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 FA Premiership (28); Goodison Park, Liverpool; Saturday 13 March 2004; 3:00pm
  Rooney (78')
 
 
Attendance: 40,105
Halftime: 0-0

Facts
Reports



Referee: Neale Barry
 

Match Summary

Tomas Gravesen was suspended after his fifth yellow card, and Alessandro Pistone was still injured, so there were two changes from last week, with Naysmith and Nyarko in the starting line-up.  Two years in charge for David Moyes since that first game against Fulham and Everton started in exactly the same position in the Premiership. 

The moment of silence was attributed to the memory of the dead in Madrid from terrorist bombings this week... or should that have been in memory of Tommy Eglington?

After a bright start from Portsmouth, Ferguson laid it on for Kilbane who's fierce shot was touched over by Hislop.  A couple of early corners followed with Naysmith playing Everton forward but delivering the corners poorly.

Hibbert ran well and set up a good chance for Rooney but the lad miss-hit his shot straight at Hislop.  Nyarko then got a chance to pop one in but it flew over the bar.  Then a horrible mess in the Everton area as Stubbs and Martyn faffed at it, giving Yakubu a glaring chance that he fortunately spurned. 

A surprise change came just after the half-hour as Ferguson was replaced by Radzinski, the big man possibly suffering some sort of problem.   Everton had been lacking pace, urgency and sharpness while trying to rely on the old route one lumped mortar ball into the penalty area but, after the change, Radzinski showed what he's made of, jinking through and trying to set up Rooney.

And so it continued until half time, and the conclusion of another disappointing half for Everton the last first-half goal Everton scored was against Portsmouth at Fratton Park in December. 

The second half started poorly and saw another spell of frantic defending when Portsmouth could have inflicted some damage that Everton were lucky to survive.  Everton were playing poorly, unable to do the basics in terms of retaining possession and passing the ball out of trouble, while the Pompey players took heart and came on all the stronger. 

A better move saw Naysmith play in Stubbs but Radzinski failed to do the business from 6 yards out the best chance so far.

Rooney played a lovely one-two with Watson but was pulled down as he moved into the area... nothing given to the inevitable annoyance of the restless Goodison crowd.  Stubbs got a good ball in to Watson but his header was saved at the foot of the post by Hislop, who had not been seriously troubled.

Reknapp then ominously threw on Mornar in place of Berkovic as he sensed Pompey could get something from this one. 

Finally it was Rooney who broke the deadlock, fed by excellent work from Radzinski coming in from the left, who dodged away from the Portsmouth defenders to set up the youngster.  Rooney made a little space for himself and then drilled it hard and low past Hislop to the eternal relief of every Evertonian.   Redknapp's response: Sheringham!

Nyarko then did some hard work to win the ball off the Pompey defenders and set up Rooney again but it was fired fractionally wide.  Rooney then ran at them again, beat everyone, but fired wide.  He could have had a hat-trick!

Everton's first double of the season, coming as a good omen, surely, on David Moyes's second anniversary.

 


Tomasz Radzinski: Started on the bench despite inspiring the 2-0 win over Villa


Everton v Portsmouth:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Everton 10
 Portsmouth 7
 Draws 5
 Premiership  
 Everton 0
 Portsmouth 0
 Draws 0
 Last Encounter:

Everton 2-1 Portsmouth
April 1988


Premiership Scores
Tuesday 9 Mar 2004
Middlesbro 1-0 Tottenham
Saturday 13 Mar 2004
Bolton 0-2 Chelsea
Birmingham 0-1 Leicester
Blackburn 0-2 Arsenal
Charlton 1-0 Middlesbro
Everton 1-0 Portsmouth
Fulham 2-0 Leeds
Sunday 14 Mar 2004
Wolves 0-4 Aston Villa
Man City 4-1 Man Utd
Tottenham 1-0 Newcastle
Southampton 2-0 Liverpool
Wednesday 17 Mar 2004
Liverpool 3-0 Portsmouth
 


Match Facts
 Everton   (4-4-2)
 Blue shirts, white shorts, blue socks
 Portsmouth   (4-5-1; 4-4-2)
Black & white shirts, black shorts, white socks
  Martyn
Hibbert
Stubbs {32': c}
Yobo
Naysmith
Nyarko
Watson
Kilbane
Linderoth
Rooney
Ferguson {c} (32' Radzinski)

Subs not used:
Wright,
Unsworth, Carsley, McFadden

Yellow Cards: 

Red Cards:


Unavailable:

(Suspended:) Gravesen
(Injured:) Li Tie, Pistone
(On Loan:) Clarke, Gemmill, O'Hanlon, Osman, Schumacher, Turner
Hislop
Primus
De Zeeuw {c}
Pasanen
Curtis
Berkovic (73' Mornar)
Faye
Stone
Hughes
Yakubu
Lua Lua (46' Taylor)

Subs not used: Wapenaar
Todorov, Sheringham

Yellow Cards:
Berkovic (62'), Pasanen (64')

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
Simon Hereford Match Report
Links to Other Media Reports
BBC Sport Match Report
4 the Game Match Report
Sky Sports Match Report
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The Observer Match Report
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Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report
Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Arsenal 70
2 Chelsea 61
3 Man Utd 58
4 Charlton 43
5 Newcastle 42
6 Liverpool 42
7 Birmingham 42
8 Aston Villa 40
9 Fulham 39
10 Tottenham 37
11 Southampton 36
12 Middlesbrough 34
13 Bolton 34
14 Everton 32
15 Man City 30
16 Blackburn 28
17 Leicester 26
18 Portsmouth 24
19 Wolves 24
20 Leeds 22
After 17 Mar 2004

Match Preview

After another unwanted break in the Premiership schedule, Everton return to action in their second successive home fixture looking to register consecutive victories for the first time since December.

The match marks David Moyes's second anniversary in charge at Goodison and also represents the Blues' opportunity to achieve their first double of the campaign, having beaten Harry Redknapp's Pompey 2-1 earlier in the season.

Apart from Alessandro Pistone, who is recovering from injury, and Tommy Gravesen who is suspended after getting a fifth yellow card, Moyes is likely to field the same side that started against Aston Villa last time out, despite the fact that it was Tomasz Radzinski who provided the catalyst for that 2-0 win.

The Canadian will probably have to settle for a place on the bench once more behind Messers Rooney and Ferguson, as will James McFadden who is having to be patient in his desire for first-team football.  Rooney is sitting on nine yellow cards, so his next moment of indiscretion with the ref will lead to an automatic (two-match?) ban.

Portsmouth are sitting on the edge of the bottom three, separated from the drop zone only by goal difference. In their last game, they were given a 5-1 hiding by Arsenal and they have yet to win away from home this season.

Furthermore, they haven't won at Goodison Park for 48 years so with form and history on their side, Everton will be looking for another three points and a final chance to make a late, if unlikely, charge for the European place they missed out on last season.

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Stats

This will be the 49th meeting between Everton and Portsmouth in all competitions, and the 25th at Goodison Park.  This match will only be the 2nd meeting in the Premier League and the first match in the competition at Goodison Park between the two teams.

Everton's full record against Portsmouth is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

1

1

0

0

2

1

Division One

44

16

8

20

71

89

FA Cup

1

1

0

0

5

0

League Cup

2

0

1

1

3

4

TOTALS:

48

18

9

21

81

94

Our record at home against Portsmouth is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Division One

22

10

5

7

42

34

FA Cup

1

1

0

0

5

0

League Cup

1

0

0

1

2

3

TOTALS:

24

11

5

8

49

37

The last match between the two sides was earlier this season on 13 December when we won 2-1 at Fratton Park with goals from Lee Carsley and Wayne Rooney.  The last match at Goodison Park was 5 October 1994 when goals from Vinny Samways and Graham Stuart couldn't stop a 3-2 defeat in the League Cup.  Everton's last league match at Goodison Park against Portsmouth was a 2-1 victory in April 1988.

Everton's biggest victory at home against Portsmouth is 5-0 on 7 February 1903 in what has been the only FA Cup meeting between the two teams, and was also the first meeting between the teams in any competition.  Everton's highest league victory at Goodison Park against Portsmouth has been by four clear goals.  There have been two 4-0 victories in September 1928 and November 1936, with a 5-1 victory in September 1938, whilst Everton were on their way to winning the title.  The heaviest defeat at Goodison Park was 5-0 in September 1948.

The most common victory for Everton is shared between 2-0 and 4-0, both of which have occurred twice in Everton's 11 victories.  Portsmouth's most common victory is shared between 2-0 and 3-2, which have both happened twice in their 8 victories.  The most common draw between the sides is 1-1, which has happened 3 times out of the 5 draws in total, the other two draws being 0-0 and 2-2.

Everton's record for 13 March is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

2

1

0

1

3

2

Division One

13

3

2

8

12

19

Division Two

1

1

0

0

3

0

FA Cup

2

2

0

0

5

0

Zenith Data Systems Cup

1

1

0

0

1

0

TOTALS:

19

8

2

9

24

21

This will be the first meeting between the two sides on this date.  The last match played on this date was in 1999 when Arsenal ran out 2-0 winners at Goodison Park.

Milestone's that can be reached in this game:

  • If David Unsworth plays any part in the match, it will be his 300th league appearance for Everton.  He has, so far, made 269 starts and 30 substitute appearances for the club in the league.
  • If Lee Carsley starts the match, it will be his 50th start for Everton in all competitions.
  • If Steve Watson plays any part in the match, it will be his 100th appearance for Everton in all competitions.
  • If Everton score, it will be the 50th goal scored against Portsmouth in all competitions at Goodison Park, and will also be the 100th league goal the club has scored since David Moyes became manager.
  • If Everton score exactly 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



Report

A fairly poor game to be honest.  Neither keeper had much to do at all throughout the game.  No matter what Harry Redknapp will say, Portsmouth were there for a draw and to grab a goal if they were lucky enough from a set piece (as nearly happened near the end).  Neither keeper was ever fully tested which gives a clear indication of the quality and style of game.  But we've dug out another result where months earlier we may have buckled ad lost so there is at least that to take from the game, as well as the three points and Rooney's celebration!

There was a minute's silence dedicated to the memory of those involved in the events in Madrid and to the memory of Everton stalwart (if I remember the phrase they used correctly) Tommy Eglington the dedication to Madrid was mentioned first then Eglington's name was mentioned... almost as an afterthought?  More than two weeks after he died???  [This sign of respect for a past blue was not done before the Villa game apparently because Michael Dunford, Everton CEO, had concerns that it would not be properly observed!!!]

Hibbert did put in some better crosses today but for at least half the time his passing was dreadful, including what could generously be described as risky short passes inside his own area which almost proved costly.  Naysmith took over the Unsworth role of hoofing it up to Dunc when he was on the pitch... and then continued the trend when he went off!  Defensively he was sound enough but our distribution from the back was typically pitiful.   There was a bit of anxiety in the defence which lead to a few miscues; some have said that Mellberg at Villa would be a great partner for Yobo at the back.

Linderoth did well today.  He didn't always go in at people as the crowd wanted but he did make several timely interceptions and tackles and generally did well to disrupt any Portsmouth attacks/midfield play.  For a man of the match you'd have to look at either Nyarko or Kilbane.  In the first half. Kilbane was easily the best player on the pitch and was badly underused in the second half which was a bit surprising as he seemed to have the beating of their full back and easily looked like the best source of a goal.   In the second half he wasn't used anywhere near as much.

Nyarko, on the other hand, didn't tackle much, only putting a foot in when it looked certain he'd get the ball, but he used the ball well in possession.  I can't really remember a wasted pass by him.  For the most part, he looked to thread the ball through to Radz/Rooney or out wide and was well worth a starting place.  Without wishing to drag out the Sean Davis partner scenario, it did make me wonder how Nyarko would do with a Davis/Savage type alongside him. 

The right wing was our weakest area in the first half.  Watson went missing and didn't offer as much either defensively or offensively as Kilbane did on the other flank.  It surprised me a bit that McFadden didn't get a chance to play out there for a few minutes at least, though you can understand Moyes keeping Watson on for his defensive abilities for the last ten minutes or so.

Up front, Dunc did his usual while he was on the pitch without looking as up for it as he had done before; whether or not he was carrying an injury into the game I'm not sure.  Having Radzinski on the pitch does make such a difference to us, as long balls now had someone on the attack who could at least reach them and make something of them as he did with the goal. 

The focus of Portsmouth's defensive strategy was there for all too see as they did what most if not all teams have done this year and crowd Rooney out as quickly as possible.  At one point in the first half when he got the ball and turned 25 yards out he was surrounded by no less than four Portsmouth players!  When he did get free, it look like he could turn the game.  He should have added to his one strike and was unlucky not to late on. 

Rooney's goal celebration though, just epitomised what it is to be an Evertonian and not just to play for the Blues but to score for them too: he went off on a tear down the touchline from Gwladys St to Park End momentarily slowing up by the Pompey fans who'd given him the now usual away fan taunt of you fat bastard, face clenched in a "YES" expression hand to ear, then onto the Park End to be caught by the rest of the team.  Then it was back to the half way line as the stadium cried out his name in one of the loudest Rooney chants I've heard at Goodison, powered by relief for the most part you'd have to think as well as being grateful that someone had finally broken the deadlock in a fairly poor game.

Not a very impressive performance by a certain N Barry as referee either.  And, for those of you who dislike the more mad, crazy, looney type of supporter that Sky love, Pompey's own tattoed, blue-haired comedian was escorted out of the away section just before the second half to great acclaim from those in the lower corner of the Park End.  I can't shed any light on why he went from my vantage point in the upper part of the Park End though two stewards stayed in his place after he'd gone so I can only assume the daft goon had got a bit too lippy for the stewards/police's liking.

Overall I'd say we deserved it purely for looking to have a bit more about us in terms of looking to win the game, though not producing a heck of a lot especially in terms of clear cut chances. Hopefully a few more wins will see us finish in a top half position not sure about Europe though!

Simon Hereford



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