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 Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool Premiership  Tuesday 4 January 2005; 8:00pm 
  Stubbs (30')
  Osman (90')
 
Half Time: 1-1
   Yakubu (31')
 
 Attendance: 35,480 (Fixture 22) Referee: P Walton

Match Summary


Alan Stubbs: Absence
makes the heart
grow fonder...

|

New signing James Beattie was not eligible to play but he was paraded to the Goodison fans before the kick-off, which was preceded by yet another minute's silence in respect of the 150,000 plus killed by the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami (how distasteful is the cheering and clapping that traditionally follows???).

Pistone, Bent, Weir, and Kilbane were rested (dropped?) by David Moyes, with Naysmith, Stubbs, Osman and Campbell getting starts in their place, no doubt in an effort to re-energize the Blues after the dreadful result from White Hart Lane last Saturday. 

David Unsworth started on the bench for Portsmouth, with signs that his move from Everton to the south coast was not working out as well as might have been expected since Harry Redknapp moved on to Southampton.  After the arrival of the new manager, he got few opportunities and was clearly out of favour despite his magnificent Premiership experience record.

Everton started reasonably brightly with McFadden beating a few players and getting up the pitch rapidly, way ahead of the aging Campbell.  The first chance came with McFadden combining with Campbell but de Zeeuw defended it superbly.  Osman playing his part too; good end-to-end stuff in the first 10 mins, with the lad having a good long-range poke at goal after 15 mins.

Yobo and Gravesen were starting to combine well, converting defence into attack but it was Berger who tested Wright with a difficult bouncing ball that Wright parried.

McFadden was again involved on 23 mins but took a little too long to strike and a big claim for handball by de Zeeuw was turned down.  Then, on the half-hour, skipper Alan Stubbs caught Gravesen's corner from the left perfectly at the back post, bottom corner... GOAL!

Moments later, Yakubu quickly leveled things up with a fantastic finish, dodging past Yobo and then flashing a left-foot rocket into the roof of the net.  This lad might be worth a bid!

Shell-shocked by the speed and quality of the Pompey response, Everton had it all to do again but could not make anything happen before half-time.

Cahill went for a trademark back-post header that somehow failed to go in.  Yakubu nearly scored again when Wright fumbled a Berger shot as the Everton defence continued to feature some worrying weaknesses.  Yakubu again got another sight of goal, firing in a long-range potshot that flew threateningly over the bar.

Osman then got in a good position but ball stuck under his feet and the shot lacked power.  McFadden was next to benefit from a great Carsley feed but his shot was high, wide and not very handsome.

McFadden won another corner but is was played short and  wasted.  But Gravesen got it back and delivered a great ball to Cahill but Quasi deflected it wide. 

Despite the increasing level of frustration at Everton's inability to make significant headway against the visitors, Moyes steadfastly refused the obvious temptation to change things around with less than 20 minutes left.  Instead, it was Portsmouth who made a change, with Cisse coming on for Faye.

Finally Bent came on for Campbell, and Kilbane for McFadden; hopefully with enough time left (barely 17 mins???) to make the difference. 

With seven minutes to go, Gravesen got in a great shot that Hislop could only parry, with Cahill pushing the rebound back in but no-one could capitalize.  Another Portsmouth substitution with 5 mins left (surprisingly Yakubu off for Taylor) attempted to break Everton's building momentum.

Everton did their best with Osman and Cahill both having good runs at Pompey in the dying minutes as the game seemed to be dragging on to the inevitable 1-1 draw and anther two vital Premiership points squandered.

With more than the two minutes of added time played, Alan Stubbs swung a hopeful punt into the area, Kevin Kilbane headed across goal and, in the confusion, Taylor could only nod the loose ball back at Cahill who unwittingly pushed it toward Osman.  And it was little Leon Osman who collected the ball with barely seconds to go, producing a tremendous finish, swiveling with his left foot and planting the ball high into Hislop's net for a fantastic winner! 

So, SO, SO, important — but only by the skin of our teeth!  And an absolutely fantastic atmosphere created at the end of the game for the Goodison faithful.

Michael Kenrick

> Match Facts
> Match Reports

Premiership Scores
Monday 3 Jan 2005
Blackburn 1-0 Charlton
C Palace 2-0 Aston Villa
Norwich 1-2 Liverpool
West Brom 0-0 Newcastle
Tuesday 4 Jan 2005
Arsenal   1-1 Man City
Birmingham 1-2 Bolton
Chelsea 2-0 Middlesbro
Everton 2-1 Portsmouth
Man Utd 0-0 Tottenham
Monday 5 Jan 2005
Southamptn 3-3 Fulham

Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Chelsea 55
2 Arsenal 48
3 Man Utd 44
4 Everton 43
5 Liverpool 37
6 Middlesbrough 35
7 Tottenham 33
8 Charlton 31
9 Man City 28
10 Aston Villa 28
11 Bolton 27
12 Portsmouth 27
13 Birmingham 26
14 Newcastle 26
15 Fulham 22
16 Blackburn 22
17 Palace 18
18 Norwich 16
19 Southampton 15
20 West Brom 13
After 5 Jan 2005

Everton v Portsmouth:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Everton 11
 Portsmouth 7
 Draws 5
 Premiership  
 Everton 1
 Portsmouth 0
 Draws 0
 Last Season:

Everton 1-0 Portsmouth 

Finalé: Thomas Gravesen made what turned out to be his last full game for Everton at Goodison Park, much to the disappointment of many in the home crowd, who saw something different in the odd-ball character of the mad fist-pumping loon.  Everton fans really got behind the player who had found a new lease of life under David Moyes's 4-5-1 formation after threatening that he would look elsewhere if Everton failed to show sufficient European ambition.

That higher profile had allowed the Dane to prosper this season like none of his previous four, and rumours that Manchester United were sniffing around had his agent Jon Sieveback rubbing his hands with glee.  But the real break came when seemingly ridiculous rumours of interest from the Bernabeu turned out to be true and he was allowed to join Real Madrid (after a brief cameo sub appearance at the end of the FA Cup game in Plymouth) for the rather nice windfall of €3M (≈Ł2.6m).


Match Facts
 EVERTON (4-4-2)
 
Blue shirts, white shorts, white socks
PORTSMOUTH (4-4-2)
White shirts, blue shorts, black socks
Wright
Hibbert
Stubbs
Yobo
Naysmith
Carsley
Osman
Gravesen
Cahill
McFadden (73' Kilbane)
Campbell (73' Bent)

Subs Not Used:
Turner, Pistone, Weir

Yellow Cards: —

Red Cards: —



Unavailable:

(Suspended:) Ferguson
(Injured:) Martyn, Watson
Hislop
Primus
Stefanovic
de Zeeuw
Stone
Quashie
Faye (72' Cisse)
Yakubu (85' Taylor)
Kamara
Berger
O'Neil

Subs Not Used:
Ashdown, Unsworth, Mezague

Yellow Cards:

Red Cards: —

Match Reports
Tottenham Hotspur (A)      2004-05 Index     Plymouth Argyle (A)
 Everton Websites
 ToffeeWeb Match Summary
 EvertonFC.com Match Report
 When Skies Are Grey Match Report
 Blue Kipper Match Report
 Everton Fans' Reports
 Paul Traill Possession is 9/10ths of the Law
 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

Well, this one is crucial.  With the bubble having been burst by two miserable trips to London in the past week, how the players react to the visit of Portsmouth on Tuesday will be vital to Everton's Champions League aspirations.

The manner of the defeat at Tottenham illustrated just how much more rebuilding is needed at Goodison Park. While it remains to be seen just how many additions David Moyes is able or willing to make to his squad during the current transfer window,  the players that have got him this far must make immediate amends against a strong Pompey side.

The recent departure of Harry Redknapp seems to have done little to interrupt the run of results that elevated the south coast side to the top half of the table over Christmas and the Blues will have to be wary of the strengths they possess, not least those of Ayegbeni Yakuba, a rumoured transfer target of Moyes's before the Beattie terms were agreed.

Andy Griffen is suspended for the visitors while Eyal Berkovich is sidelined with flu.  Former Blue David Unsworth returns following injury, as does Dejan Stefanovic.

For Everton, Alan Stubbs may return after the back injury that kept him out of the Spurs game, but Duncan Ferguson (suspended) and Nigel Martyn (calf strain) are definitely out.  James Beattie wouldn't be eligible until January 5th even if his transfer had been officially completed.

The formation that Moyes employs for this match-up will be interesting seeing as the 4-5-1 system that worked so well until mid-December seems to have been well and truly sussed by opposing teams.  James McFadden may not have been stellar at White Hart Lane during the crushing 5-2 defeat but he did finally break his Premiership duck with the late consolation goal.  The confidence boost from that may be enough to convince Moyes to break his tried-and-tested strategy and switch to 4-4-2 to support Bent.

With Liverpool winning on Monday, and the top three in ominous form over the festive period, victory is imperative for Everton.  Champions League qualification must remain our primary goal but the competition from below is really hotting up now, while Everton are showing worrying signs of faltering...

Lyndon Lloyd


Matchday Stats

This will be the 51st meeting between Everton and Portsmouth in all competitions, and the 26th at Goodison Park.  This match will be the 4th meeting in the Premier League and the 2nd at Goodison Park.

Everton's full record against Portsmouth is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

3

3

0

0

4

1

Division One

44

16

8

20

71

63

FA Cup

1

1

0

0

5

0

League Cup

2

0

1

1

3

4

TOTALS:

50

20

9

21

83

94

Our record at home to Portsmouth is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

1

1

0

0

1

0

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:

25

12

5

8

50

37

The last match between the sides was on 26 September 2004, earlier this season, when Everton won 1-0 at Portsmouth thanks to a Tim Cahill goal.  The last match at Goodison Park between the sides was on 13 March last year with another 1-0 victory.  The goal was scored by Wayne Rooney and was the last goal he scored at Goodison Park.

There have been 5 Everton hat-tricks against Portsmouth, with the last being Alex Stevenson’s in a 5-2 victory at Goodison Park on 30 April 1938.

The most common victory for Everton is 1-0 which has happened 5 times in Everton's 20 victories.  Portsmouth’s most common victory is 3-2 which has happened 4 times in their 21 victories.  The most common draw between the teams is 1-1, which has occurred 4 times in the 9 draws between the sides.

Everton's record for 4 January is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Division One

6

3

2

1

14

7

FA Cup

8

3

3

2

10

8

TOTALS:

14

6

5

3

24

15

This is the first time that the sides have met on this day, and the first league game played by Everton on this day since 1947 when Eddie Wainwright secured a 1-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers.

Jock McDonald was born on this day in 1896 in Dykehead.  Signed from Aidrieonians in April 1920, Jock went on to make 224 appearances for Everton before being sold to New Brighton in August 1927.

Jimmy Fell was also born on this day in 1936 in Cleethorpes.  Signed from Grimsby Town in March 1961, Jimmy made just 28 appearances, scoring 5 goals, before being sold to Newcastle United in March 1962.

Roger Kenyon was also born on this day in 1949 in Blackpool.  Roger signed professional forms in September 1966 and made 308 appearances for Everton, as well as scoring 9 goals, before moving to Vancouver Whitecaps in February 1979.  Despite being remembered in the main as a player during the barren 1970’s Roger actually won a League Championship medal in 1969-70.

Milestones that can be reached in this game:

·          If Alessandro Pistone plays then this will be his 100th appearance for Everton in all competitions.

·          If Everton win, then this side will match the current club record for most consecutive home wins in the Premier League with 5 which was originally set during David Moyes’ first full season with the club.

Steve Flanagan



Possession is 9/10ths of the Law

We set off a little late and got there at about 7pm; most of the talk was about James Beattie.  I’m delighted we’ve signed Beattie purely because he’s a proven goal scorer.  Others were less convinced, saying that he’s fat and lazy and that we’ve spent too much money on him.  Some wanted Yakubu instead but everyone was in agreement about one thing: we all trust Moyes!

About 7:45pm we headed towards the Lower Gwladys.  We’d already seen the somewhat surprising team news in the pub with four changes from the Spurs mauling:

  • Naysmith in for Pistone at left back;
  • Osman in for Kilbane meaning McFadden plays on the left;
  • Stubbs returning from injury to replace Weir who really did have a shocker at Spurs;
  • and the biggest surprise for me was Campbell replacing Bent in attack.

As we were walking past the Main Stand towards our seats we heard a roar from the crowd.  We can only assume that was James Beattie’s welcoming as I somewhat doubt it was for the announcement that Campbell was playing instead of Bent.

I managed to get the seat right behind my old season-ticket seat for this one so was guaranteed a good view.  Unfortunately, I was also guaranteed to be next to this fella who takes it upon himself not only to just shout at every Everton player who goes near the ball but also at everybody else around him whenever they dare to shout out themselves.  He really is an unpleasant character who spoils the matchday for a few people.  But, I guess he’s paying so is entitled to say what he wants.  I just fail to see how booing Kevin Campbell and taking the piss out of him all game can have a positive effect on the team — yet alone the individual.  People have short memories obviously.  Was he not the sole reason why we are still playing topflight football?

Anyways, I’m ranting.  Everton won the toss and you could see immediately there was going to be a fast tempo to this game.  Everton started brightly and attacked Portsmouth well but they were superb defensively and mopped everything up well while looking decent on the counter attack.  The first real chance came to Campbell which he missed (almost to a lot of people’s delight).  McFadden did well to wriggle free down the left and square it back to Campbell whose shot was blocked, I think by Faye.  Not long afterwards McFadden had a similar effort from the other side after good work by Osman, again well blocked, this time by de Zeuw.  There were half-hearted appeals for a handball but it would have been harsh.

At the other end Portsmouth were knocking it about well; Yakubu and Berger combined to tee up Kamara who’d made a good run through the middle but it took a brilliant and well time Naysmith intervention to keep him from having a strike on goal.  Would have been a good chance.

As the half carried on, there were few chances for either side yet the game was still pretty entertaining.  Berger had along range effort spilled by Wright which he gathered at the second attempt.  Not long afterwards Everton were 1-0 ahead, however.

It came from a corner.  I’m not actually sure how we got it but Gravesen pinged it in to the far post and Stubbs climbed highest to plant his header into the corner of the net.  Portsmouth hadn’t put anyone on the line which was just as well ‘cos it would have been cleared had they have done.  Unbelievably, Alan Stubbs's first goal for about three years and his first at Goodison Park.

It’s a shame it was cancelled out so quickly.  About two minutes later from a Portsmouth throw Osman tried to get in the way but could only flick it backwards past Yobo, who for the only time all night was out-muscled by Yakubu, he took a few touches before smacking in an unstoppable drive from a difficult angle into the top corner.  Wright had no chance and all of a sudden it was 1-1.  Maybe we should have signed him instead!

This knocked the stuffing out of Everton a little bit and it was actually Portsmouth who probably finished the half the stronger of the two teams.  They had two more long range efforts from Berger, one which was again spilled by Wright, the other which dipped inches over the bar and landed just behind the net.  It looked in for a minute.  That was pretty much it for the first half.

There were no changes by either side at half time.  I don’t think I can ever recall Everton dominating one half of football quite as much as in the second half.  I reckon the possession must have been about 70%:30% in favour of Everton.  To Portsmouth’s credit, however, they did dig deep and will have felt hard done by to loose this one away from home.  They defended very well and tried to attack when they could.

Everton just kept on plugging away and would not accept anything other than a win here.  You could tell the difference between Everton’s team this year and that of last: there was a lot more drive and a lot more self-belief.

We did have a few good chances and might have sealed the win sooner.  Cahill missed two good opportunities: one when he headed downwards from about six yards but somehow managed to divert it over the bar; and the other when he lashed it wide although the ref seemed to think it was a corner from that.  McFadden made a mess of another good opportunity also when Carsley played him in with a great ball.  His first touch was hopeless as it popped in the air and then he tried to volley but skied it high and harmlessly wide.  Portsmouth’s efforts of note were a Kamara drive into the side-netting which looked in for a minute and a long range Berger drive which went just over the bar.

It was time for a change or two and they came with about 15 minutes to go.  McFadden had done well but was tiring and was subbed for Kilbane.  I wanted Osman to come off instead!  The other change was greeted with relief by the boo-boys when Campbell came off for Bent.  It was one way traffic until the end then but Portsmouth were as determined to see it out as we were to win it.

There was a bazaar moment when Primus sheparded the ball out for a goal kick but the ref gave a very dubious corner.  This was met by Stubbs at the back post and his header was tipped round the post by Hislop.  The ref gave a goal kick.  To be fair to the ref, Barry Knight, it was a bit of a rare blip and I thought he let the game flow pretty well all night.

There was about a minute to go and Everton kept on coming forward but Portsmouth kept slinging it back.  I thought it was over when Stubbs, about 25 yards out played it to Gravesen.  He mis-controlled and it went harmlessly through to Hislop, I was about to ask my mate if he wanted to go.  I thought that was it.  The ref indicated two minutes of stoppage time to be played.  Come on Everton!

It was played down the right towards Hibbert.  He lost the ball and the substitute Taylor booted it away as far as Yobo.  He played it forward towards Cahill.  He found Gravesen.  He tried to play it in towards Bent but de Zeuw made a fabulous headed interception and it was back into Hislop’s grateful arms.  That’s gotta be it now!

A big boot forward by Hislop.  Yobo won the ball.  Over two minutes had surely been played but I think it was Everton’s willingness to get on with things persuaded Barry Knight to let us play.  One last attack.  Come on!  Yobo played it to Stubbs.  He smacked it long towards Kilbane.  Kilbane won the flick and Cahill got his head to it.  Primus got in the way of it but the ball bobbled back to Osman who had had a quiet game.  He hit it first time with his left foot and it was in.  Like a rocket.  Goodison erupted.  Then the chant of “Leon, Leon” rung out.

After that, the ref still played on for about a minute and a half and I was getting anxious but it wasn’t to be for Portsmouth.  The atmosphere was great at the end.  What a result.  We had to win this one after our last two defeats and on possession alone I feel we deserved it.  The results went for us as well with Middlesbrough loosing at Chelsea 2-0 and Man Utd drawing 0-0 with Spurs.  A mate phoned me as we were driving home to tell me that he was watching Match of the Day and Spurs scored a perfectly good goal which was disallowed at Old Trafford.  I had to see it myself before realising what a disgrace it was.  At least we do it fair and square.

Well done Everton!

  • Wright: Is he the next Ian Walker? He can’t seem to hold anything which is hit directly at him. Does not inspire you with confidence. 5
  • Naysmith: A bit of a surprise inclusion but played well. Particularly having been out of the team for so long. 7
  • Stubbs: Captained the side well and drove us on. Well taken header as well. 8
  • Yobo: Was only beaten by Yakubu once but that was enough for his fellow countryman. Otherwise looked classy and dependable. 7
  • Hibbert: Defended well and got forward well but his distribution needs to improve a lot. 6
  • Carsley: Completed his usual shift in defence and got forward when he can. Erratic at time but still deserves his place. 6
  • McFadden: He’s got the bit between his teeth. It does seem that all he needed was a goal. Good skill and caused problems all night. Here’s hoping for another goal or two at Plymouth Argyle. 7
  • Cahill: My man of the match. Was everywhere and never stopped running. Tireless display. 8
  • Gravesen: Like Cahill never stopped running and showed some very classy flicks and tricks as well. 8
  • Osman: Not one of his better games but was there when it mattered with a priceless goal. 7
  • Campbell: Played well. Glad he did such was the opinion of the boo-boys. Put himself about well, particularly in the second half. Moved more that Duncan Ferguson has all season. 7
  • Kilbane: 7
  • Bent: Caused problems and won flicks when he came on. 7

Paul Traill



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