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 Carling League Cup (4); Riverside Stadium, Middlesbro; Wednesday 3 December 2003; 8pm
  Ricketts [1-1], Zenden [2-2],
Mills [3-2], Maccarone [4-3]
Mendieta [5-4]

Attendance: 18,568
Full time: 0-0
5 - 4

  Gravesen [0-1], Unsworth [1-2],
Osman [2-2], McFadden [3-3],
Stubbs [4-4] 

Referee: Mike Halsey

Match Summary

Despite rabid press rumours to the contrary, Wayne Rooney started this critical game up front for Everton alongside his old mate Franny Jeffers.  With Yobo and Nyarko injured, there were starting opportunities for Gary Naysmith and Li Tie, but Radzinski, Clarke and Osman were consigned to the bench.

Everton had an early chance, headed wide by Carsley after just 2 mins.  Mendieta was also not far away with an early header for Boro that drew a brilliant save from Nigel Martyn.

Everton then got a free-kick on the edge of the Boror penalty area, which Rooney took reasonably well, bending it nicely, but it flew a couple of feet over the bar.  Li Tie fluffed a good opportunity played back to him but the strike was weak.

Boro then turned it on a bit, Mendieta firing in a great shot from 20+ yards but Martyn was up to it, tipping it over with a great one-handed save.  Everton were playing miles better than against Bolton, with McFadden doing well to win a corner that Jeffers should really have done better with.  Jeffers was getting into good positions and having pops on goal, but unable to convert. 

Another good chance for Boro came just before half-time after Everton gave the ball away needlessly, but Martyn made a crucial interception to keep Everton in the game after a very lively half with both teams up for it.

Everton conceded a corner early on in the second half under pressure from Boro as the match resumed.  Jeffers got in a great glancing header after Rooney had played the ball out to Carsley for an excellent cross.  Hibbert played a lovely one-two, getting the ball back to Rooney, whose shot was turned behind for a corner.  Lively stuff indeed!

A bit of a silly fracas on the hour mark saw Li Tie booked after some handbag-waving from all 22 players following what looked like a foul on the Chinese star.  McFadden slipped in the area, with Everton fans screaming for a penalty...  is this one headed for extra time???

Another exciting break by Everton saw a great ball from Carsley in for Jeffers but it was critically deflected away for a throw-in.  Everton played extremely well in the second half, and really took the game to Boro, but getting that ball in the net was another matter altogether. 

Boro were stymied by some desperate defending from Everton in the last 10 minutes, with Maccarone ending a spell of fierce bombardment by missing from 4 yards out.  And so it went to extra time, despite a massive number of chances created by both sides.

Radzinski started to make a difference as soon as he replaced Rooney, creating another great chance for Jeffers but it bobbled up as he hit it and the ball flew over the bar.

Maccarone then dived nicely but the penalty was denied by the ref.  McFadden broke to the other end but the effort from Jeffers was blocked just as the ref blew for half-time in extra time.   Leon Osman came on just after the break as it seemed the game was inevitably headed for a penalty shoot-out.

Osman gave away a free-kick in a dangerous location and Mendieta's shot flew fractionally wide of Martyn's post.  Osman got a great chance for his first shot in on goal from a rebound but Schwarzer produced a fabulous one-handed save to deny the young goalhound.

Gravesen then wasted a free-kick, driving it into the wall as the game neared its fateful end.  He then gave away a free kick in the final minute, earning himself a yellow card in the process.  Maccarone thankfully sliced it wide, setting up the penalty shoot-out.

Osman, sadly, became the villain when Schwarzer stuck a leg out and blocked his fierce drive to save the third Everton spot-kick.  It would be the only penalty miss, with Martyn unable to stop any of Boro's... and that was that.  Another League Cup distraction over for another season.

Leon Osman:  Midfield goal hound misses key penalty

Boro v Everton:
Prior Cup Games
 Middlesbro 1
 Everton 2
 Draws 3
 League Cup  
 Middlesbro 0
 Everton 2
 Draws 0
 Last Time:

Middlesbro 2-3 Everton

Carling Cup Scores
Arsenal 5-1 Wolves
Southamptn 2-0 Portsmouth
Aston Villa 3-0 C Palace
Liverpool 2-3 Bolton
Middlesbro 0-0 Everton
Reading 0-1 Chelsea
Spurs 3-1 Man City
West Brom 2-0 Man Utd

Match Facts
 Middlesbrough  (4-4-2)
 Red shirts, white shorts, white socks
Everton   (4-4-2)
 Blue shirts, white shorts, blue socks
Southgate {c}
Nemeth (78' Ricketts)

Subs not used:  Nash,
Ehiogu, Davis, Cooper

Yellow Cards: 

Red Cards:
Li Tie (116' Linderoth)
Rooney (99' Radzinski)
Jeffers (107' Osman)

Subs not used: Simonsen, Clarke

Yellow Cards: Li Tie (62'),
Unsworth (103'), Gravesen (119')

Red Cards:


(Cup-tied:) Kilbane
(Injured:) Campbell, Nyarko, Pistone,
 Watson, Weir, Yobo 
Match Reports

2003-04 Match Reports Index

Everton Web Sites
ToffeeWeb Match Summary Match Report
When Skies Are Grey Match Report
Blue Kipper Match Report
Everton Fans' Reports
Steve Milne 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 Sunday Times Match Report
The Observer 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 Chelsea 35
2 Arsenal 34
3 Man Utd 31
4 Fulham 22
5 Charlton 22
6 Liverpool 21
7 Newcastle 20
8 Birmingham 20
9 Man City 18
10 Middlesbrough 18
11 Bolton 18
12 Southampton 17
13 Leicester 15
14 Portsmouth 15
15 Tottenham 15
16 Blackburn 14
17 Aston Villa 14
18 Everton 13
19 Wolves 11
20 Leeds 11

3 Dec 2003

Match Preview

Can't really be confident going into this game can we!

Whilst this game will not be a watershed in the way that Walter Smith's last game at the Riverside in the FA Cup was (a humiliating 3-0 defeat), there are still uncomfortable echoes of that horrendous time.  One win in 8 games (and that at home to Wolves), no away win since March does not augur well for the winter fixtures.

Injuries and the chance to give opportunities to fringe players means that both sides may have suprising line-ups tonight.

For Boro Doriva, Boateng and Juninho all have late fitness test but Mendieta looks certain to play.  Boro miss out on Davis and bring in Mendieta, we miss out on Davis and bring in Kevin Kilbane (oh okay and a few others but the point is made!).  Long term injury casualties Ehiogu and Parnaby return to the squad and are expected to get some form of a run out.

For us Unsworth hasn't travelled so Naysmith looks likely to regain his place.  Yobo is a doubt with a "ricked neck" and Kilbane is cup-tied which should open the way for Clarke and Osman making his long awaited debut.  Jeffers also looks like a possible starter with Rooney moving to the bench.

With so many changes, predicting this will be difficult.  You would hope that the team responds to another awful showing at Bolton but Boro are a decent side running into good form and have already beaten us once.

I'm afraid that I am not too confident and despite being so close to Wembley I would gladly accept defeat here for 3 points against Man City on Sunday unfortunately it doesn't work like that!

Extra time may be required but for the first time in a long time I am predicting a defeat.

Lee Doyle


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