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 FA Premiership (27); Goodison Park, Liverpool; Saturday 28 February 2004; 3:00pm
  Radzinski (78') 
Gravesen (83') 


Attendance: 39,353
Halftime: 0-0

Facts
Reports



Referee: Matt Messias
 

Match Review

Everton won for the first time in 2004 but it took the introduction of Tomasz Radzinski midway through the second half to change the shape of the game and pave the way for a victory that was less comfortable than the scoreline suggests.

The Canadian international popped up at the near post to nod home Wayne Rooney's pin-point cross and open the scoring with 12 minutes left after Nigel Martyn had made two crucial saves from point-blank range to keep the game goalless.

Thomas Gravesen waltzed through five minutes later to bury the ball past Sorensen and seal the points, snapping Aston Villa's five-game winning streak.

Alan Stubbs was declared fit and displaced David Unsworth to the bench, where he was joined by McFadden, Radzinski, and Campbell.  Jeffers was presumably not being risked even though he was supposedly passed fit on Friday as Big Dunc wears the Captain's armband again. 

Noticeably and shamefully missing form the proceedings was a minute's silence to show respect for Tommy Egglington, who died during the week.  For the Club to decide against this simple recognition of a valuable servant's lifelong contribution is unforgivable. 

It was a fairly quiet start to the game, but there were signs from Aston Villa that they were prepared to break with pace, while Rooney showed the same determination to run at the Villains.  But Rooney wasted a distant free-kick, blasting it high, wide, and not too handsome.

Ferguson and Rooney were generally combining well in attack but the final ball was simply not happening, while Villa were building their attacks once they got possession with an ominous degree of freedom until the would encounter the stern defence of Yobo and Hibbert.

Wayne Rooney then had an opportunity to get in on goal when he appeared to control the ball with his hand but although he had his shooting foot taken from under him by a Villa defender the referee waved play on.

Halfway through the first half, Alessandro Pistone was forced off with an injury to be replaced by David Unsworth.

Half-time arrived with precious little in the way of further incident, although Nigel Martyn was forced into a crucial save just before the break, getting behind a close-range effort from Darius Vassell after another glaring error by Thomas Gravesen who was, by all accounts, having a nightmare game in the first 45 minutes.

The second half started in exciting fashion, although it was the visitors who nearly broke the deadlock when Vassell popped up again in the six-yard box but he was denied brilliantly again by a point-blank save by Martyn.

Everton also looked a little more enterprising, David Unsworth going close with a header five minutes after the break.

J Lloyd Samuel was then booked for a two-footed challenge on Gravesen but the Dane's low free kick came to nothing.

After a lengthy period of inactivity by both sides, Ferguson had a tame header saved while, at the other end, Hitzelsberger fired inches wide with Martyn beaten as Villa again threatened to score the first goal.

After 68 minutes, Steve Watson was removed in favour of Tomasz Radzinski as Moyes clearly tried to inject more attacking threat to his line-up and the Canadian international had the ball in the net with 20 minutes left but it was chalked off for offside.

As the game entered the last quarter of an hour, the Blues looked like they were beginning to turn the screw a little and although Unsworth smacked a header off the bar he was penalised for a foul on goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen.

A few minutes later though, the deadlock was broken.  Wayne Rooney made space on the right, teased Soresen off his line with a whipped ball into the area and Radzinski nipped in to head into the net to make it 1-0 with 12 minutes to go.


Radzinski heads the Blues into the lead

Villa responded with increased vigour, forcing a succession of corners that the Blues' defence couldn't get clear.  Angel had a penalty claim turned down and Lee Hendrie was booked for protesting the decision before the home side managed to finally get the ball clear and relieve some of the inevitable pressure.

Immediately, Gravesen ran with the ball from deep, exchanged passes with Radzinski, than kept going and lashed the ball emphatically past Sorensen to double Everton's lead and redeem himself for a poor all round performance.  It was his first goal of the season.

The mad Dane then produced another moment of magic, advancing into the area before delivering a teasing ball for Ferguson but the big Scot was just beaten by a Villa defender as, for once, Moyes's men used attack as the best form of defence.

Kevin Campbell came on with a minute to go to replace Duncan Ferguson but there was to be no defensive collapse this time and the final whistle soon arrived to usher in three vital points.


Duncan Ferguson: Likely to shake off a back injury and lead the line again


Everton v Aston Villa:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Everton 43
 Aston Villa 23
 Draws 22
 Premiership  
 Everton 4
 Aston Villa 4
 Draws 3
 Last Season:

Everton 2-1 Aston Villa


Premiership Scores
Saturday 28 Feb 2004
Arsenal 2-1 Charlton
Blackburn 1-1 Southampton
Everton 2-0 Aston Villa
Fulham 1-1 Man Utd
Leicester 0-0 Wolves
Man City 0-1 Chelsea
Sunday 29 Feb 2004
Leeds 2-2 Liverpool
Portsmouth 1-1 Newcastle
Wednesday 3 Mar 2004
Birmingham -v- Middlesbro
Saturday 6 Mar 2004
Birmingham -v- Bolton
 


Match Facts
 Everton   (4-4-2)
 Blue shirts, white shorts, blue socks
 Aston Villa   (4-4-2)
Claret & blue shirts, claret shorts & socks
  Martyn
Hibbert
Stubbs
Yobo
Pistone (23' Unsworth)
Gravesen
Watson (68' Radzinski)
Kilbane
Linderoth
Rooney
Ferguson {c} (89' Campbell)

Subs not used: Simonsen,
McFadden.

Yellow Cards: Unsworth (40'), Linderoth (45'), Rooney (45'), Gravesen (89')

Red Cards:


Unavailable:

(On Loan:) Clarke, O'Hanlon, Osman, Schumacher, Turner;
(Injured:) Jeffers, Li Tie
Sorensen
de la Cruz
Mellberg {c}
Samuel
Johnsen
Solano
Barry
Hendrie
Hitzlsperger
Vassell (77' Crouch)
Angel
 
Subs not used: Postma,
Ridgewell, Whittingham, Dublin.

Yellow Cards:
Samuel (51'), Hendrie (83')

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
Paul Collyer Player Ratings
Links to Other Media Reports
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
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report
Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Arsenal 67
2 Chelsea 58
3 Man Utd 58
4 Newcastle 42
5 Birmingham 42
6 Charlton 40
7 Liverpool 39
8 Aston Villa 37
9 Fulham 36
10 Tottenham 34
11 Middlesbrough 34
12 Bolton 34
13 Southampton 33
14 Everton 29
15 Blackburn 28
16 Man City 27
17 Portsmouth 24
18 Wolves 24
19 Leicester 23
20 Leeds 22
After 6 Mar 2004


Match Preview

Having registered just 26 points from as many games — the lowest points total an Everton side has amassed at this stage of a Premiership season — every game and every available point takes on enormous importance.

However, the upcoming consecutive home games will be especially crucial — the clash with Portsmouth because they are one of only four clubs below us in the table and just three points behind; and this game against Villa because it will be a measure of the players' reaction to conceding 10 goals in the last three outings resulting in just one point earned.

While Moyes's chief problem earlier in the season was his mis-firing attack, his biggest concern must now be the alarming frequency with which his side are shipping goals despite the return of Joseph Yobo from international duty.

Still without the experience of either Alan Stubbs or David Weir, both of whom are sidelined by injury (although Weir is on the comeback trail), the manager must continue to rely on either David Unsworth or Alessandro Pistone to fill the breach in central defence.  Both can be stellar on their day but shocking when they are off form which doesn't bode well for the Blues's prospects of putting a decent run together to pull clear of the drop zone.

In midfield, Tobias Linderoth was restored to the starting line-up at Southampton, and while he created the first goal for Wayne Rooney with a superb pass, he was involved in the controversial penalty incident that handed Southampton a way back into a game from which they had no right to claim anything.

Moyes will probably stick with Linderoth in the centre alongside Thomas Gravesen, with Steve Watson and Kevin Kilbane on the flanks.  And it would be surprising to see anyone other than last week's goalscorers Wayne Rooney and Duncan Ferguson up front, providing the Big Man shakes off a slight back strain he picked up at the St Mary's Stadium in last weekend's 3-3 draw.

If you extrapolate out our points tally thus far, Everton will finish with 38 points and a good deal less if our win-less form in 2004 is anything to go by.  On the plus side, our form at Goodison Park has been reasonable this season but Aston Villa make the trip up the M6 in bouyant mood having put together a wonderful run of results since languishing in the bottom three at the start of the season.

David O'Leary has shown signs that he has turned the tide at Villa Park, bringing about a David Moyes-esque revival that sees them well placed to challenge for a European spot come May.

However, while they have done well on the road in recent weeks, they don't ordinarily travel well or win that regularly at Goodison Park.  If Moyes can motivate his troops to play for the full 90 minutes the way they did in the first half at Southampton, three precious points shouldn't be a problem.

Hopefully spurred on by his brace last weekend, Wayne Rooney could be the key man for the Blues as they cry out for creative inspiration.  If he is in the mood to shine, he could provide the catalyst we need.

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Stats

This will be the 195th meeting between Everton and Aston Villa in all competitions, and the 96th at home.  This match will be the 178th meeting in league football and continue the record of the most played fixture in league football history.  This will also be the 24th meeting between the sides in the Premier League, and the 12th at Goodison Park.

Everton's full record against Aston Villa is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

23

4

7

12

16

31

Division One

154

63

36

55

257

242

FA Cup

8

3

1

4

14

15

League Cup

9

2

4

3

10

10

TOTALS:

194

72

48

74

297

298

Our record at home against Aston Villa is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

11

4

3

4

10

12

Division One

77

39

19

19

146

95

FA Cup

4

2

0

2

9

9

League Cup

3

2

0

1

6

4

TOTALS:

95

47

22

26

171

120

 The last match between the two sides was earlier this season on 25 October when we drew 0-0 at Villa Park.  The last match at Goodison Park was the 26 April last year when goals from Kevin Campbell and Wayne Rooney secured a 2-1 victory.

Everton's biggest victory at home against Aston Villa is 7-0 on 4 January 1890 when we were still at Anfield.  The biggest victory at Goodison Park is 5-0 on 31 August 1982.  Everton's heaviest defeat at home was a 4-0 reverse on 8 September 1956.

The most common victory for Everton is 2-0 which has happened 10 times in Everton's 47 victories.  Aston Villa's most common victory is 1-0, which has happened on 8 of their 26 victories.  The most common draw between the sides is 1-1, which has happened 11 times out of the 22 draws in total.

Everton's record for 28 February is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

1

0

1

0

0

0

Division One

14

11

2

1

30

15

FA Cup

2

2

0

0

10

1

Simod Cup

1

1

0

0

1

0

TOTALS:

18

14

3

1

41

16

This will be the third meeting between the two sides on this date.  The other matches were in 1964, when Everton ran out 4-2 winners in the league, and in the 1953 F.A. Cup, which saw Everton visiting Villa Park and winning 1-0.  In fact, out of the 18 matches in total, Everton have only lost one, which was away to Oldham Athletic in the 1920 league campaign.  The last Premier League match on this date was in 1998 when we secured a 0-0 draw at home to Newcastle.  This was also the first time in 13 matches that Everton failed to win a match on this date at Goodison Park.  This run of 12 consecutive winning home games on this date included a 9-1 victory over Southport in the 1931 F.A. Cup.

Milestone's that can be reached in this game:

  • If Duncan Ferguson plays any part in the match, it will be his 200th appearance for Everton in all competitions and he will become the 81st Everton player to reach that milestone.
  • If Lee Carsley starts the match, it will be his 50th start for Everton in all competitions.
  • If Everton score 3 or more goals, the third will be the 300th we have scored against Aston Villa in all competitions, and will also be the 100th league goal Everton have scored during David Moyes managerial reign.
  • If Everton score 6 goals, it will be the 50th match in which Everton have managed a six-goal haul.
  • If Wayne Rooney scores a hat-trick before the end of the season, he will be beat William Dean's record of the youngest ever Everton player to score three goals in a match.

Steve Flanagan


Player Ratings

Not the best performance but we grinded out a victory which was the important thing.

  • Martyn - Some excellent saves - looked a bit suspect on crosses in the first half. 7
  • Hibbert - Steady, did a good job. 7
  • Pistone - Injured - shame because he is so talented.
  • Unsworth - Thought he was excellent - his passing found blue shirts and heads and was committed in the tackle. 8
  • Stubbs - Looks far more confortable when alongside a pacy centre back - 7
  • Yobo - Excellent. 8
  • Gravesen - marvellous goal but couldn't pick a pass all day.
  • Linderoth - tireless. Played like a poor mans Hammann. 7
  • Kilbane - Bonus of the season for me - ran all day, some mazy runs and a couple of decent crosses. 7
  • Watson - Was unlucky to go off, solid performance. 7
  • Ferguson - Tracked back, had a weak headers saved, some nice touches and come out even in the battle with the superb Mellberg. 7
  • Rooney - Good touches but never really looked like scoring. Mainly as we had nobody good enough to pick him out. Good shout for a penalty. 7
  • Radzinski - Had a goal ruled out, scored one and made one. Changed the game. 9

Paul Collyer



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