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 FA Premiership (17); Goodison Park, Liverpool; Saturday 20 December 2003; 3:00pm
  Howey (og:33')
Rooney (71') 
Radzinski (79')
 
Attendance: 37,007
Halftime: 1-1

Facts
Reports

Ferdinand (45')
Scowcroft (57')


Referee: Philip Dowd
 

Match Summary

125 years ago today?  Well... not exactly.  But never mind.  It's back to Goodison for another critical bottom-of-the-table six-pointer, this time with the Foxes.  Steve Watson failed a fitness test and is replaced by Jamie McFadden, with Rooney and Ferguson on the bench. 

Everton started fairly well, with Kilbane and McFadden working to get an early corner, taken well by Naysmith with a defender clearing it off the line.  Campbell, Radzinski and Pistone then combined to put Leicester under real pressure.

Another great Everton corner from Naysmith was again headed off the line as Everton pushed hard.  Then a free kick taken by Stubbs was played out wide and the resulting effort from Gravesen won another corner.  A fierce Gravesen volley flew just wide of the post.

When a goal finally came for the dominant Blues, it was a very scrappy goal, set up by Unsworth's deep free-kick into the area.  Carsley was there to fire it off Walker; it hit Howey's shins and rolled into the net as an own-goal, denying Carsley the credit.   Then Campbell released Radzinski but he couldn't get it past Walker. 

Pistone, who is again featuring only rarely due to one form of injury or another, left the field on 28 mins to be replaced by Tony Hibbert.

Kilbane played a very good first half for Everton, running straight at Impey repeatedly, involved in most attacks, and really proving to the Everton fans how wrong many of them were to decry his signing back in September.

But a totally wrong free-kick decision given by Phil Dowd to Bent had the Everton players arguing long and hard.  It was predictably brought forward 10 yards to the edge of the area, taken by Scowcroft, and even more predictably set up for who else Less Ferdinand to hammer it into the roof of the net.  Unbelievable!  His 16th career goal against the Toffees, and this totally against the run of play, due to a clearly wrong refereeing decision.

Everton were fired up for the second half and came back on to chase the Foxes hard, amidst a chorus of boos for Phil Dowd...  Another corner from Naysmith, and great header from Campbell off the bar!

Leicester then mounted a strong attack with Scowcroft heading in low off a great cross from Stewart to beat Martyn, and Everton went 1-2 down.  Kilbane responded instantly, driving in a fearsome shot that Walker just tipped over the bar. 

The goal prompted the introduction of Wayne Rooney, on for McFadden.  But worryingly, nothing was going right for Everton, as the Goodison crowd expressed massive frustration with the way the match had been turned on its head.

But Rooney then did it for the blues, a great run from Radzinski, the ball put in to Campbell who set it up for the 18-year-old and he rifled home an unstoppable shot.

Then a great move from Campbell to Radzinski, the ball in to Rooney, who dragged his shot wide when confronted by Thatcher.  The three attackers were starting to click but Moyes chose to throw the dice again and Ferguson came on in place of Campbell.

It proved to be another inspired move: not one minute had gone when Ferguson got his first touch on a knock-down, placed perfectly for Radzinski, bottom left-hand corner GOAL!  Ferguson was then shown a yellow card for a subsequent foul.  Nothing changes!

More good play from Kilbane, setting up Radzinski who was scythed down by Davidson.  Leicester weren't done, though, with Martyn pulling off a vital save from Izzet, and a couple of difficult corners following.

Three minutes of stoppage time had the Goodison crowd nervously on the edge of their seats as Everton edged closer to their first back-to-back win of the season.  Walker even came forward to threaten the Everton goal but the whistle finally went and Everton had secured a very, very important win from the most difficult of circumstances. 

Fabulous stuff from the Everton players!


Radzinski: Benefited from Ferguson's introduction to hammer home the winner


Everton v Leicester:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Everton 23
 Leicester 9
 Draws 15
 Premiership  
 Everton 1
 Leicester 0
 Draws 6
 Last Time:

Everton 2-2 Leicester


Premiership Scores
Saturday 20 Dec
Birmingham P-P Middlesbro
Blackburn 0-2 Aston Villa
Bolton 1-1 Arsenal
Charlton 0-0 Newcastle
Everton 3-2 Leicester
Fulham 0-1 Chelsea
Wolves P-P Liverpool
Sunday 21 Dec
Southampton 3-0 Portsmouth
Tottenham 1-2 Man Utd
Monday 22 Dec
Man City 1-1 Leeds


Match Facts
 Everton   (4-4-2)
 Blue shirts, white shorts, blue socks
 Leicester City  (4-4-2)
Black & Cyan shirts, black shorts and socks
  Martyn
Pistone (28' Hibbert)
Stubbs {c}
Unsworth
Naysmith
McFadden (60' Rooney)
Gravesen
Carsley
Kilbane
Radzinski
Campbell (78' Ferguson)

Subs Not Used: Simonsen, Li Tie

Yellow Cards: Stubbs (45'),
Ferguson (81')

Red Cards:


Unavailable:

(On Loan:) Chadwick 
(Injured:) Watson, Weir, Wright, Yobo
Walker
Impey
Scimeca
Howey (55' Elliott)
Thatcher
Scowcroft
Izzet {c}
McKinlay (84' Dickov)
Stewart (76' Davidson)
Bent
Ferdinand

Subs Not Used: Coyne, Hignett

Yellow Cards: Scimeca (77')
Thatcher (87'), Bent (90')

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 Waring Back in the Park
Paul Traill Where's me seat?
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 40
2 Arsenal 39
3 Chelsea 39
4 Southampton 26
5 Fulham 25
6 Newcastle 25
7 Charlton 24
8 Birmingham 23
9 Liverpool 22
10 Bolton 22
11 Man City 20
12 Everton 20
13 Middlesbrough 20
14 Aston Villa 20
15 Tottenham 18
16 Blackburn 17
17 Leicester 16
18 Portsmouth 16
19 Leeds 16
20 Wolves 11
After 22 Dec 2003
 


Match Preview

Last week saw us get 3 points and a Rooney goal not much else we could look for really?  The return of Campbell appeared to add a bit more focus to the team and proves that experience is invaluable.  With the array of young talent that we have available to us, it will be ironic if it is Campbell who proves to be the most important player this season.

Our first away win of the season gives us a great chance to record our first back-to-back wins of the season.  Leicester will obviously have other thoughts and will be keen to bounce back after they lost 2-0 to Birmingham last weekend in a game which saw Ian Walker and Matt Elliott sent off.  Prior to that defeat, Leicester had taken 11 points from the previous 5 games and will not be a pushover.  They are desperate to stay out of the relegation zone and a loss to us could push them down there.

Micky Adams bought 11 players this summer which means they certainly have a decent-sized squad though the term "journey-men" could attach to a number of them.  That said, it gives him the chance to rotate the players and the return from injury of Steve Howey and Billy McKinley gives Adams a further chance to freshen-up the team.  Most teams would benefit from Howey's experience his battle with Campbell is likely to be key.

Upfront, Les Ferdinand (our nemesis so many times) will again arrive at Goodison and, whilst I could suggest that he is not the force he once was, I am frightened to do so and 4 goals this season shows he's not finished yet.

For us well, a win used to mean same again in terms of team selection, though the return to the squad of Hibbert and Yobo may mean that the surely unfit Pistone may be given a break.  Rooney also played right mid on Saturday when he came on for Watson and whether Moyes continues with that will be interesting.

It will be a scrap and if we don't compete then we could struggle but Leicester lack pace at the back.  They could play a central partnership of Howey and Elliott and assuming Campbell can keep them occupied then Radz should cause them immense problems.

I'm going for an early Christmas present with a 3-0 win and a couple of goals from Radz!

Merry Christmas

Blue4Ever

Lee Doyle

Matchday Stats

This will be the 98th meeting between Everton and Leicester City in all competitions, and the 48th at Goodison Park.  It is also the 15th meeting overall and the 8th in the Premier League.

Everton's full record against Leicester City is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

14

3

10

1

16

15

'Old' Division One

74

30

17

27

148

122

'Old' Division Two

6

3

2

2

11

11

FA Cup

2

2

0

0

6

3

Zenith Data Systems Cup

1

0

0

1

1

2

TOTALS:

97

37

29

31

182

153

Our record at Goodison Park against the Foxes is fairly comprehensive:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

7

1

6

0

9

8

'Old' Division One

37

21

8

8

99

49

'Old' Division Two

3

1

1

1

5

4

TOTALS:

47

23

15

9

113

61

The last match between the two sides was on 13 April 2002 at Goodison Park, when the score was 2-2 with goals from Nick Chadwick and Duncan Ferguson in what was David Moyes' fifth game in charge at the club.

Everton are currently enjoying a 7 game unbeaten run against Leicester with the last defeat being a 2-0 reversal at Filbert Street in August 1998, which was Walter Smith's second game in charge of the club.

There have been 8 games at Goodison Park since Leicester last won there thanks to a 2-1 victory on 14 December 1985, with Everton's goal coming from Kevin Richardson.

Everton's biggest victory was a 9-2 win on 28 November 1931, at Goodison Park, with the goals coming from William Dean (4), Tommy Johnson (2), T White (2) and A Clark.  This match was the last time that Dean would score 4 or more in a league match - he managed one more 4 goal haul in the 1932 Charity Shield against Newcastle United.

Everton's biggest defeat against Leicester was a 6-2 reversal at Filbert Street on 5 February 1927, with the biggest defeat at Goodison Park being a 3-0 reversal on 28 December 1963.  In fact, this is the only time Leicester have won by more than 1 goal at Goodison Park in the entire series!

Everton's 2-1 victory at Goodison Park in February 2001, saw Danny Cadamarteri set a new club record with his 58th appearance as a substitute for the club.

The most common margin of victory at Goodison against Leicester is shared between 2-0, 2-1 and 3-0.  The most common draw is 1-1 with Leicester's most common victory being 2-1.

Everton's record for 20 December is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

1

1

0

0

1

0

'Old' Division One

9

3

3

3

9

6

'Old' Division Two

2

1

0

1

2

2

Simod Cup

1

1

0

0

2

0

TOTALS:

13

6

3

4

14

8

It was, of course, 124 years ago on this day (20 December) that St Domingos played their first ever match under the new name of Everton, when they beat St John's 6-0 at Stanley Park.  Unfortunately for Everton historians, only the score was reported in the local press and so the names of the first Everton team and the first Everton scorers have been lost in the annals of time.

Everton and Leicester have met twice before on this date.  In 1958, Leicester managed a rare win at Goodison with a 1-0 victory in the old Division One, whilst the last meeting was also the only time Everton have played in the Premier League on this date, with Everton running out 1-0 winners in 1997 thanks to a Gary Speed goal, at Filbert Street, and I'm sure all of us wouldn't mind a similar score in this game!

Milestone's that can be reached in this game:

  • If David Weir starts, it will be his 150th start for Everton in the Premier League.
  • 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

Back in the Pack

Thought it was a strange game yesterday; one of those 'great for the neutrals' games that has committed fans losing their voice, temper and mind in equal quantities whilst keeping one eye on a clock that moves in 'bullet time'.  Rather than joy at another three points, it was one of those games where the relief at the end is because we didn't lose a game that was well on the way to being lost.  A game where the substitutions were inspired rather than puzzling, where the refereeing was consistent in its inconsistency, and where a few unlikely heroes were thrown up.

The side was largely unchanged from Portsmouth last week, McFadden in for Steve Watson, who obviously failed the late fitness test he was seen taking on Sky TV at lunchtime. 

We started brightly, and had a lot of possession without looking particularly dangerous.  Leicester soaked up the pressure and looked to threaten on the break with Bent and the inevitable Les Ferdinand looking strong up front.  The pitch was damp, causing a lot of slippage for a number of players and no doubt contributing to Pistone's early departure, to be replaced by Hibbert.  A shame, as Sandro had appeared lively up till then.  No doubt that's the last we'll see of him for a couple of months.

Just when it looked like the game was settling into a pre-Christmas stalemate, we took the lead through Carsley, who burst through into the area and was taken out by a Leicester defender just as he was about to shoot.  The cry went up for the cast-iron penalty except that Carsley wasn't interested, stuck a leg out at the loose ball and toe-ended it past Walker. 

1-0, and so it stayed up to the stroke of half time, when the referee decided to even things up a bit.  Stubbs and Bent(?) were tussling for the ball about 10 yards outside the penalty area directly beneath us when, to my mind, Stubbs was clearly fouled.  Free kick to Everton, ball upfield, half-time?  Err, no.  Free kick to Leicester, Stubbs booked for dissent, ball moved forward 10 yards, tap to Ferdinand who rocketed an (admittedly superb) shot into the roof of the net. 

Half-time, 1-1, furious team and crowd.  Looked as though it could turn nasty for a minute, but the break allowed nerves and tempers to settle.

Except it didn't.  This seemed to act as a body blow for us, and the second half started with Leicester well on top.  It came as no surprise when they eventually scored again, slack marking in the defence allowing Jamie Scowcroft the stoop and head a low cross into the Everton net.  From then on there only looked to be one winner, and it wasn't going to be us.

So time to send for The Boy.  With half an hour to go, Rooney came on for the ineffective McFadden and the game began to turn around.  We suddenly started to get a bit more space on the flanks and get balls into the box.  It was from one such foray that the ball pinballed around the Leicester area, before it found its way out to Rooney lurking on the edge of the box.  A measured drive through a ruck of bodies, and we were level.  Rooney set off on a celebratory run that ended in front of the dugout a point being made to management, perhaps?

Now the pendulum swung back our way again, although another spark was needed to get the third goal.  Campbell was withdrawn for Ferguson, who was greeted like a prodigal son by the bulk of the crowd.  I have to admit I sat on my hands at this stage disappointed to hear the reaction for a man who, in the eyes of some, can do no wrong even while he is bleeding the club dry and sowing dissent in the ranks. 

So what does the bugger do but go and set up the winner?  There is no doubt when he came on he had an immediate impact, and created panic in the Leicester back four that Campbell had failed to do, and so it was that he won the header in the box that fell to Radzinski, who placed a bobbling ball just beyond the reach of Walker.  3-2, cue frenzy on the pitch.  Rad almost needed treatment for concussion when he emerged from beneath a pile of players, but now we were in the box seat.

So what do we do when we've come back to lead from 2-1 down and are cruising?  That's right, we take our foot off the pedal, sit back and let the opposition come at us.  So cue a final ten minutes of heavy Leicester pressure, a series of corners which we defended with eleven men, a crucial save from Martyn and a whole series of heart murmurs in the crowd.  We had a few breaks as Leicester pushed forward but, apart from a Rad shot that went over as he was tackled from behind (decent penalty shout), we failed to add to our lead even though their net was invitingly empty as Walker drifted forward for the corners.

Eventually the final whistle came, but the cheers were full of relief rather than unconfined joy.  We'd ground this result out against a fairly ordinary Leicester team, we'd regained the habit of coming from behind to win, and we'd become a mid-table team again.  All good signs and a win is a win but Christ, they make you suffer for them.

Individual performances:

  • Martyn - good game, one excellent save at a crucial stage in the game and couldn't be faulted for their goals.  Still a tendency to punch rather than catch, but otherwise inspires confidence.
  • Pistone - doing well until he came off, a shame to see him break down again.
  • Hibbert - took over well, inconsistent crossing of the ball but solid defensively and always available.  Fitness looked fine, should be back next week.
  • Stubbs - another solid game, generally kept Leicester's big two quiet.  Good partnership and understanding with...
  • Unsworth - back in his natural position, and playing well.  He is a credit to this Club, and should be rewarded with another contract that has the words 'Centre' and 'Back' and 'Only' printed prominent.
  • Naysmith - not at the races today unfortunately.  Poor game, struggled to keep his balance and his concentration looked awry.
  • McFadden - See Naysmith.  Made absolutely no impression on the game.  All a bit much for James at the moment, and the right side is not his position at all. 
  • Carsley - popped up with a goal at a crucial time but made little impact otherwise.
  • Gravesen - typical Tommy.  Was at the heart of everything that came through our midfield, but also responsible for some thoughtless passes in dangerous areas.  Look out for his 'triple stepover with pike' on Soccer AM's showboat next week.
  • Kilbane - my man of the match.  Always available, made some surging runs and never stopped all game.  Had to cover for the ineffective Naysmith as well.  This lad isn't the prettiest, but hasn't let us down yet.
  • Campbell - played his part, but won very few headers up front and didn't worry the Leicester defence overmuch.  The heart is as big as ever, but the legs are going.
  • Radzinski - ran his socks off all game, took his goal well.  Close call between him and Kilbane for MoM.
  • Rooney - getting back to his best, and seems to suit playing off the front two.  Think he'll be coming off the bench more often now, and his appearance definitely changed the game completely.
  • Ferguson - (sigh).  Whatever I think about him personally, his introduction directly led to the third goal.  Worried the defence more in ten minutes than Kevin had done in 80.  Despite his ageing legs, won the race to the showers at a canter.

So overall, another gutsy performance, another win from behind, and with two wins on the bounce we're back in the pack.  But with a tough Christmas programme, we needed to be.  Roll on February.

Paul Waring

Where's me seat? 
Who scored that? 
Who's on the bench?

I had a potential nightmare going to the game today.  I was supposed to be on the 9.27 direct to Liverpool Lime Street, but was told at about 8.57 that a lad I was bringing along couldn't make that, and would have to be on the next one.  It put a bit of a spanner in the works because my tickets were siting there in an envelope at my mum's home in the Wirral. 

So, I was on the 10.27 and wasn't in Liverpool until about midday, and by then, would have been a bit of a ball-ache to hike back to Wirral and get my tickets, which was at the point I realised my mate was coming the game as well from Wirral.  Result! he picked up the tickets, and I was at The Sportsman's (at least it used to be called that) for about 12:30pm.  Too much time to sink too many beers.  Normally not a problem but when the beers Becks and its on tap it just flows and it certainly did.

Met everyone else in the pub and as per usual left it too late to get in to the game, and as per usual missed the Z Cars, and as per usual couldn't find my seat.

I was in the Lower Bullens for this one which I haven't done for a while, and was right at the very back.  Row O.  Don't really know how that wasn't deemed to be obstructed view, but nevertheless, finally sat down, just as Everton kicked off.

Scanned through the team, and slowly realised there was no Rooney, which was what all the talk was about in the pub, McFadden on instead.  I was surprised by that, unlike everyone else, but I just stick to the philosophy that Moyes knows best.

We started well and pressed Leicester quite hard early on, Stubbs having a half volley cleared off the line, and Everton were looking quite likely to score.  We seemed to have a load of corners, but we don't do that scoring from corners thing that other teams do so that was to no avail; however, we did finally score from a set-piece.

Woeful defending by Leicester City, and the ball bounced a few times, Gravesen chased it all the way and it popped in back off a him....  Oh how wrong I was!  It was not even Gravesen for a kick off but that's a forgivable mistake surely! and then Simo next to me claimed it was an own goal, at least that's what he thought from the TV screen.  But so what?  We scored, and a thoroughly deserved lead a the time.  We kept on pressing after that for a second goal, but it never came, although I couldn't remember Leicester having an attack really, and I don't remember Martyn having to make a save either.

Until..... Satan.  A dubious free kick.  Nobody seemed to think it was, and I really didn't know thanks to a big metal guider strategically placed right in front of that position, hence completely eliminating my view.  Stubbs didn't' think so (quite clearly) and got booked for letting the ref know about it, and the ball got moved forward 10 yards.  Crap. "I MINUTE OF STOPPAGE TIME" got reverberated around the ground, and Satan teed it up.  It was like that old Cantona ad: "Au reviour", bang, goal.  Brilliant goal, and everyone's hearts sank, including the players at the time.  A swift attack followed but the demoralizing big boot up field was followed by the half-time whistle.  Gutting stuff just before the break in a game which Leicester where never really in, in the first place.

Half time resulted in a lot of murmurings around the ground, and then the realisation that nobody else had actually scored in the Premiership, and the RS game had been postponed (there best possible result).  But it got worse in the second half.  One of their players, haven't the foggiest who, was given a lot of space on our right.  Whipped in a cross which everyone missed and fell to one of their players who was given a lot of space on our left (I haven't the foggiest who), who stooped and connected well with the bouncing ball and into the net.  Queue Leicester fans to go wild and Goodison to go very, very quite.  I even made the rarity of trying to start off a chant too no avail, so out of options, what do we do?

Send on God.  On he came and the game changed, it really was that simple.  The whole team played better, and as a result the crowd livened up, and as a result, the goal came.  Great work by Radzinski.  Even better work by Super Kev, and a Shearer-esque finish from Rooney, which is starting to become his trademark, and we were level.  Nothing more Satan could do, and we looked like we could win again.  And we did.

SuperKev off and Big Dunc on.  I honestly couldn't believe it.  Bear in mind I had missed the teamsheet so was clueless as to who was on the bench, and was astonished yet glad to see him back.  As with the balls that had gone up there previously, I was thinking we could do with him on, but had simply ruled it out as a non-starter.  My opinion on the matter is that for all the time he's been out injured we've been paying his wages and he's been doing nothing for us, and now he's finally fit, it seems silly to be leaving him out.  So what does he go and do straight away?  Makes a goal.  Brilliant little flick (and I had a pretty good angle on it) and Radzinski finished well and bravely.  Great stuff.

Leicester weren't finished though and Martyn's save in injury time was a crucial one, but I think Everton, and Unsworth in particular, defended the onslaught very well.

In conclusion, I was very relieved to hear the full-time whistle because we didn't play all that well to be fair, but we battled hard and never gave up.  Credit to Leicester and their supporters though.  They were in good voice, and Leicester didn't give us much time on the ball, but we pulled through well.  3 points, I've only just found out we are now 11th due to plenty of drinking after the game last night, and into the wee hours of the morning celebrating my mates 21st.  Get in.  Bring on Man U!

  • Martyn:  Done his job.  Nothing spectacular but the defence seem much happier when he's there than they do with Wright, Simo or Gerrard.  Crucial save at the end. 7
  • Naysmith:  Not normally his biggest fan, but thought he did alright today.  Caused a lot of problems for them with his corners all day. 7
  • Stubbs: Looking back on "Goals On Sunday" on Sky TV today, it looked to me like he was tugging on Ferdinand for the goal and was silly with his dissent. But we won, and otherwise he was solid, so we'll let him off. 7
  • Unsworth: Had an excellent game and won a lot of tackles.  So much better at centre back than left back. Give him a contract. 8
  • Pistone: What shall we do wih him? I read on the Everton website he wants a knew contract, but do no see the point, and would no be happy if they gave him one. Particularly after the way Everton have treated Unsworth. looked good and then, again, hobbled off injured. 6
  • Kilbane: Excellent. I like him. You can't really ask for much more from him I don't think, and he's using his head well also. My man of the match today. 8
  • Gravesen: I thought he had a big influence on the game. As always blew hot and cold, but have certainly seen him have worse games than this. 7
  • Carsley: Done OK. Made the goal himself really and works his bollox off. Moyes seems to like him and lets face it, he's no worse than Linderoth, Li Tie or Gemmill. 7 McFadden: Not a good game at all. Largely anonymous and he was perhaps relieved to be taken off. Was never in it. 5
  • Campbell: Unlucky with that header onto the crossbar, and lead the line well. He could do with a goal though. 7 Radzinski: I love him. Full of running and got the goal he deserved, and had a hand in the second one. Excellent. 8
  • Hibbert: Gor his head down and got on with his job. Yes, his distribution is poor, but you can't ask for more than that for a young right back off the bench. Solid. 7 Rooney: Made things happen straight away, and got his goal. Delighted for him and just what he needs right now. 7
  • Ferguson: Done exactly what was asked of him. Leicester really did panic when him and Rooney came on. Though he was unlucky to get booked though. More through his name than anything else I think. Excellent defensive header at the end as well. 7

Happy Christmas!

Paul Traill



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