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 Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool Premiership  Saturday 17 December 2005; 3:00pm
    Half Time: 0-1

 
  Davies (34')
Stelios (75', 81')
Speed (pen:78')
 Attendance: 34,500 (Fixture 17) Referee: Alan Wiley

Match Summary


Tim Cahill: Makes a welcome return from suspension

David Moyes made only two changes to his 'tired' team that could not sustain the pace during the week against West Ham.  Tim Cahill returned from his enforced rest and went straight back in the team, and Arteta started, with Kilbane and Osman dropping to the bench.  But no changes at the back and, for the ninth successive game, his £5M Mystery Man, Per KrÝldrup started on the bench.

Gary Speed returned once again to Goodison Park, the player with the most Premiership appearances ó his 467th. 

A yellow card inside 32 seconds for Kevin Davies who clattered Neville ferociously.  Arteta delivered a tremendous cross on the free-kick.  Weir was the next to suffer from Nolan as he was clattered.  Bolton gameplan a little bit physical???  Despite the undesirable attention, Everton showed some good intent early on.  Beattie was playing well, bringing in Cahill and Arteta in a nice sweeping moves down the right side, and working Speed hard in his unaccustomed left-back role.

Wonderful play by Arteta left Nolan for dead, McFadden drew the foul and the free-kick was a superb delivery that Weir was very close to.  Lost of fouls being given, in stark contrast to Wednesday's laissez fare refereeing, but a good 20 mins from Everton nevertheless.  Wright managed to fluff a backpass. 

Kevin Davies got a strong lecture for totally ignoring his early yellow card, committing a number of additional fouls that were also worthy of another yellow.  A scramble in the Bolton area should have seen Everton score but the bobbling ball was blocked by desperate Bolton defenders.  Hibbert got booked rather too quickly for supposedly kicking the ball away a nanosecond after the whistle. 

McFadden tangled with Jaaskelainen, who then barged the Finn and he lay pole-axed, writhing in a shameful attempt to get McFadden booked.  Stelios tried some similar silliness to con the ref at the other end.  A blatant handball from Faye off the free-kick saw him enter Mr Wiley's little book.

Everton had played some excellent football, forcing Bolton to defend well and attempt only cynically brutish tactics in response.  But another free-kick was awarded against Hibbert, and the result saw a looping header over Wright, who may have misjudged it, come off the post and over the line before Beattie cleared it.  A goal was awarded to Kevin Davies.   A massive uphill climb now...

Everton were stunned, and the common malaise seen too often this season set in once again.  But an opportunistic 30-yard poke from McFadden was deflected for a corner, giving Everton some hope.  But it was all a bit depressing at half-time.

After the break, Everton struggled to break them down but did manage drew Bolton out and then hit back strongly to get a free-kick off a Jaidi handball.  But Arteta's free-kick was high.

Everton tried everything they could think of but the massed horde of white shirts seemed capable of blocking and deflecting away anything Everton could throw at them.  Pretty it wasn't... hugely frustrating for the opposition, but hugely effective at strangling the Blues' valiant efforts.

A free-kick, taken by Neville, flicked on by Weir, McFadden prodded it in.  GOAL!.... Nope.  Offside!!!  At the other end, Vaz Te, fresh on, picks up a gift from Weir, passes to Stelios, who  fires confidently past Wright and its a winning goal for Bolton: GAME OVER!  Before Everton could catch their breath, Kevin Davies was fouled stupidly by Valente who was seen to clearly drag him down... Penalty.  Speed converts. 

Minutes later, and the utter humiliation was complete: Stelios somehow got the ball in the area and he sliced the ball across Wright for an unbelievable fourth goals.

Cahill did get a chance, volleying over from 7 yards after a nice cross from Arteta.  Er... too little, too late!  Osman also had a poke late on from distance.  What if...  Osman had another shot that Jaaskelainen could only parry but Beattie prodded it wide.  Just think...  McFadden then fired in another good shot forcing another good save from Jaaskelainen.  Four good chances... we coulda gota point!!!

So... a Merry Christmas to you too!  An astounding tactical success for Allardyce and his nasty well-drilled cynical mob; another footballing lesson at Goodison for Everton and David Moyes.  Let's hear those excuses...

Michael Kenrick


Match Preview

When you're licking your wounds, Bolton Wanderers are just the sort of team who love to rub salt into them.  Everton will, therefore, hardly be relishing the prospect of entertaining Sam Allardyce's band of bruisers to Goodison Park so soon after the home defeat by West Ham brought the Blues' recent revival to a shuddering halt.

Perhaps it's a good thing, though, that David Moyes and his team won't have much time to dwell on Wednesday's demoralising result as they prepare for Saturday's test against the club who have risen to fifth in the table after a mixed start to the campaign.

 Everton welcome Tim Cahill back to first-team contention, the Australian having missed three games serving a suspension.  It allowed him to take a well-earned and overdue rest and Moyes will be hoping that he will be refreshed for his return to action.  Certainly his goal threat from midfield, curiously absent for much of the season, will be badly needed as the Blues bid to break double figures in the "goals for" column.

If Mikel Arteta was kept on the bench against West Ham because of the proximity of this fixture to that on Wednesday, then he will surely return to the starting line-up alongside Simon Davies and give the Blues' midfield a more familiar look.  Of Phil Neville, Kevin Kilbane and Leon Osman, you feel that only the latter deserves to keep his place in the absence of Andy van der Meyde if Moyes opts for 4-4-2.  Neville may have put in a good performance at Old Trafford but he was less effective against West Ham in midweek.

On the down side, James McFadden will surely be a doubt after limping out of the action on Wednesday with what looked like a sprained ankle.  If he does miss out, Moyes doesn't have the easiest of jobs figuring out who to partner with James Beattie.  Duncan Ferguson hasn't started a game since the victory over Middlesbrough, which suggests either his fitness isn't up to it or he should be fresh enough to start if Moyes needs him.  Unfortunately, though, he is a poor foil for Beattie who has shown that he works best with a player like McFadden who can do the running and feed balls into his feet rather than attract long balls from deep.

And then there is the increasingly annoying Krøldrup question.  Just what exactly is going on with the Dane and why isn't he playing?  Wednesday's dťb‚cle was the second occasion on which David Weir gave cause for serious concern about his consistency and pace.  If he's fully fit, now would be a good time to give Krøldrup his chance were this weekend's game not the physical battle it promises to be.  Unfortunately, the £5M centre-back is untried in these sorts of games and Weir is therefore better suited despite Wednesday's lapse.

Since the controversy at The Reebok a few season's back when Bolton were disallowed a legitimate goal in a game that finished 0-0 (and their fans cite as crucial in them going down that year) and Everton escaped the drop at their expense in 1998, matches between these two sides are always spicy affairs.  Saturday's game promises to be no different and how Everton respond to the West Ham defeat will be key.

Lyndon Lloyd


Matchday Stats

Today sees the 140th meeting between Everton and Bolton Wanderers.  This will also be the 70th meeting at Goodison Park and the 62nd in the League.

Everton's full record against Bolton is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

13

6

4

3

21

16

Division One

112

57

25

30

190

151

FA Cup

12

3

5

4

21

19

League Cup

2

1

1

0

2

1

TOTALS:

139

67

35

37

235

187

Our record at home to Bolton is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

6

4

1

1

13

7

Division One

56

33

16

7

105

64

FA Cup

6

2

2

2

10

9

League Cup

1

0

1

0

1

1

TOTALS:

69

39

20

10

129

81

There have been five Everton hat-tricks against Bolton Wanderers over the years with the last one being scored by Duncan Ferguson on 28 December 1997 in a 3-2 win at Goodison Park.

The most common victory for Everton is 1-0 which has happened 16 times in Everton's 67 victories.  Boltonís most common victory over Everton is also 1-0, which has happened 8 times in their 37 victories. The most common draw between the sides is 1-1, which has happened 15 times in the 35 draws between the sides.

Everton's record for 17 December is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

1

0

1

0

0

0

Division One

16

7

3

6

22

23

TOTALS:

17

7

4

6

22

23

This is the first time the clubs have met on this day.  Evertonís last match on this day was in 1994, when they drew 0-0 with Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park.  In fact, four of the last five matches Everton have played on this day have resulted in 0-0 draws!

Ramon ĎRayí Wilson was born on this day in 1934 in Shirebrook, Derbyshire.  Ray was signed from Huddersfield Town in July 1964 for £40,000 plus Mick Meagan.  During his time at the club, Ray not only won an FA Cup winners medal but was also a World Cup winner with England in 1966.  During his time with the club Ray made 154 appearances before being sold to Oldham Athletic in July 1969.

Steve Flanagan


Offensive and defensive failings laid bare

All the rhetoric at the beginning of the week was about making home advantage pay but after seemingly righting the ship after a disastrous start to the season, Everton's recent revival has gone to hell in a handbasket with back-to-back defeats in front of their own increasingly frustrated fans.

Bolton Wanderers were left seething back in August when Everton mugged them of three points by scoring with their only effort on goal, but Sam Allardyce's team muscled their way to an emphatic victory despite having just a third of the possession and not earning a single corner all game.  Conversely, the home side dominated the game in terms of time on the ball but did nothing with it until they were four goals down — another horrific reverse to blight David Moyes's perplexingly erratic Goodison tenure.

Of course, it once again started well enough.  The Blues had Bolton penned into their own half for the first half an hour, enjoying 78% of the possession but, despite some nice passing and plenty of patient build-up, particularly between Mikel Arteta, Tim Cahill and James McFadden, there was next to no end product.  In-between some silky skills by Arteta — in one delightful manouevre he danced around his marker and sped off down the touchline with the ball seemingly glued to his feet — and some nice interchanges involving McFadden, a nastier aspect to the game had been simmering ever since Kevin Davies had been booked in the first minute for chopping down Phil Neville from behind.

In the 26th minute, Jussi Jaaskelainen clattered into James McFadden and when the Scot flung an elbow into his chest to shrug him off, the Finn fell dramatically to the ground as if he'd been shot by a sniper from the top of the Bullens Road Stand.  It did little to endear him to the Goodison crowd and he was added to a boo-boy roster already boasting ex-Blue Gary Speed, ex-Red El Hadji-Diouf, and Kevin Davies.  A minute later, Faye was booked for intentional handball as he attempted to divert a left-wing free kick into the goal.

Everton's frustrations in the final third continued, meanwhile, when Beattie headed down invitingly for Cahill but he couldn't execute a quick turn in front of the 'keeper and the chance was gone.  Four minutes later, the first kick in the guts arrived as Bolton scored with their first effort on goal.

The ball pinged around the Blues' area despite an apparent foul on Yobo by Davies and when the Wanderers striker looped a header over Wright to the far post, it bounced off the base of the upright and over the line.  Beattie hooked the ball from behind the line but the linesman was confident that the ball had crossed the line and the goal was awarded.

Just as against West Ham four days earlier, Everton were rattled by conceding the goal and it took them a few minutes to regain their composure when McFadden tried one from 30 yards that was deflected for a corner.  Simon Davies saw a similar effort also deflected for a corner seven minutes later but, not for the last time, it too was wasted.  Half-time and it looked destined to be another frustrating day for Moyes's men.

No changes for either team at the break and no change in the pattern of play either.  Everton continued to dominate possession and six minutes into the second half, Jaidi was adjudged to have handled on the edge of the area as Beattie tried to flick it past him, but Arteta curled the direct free kick well over the bar.  10 minutes later, McFadden was flattened by Faye on the edge of the box providing Arteta with another opportunity to test Jaaskelainen but the shot was deflected wide.  The resulting corner was poor but ended up with Yobo swinging a boot at the loose ball that forced yet another corner that, again, found a white shirt instead of a blue one and the danger was cleared.

By this stage, Everton's problems going forward were fairly obvious.  They were in desperate need of some way or someone to unlock the Bolton defence on the ground because virtually every set-piece was met by a visiting head or boot.  It wasn't until the 71st minute that a free kick found David Weir who flicked it on and McFadden turned it past Jaaskelainen to level the scores... or so he and most of Goodison thought.  The linesman had, correctly, flagged the Scot offside and the "goal" was ruled out... although there was discussion as to whether Weir or a Bolton defender had secured the penultimate touch.

Four minutes after that, it was game over as far as the result was concerned.  A suicide pass by Weir — his second horrendous error of the week — fell to the substitute, Vaz Te, and he fed Giannakopoulos who had burst through the defence and the Greek clipped it past Wright to double the Trotters' lead.  Everton, despite enjoying 76% of the possession up to that point, were 2-0 down and heading for a second-successive defeat.

Moyes threw Leon Osman in place of Tony Hibbert, so Arteta — who, for reasons best known to the manager, had been switched to the left flank — moved back to right wing and Neville took up the right-back role but within a minute it was 3-0.  Nuno Valente had his arms around Kevin Davies' shoulders as they challenged for another aerial ball in the Everton area and referee Wiley awarded a penalty which Gary Speed planted the other side of Wright.

90 seconds later, the home fans' misery was complete.  Osman gave up possession in the centre circle to Giannakopoulos and when Yobo slipped trying to tackle the midfielder, who was presented with an open path to goal ó all the invitation he needed to run on and score the fourth goal.

Dead and buried, Everton finally started to make inroads on the Bolton goal.  For the first time all game, a Blue-shirted player got to the byline and Neville put in a great cross that Cahill turned over the bar from 6 yards out when he really should have done better.  With five minutes left, Osman made space on the edge to fire a shot goalwards and force the first save from Jaaskelainen, and the midfielder repeated the feat two minutes after and when the 'keeper's parry fell to Beattie, he put a first-time effort past the post.  And then, once more, Jaaskelainen was forced into a diving save to deny McFadden's 20-yard shot as injury time ticked to a close.

So, 0 points from 6 at home in the space of four days and, having failed to score, Moyes's team still have not managed double-figures in goals this season.  In fact, Bolton scored as many goals in an hour as Everton have managed at Goodison Park all season long in the Premiership.  It's an utterly embarrassing statistic that further emphasises the scale of the manager's error in not bringing in striking reinforcements during the summer and underlines the challenge he will have in trying to rectify that during the January transfer window now that he has nothing but a relegation scrap to offer potential signings.

And there's no guarantee that signing a striker or two next month will even solve the Blues' problems, such is the lack of imagination in the final third at times.  It will take the right sort of player, a player who can change the shape of the way the team plays and removes the reliance on long balls from the back and promotes a more effective attacking game played on the deck, down the flanks and through the middle.

Failing that, it's hard to see any evidence that Everton are going anywhere other than sideways or down under the present manager.  Yes, he has had his fair share of injury problems with which to contend but he seems to have no answer when his team goes a goal down, other than to keep running headlong down the same blind alleys until something falls their way.  Managing in the Premiership takes far more imagination than that... and we're about to find out if Moyes has what it takes with a crucial Christmas programme looming.

Player Ratings:

Wright 6 — Bolton had six shots on target all game and scored from four of them so he had little to do apart from pick the ball out of the net four times.  But his kicking is awful; he's embarrassingly one-footed and is poor even on his better foot.
Hibbert 6 — He was his usual self, tenacious in the tackle at the back but erratic at crosses. Was needlessly booked for kicking the ball away after the whistle had gone.
Valente 6 — Started well enough but became more sloppy as the game wore on, culminating in the penalty for the third goal.  Needs to improve his distribution in the opposition half.
Weir 6 — An OK performance in a bruising encounter marred by another calamitous error.  It is time to introduce Per KrÝldrup.
Yobo 8 —The guy is a class act.  He mopped up many Bolton attacks behind Weir and in front of Wright but his slip as the last man allowed Stelios to run through and score number four and that spoiled an otherwise impressive display.
Neville 7 — He covered an amazing amount of ground and did well even when he switched to right back, showing Hibbert how to get forward and to the byline with a late cross.
Cahill 6 — Busy without being incisive.
Davies 6 — Arguably the least effective of the midfield quartet.
Arteta 7 —
Another fine performance but, along with the other three in midfield, loses a mark for failing to turn such territorial domination into more chances
McFadden 7 — Made a great start but faded in the second half.
Beattie 6 — Covered a lot of ground but his lack of movement and tendency to make the wrong choices is frustrating to watch.
Osman 6 —
Was highly involved in the Blues' best moments right at the end but loses a mark for his responsibility for the fourth goal.

Lyndon Lloyd


That Isnít Football

We were all geared up for a scrappy, niggly horrible game of football, but unfortunately were not even allowed that privilege as Bolton surpassed even there own standards and played with this tactic ó clear the ball, when they pick it up, foul them.  It was simply ridiculous.

Generally speaking we were pretty negative when talking about the match in the pub prior to kick off.  We took our seats just in time and as expected Cahill and Arteta were both back in, although I was surprised to see that there was no room for Kilbane in the side given his height and workrate.  Osman also unlucky to have dropped to the bench alongside Bent, Kilbane, KrÝldrup and Ian Walker according to the match announcer.  No Duncan Ferguson.  The end is nigh...

Weíd won the toss so attacked towards the Park End in the first half.  It took Bolton all of 30 seconds to get a ridiculously bad challenge in.  Kevin Davies threatening the carrier of Phil Neville early on with an unnecessary and late challenge which he collected a booking for.  It seriously could have been a red.  And that set the tone for the game.  Boltonís ďif it moves kick itĒ approach making it nigh on impossible for any team to play against them.  Itís just a waste of time.  Itís not football.  I felt Everton did quite well given the circumstances.  Maybe they could have given it back to them a bit more, as it was only really Phil Neville and sometimes David Weir who were prepared to do so.

We had a few half-chances despite all this though with Cahill just getting the ball nicked away from him as he prepared to turn and shoot.  Another ball in found Jaaskelainen scrambling after the ball under heavy pressure from Cahill.  The ball broke back to Hibbert who had a chance to shoot but didnít and instead crossed and it was cleared.  Bolton on the other hand were content with how things were going.  Yes they may win things with this style of football... but thereís something fundamentally wrong with the way they go about it, and I donít see the point.  A big waste of time.  No wonder they couldnít fill their end and donít fill their stadium.

I felt Boltonís first goal (typically from a set piece) shouldnít have counted given that, with the ball played up, Yobo was sent sprawling to the ground under a challenge from I think Jaidi.  The ref didnít give it and I canít really recall what happened next, though do remember seeing that big blob Kevin Davies getting a brilliant header in over Wright and into the corner of the net.  It hit the post and trickled over the line before Beattie could get to it.  Their first foray into our box and the fuckers go and score.  Kevin Davies couldnít resist giving it back to the crowd with a taunt about his waist size.  Fair cop Ė heíd been given plenty of stick.  By this point Hibbert had collected a booking for kicking the ball away and was treading on thin ice.  There had also been an incident involving McFadden and Jaaskelainen when McFadden appeared to strike their keeper with a stray elbow.  As youíd expect, he went down like a sack of shite.  Ste seemed to think he was struck in the chest and not the face and was just being a tit.  Either way, McFadden was lucky not to walk.

God knows what happened next in the Lower Gwladys.  I think two fans started fighting and the entire Lower Gwladys was turned watching this while the game continued.  A few coppers got involved.  Just when it seemed to settle down, some young lad ó no older than 14 ó started making tropical bird noises and taunting someone with foul language from the row.  It was bizarre.  As he walked off some fella shouted ďSMACKHEAD!Ē which made good light of the situation.  McFadden and Davies meanwhile both tried their luck from long distance with both efforts getting deflected wide.  Half time: 0-1.

The second half was just more of the same.  Everton trying, huffing and puffing, but unable to blow down the house.  We just couldnít do it.  Credit to Bolton at least for the way they defended; we never really had any chances I donít think.  Nobody seemed willing enough to gamble.  The one time McFadden did gamble he managed to score from a Beattie flick-on from a free kick.  I thought weíd done well ó the linesman thought he was offside.  I havenít seen it since but all I do know is that some fella on the way out of the ground was convinced it came off the defender's head on the way through, although Iíve just received a text saying it WAS offside so it probably was.  The game ticked away.  Diouff got subbed and had an altercation with Weir as he left. 

Everton then collapsed.  We hadnít done too badly up until then but you canít really legislate for God awful defending like this.  For the second goal, Weir gave the ball away cheaply and all of a sudden some fella was charging forward.  He wriggled past Cahillís last-ditch attempt to tackle him and played in Gianakopolous.  He finished sweetly past Wright.

It almost instantly went from bad to worse.  The ref gave a penalty.  I thought it looked very harsh as Kevin Davies toppled backwards into Valente and down.  I thought he was actually backing in but was quite far away.  Barry Horne on Radio City said that Valenteís hands were all over him, in which case itís a penalty.  Speed stepped up and sent Wright the wrong way: 0-3.

Gaz wanted to go.  I wanted to stay a bit longer.  I donít know why.  Beattie flashed a header towards the corner but it didnít have enough pace and Jaaskelainen could have thrown his cap on it.  Next thing I knew, it was 0-4.  I think it was Yobo who cocked up this time as Gianakopulos cut across the box and flashed it beautifully into the corner. 

ďLetís go,Ē said Gaz.  ďIím offĒ said Ste.  ďOKĒ I said.  I couldnít take anymore.  I donít know how many people were left in the stadium at the end but it canít have been many judging on how many left when we did.  To make matters worse we got back to the car park and turned the radio on to find out that Beattie had just missed a sitter.  We were blocked in by a big 4x4 for ages.  A while later, some smug Bolton fans got in.  It was just too much to take.

I guess itís time for Per.  God, he'd better be good.

Player Ratings:

  • Wright:  Couldnít prevent any of the goals.  Genuinely had little else to do except for one smart save down to his left.  7 
  • Valente:  Gave away a soft peno and I donít remember him doing much else. 4
  • Yobo: Did the job. 7
  • Weir:  Poor pass for their second and bad judgement with a lot of balls forward.  Will be dropped on Boxing Day.  5
  • Hibbert:  Did OK.  Was walking a tightrope most of the game due to his early booking for kicking the ball away. 6
  • Arteta:  Completely wasted out on the left in the second half.  Started the game well and faded.  5 
  • Davies:  Was reasonably competent in the middle.  6
  • Neville:  Got into them.  I just wish some of the others did as well.  7
  • Cahill:  Anonymous.  5 
  • Beattie:  Battled well.  7 
  • McFadden: My man of the match.  Battled well and was our biggest threat.  7
     
  • Osman (for Hibbert):  Didnít see much of his cameo but was introduced too late and maybe shouldnít have been dropped at all.  Canít judge.

Paul Traill

* Unfortunately, we cannot control other sites' content policies and therefore cannot guarantee that links to external reports will remain active.

 
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Match Reports
2005-06 Reports Index
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EVERTON (4-4-2)
  Wright
  Hibbert :23' (78' Osman)
  Weir
  Yobo
  Valente
  Arteta
  S Davies
  Neville :70'
  Cahill
  McFadden
  Beattie
Subs not used
  Turner
  KrÝldrup
  Kilbane
  Bent
  Unavailable
  Pistone (injured)
  Carsley (injured)
  Naysmith (injured)
  Ferrari (injured)
  Martyn (injured)
  Vaughan (injured)
  Ferguson (injured)
  Li Tie (unfit)
  Ruddy (on loan)
 
BOLTON (4-4-2)
  Jaaskelainen
  N'Gotty
  Jaidi
  O'Brien
  Faye :30' (84' Djetou)
  Nolan
  Stelios
  Okocha (71' Hunt)
  Diouf (75' Vaz Te)
  Speed
  K Davies :1'
  Subs not used
  Walker
  Nakata
 
Premiership Scores
Saturday 17 Dec 2005
Aston Villa 0-2 Man Utd
Everton 0-4 Bolton
Fulham 2-0 Blackburn
Man City 3-0 Birmingham
Portsmouth 1-0 West Brom
West Ham 1-2 Newcastle
Wigan 3-0 Charlton
Sunday 18 Dec 2005
Arsenal 0-2 Chelsea
Middlesbro 3-3 Tottenham
 
Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Chelsea 46
2 Man Utd 34
3 Liverpool 31
4 Tottenham 31
5 Bolton 30
6 Wigan 28
7 Man City 27
8 Arsenal 26
9 West Ham 25
10 Newcastle 25
11 Charlton 22
12 Blackburn 21
13 Middlesbro 20
14 Fulham 19
15 Aston Villa 17
16 Everton 17
17 West Brom 16
18 Portsmouth 13
19 Birmingham 12
20 Sunderland 5
After 18 Dec 2005



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