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 Venue: St James Park, Newcastle Premiership  Saturday 25 February 2006; 5:15pm
 Solana (62', 76')   Half Time: 0-0
    
 Attendance: 51,916 Fixture 27 Referee: Graham Poll

Match Summary


Sandy Westerveld: Who'd a thought you'd ever see handbag man in an Everton shirt?

With no less than four players suspended, numerous players injured, and an emergency stand-in goalie for Everton in the shape of Sander Westerveld, you'd be forgiven for expecting a dour backs-to-the-wall defensive slog from Moyes's boys in this mid-table "six-pointer"... but the first half was far from it, with some scintillating football gracing St James Park from both teams. 

The Everton bench included John Ruddy, who had done so well against Blackburn to keep a clean sheet, but was deemed lacking in sufficient experience (duh!) for this one by his manager, David Moyes.  Also, there was a first exposure at this level for young Icelandic striker, Bjarni Thor Vidarsson (what's his squad number?), suggesting that Victor Anichebe may be injured.

Everton showed maturity, confidence and control from the kick-off, but within a few minutes, Newcastle were slicing through the packed blue midfield with some slick passing and good movement that gave the Everton defence plenty to think about it. 

But the more an enthusiastic and determined Newcastle pushed forward and slipped the ball around, the sooner you realized that Everton had the measure of the lively Emre and tricky Solano.  For a while, the game became a challenging midfield tussle, before a slew of exhilarating chances developed as the half-time got nearer.

Two fantastic off-the-line clearances from Emre prevented certain goals for David Weir, and an absolutely brilliant free-kick from Arteta, wickedly curling and dipping under Given's bar, was superbly tipped over by the Newcastle goalie. 

One the whole, Everton had played exceptionally well, the main disappointment being Kilbane, who caused the breakdown of most forward moves he got on the end of.  Yobo, returning after a seven-game African Nations sojourn to an icy Northeast from the balmy winter climes of Egypt, was also well off his game, but the most refreshing thing was seeing Everton for once playing the ball out of defence on the ground, rather than hoofing it hopefully upfield.  And Westerveld was a tower of strength in the Everton goal, one superb reaction save worth the entire decision to bring him in.

The second half reverted to a cagey midfield battle, with Newcastle defending better, and a fear creeping in that Everton might have missed a glorious sequence of chances to stick one to the obnoxious Geordies.

A goal finally came, but it was for Newcastle, just as Everton were looking to lock this game down.  And Emre was involved with Yobo failing to detain him, his ball in to N'Zogbia, who's drive into the area finally got behind the Everton defensive.  From there, it was a textbook low cross that evaded Westerveld and Solano could not fail to convert despite pressure from Valente. [His clear shove in Valente's back to get him out of the way was key but Poll didn't see it.]

Everton's response was to finally take off Kilbane, who had been atrocious, replaced with McFadden, followed by Lee Carsley replacing Cahill, who had picked up a few knocks.  But it did not take long for Everton to be totally undone by some determined passing across the front of the defence that finished with an absolutely world-class curling shot from the outside of Solano's boot, which flew in unstoppable fashion across Westerveld to win the game for Newcastle.  Game Over.

After such an inspiring first half, it all ended rather sadly for Everton, and for Westerveld, beaten by two very well-constructed goals they have to be good to beat this solid and stingy Everton defence these days.  

Perhaps you can criticize the second-half performance, which failed to live up to the promise shown in the first half.  It was not a result Evertonians can be happy with by any means but, under the trying circumstances, hardly a complete shocker.  Everton slip down the table to 12th, with Newcastle jumping up to 10th.

Michael Kenrick


Match Preview

Fresh from an enforced two week break following their exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Chelsea, Everton return to Premiership action with a trip to Newcastle United who have shown signs of life under the temporary stewardship of Glen Roeder and Alan Shearer.

The training trip to Miami will hopefully help to keep the Blues' momentum going following an unbeaten start to 2006 in the Premiership and a seemingly impossible win over Blackburn last time out.

That 10-versus-12 victory didn't come without a price, though, in terms of suspensions with Tony Hibbert and Phil Neville picking up their fifth yellow cards.  Iain Turner's harsh punishment for handling outside the area also sidelines him with a one-game ban.

His absence, combined with extended layoffs for Richard Wright and Nigel Martyn, means that David Moyes has scrambled to land former Liverpool goalkeeper, Sander Westerveld, on loan from Portsmouth.  An approach for Mart Poom foundered when Arsenal realised they would not be able to re-register him for the Champions League if they allowed him to join Everton on loan.

Westerveld will start on Saturday, the fifth goalkeeper to turn out in a Royal Blue jersey in a senior fixture so far this this season.

Joseph Yobo returns from African Nations Cup duty and with Hibbert and Neville out, he could be asked to fill in at right back with no real alternative for that position elsewhere in the squad.  Matteo Ferrari is in contention for a return to central defence but the Alan Stubbs / David Weir combination will be hard to displace.

In midfield, Lee Carsley is likely to return to his midfield holding role and James Beattie will hopefully have built up some fitness after hobbling into the two-week break.  Duncan Ferguson is still suspended following his antics at Wigan.

Newcastle have plenty in their armoury but struggled under the suspect management of Graeme Souness (wow, who could have foreseen that one?!).  They should not be underestimated, particularly on their own turf.  A point would be a nice return but we've got a decent record at St James Park so you never know...

Lyndon Lloyd


Matchday Stats

This will be just the 152nd meeting between Everton and Newcastle United in all competitions and the 26th Premier League meeting between the teams.  This will also be the 75th meeting at Newcastle and the 13th meeting in the Premier League there.

Everton's full record against Newcastle United is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

25

8

5

12

27

38

Division One

118

47

25

46

181

179

FA Cup

5

3

0

2

6

5

League Cup

1

0

1

0

3

3

Charity Shield

1

1

0

0

5

3

Full Members Cup

1

1

0

0

5

2

TOTALS:

151

60

31

60

227

230

Evertons record away to Newcastle is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

12

2

2

8

12

24

Division One

59

14

14

31

59

107

FA Cup

1

0

0

1

1

4

League Cup

1

0

1

0

3

3

Charity Shield

1

1

0

0

5

3

TOTALS:

74

17

17

40

80

141

The last meeting between the clubs was earlier this season when a Joseph Yobo goal gave Everton a 1-0 victory at Goodison Park on 27 November.  The last meeting at Newcastle was on 28th November 2004, when a Lee Carsley free kick secured a 1-1 draw.

The most common Everton victory over Newcastle is 1-0, which has happened 13 times in Evertons 60 victories.  Newcastles most common victory is also 1-0, which has happened 15 times in their 60 victories.  The most common draw between the sides is shared between 0-0 and 1-1, both of which have happened 11 times each in the 31 draws between the sides.

There have been 8 hat tricks against Newcastle over the years, with the last being scored by Tony Cottee on his debut on 27 August 1988.

Everton's record for 25 February is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

1

1

0

0

1

0

Division One

16

8

2

6

32

23

FA Cup

1

0

0

1

0

5

TOTALS:

18

9

2

7

33

28

This is the first time the clubs have met on this day.  Evertons last match on this day was in 1995, when Duncan Ferguson headed the winner against Manchester United in a famous 1-0 victory.

John Robertson was born on this day in 1877 in Dumbarton.  Signed from Scottish club Morton in 1897, John made 31 appearances and scored 1 goal in his only season with the club, before he was transferred to Southampton.

Duggie Livingstone was also born on this day in 1898 in Alexandria.  Signed from Celtic in 1921, Duggie made exactly 100 appearances for Everton before being transferred to Plymouth Argyle in 1925.

Alex McCartney and Walter Scott were in the Irish team that drew 1-1 with England on this day in 1905, with William Balmer turning out for England.

Bobby Irvine was in the Northern Ireland team that beat Scotland 1-0 on this day in 1928.

Alan Ball, Brian Labone and Tommy Wright were all in the England side that beat Belgium 3-1 on this day in 1970, with Alan Ball scoring 2 of the England goals.

Steve McMahon won an England under 21 cap against their Irish counterparts on this day in 1981, with the England youngsters winning 1-0.

Milestones that can be reached this game:

          If he starts, Nigel Martyn will be making his 100th start for Everton in all competitions.

          This is David Moyes 150th Premier League match in charge of Everton.

          If Everton manage to avoid defeat, then they will match the club record of 8 consecutive matches undefeated in the Premier League.

          If either team scores a goal, then Everton will extend the current club record for the most consecutive matches without a goalless draw in the Premier League to 47.  They still have a long way to go though to match the all-time club record of 206 consecutive matches without a goalless draw!  This remarkable run started with a 3-0 defeat at Preston North End on 22 December 1888 and was ended when we drew 0-0 with Wolves at Goodison Park on 31 October 1896 a staggering 7 years and 313 days.

 

Steve Flanagan


Solano double ends Blues' impressive run

Everton's unbeaten start to 2006 in the Premiership came to a shuddering halt at St James Park thanks to two goals by Nolberto Solano as Newcastle leapfrogged them in the table on goal difference.  It was a game that was crying out for more strikers but ultimately underscored the Blues' deficiencies in that department in particular.  Nothing that the fans didn't already know but frustrating nonetheless.

As expected, Sander Westerveld went straight into the starting line-up wearing the No 26 jersey and, given the suspensions of Tony Hibbert and Phil Neville, Joseph Yobo lined up at right back on his return to the team following African Nations Cup duty.  Simon Davies started in right midfield, Kevin Kilbane on the right and Leon Osman, Mikel Arteta and Tim Cahill strung across the middle.  That left James Beattie largely chasing lost causes as the lone striker.

Newcastle, clearly enjoying a new lease of life having jettisoned Graeme Souness (the only surprises there are how long it took them to make the decision and, of course, why they hired him in the first place), started the more purposeful and incisive, with Emre pulling the strings.  The Turk was the architect of the first opportunity of the game in the third minute when he fired low across goal and Solano squared it back but Shola Ameobi couldn't connect at the post.

A couple of minutes later, following another flowing move, Ameobi was almost put in by Emre but he couldn't dig the ball out from under his feet and David Weir was able to clear.  And Lee Bowyer spurned a third chance for the home side when he screwed a shot that dribbled wide before Beattie had Everton's first effort on goal with a shot from at least 35 yards that went well wide of Shay Given's goal.

In fact, it took half an hour for David Moyes's site to get going.  Every set piece in the first half-hour was wasted and possession was being given away to barcode jerseys far too cheaply.  But in the 31st minute, the ball broke to Beattie in the penalty area and he stood a ball up at the back post for Kilbane but a spectacular clearance by Peter Ramage took it away from him before he could capitalise.  Then, Nuno Valente whipped in one of his wicked crosses but there was no-one forward enough to meet it.

Nine minutes before the break, though, Arteta made a set-piece tell when his corner found Weir.  While his header was wide of Given, it was hacked off the line by Emre.  Nine minutes after that, came a carbon-copy incident; Arteta swung in a corner from the same side, Weir made an even better connection but Emre cleared from the goalline.  In between, Given leapt high to tip Arteta's impressive 28-yard free kick over the bar and Bowyer's flick flew dangerously across the Everton goal.  Then, in first half injury time, Celestine Babayaro embarrassed Yobo (who was less than impressive as a right back) on the flank before cutting inside and feeding Solano but his shot was parried brilliantly from point-blank range.

Half-time and no goals but plenty for reasons for optimism for both sets of fans.

Unfortunately, the way Everton finished the first half was not the way they played the second half and they paid dearly.  Osman may have had the first shot of the second period when he was put through by Arteta and dispatched a first-time shot from around the edge of the area that flew wide but it was the home side who made the breakthrough in the 64th minute.

Charles N'Zogbia skipped past a horribly static Weir before squaring it for Solano whose blatant shove on Valente went unnoticed by the officials and allowed him the space needed to stab it home and make it 1-0 to Newcastle.

Moyes responded by bringing on James McFadden for Kilbane but while the Scot did provide something else for the Magpies' defence to think about, he never really got into the game.  Instead, it was Newcastle who continued to carry the greater threat and Westerveld was forced to save from Bowyer and Scott Parker bounced a shot wide from the edge of the box.

Everton's afternoon got worse when Cahill was injured in a challenge with Parker and had to be withdrawn in favour of Lee Carsley but, in truth, he didn't make much impact as a sub either.  And if the game was out of reach at 1-0 — which, let's face it, with Everton it usually is — it surely was with 14 minutes to go when Solano doubled the Geordies' advantage with a sublime shot from the edge of the area.  The Peruvian picked up a pass, side-stepped Valente with ease and then bent the ball around Westerveld's full-stretch dive with the outside of his right foot.

Apart from a Beattie shot in the last minute when he curled the ball the wrong side of the upright, Everton had little by way of a response.  Long balls from the back frequently sailed through harmlessly to Given and they certainly couldn't match the invention in midfield of their hosts.  Yes, suspensions did limit the manager's options but the biggest problems still lie in those areas least affected: attack and midfield.

The Blues were the better side in terms of form and league position before the game but it was clear by the end of 90 minutes that the better team won.  Having failed to keep a clean sheet or force the crucial breakthrough, the foundation for their success since the end of December just wasn't there and it will provide a reality check for those supporters who were beginning to seriously dream of European qualification.

Man of the match?  Hard to pick one, really, but either Valente or Arteta would probably be the leading candidates, with an honourable mention for Westerveld who didn't seem to do anything wrong.

Lyndon Lloyd


Ba-Ba-Boom

Gary and Gaz razzed it down the M62 at about 90mph before diverting to pick me up at Leeds.  It was just as well as theyd set off late.  It was similar stuff all the way down the A1 and we were in Newcastle for about 14:30.

As this was a late kick-off and a fair way to travel, we thought we might as well stay up there and sample some of the local culture.  We arrived at the hotel with no problems and got our keys.  We were told we were all getting a bed each with one being a single and the other two singles in a double room.  Well imagine the horror on mine and Gazs face when we opened the door to see just the one double bed.  A nightmare scenario and it was just as well that the hotel wasnt very good as they had two more single rooms to give us instead with no extra charge.  Phew!

We had a few drinks at the hotel bar before heading off towards town.  The girls behind the bar were all nothing short of spectacular and as the Bar Manager came across to the cigarette machine next to us he gave us a wink and said thats my favourite shirt lads and pointed to the Everton replicas adorned by me and Gary.  He was actually an Everton fan whos dad was from Bootle.  I asked him if he employed all the staff at which he proudly claimed Aye.  There all very experienced.... are they fuck theyre all just fit as fuck man.  And then as if to highlight his sleaziness he went we only employ one lad.... and hes taking the bins out!.  Nice!

A taxi pulled up and I jumped in and went alright mate, only to look up and find it was a female driver.  She was sound and when I enquired about a bar called Ba-Ba-Boom she pissed herself and told me there was no such thing.  One of my Geordie mates has clearly stitched me up here, much to everyones amusement.  She dropped us at a sports bar called Fluid which was good and not too busy.  There were plenty of blues and skunks in there and there were no problems whatsoever.  We got chatting to a few Newcastle fans who were sound but obviously not too clued up on their football as they asked me if Steve Watson was playing!

At about 16:50, we headed on to the nearby ground and after a bit of deliberation found our way to the turnstile.  Now Gary has proclaimed as long as Ive known him that the away fans at Newcastle are so high up and far away its ridiculous, and that the Newcastle Police are a nightmare.  He also claims that the amount of stairs you have to walk up is simply ridiculous.  Well hes not wrong there.  I guess its a good test of fitness and one which I failed.  It seemed to take forever to get to the top.  Once up we found are seats and again Gary was right you are so high up and far away it is genuinely insane.  The police on the other hand were no bother whatsoever.  Ill just be sure to bring binoculars next time.

The teams came out and Moyes had obviously tried his hardest not to change it.  Westerveld was obviously in goal and with Hibbert and Neville suspended in came Yobo at right back and Davies into midfield.  Kilbane played on the left with Osman practically up front alongside Beattie.  On the bench was McFadden, Naysmith, Carsley, Ruddy and Vidarsson the latest kid to make the step up to the bench.

We won the toss and swapped ends.

The first half ebbed away with Everton playing some decent stuff in patches, although so too were Newcastle United.  I seem to remember Solano having a good early sojourn into are box but we dealt with it.  It took Everton a while to get into the ascendancy but when they did I felt they could have stepped it up a gear or two.  They didnt, but to be fair did come close to scoring a couple of times.  Weir had two headers cleared off the line one spectacularly, and a well-worked free kick saw Arteta arch one goalwards which Given had to tip over.  Despite all this, it was Newcastle United who finished the half the strongest with Westerveld making a fantastic save to deny Solano in stoppage time at the end of the first half.  Half time: all square.

Half time was quite entertaining I guess.  Gary looked as though he was going to freeze to death while some pissed idiot near us provided a moment of sheer comedy.  For some reason he decided to start booting a seat.  As he did so he stumbled backwards on a seat behind him.  He must have realised he was stumbling as he then seemed to jump backwards while falling and somehow kept his body in shape enough to land on his feet.  His feet then crashed into some seats about four rows down from him.  He was so lucky he didnt hurt himself and even luckier that everyone directly below him had gone down to the concourse for half time.  I just couldnt stop laughing.  I then laughed even harder when Gary pointed out two people who had clearly come prepared to brace the cold air.  They must have had a record amount of layers on.  Peter Beardsley also made an appearance which was well received from both sets of supporters.

The two teams came out for the second half and it was a case of more of the same.  Everton were probably edging it though not doing enough to win it.  They did have a period of real ascendancy when they forced a number of corners and had Newcastle United on the back foot.  Osman probably came the closest to scoring here as he snatched a bit at a shot and hit the side netting.

It was strange then that Newcastle United scored during our little period of relative success.  Yobo was caught arseing about basically and allowing I think NZogbia to get a cross in.  It was a good ball as well which was well tucked home by Solano: 0-1 and you sensed Game Over.  McFadden replaced Kilbane almost immediately, but it was a difficult time to come on as Everton appeared to have given it up now.  Cahill got a knock and was replaced by Carsley.  Newcastle United continued to press and Everton half-cleared a ball.  Carsley and Davies didnt seem to communicate well and basically dithered, allowing Scot Parker to get a boot in.  The ball was squared to Solano who curled in a beauty with the outside of his left foot.  A peach, although could and should have been prevented.  We decided to leave then with ten minutes remaining.  One thing that is certain is that if Everton concede theres no coming back.

We got out and jumped in a taxi.  We were back at the hotel before full time and watched the last minute or two from the hotel bar.  At least the night out was better.

Just an observation.  Neville and Hibbert were both missed yesterday, most notably Hibbert.  His replacement Yobo was at fault for the first goal and Nevilles replacement Davies was at fault for the second.  I think they will be straight back in the team.

Player Ratings:

  • Westerveld: My Man of the Match.  More through a lack of genuine contenders than anything else but I dont think he really put a foot wrong and made two good saves one an excellent one. 7
  • Valente: Showed good attacking intent but was given a tough game by Solano who showed him up for pace more than once I felt. 6
  • Weir: Marshalled them well and was unlucky not to score with his second header. 7
  • Stubbs: Not quite as good as Weir but not too bad. 6
  • Yobo: Didnt really look interested at right back and was caught out for the goal. Not his position. 5
  • Kilbane: Generally poor but improved slightly in second before coming off. 5
  • Davies: Largely anonymous throughout and was at fault for second goal.5
  • Cahill: Kept things ticking with some tidy play but I felt played within himself a bit. 6
  • Arteta: As always was the focal point of anything we did that was attacking but has had better days. 6
  • Osman: Probably the pick of the bunch of outfield players. Hes very technically good. 7
  • Beattie: Lead the line reasonably well and could have done with some support. 7
     
  • McFadden (for Kilbane): Dont know. He came on, we conceded again, we went home.
  • Carsley (for Cahill): Dont know. He came on, we conceded again, we went home.

Paul Traill

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NEWCASTLE (4-4-2)
  Given
  Elliott
  Parker (c) :76'
  Boumsong
  Ramage
  Ameobi
  NZogbia
  Solano
  Emre (79' Clark)
  Bowyer
  Babyaro
  Subs not used
  Harper
  Faye
  Chopra
  Patterson
EVERTON (4-5-1)
  Westerveld
  Yobo
  Stubbs
  Weir (c)
  Valente
  Osman
  Cahill :38' (74' Carsley)
  Arteta
  Davies
  Kilbane (68' McFadden)
  Beattie
Subs not used
  Ruddy
  Naysmith
  Vidarsson
  Unavailable
  Neville (suspended)
  Hibbert (suspended)
  Turner (suspended)
  Ferguson (suspended)
  Wright (injured)
  Martyn (injured)
  Pistone (injured)
  Ferrari (injured)
  Van der Meyde (injured)
  Anichebe (injured?)
  Vaughan (injured)
  Li Tie (injured)
Premiership Scores
Sunday 19 Feb 2006
Tottenham 2-2 Wigan A
Wednesday 22 Feb 2006
Newcastle 0-0 Charlton
Saturday 25 Feb 2006
Birmingham 1-0 Sunderland
Blackburn 1-0 Arsenal
Charlton 0-0 Aston Villa
Chelsea 2-0 Portsmouth
Newcastle 2-0 Everton
Sunday 26 Feb 2006
Bolton 2-1 Fulham
Liverpool 1-0 Man City
West Brom 0-2 Middlesbro
Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Chelsea 69
2 Man Utd 54
3 Liverpool 54
4 Tottenham 46
5 Blackburn 43
6 Bolton 42
7 Arsenal 41
8 West Ham 41
9 Wigan 40
10 Man City 37
11 Newcastle 36
12 Everton 36
13 Charlton 35
14 Fulham 32
15 Aston Villa 31
16 Middlesbro 31
17 West Brom 26
18 Birmingham 23
19 Portsmouth 18
20 Sunderland 10
After 26 Feb 2006



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