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 Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool Premiership   15 August 2004; 2:00pm  
  Carsley (64')


 
Half Time: 0-2
  Bergkamp (23')  
Reyes (38')  
Ljunberg (54')  
Pires (82')
 
 Attendance: 35,241 or 35,521? (Fixture 1) Referee: Mike Riley

Match Summary


Joseph Yobo: Won the race
to recover from a knee complaint


Yobo and McFadden were both declared fit and started the game against the reigning and unbeaten Champions in an Everton line-up that included the aging Campbell upfront against his old team.

Everton survived early pressure from The Gunners, who had a succession of corners in the first 10 minutes, with Martyn doing well in goal for Everton. 

17-year-old Fabregas and Reyes were obviously the main threats to Everton and they combined to create pandemonium in the Everton defence after 15 mins when a melee in the box required Gary Naysmith to clear dramatically off the line.

McFadden had a run at the Arsenal defence to relieve the pressure but Cygan had the measure of him.  McFadden and Osman then combined really well but good defence by Toure prevented an Everton goal.  But a typical counterattack saw Henry chip a great ball to Reyes who went one-one-one with Stubbs, passed back to Henry who set up Bergkamp to finish cleanly.

Everton won a free-kick 30 yards out and Gravesen forced a good save by Lehman.  Osman then pushed hard against Arsenal as the Blues strived to offer some resistance to the red onslaught.  Gravesen swung in a beautiful ball that Kilbane got his head to well and a great header from him flew just inches over the bar.

Another strong attack with Ljunberg dazzling Everton defenders on the left firing in a pinpoint cross to Reyes who scored with a simple darting header into the corner of Martyn's net to make it 2 for The Gunners.  Everton were playing well, believe it or not, but Arsenal were simply superb.

Moyes made some sensible changes, switching Hibbert and Bent for Stubbs (possibly injured) and McFadden, who had both been shown up badly by the skilful Arsenal players. 

Henry intercepted a sloppy ball from Yobo on the half-way line and set up Ljunberg to score the third.  Everton slumped a little after that, unable to get the ball from the Gunners who were playing exhibition stuff. 

Carsley played a great one-two with Gravesen who chipped the ball beautifully back to him as he ran past the Arsenal defenders.  Lee Carsley then grabbed a nice goal after dribbling around Lehman.  Arséne Wegner responded with a double substitution. 

Ferguson came on in place of Osman, so who would provide the balls for the three giants up front? — Campbell, Bent & Ferguson!  It was a lot more lively for Everton with free-kicks and shots... but repeated and very marginal offside decisions meant no goals.

As Everton's improved possession failed to produce results, another surging attack saw Henry's shot parried by Martyn, who should have kept hold off it, but Cole chipped it onto the crossbar and Pires made it 4 on the rebound, pushing Everton into equal bottom place alongside Charlton Athletic.  Ho hum.  Those bastard pundits were right after all...
 


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Premiership Scores
Saturday 14 Aug 2004
Tottenham 1-1 Liverpool
Norwich 1-1 Crystal Palace
Portsmouth 1-1 Birmingham
Aston Villa 2-0 Southampton
Blackburn 1-1 West Brom
Bolton 4-1 Charlton
Man City 1-1 Fulham
Middlesbro 2-2 Newcastle
Sunday 15 Aug 2004
Everton 1-4 Arsenal
Chelsea 1-0 Man Utd

Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Arsenal 3
1 Bolton 3
3 Aston Villa 3
4 Chelsea 3
5 Middlesbrough 1
5 Newcastle 1
7 Liverpool 1
7 Birmingham 1
7 Blackburn 1
7 Fulham 1
7 Man City 1
7 Norwich 1
7 Portsmouth 1
7 Tottenham 1
7 West Brom 1
7 Palace 1
17 Man Utd 0
18 Southampton 0
19 Charlton 0
19 Everton 0
After 16 Aug 2004

Everton v Arsenal:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Everton 36
 Arsenal 24
 Draws 23
 Premiership  
 Everton 2
 Arsenal 5
 Draws 5
 Last Season:

Everton 1-1 Arsenal

Debut: Marcus Bent made his first Everton appearance as a half-time substitute.


Match Facts
 EVERTON (4-4-2)
 
Blue shirts, white shorts, white socks
ARSENAL (4-4-2)
Red shirts, white shorts, white socks
Martyn
Pistone
Yobo
Stubbs {c} (46' Hibbert)
Naysmith
Osman (71' Ferguson)
Gravesen
Carsley
Kilbane
Campbell
McFadden (46' Bent)

Subs Not Used:
Wright, Watson

Yellow Cards: Carsley (36'),
Osman (42')

Red Cards: —


Unavailable:

(Suspended:) Cahill
(Injured:) Rooney, Li Tie
(International duty:) Cahill
Lehmann
Cole
Ljungberg (64' Pires)
Reyes (64' Pennant)
Bergkamp
Lauren
Henry
Fabregas
Cygan
Gilberto (70' Flamini)
Toure

Subs Not Used:
Almunia, Hoyte

Yellow Cards: Cole (12')

Red Cards: —

Match Reports
Real Sociedad (H)      2004-05 Match Reports Index     Crystal Palace (A)
 Everton Websites
 ToffeeWeb Match Summary
 EvertonFC.com Match Report
 When Skies Are Grey Match Report
 Blue Kipper Match Report
 Everton Fans' Reports
 Lyndon Lloyd Everton revert to type
 Rob van Dijk A Dutch Perspective
 Michael Kenrick More to it than the scoreline
 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 Guardian Match Report
 Liverpool Echo Match Report
 Daily Post Match Report



Match Preview

The great thing about the opening day of the season is that buzz, that feeling that football is back after three long months, and the optimism that comes from all 20 teams starting on a level playing field.

Sadly, though, footballing realities as they are today mean that while the Premiership clubs all kick off the new campaign on 0 points, they certainly do not start on anything resembling an even position.

Nothing illustrates that more than the comparison between Arsenal's galaxy of international stars and the threadbare squad that David Moyes has at his disposal, stripped further as it is of its most valuable asset, Wayne Rooney because of injury.

The Blues start the campaign against Arsenal for the second successive season, this time at Goodison Park, hoping to make a better fist of it than they did in the 2-1 defeat to the 10-man Gunners at Highbury a year ago.  The lack of a big-name central midfielder to solve the problem that position has been for too many seasons now will not help their cause, nor will the absence of reinforcements in central defence (the untried Eddy Bosnar aside).

While last summer was frustrating because of a fruitless search for reinforcements, the close season just gone has been exponentially worse.  The protracted — and still as yet unresolved — boardroom civil war coupled with an almost non-existent transfer budget has Evertonians fearing the worst for 2004-05 and many media pundits predicting relegation for Moyes's side.

If there are positives for Everton as they line up against last season's unbeaten Champions, they are few, but the fact that it is the first game of the season and no team has settled into any sort of groove at least counts for something.

As does very recent history: the Blues are unbeaten in the last two meetings between these two sides and they have the distinction of having ended one of the Gunners' unbeaten streaks with that historic 2-1 win two years ago thanks to that goal.  Sunday offers the opportunity to halt their bid to break Nottingham Forest's record of 42 consecutive top-flight games unbeaten — Arséne Wenger's side are two games shy on 40 matches.

Another advantage should be the fans who have always been magnificent when the chips are down.  They will know as much as the manager does that a flying start to the campaign would do immeasurable good to both morale and the club's chances of achieving safety come May next year.  The manner in which attendances at Goodison have been so high throughout the past miserable decade is perplexing to the outside observer but they illustrate just how special a breed Evertonians are.

With Rooney absent nursing the metatarsal injury that he sustained in the Euro 2004 Quarter Final against Portugal, Moyes faces a dilemma with his selection in attack.  The fans' choice to replace Our Kid will no doubt be James McFadden who has had an impressive pre-season, as did Kevin Campbell and the praise that the manager has had for the latter this week means that it wouldn't be a surprise if the 34-year-old starts against his old club.  However, McFadden is a doubt to start the game because of a toe injury sustained in training. If he isn't passed fit or Campbell is overlooked, Marcus Bent will surely start his first game in Everton blue — and even if not, the new acquisition from Ipswich Town is odds-on to feature at some point in the proceedings.

In midfield, Thomas Gravesen will no doubt be first on the team sheet, but with Tim Cahill unavailable he faces a difficult decision between playing Leon Osman alongside him or opting for Lee Carsley in the middle and Osman wide right where he was employed in many of the pre-season games.  The better option is to use Steve Watson on the right, Osman and Gravesen in the centre and Kevin Kilbane on the left.

At the back, the possible absence of Joseph Yobo is a major blow to Moyes. The Nigerian has some fluid on his knee from a knock sustained in training and faces a race against time to be fit. That presents the very really — and frightening — prospect of David Weir and Alan Stubbs having to deal with the pace of Reyes, although Alessandro Pistone is an option if fit.

Gary Naymith's superior fitness should get him the nod over on the left while Tony Hibbert is certain to line-up on the right now that Dutch defender Jurgen Colin is no longer joining the club. 

Between the posts, Moyes has another interesting selection choice with both Nigel Martyn and Richard Wright in contention for a starting berth.  The prevailing wisdom would go for Martyn seeing as he is the reigning Player of the Season.

Arsenal have a couple of issues of their own, thankfully.  They may be unsettled slightly by the uncertainty over Patrick Vieira's future, although, in any case, a thigh injury will keep him out of the season opener.  They also look set to rest Thierry Henry and his niggling groin complaint which can only be good news for the Blues.  Dennis Bergkamp is likely to partner Reyes instead — hardly fair is it? Sol Campbell is also missing through injury.

For Everton, it's all going to come down to attitude, resolute defending and whether or not they believe, as McFadden has said publicly this week, that they can beat the Champions.  If Moyes's team can get at the visitors early and disrupt their flowing football, there is no reason why they can't get a result against all expectations — and let's face it, a draw would be a result.

Lyndon Lloyd



Matchday Stats

This will be the 180th meeting between Everton and Arsenal in all competitions, and the 91st at Goodison Park.  This match will be the 25th meeting in the Premier League, and the 13th at Goodison Park.

Everton's full record against Arsenal is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

24

3

6

15

20

44

Division One

142

49

29

64

189

220

FA Cup

3

2

0

1

10

4

League Cup

9

2

3

4

6

11

FA Charity Shield

1

0

0

1

0

3

TOTALS:

179

56

38

85

225

282

Our record at home to Arsenal is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

12

2

5

5

9

14

Division One

71

34

18

19

114

86

FA Cup

2

2

0

0

7

0

League Cup

4

1

2

1

4

4

FA Charity Shield

1

0

0

1

0

3

TOTALS:

90

39

25

26

134

107

The last match between the sides was on 7 January this year when a Tomasz Radzinski goal in the 75th minute cancelled out Kanu's opener.  This was also the last match between the sides at Goodison Park.

The last Everton hat-trick against Arsenal was on 29 April 1961, when Roy Vernon scored 3 of his 9 goals against Arsenal in a 4-1 victory.  The only other hat-trick against Arsenal was on 5 May 1928 when a certain William Ralph Dean broke a certain goal-scoring record with his hat-trick against the Gunners.  Despite this the match ended all square at 3 goals apiece.

Everton's biggest victory against Arsenal was a 6-1 victory on 9 November 1985 in the old First Division with the goals coming from Gary Lineker (2), Adrian Heath (2), Graeme Sharp and Trevor Steven and which also saw the Everton debut of Neil Pointon.  Everton also recorded a 5-0 victory over Arsenal at Goodison on 5 February 1910 in the 2nd round of the FA Cup with the goals coming from Jack Sharp (2), Bertie Freeman, George Barlow and Sandy Young.

The most common victory for Everton against Arsenal is 1-0 which has happened on 17 occassions out of the 56 victories in total, and is also the most common home victory for Everton (10 times in 39 victories).  Arsenal's most common victory over Everton is also 1-0 which has happened 19 times in Arsenal's 85 victories and is also Arsenal's most common away victory (12 times in 26 victories).  The most common draw between the sides in total and at Goodison is 1-1.

Everton's record for 15 August is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

2

0

2

0

1

1

Division One

2

1

1

0

3

2

TOTALS:

4

1

3

0

4

3

This will be the second time that the two sides have met on this day.  The first was in 1970, at Goodison Park, when Harry Catterick's reigning champions were held to a 2-2 draw by the Gunners with Everton's goals coming from Joe Royle and Johnny Morrissey.

It was this day in 1992, whenEverton drew 1-1 with Sheffield Wednesday at Goodison Park in what was Everton's first match in the new FA Premier League, with Everton's goal coming from Barry Horne.

On this day in 1963, Ian Snodin was born in Thrybergh.  Ian was bought from Leeds United in January 1987 and made 191 starts for Everton and 10 sub appearances before being transferred to Oldham Athletic in January 1995.  During his time at the club, Ian scored 7 goals.

15 August 2001 saw Thomas Gravesen play for Denmark in their 1-0 friendly defeat against reigning World and European champions France.  On the same day, Idan Tal turned out for Israel in a friendly against Lithuania, with Israel winning 3-2.  The same day also saw Thomas Myhre playing for Norway in their friendly with Turkey, with the sides drawing 1-1, and Niclas Alexandersson made it four Everton internationals on the same day playing in Sweden's 3-0 friendly victory over South Africa.

Milestone's that can be reached in this game:

  • If Duncan Ferguson starts the match, it will be his 150th start for Everton in the league.
  • If Joseph Yobo starts the match, it will be his 50th start for Everton in the league.
  • If Alan Stubbs starts the match, it will be his 100th start for Everton in all competitions.

Steve Flanagan



A Dutch perspective

Opening day of the season, at last. It felt like a real relief after the summer we’ve had to put up with. For two days we could forget about our problems to concentrate on the start of a new Premier League season and, after enjoying the return of Match Of The Day last night and celebrating Jermaine Defoe’s equaliser, today started with the usual nerves before me and my wife went down to O’Sheas Irish Pub to follow the game on Sky Sports. Initially we were the only two in there, later to be joined by two annoying Gooners wearing those tacky ‘Bergkamp-Arsenal’ shirts you get for free at the Costa Del Sol. It didn’t take long before I had aimed my first words of abuse at the referee, or wanted to punch Thiery Henry's face on the jumboscreen. Within minutes after kick-off I fell back into the same old routine, swearing at our players for not getting stuck in, cursing our passing and calling Mike Riley every name in the book for not giving any decision our way while nervously holding on to a pint of Guinness. But, while I can moan all I want during the close-season about players that are not good enough to wear the shirt, about the boardroom shambles and our prospects for this season, once our lads get in a few tackles and the Goodison crowd gets involved it makes me feel ever so proud again to be associated with this great club of ours.

We started well enough but only until The Gunners got the ball down on the floor and took full control. To be honest- and as expected, this was never an even contest. Credit to our lads though, they huffed and puffed and tried to play a bit of football. Unfortunately, when every second pass ends up with an Arsenal player you know you’re in trouble. Despite some inspired defending by Stubbsy and Naysmith and Yobo looking as confident as ever, it was only a matter of time before they scored. Reyes broke, Stubbs tackled, Henry passed, Bergkamp shoots, scores, 1-0. That simple. I never liked Bergkamp- not even when he scored the winner for Holland in the 1998 World Cup quarter-final v Argentina, and hearing two those Arsenal-gloryhunters in O’Sheas celebrating his goal and laughing when they noticed I wasn’t cheering with them, made this even harder to take.

Kilbane was unlucky not to equalise when he headed just over the bar and if we could have gone in only 1-0 down at a half-time we might have had half a chance to make it a real contest after the break. Then, three or four Everton defenders allowed Reyes to get in a free header and gave us a mountain to climb.

On 54 minutes Ljungberg got their third after Pistone forgot to stretch out one of his fragile limbs to scramble Henry’s cross over the line for a corner, and I started to fear a real drubbing. Thankfully though, Lee Carsley and Thomas Gravesen combined well for the Irishman to score. Plenty of time left but history was never in the making- although, if Marcus Bent had hit the target little later who knows what could have happened … . With 8 minutes left Henry shoots, Martyn parries, Cole hits the bar and Pires tucks it in. Game, set and match. Nothing more than just another pre-season game for The Gunners, another game closer to beating Nottingham Forest’s record. To us it was just a cruel opening day fixture that we had to get out of the way before our campaign really kicks-off at Selhurst Park next week.

Any positives from today’s game? Leon Osman and Marcus Bent looked alright and Joseph Yobo- apart from their third goal, was once again outstanding at the back. We scored a really well worked goal, we kicked Gilberto Silva out of the game and Henry was denied the chance to infuriate us once again with some uncalled for goal celebration. I can’t be too downbeat, we’re still level on points with Man U so it can’t be all that bad! Then again, there can never really be any excuses for being beaten 4-1 at home. Not even by 'The Arsenal', ‘cause it makes us look as poor as the likes of West Brom, Palace and Norwich City. And we’re not.

Rob van Dijk


Everton revert to type

In the end, everything went mostly to script.  On the back of a commanding first-half performance that had them 2-0 up going into the interval, Arsenal tormented their vastly inferior hosts and ran out comfortable 4-1 winners.  Everton, undermined particularly by the absences of Wayne Rooney and Tim Cahill, picked up where they left off last season, exhibiting the same faults and short-comings — hardly surprising given the fact that the starting line-up were all with the club in May.

David Moyes's side set their stall out early hoping to contain Arsenal but the writing was on the wall early on as Alan Stubbs was forced to make a saving challenge from Dennis Bergkamp, and Gary Naysmith cleared off the line from Pascal Cygan as the Gunners found their all-too efficient stride.

After 22 minutes, the breakthrough came.  The Blues were carved open with ease and, while Stubbs denied Freddie Ljungberg, the ball fell to Henry on the edge of the box.  He fed Bergkamp, who had all the time he needed to pick his spot before blasting
low through Nigel Martyn from 8 yards.

Then, eight minutes before the break, when Lauren's cross went straight across the box, Stubbs and Naysmith were so busy watching Ljungberg twisting and turning his way down the left, that they left Reyes completely unmarked and he stooped to meet the Swede's cross to head emphatically past the 'keeper.

Everton were embarrassingly inept going forward by comparison.  Kevin Campbell probably should have had a penalty after a quarter of an hour when Cygan hauled him down on the penalty spot but, of course, referee Riley turned a blind eye.  Although McFadden struggled to make headway against Toure and Cygan, he did manage to get free to pick up a nice through-ball by Leon Osman but his angled shot was blocked for a corner.  And Kevin Kilbane went closest for the Blues in the first half when he rose to head a free-kick narrowly over the bar.

By the break, it merely seemed to be a matter of how many Arsenal would add to the 2-0 scoreline.

Moyes made a couple of changes at half time, though, and they did have the effect of improving the performance.  Stubbs was removed from central defence, Pistone switched from right back to replace him, and Tony Hibbert was introduced to play at full back.  Up front, McFadden was withdrawn in favour of Marcus Bent, and it was Bent who provided a little more spark in the attack.

However, Everton didn't improve at all until the game was lost and the Gunners were 3-0 up. Yobo gave the ball away on the halfway line with a wayward pass that was headed forward to Ljungberg.  He fed Henry and the Frenchman squared simply to link back up with the Swede who had easily got goal side of Hibbert and swept the ball past Martyn.  Far too easy.

It could have been more soon afterwards.  Bergkamp sent a fizzing volley inches over from a tight angle and when Gravesen lost the ball yet again with another lazy attempt to keep possession, Arsenal surged forward again but instead of taking the easy shot, Henry tried to walk the ball into the back of the net and was foiled by good defending by Pistone.

Then, out of nowhere, Everton produced a moment of magic worthy of the Champions themselves.  When Bent laid the ball square and Carsley tapped it sideways for Gravesen, the Dane scooped a lob over the defence where Carsley was on hand to nick the ball to the side of Lehmann and tap into an empty net.  3-1 and a glimmer of hope.

Moyes responded by throwing Ferguson on for Osman but the big man's introduction signalled the end of the Blues' attempts to play the ball through on the ground, favouring, predictably, the long ball. With that, any impetus they had gathered was lost as the visitors re-established their grip on the game, eventually rounding off the scoring with nine minutes left when Martyn spilled an Henry shot, Cole fired off the bar and Pires knocked in the loose ball.

This was a game that highlighted all of Everton's well-documented deficiencies: an almost total lack of midfield invention, chronic defending, and a persistent propensity to give the ball away in dangerous situations.  Given that none of Moyes's new signings were on display during the first half, it wasn't surprising that the Blues look as though nothing has changed since last season.

Gravesen is still the frustrating enigma he always has been, one minute the architect of a contender for goal of the season, the next lazily gifting possession right in front of the back four.  Osman, making only his fourth start, struggled to make an impression on the game but by no means disgraced himself, while Carsley was his typical bulldog-like self, notable in the first 45 minutes only for the booking he picked up for a foul on Gilberto after 36 minutes — but also the scorer of a magical goal.

At the back, where in combination with the midfield the game was lost, Stubbs wasn't the only one guilty of poor defending; Pistone was just as culpable in the first half and Naysmith managed to show up as the spare man marking no-one in at least three of Arsenal's four goals.

On the plus side, we only have to play Arsenal once more in the league this season, and we weren't able to assess the potential of Tim Cahill or enjoy the return of Wayne Rooney.  On this evidence, we're going to need both of them and a whole lot more because this fifth consecutive Premiership defeat bore all the hallmarks of Season 2003-04.

  • Martyn 7 — Surprisingly poor game by last year's player of the season, lacking command in the air and spilling the ball badly for the fourth goal
  • Pistone 5 — Improved in the second half once removed from the right back spot
  • Stubbs 5 — Caught out badly with the second goal when he and Naysmith allowed Reyes to ghost in for a simple header
  • Yobo 6 — Let himself down with one crucial error for the third goal but was solid otherwise
  • Naysmith 4 — Poor marking and poor distribution
  • Osman 5 — Struggled to make headway against world class opposition but did enough to justify keeping his place next week
  • Carsley 5 — The goal aside, he clearly isn't the solution in central midfield.
  • Gravesen 5 — Just when you think that he can't get worse and that we would be better off without him, he goes and architects a goal like that
  • Kilbane 6 — Probably the most industrious player on the pitch for the Blues but found the going tough against Lauren
  • McFadden 5 — As our only real creative outlet, I was surprised he was withdrawn and not Campbell but he did struggle to make an impression
  • Campbell 5 — Put in plenty of muscle and was the victim of some poor decisions but never looked like scoring
  • Hibbert 6 — A decent performance as a second-half sub; someone has finally taught him how to pass to a blue shirt.
  • Bent 7 — Probably the pick of Everton's players, he seemed to add a different dimension to the lead-footed Campbell
  • Ferguson 6 — Came on and tried to make a difference but suffered from poor service until a last-minute header that was saved by Lehmann

Lyndon Lloyd



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