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 Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool Premiership  Saturday 12 February 2005; 12:45pm
  Beattie (8': Sent off!)  Half Time: 0-0
  Gudjohnsen (70')  
 Attendance: 40,270 (Fixture 27) Referee: Mike Riley

Match Summary


James Beattie: Sent off inside just 8 minutes for a stupid head butt on Gallas
 

Hibbert was suspended for this massive game, forcing Pistone to switch to right back with Naysmith coming in on the left.  The bench included two untried reserves: Anthony Gerrard and Guillaume Plessis. 

The dreadful Goodison playing surface soon played it's part, ruining Naysmith's first cross from an early free-kick.

Everton were soon under pressure and having to defend in numbers, but Beattie chased a silly lost ball and stupidly pushed Gallas (who was blocking his run) in the back, followed by a soft head butt from behind, causing Gallas to collapse in a heap.  Riley was right there and off he went after just 8 minutes, despite imploring protests from Stubbs & Co.  Big Dunc had never managed anything quite so utterly stupid! 

So Everton were left with just 10 men and an enormous task to hold out against the rampant Champions elect, casting a huge and painful shadow across Goodison Park.

Duff and Tiago both had good opportunities to punish Everton further but fired over and wide as Chelsea proceeded to dominate possession, Gallas being relentlessly booed on his every touch.  Martyn made a vital close-range save from Gudjohnsen off a superb cross from Duff as Chelsea forced them back.  Meanwhile, the lack of numbers up front for Everton was telling on every attack as they struggled for options on the cabbage patch. 

From one really awful Yobo slice off a big divot, Chelsea broke fast, Duff firing just wide.  Cahill then managed to pick up his 5th yellow card with a late swipe at Makelele, earning himself a suspension for next week's FA Cup clash with Man Utd.  Could it get any worse?

Everton escape when Cole fell dramatically under a tackle from behind by Weir, but Reilly wrongly judges that Weir got the ball and not the man.  Cahill then was adjudged (correctly) to have handled the ball in a challenge and Chelsea nearly scored from Stubbs's skewed clearance.

A good break by Everton saw Pistone firing in a great cross but Bent could only flail at it.  Chelsea ran swiftly up the other end, exposing more gaps, but Cole could only fire his well, worked chance straight at Martyn, the pattern of the first half forming into an excellent defensive rearguard battle by the beleaguered 10 men in blue.

Early in the second half, Martyn again denied Gudjohnsen from close range after a probing ball in from Duff.  Lampard then forced a good save from Martyn but the keeper flapped on the corner, leading to more Chelsea chances including a close one from Cole.

Everton's game was reduced to packed defense with the odd hopeful ball punted upfield to the lonely Marcus Bent.  Everton's first corner after one hour, was easily snapped up by Cech.  Just one goal attempt in the face of 18 from Chelsea told the depressing match story, but Everton were defending very well (Pistone giving a superb performance), with the offside trap catching Gudjohnsen more than once.

But Chelsea pressure finally undid Everton in the cruelest way, a ball in from Duff being flicked up onto the bar from Makelele, making the rebound a simple affair for Gudjohnsen.

Ferguson then came on for Naysmith in a desperate attempt to rescue this lost cause for Everton.  Terry got himself booked for dissent.  Tiago and Weir then threw some handbags before Carsley's glancing header was saved at Cech's feet.

Arteta came on and suddenly Everton threatened with much greater purpose.  Ferguson and Bent challenged Cech for a high ball on the goal line, Big Dunc inadvertently giving Bent a bloody nose as the minutes ticked by. 

Arteta had a chance from a free-kick on the edge of the area for a handball by Gallas, but could not clear the Chelsea wall as the visitors spun out the 4 mins of stoppage time with additional substitutions. 

Everton really had no hope once Beattie had seen the red mist, but the team he left had battled very very well against Abramovich's moneybags.  The only good news today was Liverpool loosing handily at St Andrews after everyone had boasted how easily they would catch Everton for that vital fourth Champions League slot.


Match Preview

The FA Cup aside, Everton's form has nose-dived since the heady days of December when they overcame Liverpool in the Merseyside derby and ascended to second place in the Premiership.

The performances against Norwich and Southampton were proof that the Blues are sorely missing the inspiration and game-winning ability of Thomas Gravesen, a fact that David Moyes has acknowledged this week.  They also sound all sounds of warning bells that the 4th-place spot they currently occupy is under serious threat unless things markedly improve.

Not the ideal time to be facing the Champions-elect... unless the visit of Chelsea provides the motivation to pull a barn-storming display out of the hat and prove to ourselves and the rest of the division that we deserve to be Champions League qualifiers.

David Moyes will have plenty of food for thought ahead of this one, not least the usual conundrum: stick with 4-5-1 ? a formation that looks less effective with each passing week since Gravesen's departure ? or try and match Chelsea's attacking firepower with an offensive strategy his own.  Marcus Bent's efforts coming off the bench have certainly pressed his claims for a return to the starting line-up and James Beattie is getting better with every game.  That may be enough to convince Moyes not to change anything and use Bent as a substitute again.

Tony Hibbert is suspended but Alessandro Pistone is a natural replacement at right back, with Gary Naysmith filling in on the left.  In midfield, Mikel Arteta is sure to start if he is deemed fit enough and Moyes's choices with regard to the holding role will be shaped by the availability of Leon Osman.  If he is passed fit, it's likely that Lee Carsley will get the nod ahead of Joseph Yobo and James McFadden would also drop back to the bench.

This game represents an opportunity for Everton to really show what they are made of and start playing as a 4th-placed team.  Chelsea are by no means infallible, as Manchester City have shown and, despite our poor record against them in recent seasons, victory is not out of the question if the Blues would just have the courage of their convictions and play to their own attacking strengths.

The rest of the Premiership is dying to see Chelsea falter and it would be a fantastic lift if David Moyes's side could become only the second team to beat the club that has bought its way to what will surely be a first Premier League title.  Defeat would sow more seeds of doubt in the minds of the players and fans and is probably not worth contemplating.

Lyndon Lloyd


Matchday Stats

This will be the 144th meeting between Everton and Chelsea in all competitions, and the 69th at Goodison Park.  This match will be the 26th meeting in the Premier League and the 13th at home.

Everton's full record against Chelsea is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

25

4

9

12

26

40

Division One

106

41

31

34

160

165

FA Cup

6

2

0

4

2

7

League Cup

5

0

2

3

6

11

Charity Shield

1

1

0

0

2

1

TOTALS:

143

48

42

53

196

224

Our record at home to Chelsea is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

12

3

5

4

16

16

Division One

53

30

15

8

127

67

FA Cup

1

1

0

0

1

0

League Cup

2

0

1

1

3

4

TOTALS:

68

34

21

13

147

87

The last match between the sides was earlier this season on 6 November when Chelsea won 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.  The last meeting between the sides at Goodison Park was on 17 April last year when Chelsea again walked away with a 1-0 victory.

There have been three Everton hat-tricks against Chelsea ? all of them at Goodison Park.  The last was by Bill Dean on 14 November 1931 when he scored 5 goals in Everton?s 7-2 victory.  Dean set a British record in this game when  he scored the fastest hat-trick of headers, scoring three between the 5th and 15th minutes of the match.

The most common victory for Everton is 1-0 which has happened 11 times in Everton's 48 victories.  Chelsea?s most common victory over Everton is also 1-0 which has happened 10 times in their 53 victories. The most common draw between the sides is 1-1, which has happened 20 times in the 42 draws between the sides.

Everton's record for 12 February is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

2

1

1

0

2

1

Division One

9

2

2

5

8

13

FA Cup

3

2

1

0

4

0

TOTALS:

14

5

4

5

14

14

This is the first meeting between the sides on this day.  The last match on this day was a 2-1 victory over Derby County in 2000 with the Everton goals coming from Joe-Max Moore and Michael Ball.

George Barker was born on this day in 1875 in Blakenhall.  Signed from Wolves in July 1896, George made just 10 first-team appearances before being sold to Bristol City in August 1898.

Benjamin Howard-Baker was born on this day in 1892 in Aigburth.  Benjamin had two spells for Everton.  His first started in November 1921, when he was signed from Liverpool, before being sold to Preston in 1922.  He was then snapped up again by the club, arriving from Corinthians in July 1926 before being sold to Oldham Athletic in March 1929.  Overall, he made 13 appearances for the club.

Idan Tal was born on this day in 1975 in Beer Sheva, Israel.  Signed from Merida in October 2000, Idan made 33 appearances and scored 2 goals before he moved to Rayo Vallecano in September 2002.

Valentine Harris, Walter Scott and Bill Lacey were in the Northern Ireland team that drew 1-1 with England on this day in 1910.

Bill Dean made his England debut on this day in 1927 scoring 2 goals in their 3-3 draw with Wales in the old Home International Championship, whilst Tom Griffiths was in the Welsh side that day.

Li Tie won his only Chinese cap as an Everton player o this day in 2003 in a 0-0 draw with Brazil.

On the same day Thomas Gravesen was in the Dani8sh side that defeated Egypt 4-1 in a friendly match, whilst Scot Gemmill was a substitute for the Scottish team that lost 2-0 to Ireland, along with Gary Naysmith.

On the same day, in 2003, Wayne Rooney made English football history by becoming the youngest player to play for the national side in their 3-1 defeat against Australia, and Niclas Alexandersson won his last Swedish cap as an Everton player in their 1-0 defeat by Tunisia.

Mark Pembridge was also in action on this day in 2003, when appearing for Wales in their 2-2 draw with Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Milestones that can be reached in this game:

?          If he plays in the match, James McFadden will be making his 50th appearance for Everton in all competitions.

?          If he starts the match, David Weir will be making his 200th start for Everton in all competitions.

Steve Flanagan


Beattie idiocy hands it to Chelsea

The first person to wheel out the "Capital Curse" nugget after this one should be shot.  After all, as I have said before, you make your own luck... or, in this case, shoot yourself in the foot.  Quite what James Beattie was thinking when he butted William Gallas from behind (twice, mind you — he missed the first time) right in front of the referee is anyone's guess.  It was right out of the Duncan Ferguson handbook not the typical actions of a pretty-boy, so-called "celebrity footballer" and it cost Everton any chance of getting something from this match when the £6M signing was rightly sent off.

The Blues dug in, as they usually do, and from a defensive standpoint, little was different from every other week except there was no outlet up front and only the atrocious Goodison Park pitch seemed to prevent Chelsea from laying permanent siege to Everton's goal.  David Moyes's side were actually making a pretty good fist of keeping the Champions-elect at bay until Eidur Gudjohnsen found the ball at his feet a yard out by way of the crossbar and he tapped in the winner with 20 minutes to go.

Leon Osman was again ruled out through injury and Mikel Arteta restricted to the bench, presumably because the state of the pitch would have put his knee at risk (not to mention rendering his passing game next to useless).  That meant Joseph Yobo was again deployed in midfield but Marcus Bent got the nod ahead of James McFadden following his impressive exploits as sub in recent games  (Where was James McFadden?).

As far as their offensive efforts went, Everton's contribution to the game was one well-placed Kevin Kilbane free kick that brushed the head of Lee Carsley when a firmer touch would surely have levelled the game, and a fierce Bent shot that looked to have been handled by Gallas but, in reality, caught him in the face.  That was it, unless you count the fact that Beattie's transgression occurred in the final third of the field.

Every other set-piece ended up either comfortably in the goalkeeper's hands or on the head of a Chelsea defender.  Given the fact that they had no other way of attacking Chelsea — how they were crying out for some Gravesen inspiration — it meant that their only hope for a point was to stop Chelsea scoring.

In that respect, a combination of the pitch and some dogged defending almost did the job.  Chelsea were largely restricted to long-range pot-shots by Frank Lampard, Damien Duff and Tiago, all of which ended up in the Park End.  The visitors did threaten at close range on a couple of occasions, most notably when a free kick was whipped into the near post and Alan Stubbs almost sliced the ball into his own net.

Chelsea were noticeably more purposeful in the second half, though.  Intelligently making good use of the only quarter of the pitch with some grass on it, Duff and Ferreira started probing down the right and when the Irishman's shot was deflected three minutes after the restart, it should have been turned in by Gudjohnsen but was blocked by Martyn instead and Weir hacked it clear of danger.

Two minutes later, Ferreira drove a low cross across the face of goal but it was missed by everybody before Lampard stabbed a shot from the edge of the area which Martyn parried wide for a corner.  It was no surprise that the goal came from that side of the pitch.  Ferreira fired the ball across goal, Gallas touched it onto the bar and it dropped invitingly to Gudjohnsen who did the rest.

That was pretty much it.  Duncan Ferguson was pitched into the fray at the expense of Gary Naysmith and Arteta came on for the last six minutes but, although he did surprisingly well on the lumpy pitch, he arrived too late to make any difference.  A few desperate lumps into the box never really threatened the Chelsea goal and referee Riley blew time on another Everton defeat that could prove more damaging in terms of upcoming suspensions than the loss of points.

Thank God Liverpool lost at Birmingham because Everton did nothing to help themselves.

Lyndon Lloyd

Blood, sweat and toil

A few of us went to this one and set off around 10am. Quickly down the M62 and at Goodison at around 11:45am. Just enough time to enjoy a couple of beers.

We were in the Lower Gwladys again for this one and had a pretty decent view. I didnt really know what to expect from the line-up but did expect both Beattie and Bent to play and Osman to come in. As it turned out Osman simply wasnt there, presumably injured and McFadden wasnt there, presumably injured meaning there were places on the bench for Anthony Gerrard (for the first time) and Plessis (for the first time) both there by default really. We really are down to the bare bones and I cant believe weve come out of the transfer window with a smaller squad than the one we went in with. The pitch meanwhile is truly abysmal and cant help our passing. It was interesting to read David Moyes program notes before the game as he had a bit of a dig at the ground staff and wonders why the pitch really is that bad.

I think we started with a 4-5-1 with Beattie on his own up front and Bent supplying the ammunition from the right hand side. Yobo was in his defensive midfield position with Carsely and Cahill as the runners and Kilbane on the left. At the back Naysmith was in at left back with Pistone at right back because Hibbert was suspended. Stubbs and Weir were in the middle and Martyn in the net.

I dont remember an awful lot from the first eight minutes apart from an early attack from us, but wed lost the toss so were attacking the Lower Gwladys in the first half. If we did have a chance of beating Chelsea we were gonna need 11 men. Well Beattie put pay to that. He was chasing a ball down the left channel when Gallas obstructed him from getting towards the ball while Bridge let it run out. As he did so the two came together and Gallas went down like a sack of spuds holding his head. I didnt really see what had happened but Mike Riley didnt hesitate in brandishing the red card. With most refs Id have though it must have been fair enough but not with this one as I remember how quick and inconsiderate he was when pointing to the penalty spot on the last day of the 2002-03 season against Man Utd. However, as it turns out Beattie was culpable and has cost us dear. I phoned a mate watching the match in the pub who confirmed it was a stupid headbut and he deserved to go. I do believe Gallas has an Oscar in the post though. Were up against it now!

All I can say about the rest of the game is that I had nothing but pride for the 10 players out there. Every one of them tried and stood up to be counted and can have their heads held high. We re-shaped to a 4-4-1 with Bent chasing everything and doing extremely well up front on his own. Yobo was switched to the right and was superb. Showed a lot of skill. Everyone else just dug in and tried. You cant ask for more than that.

It didnt mean Chelsea werent without their chances though and with better shooting they may have scored more than just the one. Mike Riley was a disgrace though and assisted them throughout the match. Especially in the first half. Cahill picked up a yellow card in the first half (he now misses the Man Utd match) and probably deserved it but there were certainly a few similar fouls by Chelsea players which went unpunished by the clown called Riley. Otherwise Chelsea players went down very easily all game much to Rileys delight who just kept blowing in Chelseas favour, whereas wed be fouled but stay up and wouldnt get the decision. Its a load of bollocks.

I also feel I have to mention Joe Cole. Quality player yes but as big a culprit as anyone for diving and not the first time Ive seen him do it. I wouldnt want to sign him now.

There were three incidents in the first half where Riley was a complete disgrace and I simply felt robbed. 40,000 fans are paying good money for this. No, referees cant get everything right but all you can ask is that they are fair. Riley certainly was not that:
Pistone whips in a great ball, which Gallas gets a flick to to take it away from Bent. Cahill lets the ball drift out for a throw in. The linesman gives it but Riley gives it the other way.
Yobos running across field with the ball when unchallenged the ref decides to blow up and give Chelsea a free kick. It was because coarsely and Lampard ran in to each other about 10 yards from the ball.
Bents got the ball back to goal left edge of the box by the corner flag. Gallas is all over him. What can bent do? Nothing. Surely a free kick. It matters not with Riley just play on until he looses possession. I can even deal with incompetence from refs but not bare faced cheating. Its hard enough playing against Chelsea with 11 men, never mind when you have 10. Made much harder when they have 12. But Everton continued to battle and managed to reach half time level. The second half was more of the same backs to the wall. Chelsea continued to press but Everton werent gonna give up. Martyn was in inspired from though on the occasions when the defence was breached, making two world class saves to deny first Gudjohnson from point blank range and then Lampard on the half volley from about 10 yards.

It was just a pity that when they did score it was a soft goal, which could have been defended better. Duff was getting no change from the excellent Pistone so decided to go at Naysmith instead. He didnt defend the cross well at all and the low ball in was hit from about four yards on the half volley by somebody. It cam back off the underside of the bar and out. Could have gone anywhere really but landed with Gudjohnson who simply couldnt miss from three yards. It was a real shame. Everton were actually about to make a change and put Ferguson on so they had to now anyway but with a different tactic. My guess was he was gonna take Carsely or Cahill off and move Yobo back into the middle with Bent on the right to take on the, well, crap Wayne Bridge, but he had to go for it now and took off Naysmith almost straight after the goal and went 3-4-2. Brace yourself for aerial bombardment. Thats what it was but sadly it wasnt too be. There were a few moments were had it have bounced better it may have gone in, the closest probably being from a Pistone free kick which Carsley nearly got a head to, and had he have done it would have been a goal but he didnt and Cech smothered it. Arteta came on for Carsley with about 10 minutes to play. I would have liked him to come on for Cahill and sooner as he was getting a bit anonymous. He showed some nice touches and knocked it about well.

My only gripe with Everton was the use of the final ball. The few times we did manage to get the ball into an attacking area the ball was nearly always poor, with Kilbane and Naysmith probably the worst culprits. We had a flurry of free kicks and corners in the final 5/10 minutes but simply didnt make them count, although we had just taken off our dead ball specialist Lee Carsley. Interestingly and frustratingly when we did have corners when he was on Naysmith was taking them pretty poorly anyway. We were wasteful at the end though with Arteta not even nearly clearing the wall from a well-positioned free kick and Kilbane not doing enough with his corners. In the end Chelsea made three substitutions in the last three minutes or so and killed the game. It was damaged limitation when Duff ran into the box and Stubbs made a great tackle to keep him out and the ball went out for a corner. They just kept it there then and that was that. The whistle went and the blues got applauded off. Stubbs lambasted Mike Riley before he left and Riley and his two assistants left to a chorus of boos. This man has to be stopped.

After the game I queued up for my Villa ticket and then went for a few beers. The mood in the pub was pretty upbeat and Beattie was the only person reserved for abuse, that and of course Mike Riley. There was certainly some light relief watching Soccer Saturday, or rather watching Aldo explaining how Liverpool were getting stuffed 2-0 by Birmingham City. Just as well and Middlesborough drawing with Bolton was also a great result for us. If we can show that much commitment in every game we play from now on in 4th spot is ours.

Will we?

Player Ratings:
Martyn: Made two spectacular saves and distributed well. Was good to see him as the last man on the half way line at the end as we pressed. Seemed genuinely gutted by the result. 9
Naysmith: Didnt do well but cant really fault him for effort. I felt he was at fault for the goal. Reckon Hibbert will be back next week. 6
Stubbs: Solid and controlled. 9
Weir: Excellent from Weir. Made some great tackles on Gudjohnson and several excellent headed clearances. 9
Pistone: Probably gave Duff one of his toughest games all season, and at right back as well. Looked classy and was probably the only one whos final ball WAS up to scratch. Got forward well. 9
Yobo: Was outstanding and committed. Showed a lot of skill. I wasnt expecting him to play so well on the right wing before being moved to the back in the end. My man of the match. 9
Kilbane: Had a good first half but tired and faded in the second. Could do with a rest. 7
Cahill: Was busy and lively in the first half but faded to anonymity in the second. He should have been taken off. Misses Man Utd now as well. 6
Carsley: Put in a good shift and didnt stop trying. Can be pleased with himself yet again this season. 8
Bent: Outstanding contribution. Never stopped trying and never stopped running on his own up front for nearly all the game. Showed good skill and good passing as well. Very unlucky not to get a single chance all game. 9
Beattie: Still havnt seen it yet on the replay but he let us down. Simple as. A three match ban now. Good time to be letting Chadwick go! 2

Subs:
Ferguson: Difficult game to come into but did make an impact. His service was piss poor though. 6
Arteta: Good passing and good skill. A certain starter against Man Utd now I reckon with Cahill suspended.

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Key Links
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Match Reports
2004-05 Reports Index
< Southamptn (A) Man Utd (H) >
Everton websites
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Evertonfc.com Report
When Skies Are Grey Report
Bluekipper Report
Everton fans' reports
Lyndon Lloyd Report
Paul Traill Report
Other media reports
 BBC Sport Report
 4 the Game Report
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 Daily Post Report

EVERTON (4-5-1)
  Martyn
  Pistone
  Stubbs
  Weir
  Naysmith (73' Ferguson)
  Yobo
  Bent
  Carsley (85' Arteta)
  Cahill 8'
  Kilbane
  Beattie 8':8'
Subs not used
  Wright
  Gerrard
  Plessis
  Unavailable
  Hibbert (Suspended)
  Chadwick (Transferred)
  McFadden (injured)
  Watson (injured)
  Li Tie (unfit)

CHELSEA (4-3-3)
  Cech
  Ferreira
  Gallas
  Terry
  Bridge
  Cole (72' Jarosik )
  Tiago (89' Johnson)
  Makelele
  Lampard
  Gudjohnsen
  Duff (90' Carvalho)
  Subs not used
  Cudicini
  Smertin

Premiership Scores
Saturday 12 2005
Everton 0-1 Chelsea
Birmingham 2-0 Liverpool
Blackburn 3-0 Norwich
Bolton 0-0 Middlesbro
Portsmouth 1-2 Aston Villa
Sunday 13 Feb 2005
Man City 0-2 Man Utd
Monday 14 Feb 2005
Arsenal 5-1 C Palace

Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Chelsea 68
2 Man Utd 59
3 Arsenal 57
4 Everton 48
5 Liverpool 43
6 Middlesbrough 41
7 Bolton 40
8 Charlton 38
9 Tottenham 36
10 Aston Villa 35
11 Man City 33
12 Birmingham 32
13 Newcastle 31
14 Portsmouth 30
15 Fulham 29
16 Blackburn 28
17 Palace 22
18 Norwich 20
19 Southampton 19
20 West Brom 17
After 14 Feb 2005



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