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 FA Premiership (3); The Valley, London; Tuesday 26 August 2003; 8:00pm
   Euell (pen:24', pen:48')
 
 
Attendance: 26,336
Halftime: 1-1

Facts
Reports
Watson (26') 
Rooney (72') 

Referee: Steve Dunn
 

Match Summary

Steve Watson passed a late fitness test, enabling David Moyes to name an unchanged side for the midweek test at The Valley.   That meant another start for Wayne Rooney, whose protection was starting to look a little thin this time around.  Gravesen was absent again as he recovers from a knee injury.

It turned out to be a lively game, with defensive errors putting Everton on the backfoot and forcing them to come form behind twice in order to gain a valuable point.  Penalties given up by Unsworth in the first half and Yobo in the second allowed Euell to psyche out Wright, sending him the wrong way each time.

But Everton responded well to the first setback, with Pembridge clipping a ball into the six-yard box where Watson, under heavy pressure, was able to loop the ball over his shoulder and over Keily from an acute angle into the net.

The response to the second penalty was longer coming, but was worth the wait for its spectacular quality.  And who else would be the exponent of this moment of skill but Wayne Rooney?  Naysmith, the much-maligned midfielder who seems to have been involved in all of our six goals so far this season, fired in an excellent cross straight at Rooney, who was threatening around the penalty spot.  A brilliant first touch allowed the youngster to pivot away from his marker and a second touch gave him more space in which to compose the coup de grace a fierce left-footed blast that lashed the ball directly into the back of the net: no messing!

Mission accomplished, Everton again seemed to back off (saving themselves for Saturday's grueling derby encounter?) and settle for the well-earned point, rather than going for the jugular.  But it was a very valuable point, and helps to reinforce the consolidation David Moyes is hell-bent on achieving this season.


Steve Watson: The latest injury casualty failed to deplete the midfield,
passing a late fitness test

Charlton v Everton:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Charlton 11
 Everton 8
 Draws 1
 Premiership  
 Charlton 2
 Everton 2
 Draws 0
 Last Season:

Charlton 2-1 Everton 



Premiership Scores
Monday 25 Aug
Blackburn 2-3 Man City
Tuesday 26 Aug
Charlton 2-2 Everton
Leeds 0-0 Southampton
Leicester 0-0 Middlesbro
Portsmouth 4-0 Bolton
Wednesday 27 Aug
Arsenal 2-0 Aston Villa
Liverpool 0-0 Tottenham
Man United 1-0 Wolves
 


Match Facts
 Charlton Athletic  (4-4-2)
 Red & white shirts, white shorts, white socks
Everton   (4-4-2)
 Blue shirts, blue shorts, blue socks
  Kiely
Kishishev (77' Stuart)
Fish
Parker
Holland
Euell
Jensen
Hreidarsson
Bartlett (76' Cole)
Young
Fortune.

Subs not used: Royce,
Powell, Johansson

Yellow Cards:  Jensen (69')

Red Cards:
Wright
Pistone
Unsworth
Yobo
Stubbs
Watson
Linderoth
Pembridge
Naysmith
Rooney
Radzinski

Subs not used: Simonsen,
Weir, Hibbert, Li Tie, Chadwick

Yellow Cards: Unsworth (23'),
Rooney (83')

Red Cards:


Unavailable:

(Suspended:) Ferguson.
(Injured:) Campbell, Carsley,
 Gravesen, Gemmill
 
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
Andy W Match Comments
Julian Cashen Match Report
Featured Media Reports
Electronic Telegraph Match Report
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report
Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Arsenal 9
2 Man Utd 9
3 Portsmouth 7
4 Man City 7
5 Chelsea 6
6 Blackburn 4
7 Everton 4
7 Charlton 4
8 Birmingham 4
10 Tottenham 4
11 Southampton 3
12 Fulham 3
13 Leicester 2
13 Leeds 2
15 Liverpool 2
16 Newcastle 1
17 Aston Villa 1
18 Middlesbrough 1
19 Bolton 1
20 Wolves 0
After 27 Aug 2003


Match Preview

Given the collapse of the Davis deal and the continued failure to bring in any fresh faces a cry of "same again" is likely to ring around the Valley.  Rooney's return obviously helped to inspire an excellent first 35 minutes and a continuation of that form will be required if we are to return from Charlton with anything.

Last year's 2-1 defeat should serve as a reminder to anyone who still considers Charlton to be pushovers.  With a midfield including Scott Parker and Claus Jensen and a new strikeforce of Di Canio and Carlton Cole (rejected by Moyes) supplemented by Jason Euell, Charlton are sure to be in the top half this season.

It is at the back that Charlton can be considered vulnerable though in custodian Kiely they have an excellent all around keeper.

Its very easy to underestimate Charlton and we are going to have to battle.  Three goals from defence and midfield should have the team brimming with confidence and the pace and movement of Radzinski and Rooney is bound to keep Charlton's backline occupied.  I'd love to hear that Gravesen is fit again but the return of Linderoth to match sharpness may help offset that loss.

1-1 would be a good result although the record suggests that a draw for us at The Valley would be a very rare event.  A first Rooney goal of the season could set us up for an "interesting" derby on Saturday!

Blue4Ever

Lee Doyle



Comments

We really did play some quality, incisive football tonight but had a few dodgy moments at the back. Rooney and Radzinski conclusively CAN play together when we keep the ball on the deck. Both showed some fantastic touches tonight and Rooney's goal was just superb. His control and technique were something to behold. In fact, we even played a few quality long balls into channels. As for the penalties, the first one was down our end. Unsie did stick out a leg and Parker did go over but there was some doubt. The second one was right down the far end but looked fairly 'stick on' as Big Ron would say.

As for Charlton, Scott Parker again looked superb if niggly - like Robbie Savage but with real ability.

Overall, thought we were the better side, especially when the momentum was with us in two spells in either half. Certainly created more chances from open play as far as I can recall. Just a shame we couldn't find a winner

Ratings: 

  • Wright 6 - not much to do - think he may have flapped at one down the far end in the second half but difficult to tell
  • Pistone - 8 - thought he was superb tonight. Showed real purpose, poise and skill going forward and made some vital interceptions at the back. One bit of skill on the wing was the sort of thing only seen on the Playstation and led to a cross which Watson flicked on and Naysmith sliced wide with the goal gaping.
  • Yobo - 5 - bit of an erratic night from Joseph. Some timely interceptions and solid headers but he kept slipping, miskicking and giving the ball away, culminating in the penalty (think it was him). Frankly bizarre at times.
  • Stubbs - 5 - didn't always look comfortable with players running at him and ducked under a couple of long balls as is his wont but some of his passing was better than usual
  • Unsworth - 6 - the penalty aside (Parker well and truly saw him coming), he was solid and, again, passing was much better at times
  • Naysmith - 6 - started brightly but seemed to fade after he got clattered by Parker first half. Missed a very good chance in the second half but kept going
  • Pembridge - 7 - some really bright moments from Pembo in CM again although he did give the ball away in alarming positions a couple of times. There was one comedy (well not at the time) moment in the first half when Euell was surging through the middle and Pembo was after him, his little legs pumping away, but looking for all the world like Reidy in Mexico 86.
  • Linderoth - 7 - doesn't offer much creatively but made some good tackles, particularly one in the first half from which Radz was set away
  • Watson - 7 - gave it his all, won quite a lot of headers, got in a lot of decent positions, scored a good goal and no little skill either
  • Radzinski - 8 - ran his little legs off, unlucky not to score. A real menace with his pace, he turned optimistic long balls into real promise time and again
  • Rooney - 9 - probably not in top gear yet but some of his touches were sublime even if not everything came off for him, his vision was superb and the goal was just breathtaking.

Bring on the Reds!

Andy W


Rooney grabs deserved point

In an entertaining encounter at The Valley, two penalties almost cost the Blues dear.  However, a brilliant strike by the Boy Wonder himself rescued a point.  With a little more ambition over the final ten minutes, a first away victory of the season was there for the taking.

With a large contingent of Evertonians in good voice, there was a good atmosphere inside the ground.  Being used to the hairs on the back of your neck standing up when Z-Cars rings round Goodison, it's rather hard to take seriously a team who runs out to the strains of the Little Red Robin coming 'bob bob bobbing along'.  Anyway, team news for us was all as expected, with Steve Watson, who has become a key man for us, being declared fit and included in the starting 11.

From the start the game was end to end, and the fact is that these are two pretty evenly matched sides.  We had the early pressure, with Pembo whipping in a couple of decent corners, and Radzinski smashing one in to the side netting.  At the other end, Euell and Bartlett were proving a handful and their athletic, muscular approach seemed to trouble Yobo in particular, who lost his composure and proceeded to have a stinker.

Disaster struck when a penalty was conceded by the hapless Unsie, and well dispatched by Euell.  I was at the far end from this incident, sitting among the Charlton fans, but it looked pretty clear-cut even from that distance.  Anyway, I virtually still had my head in my hands in disappointment when I looked back at the pitch to see Steve Watson, our new goalscoring hero, from what looked like a suspiciously offside position, turning and executing a perfect delicate lob over Keiley into the net!!!  A super little goal, and absolutely deserved.

Half Time: Charlton Athletic 1 - 1 Everton

Barely had we settled into our seats than another penalty was awarded to Charlton.  Again, the dive was theatrical, but the challenge was unnecessary and there was contact a definite penalty.  Again dispatched by Euell with some confidence, sending Wrighty, who had little to do all game, the wrong way.

Despite this setback, and a few minutes of pressure which followed it, the momentum built up for the Blues.  Naysmith missed one he should have scored, as the ball flashed across the box to find him unattended at the far post.  Stubbsy had a good drive from the edge of the box deflected for a corner.  But the equaliser when it came was worth the wait.  Showing brilliant skill, Rooney seemed to control Naysmiths hard but accurate cross and turn in one movement before belting a left footer that very nearly burst the net; that's an over used expression but rarely have I seen a shot more powerfully struck.

My truncated celebration brought no abuse from the Charlton fans to be fair to them, while at the other end, the Evertonians were going mental.  With our tails up, we surely should have gone for the jugular.  But, whether through lack of confidence or tiredness, we started running the clock down and saw out an ultimately comfortable draw.

Verdict

This was my first match of the season.  As we approach Moyes's second full season in charge, the question has to be whether, with the same squad, he can manage to build on last year's progress.  On this showing, the answer is a definite 'maybe.'

At the back, Pistone was superb.  He made every tackle and was positive going forward, showing one brilliant bit of skill to beat his man.  Stubbsy was sound enough, but Yobo had a shocker.  Bustled out of his composure by the strength and aggression of Bartlett and Euell, he took to simply trying to belt the ball clear, often miskicking or misplacing it; he also lost too many headers. 

At left-back, Unsie was dependable.  That is to say, you could depend on him lumping aimless cross field balls in the general direction of Steve Watson's forehead.  It's not the done thing to question the Moyesiah's selection or tactics, but surely we'd be improved by playing Hibbert right-back and Pistone on the left...  Certainly, most of the times Charlton looked threatening were when they attacked down our left flank.

In midfield, we do miss Gravesen unlikely as it may sound!  Linderoth was solid but unspectacular, while Pembo, though a model of industry and effective in disrupting the opposition, is ineffective while we are in possession and seems frustratingly unable to pass to a Blue-shirted colleague.  Watson has come on leaps and bounds but the left-side combination of Naysmith and Unsie looks very insecure.

Up front, while Rooney will win the plaudits, Radzinski was my man of the match.  His running was absolutely tireless and his searing pace gave the Charlton rearguard no end of problems.  He and Rooney seem to be beginning to gel, though neither is what I would call a penalty-box striker.  However, they will always pose problems for any defence.

As a team, though, we have definite shortcomings, which Moyes is trying to address by the purchase of McManaman, presumably to play left side, and Barry Ferguson to supply some inspiration from the middle of the park.  If, and it's a big 'if', we sign these two players, I believe we can look forward to the season with real expectation.

Next Up - the blank-firing reds.

Without a goal from open play in three games, you'd think this was a good time to play the reds, who are under definite pressure, with the bug-eyed fool in particular under the microscope.  However, nothing would relieve that pressure better than a derby victory, and I feel they are dangerous opposition, particularly given our recent record against them.  Not only that, but I have a ticket and I seem to be an ill omen at derby games.  Still, I think we might just have too much for them up front and at the risk of putting on the evil eye, am going for a home win!! (And also regardless of the result, for Houllier to be out by Christmas).

Julian Cashen


Rooney rescues Everton

By Richard Griffiths, Electronic Telegraph

The commitment that caused Everton to concede two penalties saved them in the end when their teenage prodigy Wayne Rooney shrugged off doubts over his fitness with a goal that was as unsignalled as it was masterful.

Midfield muscle: Scott Parker and Mark Pembridge do battle For all their toil, Charlton struggled to make much impact in the final third and were frequently thwarted by the brick wall defiance of the Everton defence.

But their persistence was rewarded in the 22nd minute when a ball from Radostin Kishishev for the first time opened up some space in the Everton box. Scott Parker, an increasingly talismanic figure for Charlton, was the man to seize the opportunity, only to be brought down by David Unsworth.

Without hesitation referee Steve Dunn pointed to the spot, and without hesitation Jason Euell stepped up to send Richard Wright the wrong way.

Unforgivably, Charlton allowed Everton almost instant respite. A clever ball over the Charlton defence from Mark Pembridge was hooked into the net by Steve Watson, whose marker Hermann Hreidarsson was badly exposed by the move.

Euell, looking much happier in attack than midfield, went close with an overhead kick before the break as Charlton tried to make up for that defensive lapse. Their passing was swift and purposeful, but frequently interrupted by a stretched Everton leg.

Charlton's second goal, soon after the re-start, bore marked similarities to their first, featuring good link play, this time between Parker and Hreidarsson. Once more the flowing move was stemmed abruptly by an Everton centre back, in this case Joseph Yobo. And for good measure, Wright was sent the wrong way for a second time by Euell.

Intent on not allowing Everton another easy way back into the game, Charlton kept up the pressure, although their back four had to be alert to curb the pacy breaks of Tomasz Radzinski.

And what about his strike partner Rooney? For much of the game it looked as if he was continuing a steady if unspectacular return from injury. But the 17-year-old, who was watched last night by the England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, doesn't do steady, and he sure doesn't do unspectacular.

What he does do is make you sit up and marvel at his explosive ability to turn matches on their head, without warning. He did just that in the 71st minute when latching on to an innocuous looking cross from Gary Naysmith and turning Mark Fish with an ease that belied his build before slamming in the equaliser.

 



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