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 FA Premiership (20); Goodison Park, Liverpool; Wednesday 7 January 2004; 8:00pm
  Radzinski (74')
 

Attendance: 38,726
Halftime: 0-1

Facts
Reports

Kanu (29')


Referee: Alan Wiley
 

Match Summary

James McFadden is dropped for this one after failing to show he has what is really needed to beat Premiership defenders.  Gravesen is also out with a knee problem; Wayne Rooney and Li Tie are pressed into service in midfield to hopefully make up for the Dane's creativity, which may be sorely missed tonight.

Ferguson and Radzinski start in attack but Campbell and Jeffers must be odds-on to replace them at some stage as David Moyes appears to have (hopefully!) learnt a lesson from Boxing Day's abject failure of his players to carry the game to their exalted opponents.  None of that tonight, please!

The match was preceded by a silent tribute to T G Jones, the great Everton centre-half who passed away aged 86 at the weekend.  Everton then kicked off facing the Gwladys Street end after having lost the toss.  Kanu had an early pop but Martyn saved confidently.

A competitive phase of the game ensued, with the Everton defence holding their own against a sequence of Arsenal attacks, chances being few and far between.  Then Rooney won a corner, wonderfully taken by Carsley, came off Kilbane's knees and was cleared off the Arsenal line.

Naysmith then won another corner with an excellent cross that was forced behind.  By Carsley's next corner was poor — a pity given the pressure being applied.  Radzinski then got a run on goal but his shot was far too close to Lehman.  Parlour was then booked for a bad foul on Li Tie.

Ljunberg finally beat the offside trap with a perfectly weighted ball that Kanu ran onto and slotted home in classic Arsenal style, the first real chance of the game.

Everton responded reasonably well.  Kilbane, who was yet again playing out of his skin,  eventually delivering an absolutely superb gift of a ball in to Rooney, but Wayne misjudged it terribly and missed the header from four yards out — what a miss!

Kilbane was upended by Lauren, who received a yellow card for his clumsy effort, giving Everton a free-kick that was not advanced 10 yards, despite protestations from Henry.  Rooney then failed to clear the Arsenal wall with a poorly executed set-piece.

A corner in stoppage time was whipped in to the Arsenal area but Lehman did well to clear it off Ferguson's head, bringing to an end a good half from the Blues who should really have been going in on equal terms.

Linderoth replaced Li Tie for the second half after the Chinese star had been largely anonymous during the first period.  [It turned out that the injury would trouble the Chinese fella for many, may months and although he didn't leave Everton for another 18 months, this would be the last game he would play fro Everton. ] Lehmann then saved a ferocious Rooney free kick as Everton took the game to the Giunners.

Unsworth dallied, allowing Henry in but he wasted a good chance by failing to find Kanu with his center.

Jeffers replaced the injured Kilbane. and it seemed to be just a few minutes before he played a vital role in setting up the Everton wqualizer.  Jeffers shot, Lehmann parried, but Radzinski was following in at close range to fire in left footed and level the scores on 74 minutes.

Near the end, Radzinski cam off to massive applause, with Campbell on to replace him.  Then on 89 mins, a Stubbs error almost let Arsenal in but the danger was cleared.

 


David Weir: Fit again, but will he be risked?


Everton v Arsenal:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Everton 36
 Arsenal 24
 Draws 22
 Premiership  
 Everton 2
 Arsenal 5
 Draws 4
 Last Season:

Everton 2-1 Arsenal


Premiership Scores
Tuesday 6 Jan 2004
Aston Villa 2-1 Portsmouth
Wednesday 7 Jan 2004
Bolton 1-2 Man Utd
Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool
Everton 1-1 Arsenal
Man City 1-0 Charlton
Middlesbro 1-0 Fulham
Newcastle 1-0 Leeds
Southampton 0-0 Leicester
Tottenham 3-0 Birmingham
Wolves 2-1 Blackburn

Match Facts
 Everton  (4-3-3)
 Blue shirts, white shorts, blue socks
 Arsenal  (4-4-2)
Red & white shirts, white shorts, red socks
  Martyn
Hibbert
Stubbs
Unsworth
Naysmith
Rooney
Carsley
Li Tie (46' Linderoth)
Kilbane (70' Jeffers)
Ferguson
Radzinski (88' Campbell)

Subs Not Used: Simonsen,
Yobo

Yellow Cards: —

Red Cards: —


Unavailable:

(On Loan:) Chadwick, 
(Injured:) Gravesen, Nyarko, Pistone, Watson, Weir, Wright
Lehmann
Toure (20' Lauren)
Cygan
Campbell
Cole
Pires
Vieira
Parlour
Ljungberg (89' Gilberto)
Kanu (82' Edu)
Henry

Subs Not Used: Shaaba,
Aliadiare

Yellow Cards: Parlour (22'),
Lauren (45'), Ljungberg

Red Cards: —
 
Match Reports

2003-04 Match Reports Index


Everton Web Sites
ToffeeWeb Match Summary
EvertonFC.com Match Report
When Skies Are Grey Match Report
Blue Kipper Match Report
Everton Fans' Reports
Kieth Holyrod 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 Man Utd 49
2 Arsenal 46
3 Chelsea 42
4 Charlton 31
5 Liverpool 29
6 Newcastle 29
7 Fulham 28
8 Southampton 27
9 Aston Villa 27
10 Birmingham 26
11 Everton 24
12 Middlesbrough 24
13 Bolton 23
14 Man City 22
15 Blackburn 22
16 Tottenham 21
17 Leicester 19
18 Portsmouth 19
19 Leeds 17
20 Wolves 15
After 7 Jan 2004


Match Preview

The last six games have certainly seen an upturn in Everton's previously rather dire season but if we are honest Wednesday night sees us face possibly the most difficult task yet.  A flying Arsenal with the brilliant Thierry Henry visit our fair city intent on one thing — revenge for us destroying their unbeaten record last season and starting them off on a run that ultimately cost them the Premiership.

Make no mistake: they are still smarting from THAT goal — cue Henry's celebrations after scoring on the first day of the season, and last year's physical battle at Highbury.

They come with pretty much a fully fit squad — Bergkamp and Aliadere their only slight doubts.  To me though they are a four-man team, and — unfortunately for us — all four are fit and playing very well: the incomparable Henry, supported ably by Viera, Pires, and Sol Campbell.  Personally, I am not sure there are four better players in their respective positions in Europe, with the possible exception of Campbell!

But let's ignore their brilliance and look at our positives: four consecutive wins at Goodison should see our lads feeling a lot better about themselves; with a banana skin tie against Norwich now out of the way, we approach this game with little pressure — who expects us to win?  Last season's win has proven that we can do it and history has a lovely sense of humour at times — Arsenal are again yet to lose as they come to Goodison.

Injuries are again an issue for us: Duncan Ferguson (who else?) is doubtful with a bruised foot — oh come on, Big Man!!  Stubbs has a groin problem; and Gravesen, after a brilliant first 45 mins on Saturday, has a problem with his kneecap!  It's likely that Stubbs will be the only one missing, which will bring Yobo back; his mobility will certainly be an asset against Henry.

Radzinski was rested against Norwich and I'd be surprised if he doesn't get a starting berth.  McFadden is unlikely to start but it will be interesting if Moyes throws Carsley across on to the right to try to block off Pires or puts Rooney there in an attempt to force him back — his recent selections suggests he'll start with Carsley and bring Rooney on later (though an injury to Gravesen would force his hand).

It is going to be a belter and anyone who goes is in for a treat — Wednesday nights still hold a fond place in my heart and the special atmosphere of Goodison on a wintry evening should be a further boost.

I can't possibly predict another win but, with a touch of fortune, a point could be taken from this fixture — a touch of fortune or a touch of Rooney Magic... then again, the Big Man does like the top sides; time for another "legend" performance?

2-2

Blue4Ever

Lee Doyle

Matchday Stats

This will be the 179th meeting between Everton and Arsenal in all competitions, and the 90th at Goodison Park.  This will also be the 24th Premiership meeting between the sides and the 12th at Goodison Park.  This will also be the first time Everton have played a Premiership match on this date.

Everton's full record against Arsenal is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

23

3

5

15

19

43

'Old' Division One

142

49

29

64

189

220

FA Cup

3

2

0

1

10

4

League Cup

9

2

3

4

6

11

FA Charity Shield

1

0

0

1

0

3

TOTALS:

178

56

37

85

224

281

Our record at Goodison Park against Arsenal is better:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

11

2

4

5

8

13

'Old' Division One

71

34

18

19

114

86

FA Cup

2

2

0

0

7

0

League Cup

4

1

2

1

4

4

TOTALS:

89

39

24

26

133

106

The last match between the two sides was Arsenal's 2-1 victory at Highbury on the opening day of the season.  The last match at Goodison Park was last season's 2-1 victory with an equaliser from Tomasz Radzinski and THAT winning goal from Wayne Rooney.  In fact, this match was Arsenal's first defeat in the league that season and, coming into this game, Arsenal are still unbeaten this season — spooky!!

Everton's biggest victory is shared between a 6-1 win at Goodison Park in the 1985-86 season, and a 5-0 victory, again at Goodison Park, in the 1910 FA Cup.

Everton's biggest defeat against Arsenal was a 6-0 reversal at Highbury in the 1963-64 season.  The biggest defeat at Goodison Park is a 6-1 defeat in the 1958-59 season.

The most common margin of victory at Goodison against Arsenal is 1-0.  The most common draw is 1-1 with Arsenal's most common victory also being 1-0.

Everton's record for 7 January is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

'Old' Division One

8

4

1

3

17

10

FA Cup

11

7

2

2

16

12

TOTALS:

19

11

3

5

33

22

This will be the first meeting between the two sides on this date.

Milestone's that can be reached in this game:

  • If David Weir starts it will be his 150th league start for Everton.
  • If Gary Naysmith plays any part in the match, it will be his 100th appearance for Everton in all competitions.
  • If David Unsworth starts he will move into joint 28th position in the all-time League starts for Everton with Tom Fleetwood, and also into sole 26th place in the all-time starts for Everton in all competitions, leaving Jimmy Gabriel in 27th place.  If David plays any part in the match he will move into joint 20th position in the all-time League appearances for Everton with Billy Balmer, plus he will move into sole 21st place in the all-time appearances list in all competitions and leave Harry Makepeace in 22nd place.

Steve Flanagan

 

Match Report

Big crowd; what might be described as an “expectant” atmosphere.  Arsenal seemed like they filled their section.

Before the game, there was an impeccably observed minutes silence for the late T G Jones.  The roar that rose at the whistle following the end of that minute would have carried to him in blue heaven.

Game started with Everton taking the play to Arsenal.  Ferguson through the middle with Rooney wide left and Radzinski wide right.  Li Tie, Carsley and Kilbane packing the centre of midfield.  The first serious attempt came on a about 8 mins when Kanu had a drilled long-range shot from about 25 yards, well collected by Martyn high to his left.

Ferguson battled for every ball; Carsley and Kilbane were busy in midfield shutting down Viera and Co but Naysmith was given a bit of a torrid time in the first 10 mins by Ljungberg and Pires.  But almost every touch by Li Tie, in for the injured Gravesen, managed to turn attack into defence with one “pass”.  Then came a succession of fouls committed by Toure the Arsenal left back as Everton pressed for a goal.

Around the 20-minute mark, a long diagonal ball from the left into the Arsenal penalty area had their defenders back-pedalling and Ferguson looked odds on the get to it until Sol Campbell (I think) wrapped his arms round him.  Looked a clear penalty but play on.  Toure went off injured (although I think he might have just had enough of Rooney and Kilbane by then anyway) and Lauren came on to receive an almost instant booking for a nasty late foul on Kilbane — a “slower” if ever there was. 

Then Lauren started dicking about at a throw-in half way inside his own half.  The ball boy served him a ball which bounced half a yard from him, and Lauren made an attempt that would have shamed a 90-year-old to get it, another ball served up to him by the same ball boy, same comic attempt, but by this time the young lad had got the first ball back, and was nice and close to the creaking Lauren, and promptly wanged it straight into M Lauren’s nuts to a loud cheer and applause.

Everton then had a couple of corners.  The first was scrambled off the line following a far-post header, when it spun out towards the by-line but still in the box; Ljungberg and Pires(?) got in a bit of a muddle and Freddie appeared to give the ball a bit of a nudge with his fist at knee height to make sure it didn’t get away from him, but still managed to concede another corner.  From this one, another Everton player look to be held whilst attempting a header.

Everton seemed to just step off the gas a bit then, as if regrouping, and Arsenal started getting a few passes going.  I thought, might of said it out loud even, “don’t let them pass you to sleep”... too late: three or four passes around the centre of midfield and Kanu nipped in behind Stubbs and Unsie to slide the ball under Martyn.

As the players trudged upfield to place the ball on the spot, there was a sense of “right, now your having it” on the field and in the stands.  And Arsenal truly did.  Ferguson plagued Cygan and Campbell winning almost every ball in the air (and there were many) but too often Rooney and Radzinski were a little too far away from his flick headers and glances to make anything happen. 

I can’t recall much constructive from Arsenal from then on; we were giving them a battering in all quarters, and when Kilbane’s beautifully flighted cross had BOTH Rooney and Ferguson bearing in on it six yards from goal with their markers trailing, it seem odds on 1-1.  You know it wasn’t.  Wayne just appeared to get a little “tucked up” as he adjusted in mid air, and the ball bounced out for a goal kick.

The fighting spirit was exemplified by Rooney when he was beaten to a pass by Lauren who set off with the ball in the inside right channel.  Wayne picked himself up, dashed 30 yards and with a pirouetting tackle, nicked the ball from Lauren’s toes to Carsley to massive applause.

Henry had a free kick deflect of Unsie, and the whole ground sat silently as the ball span towards the corner opposite to where Martyn had dived, only for it to pass the post and go out for a corner and a sigh of relief.  Half-time and  goal down...

Linderoth predictably replaced the lamentable Li Tie, and Everton again set about Arsenal, who, almost like a boxer having been given a standing count in the last round, and not eager to rise from his stool for another beating, were slow to take the field.  It was more of the same from Everton: Ferguson was winning free kicks — yes, the Ref actually gave them — and from one of them in the inside-left position 30 yards out, Rooney hit a shot with such power that had it not been hit directly at Lehmann standing there with clenched fists (and probably clenched buttocks) to punch the ball away, would probably have ripped the net from the frame of the goal.  What a strike!

Radzinski came more into the game second half, running Cole.  When Jeffers replaced the limping Kilbane, who left the field to a standing ovation, Radzinski switched to the wide left spot with Jeffers wide right, and Rooney slotting into the centre left spot vacated by the excellent Kilbane.  Ferguson, Radzinski, Rooney and Jeffers all on the field: surely a sight that would have reduced Walter Smith to tears.  The midfield battled away, Linderoth taking the lead set by Rooney with a towering header over the sky-scraping Patrick Viera to enthusiastic applause; Carsley and Kilbane stifling any threat before it could develop with massive commitment.

It didn’t take too long for Franny to have an impact.  Ferguson challenged for a high ball on the edge of the Arsenal penalty area — couldn’t tell if he got a touch or not, but the centre halves were nowhere — and the ball arrived at the spot where Cole should have dealt with it, but let it bounce.  Jeffers whipped past him in the inside-right position and thrashed a shot across Lehmann, who made a good save, only to see Radzinski cut the ball home with an oblique glance from eight yards or so that would have graced the World Snooker Championships so clinical was it.  Bedlam, utter bedlam.  Radzinski raced over to the visiting support, ripped his shirt off and was buried by his team mates. We wondered if he had anything written on his vest — or perhaps Dunc had dragged him down to the local Tattoo Parlour for some EFC inkwork.

Anyway, Arsenal tried to rally, but Everton pushed on for the winner.  Henry played a curious game of standing in an offside position when an attack was being developed by his team mates and then trying to “run round” the retreating defenders (if that makes sense).  Well, the predictable result was that he was offside more than not; in fact, Arsenal were offside more than any team I can recall this season.  Emile would fit in nicely at Highbury.

Naysmith and Hibbo had their sides of the field under control; I think that was the best game I’ve seen Hibbo play for a long while.  Some of the passing moves put together by Everton were sublime; it was difficult to believe these were the same players who would struggle to pass water on occasions.  Confidence was high and Jeffers suckered Viera into as sweet a nutmeg as you could ever see.

Then Stubbs delivered a Gravesenesque pass along the back line for Henry (I think) to latch onto 30 yards out and race clear, with Pires in space to his left.  But he had to didn’t he?  The “Hollywood” goal; he had to try it.  And when Martyn went to ground at his feet, Henry’s one touch too many allowed, was it Unsie? to clear.  A goal then for Arsenal would have been a travesty for a game and committed Everton side who displayed no little skill in constructing their attacks.  This wasn’t a kick and rush, long-ball performance; Everton used everything that they had to take an admittedly “disappointing” Arsenal team to the very brink of defeat.

Campbell replaced Radzinski, who also left the field to another prolonged standing ovation; in fact, I think he enjoyed it so much it must have taken him 30 seconds to come off the field!  “Yes well done Tomasz, now hurry up and get off” I thought.  Campbell got into the game straight away, but we couldn’t fashion a final chance, although in the last minute, Rooney, in that spot, back to goal, turned inside with one touch to unleash a shot that, had it not been blocked, could well have replicated his last-minute winner against Arsenal last season.

Full-Time: 1-1

Although elated with the performance, everyone was disappointed with only a point to show for it, but a draw might have been a fair result.  Despite offering much threat, there were very few direct attempts on the Arsenal goal.  Defensively, we looked Ok, could have been a little better, but that’s being churlish maybe.  Midfield was excellent in a “dig in lads” way, and while the two wide men in Radz & Rooney stretched Arsenal, if they had played a little nearer to Dunc, they might have made more of his touched.  Six & two three’s I suppose. But, all in all, a very, very heartening performance.

Well done David Moyes and his lads.

Keith Holyrood



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