? - shot? went harmlessly across the goal and the chance was lost.

The second half saw more of the same � we were dominating without creating any clear-cut opportunities.  Boy Wonder replaced the Rad, who'd not had his most effective afternoon's work, and was quickly into the action.  Set loose by a decent through ball, he held off the three defenders converging on him but struck his shot a foot too high.  It's a mark of the expectation on the young man that everyone in the ground was surprised that he missed.

Shortly afterwards we were deservedly in the lead.  Unsie, whose last appearance for us at Upton Park represented one of the low points of his career, whipped in a great cross and there at the far post was journeyman-clogger turned goalscoring-hero Lee Carsley to bullet home a header giving the keeper no chance!!!  Yes!!!  Get in there!!!  I must confess to a nervous glance at the ref, for such was Carsley's determination that he seemed to power right through the defender, who ended up face down on the turf.  But no foul, and we're delirious!!!

And that, really, was that.  We had a couple of chances to get the second, they came on strong as you'd expect towards the end and, being Everton, hearts were in mouths; but in truth the Hammers didn't really create a worthwhile chance, and Wrighty dealt more than comfortably with everything they had to offer.

The final whistle, for once not nerve-wrackingly delayed, set the seal on a hugely satisfying performance.  There were positives all over the pitch.  Wrighty is coming in to form, and the defence looks consequently a lot more confident.  Joey Yobo is a real class act and kept Di Canio quiet for most of the game.  Tony Hibbert is really growing in to the role on the right, where there will be an interesting contest between him and Steve Watson for the regular starting role.  Midfield is not our most creative area but we are rock solid with Li Tie doing really well after looking a little out of his depth against Arsenal (according to the reports I read).  I was also pleased to see Linderoth get a chance and put in a really steady performance.

Up front though, both Radzinski and SuperKev are a revelation compared to last season.  The Rad was less effective than in recent games but Super vied with Li Tie and Yobo for man of the match.  The lumbering, heavy legged Not-So-Super of last season is completely rejuvenated, winning all the headers, looking lively and generally making a nuisance of himself.  He really deserved a goal.

As a team, we are performing, at last, at a level greater than the sum of our parts.  Credit for that goes to Moyes, who � more than anything � has completely transformed the mood of the Club.  We know he hates to lose and wants to win.  For him, 'nil satis nisi optimum', actually means something.

We now go to Leeds where we surely have our best chance of a win in many years.  Moyes, we can be sure, will have no time for stories of 'bogey' grounds and will send the team out to win the game.  How different from Smith, who seemed to go to places like Elland Road simply trying to contain the margin of defeat.  I'm not yet brave enough to predict a win; I don't think we'll lose though, and that would be progress.  Come on you Blues!

Julian Cashen



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