<% Dim oMRTCs, oMRTRs, strSQL set oMRTCs = server.createobject("ADODB.Connection") oMRTCs.Open "Driver={Microsoft Excel Driver (*.xls)}; DBQ=" & Server.MapPath("/season/06-07/data") & "/premtable.xls;" strSQL = "SELECT * FROM [Summary$] ORDER BY Pos, Team ;" Set oMRTRs = oMRTCs.Execute(strSQL) %> ToffeeWeb: Season 2006-07 - Everton vs Fulham
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Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool
Premiership
 Friday 6 April 2007; 7:30pm
Carsely (26'), Stubbs(33'), Vaughan (45'), Anichebe (80')
Half Time: 0-0
Bocanegra (24')
Attendance:
Fixture 32
Referee: Dermot Gallagher

Match Summary

Everton score FOUR goals!!! Would ya believe it?  A resounding result just when it was needed the most to confirm Everton's desire for European qualification.  That Holy Grail of a positive goal difference may finally be within the grasp of David Moyes!

But it was sloppy start from an unchanged Everton, and an especially sloppy goal given away after a sloppy pass by Stubbs out of defence straight to the feet of Brown(?).  A corner resulted and it was Simon Davies who swung the ball in for a free header by Bocanegra, running into space on the 6-yd line that was unstoppable.  What's that about defensive quality?

The goal came supposedly against the run of play but up until that point the game had been dire and the football played by Everton particularly egregious.  The goal came as a much-needed wake-up call to the Blues, who went up the other end and finally produced a bit of joined-up football that involved Lescott going wide left and crossing low and hard for Lee Carsely to toe-poke the ball on just inside the far post, a nice finish. 

Soon it was a great comeback from behind (how rare is that?) as Alan Stubbs rose to nod down a great free-kick from Arteta, sending the ball bouncing off Niemei's palms and into the net.  Then, on the stroke of half-time, James Vaughan (who had missed a sitter then hit the post) finally got it dead right with a difficult half-volley he smacked off the the goalie's hands again and into the roof of the net: 3-1 and cruising!

For the second half, we sat back expecting the rout that never came... instead, it turned into target practise for
the Cottagers, as Everton invited them to come forward and score. But they couldn't and Moyes finally deciede to let James Vaughan get a nmuch-deserved ropund of applause from athe packed Goodison crowd, throwing on Victor Nichebe for teh last 10 minutes.

And it only took 65 seconds for the substitute to make his impact, laying the ball wide to Arteta, who then returned it with interest along the 18-yard line where Victor Anichebe side-footed home hard and accurate for the fourth goal! Very Nice!!!

Victor unfortunately managed to then twist his ankle, and Everton played the last 7 minutes with only 10 men, but it was such a great scoreline, no-one seemed to care.  Perhaps they can actually score goals if they are allowed to play "freely"?

Michael Kenrick

Four-Goal Blues Fire Euro Warning Shot

Everton climbed back into the top five for the first time since the end of September — albeit on goal difference and possibly only for a day — and signalled their European aspirations with their biggest Premiership win in a little over a year.

In an open game that surprisingly offered Fulham plenty of chances as the home defence ceded an uncharacteristic proportion of aerial advantage at the back, the Blues came back from a goal down to score three times before the break and then add a fourth for emphasis with 10 minutes remaining.

With Manuel Fernandes ruled out for a second successive game with a thigh strain, David Moyes named an unchanged line-up from that which came within eight minutes of winning at Aston Villa four days earlier. James Vaughan again got the nod up front alongside Andy Johnson, with Phil Neville and Lee Carsley deployed in central midfield and Joleon Lescott again at left back.

Despite the confidence gained from just one defeat in nine games, Everton took a while to settle into the kind of dominant rhythm the Goodison faithful were no doubt expecting against a team lying in 15th at the start of play. Moyes's side were stringing some nice passes about in midfield but there was little end product until Mikel Arteta arrowed an eighth-minute shot from the angle that Antti Niemi parried behind for a corner and then, in the next move, Neville sprinted to the byline on the overlap to force another corner with a dangerous low cross to the near post.

By that time, Liam Rosenior and Alexei Smertin had both put long range efforts high and wide of Tim Howard's goal, but Carlos Bocanegra made no mistake when presented with a free header from a Simon Davies corner after 21 minutes. Easily losing his marker, the defender rose to power the ball past Howard and spark a low rumble of boos from the home fans.

Goodison didn't have to wait long for the response, though. Less than two and a half minutes later, Arteta spotted the run of Lescott down the left flank and his low cross was met by Lee Carsley, his Easter egg bonce freshly bandaged to cover a cut to his brow sustained in a collision with Brian McBride, and with an emphatic flick with the outside of his boot he diverted the ball into the far corner to level the scores.

The Blues were visibly pumped up by now and after Vaughan had missed a great chance at the back post when Johnson's shot had been parried into his path by Niemi, Alan Stubbs continued the theme of atonement for the opening goal by putting Everton a head 11 minutes before the break.

Johnson had won yet another free kick near the touchline which Arteta swung in perfectly for Stubbs to head downwards and into the corner. Like Carsley, it was his first goal in two years.

Now looking like a team capable of securing Uefa Cup qualification, the Blues threatened again in the 41st minute as Johnson ran onto a ball forward and crossed brilliantly for Arteta but, under pressure from Tomasz Radzinski, the Spaniard made a mess of the header from around 10 yards out.

Still the Blues came forward, seemingly carving Fulham open at will. Johnson tracked back into his own half to win the ball and feed Osman who, in turn, laid it off to Lescott who was marauding down the left again. With impressive precision, he curled a low pass around behind the defence which was met by Vaughan on the slide but his shot cannoned off the post and back into play.

If Chris Coleman's outfit thought that their luck had held in time for the interval, he was to be sorely disappointed on the stroke of half-time when Vaughan did get the goal he deserved. More good pressure by Johnson at the byline allowed him to knock it back to Arteta whose cross was swept into the roof of the net by the 18 year-old striker.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Everton sat back a little in the second half as Fulham set about trying to find a way back into the match. And with a bit more composure in the air in front of goal they might have set the cat among the pigeons.

Simon Davies, seemingly making more of a nuisance of himself than he ever did in a Blue jersey, picked out McBride with a free kick but the American headed well wide and the Welshman wasted a good chance of his own midway through the half when he steered a free header too close to Howard.

McBride came much closer though, when he glanced Rosenior's terrific cross an inch or two past the post and Zat Knight also went close 12 minutes after that when he powered another dangerous set-piece over the crossbar.

Much as they had been at Villa Park earlier in the week, Everton were giving up more possession than was comfortable and they didn't create another genuine chance of their own until the 76th minute when Johnson, in acres of space, forced Niemi into tipping his header over the bar but might have done better with the whole goal to aim at.

And Vaughan's last contribution before making way for Victor Anichebe was to make the 'keeper beat out another shot with 11 minutes to go with a powerful strike from the right side of the box as the Blues exploited the gaps left at the back as the Londoners pushed forward.

Anichebe, who has had to watch from the sidelines in recent weeks as Vaughan has enjoyed a run in the first team, made an immediate impact with Everton's fourth goal. Starting the move by threading a superb through-ball between two Fulham players and into open space for Arteta, the young striker collected the return ball and side-footed it confidently past Niemi.

Unfortunately, in his exuberance and desire to impress further, Anichebe threw himself into a challenge on the touchline and seemed to damage ligaments in his ankle as he caught his studs in the turf. After a few minutes of treatment on the sideline it was clear he couldn't continue and the Blues, having already removed Arteta and Johnson and thrown on Naysmith and Beattie, played out the last few minutes with 10 men.

Fulham, to their credit, kept plugging away despite the scoreline and Helguson went very close with two injury time headers before referee Dermot Gallagher called time on a handsome Everton win without needing to brandish a single card.

For half an hour, Everton exhibited more of the growing confidence with which they have been playing since the disappointment against Spurs back in February and they had Fulham against the ropes heading into half time as they scored three times to reverse the aberration that allowed Bocanegra to score the opening goal.

Yes, they ceded far too much possession to their opponents in front of their own area and looked worryingly vulnerable in the air at set pieces but the Blues were impressive going forward and were full value for their biggest league win of the campaign so far. That they won by such a large margin without Johnson scoring — he had won real opportunity all game — is testament to how they shared the goals around and Moyes will be happy that both his 18 year-old marksmen found the net even if Anichebe is unlikely to be fit for the Easter Monday trip to Bolton.

That game takes on added significance following tonight's result but Everton will need to be far more solid in the air against Sam Allardyce's bruisers if they are to consolidate their position in the European qualification places.

Lyndon Lloyd

Match Preview

With just seven games remaining, Everton are gearing up for what could prove to be an important Easter programme as they pursue Uefa Cup qualification.

First up is the visit to Goodison Park of Fulham on Good Friday, where nothing but victory will be acceptable for the faithful who have seen a marked improvement in their side's attitude and application since the debacle against Tottenham Hotspur.  Spurs, who leap-frogged over the Blues at the weekend with victory over Reading at White Hart Lane, have an unenviable trip to Chelsea and David Moyes will no doubt see an opportunity there to re-claim sixth spot.

Then, the Blues face a potential "six-pointer" against Bolton — their other chief rivals in the European qualification places — at The Reebok Stadium on Easter Monday.  Victory there, with Tottenham not playing, would really help Moyes's side consolidate their position heading into the final five matches... if they start off with a win over Chris Coleman's Fulham.

match photo
Manuel Fernandes: Could be fit in time following a thigh strain

The manager is hopeful that Manuel Fernandes, who missed the Villa game on Monday night, will have recovered sufficiently from a thigh strain picked up on international duty with Portugal's U-21s to retake his place in the starting XI.  Certainly, the Blues looked far less effective with the double-defensive central midfield partnership of Phil Neville and Lee Carsley at Villa Park than when Fernandes has been able to add his flair and eye for a pass to the equation.

Assuming he is passed fit, reintroducing him and perhaps moving Neville back to right back might be the only change that Moyes makes.

There is the option to to mix things up in central defence and restore the the Yobo-Lescott partnership (as many visitors to these pages have begun clamouring for because of Alan Stubb's comparative lack of pace).  If so, Nuno Valente is fit and able to start at left back.

Where the bench is concerned, Andy van der Meyde may well have cooked his proverbial goose with statements made in the press that were critical of his manager but James McFadden came through a Reserves encounter earlier this week and could figure among the substitutes if Moyes deems him fit enough.

Having briefly flirted with the top 10 earlier in the campaign, Fulham come into this fixture — one they haven't won since the inception of the Premiership — lying in 15th place and five points above the relegation zone.  Chiefly to blame is the fact that despite drawing eight on the road so far they have only won once away from home, that sole victory coming at Newcastle back in early September.

That will suit Everton for whom this is a must-win game, particularly with Chelsea and Manchester United lying in wait in the final three games of the Blues' season and plenty of competition for the three Uefa Cup slots.

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Stats

The 45th meeting between Everton and Fulham sees us attempting to keep the pressure up in the race for the Uefa Cup spots.  This is also the 23rd time the clubs have met at Goodison Park as well as being the 186th time that Everton have appeared live on British television (and only the second time against Fulham).

Everton's record against Fulham is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

11

5

0

6

12

13

Division One

22

12

5

5

41

21

Division Two

4

0

3

1

5

8

FA Cup

7

0

3

4

5

9

TOTALS:

44

17

11

16

63

51

The last match between the sides (and also the only time the clubs have played against each other live on television) was earlier this season when Everton lost 0:1 at Fulham and, thus, kept going the fact that, every time this fixture has been played in the Premier League, the home side has always won!  The last meeting between the sides at Goodison Park was in March 2006, when 2 goals from James Beattie and another from James McFadden secured a 3:1 win.  In fact, Beatties 2 goals in that match was the last time he scored from open play!

Although only slightly ahead in the overall series, Evertons record of never losing against Fulham in a home league match suggests that they should keep up their Uefa Cup challenge:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

5

5

0

0

11

3

Division One

11

9

2

0

25

5

Division Two

2

0

2

0

5

5

FA Cup

4

0

2

2

3

5

TOTALS:

22

14

6

2

44

18

The clubs record on 6 April would also suggest that a home win seems the most likely outcome:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

3

2

0

1

5

4

Division One

18

9

5

4

32

19

Division Two

2

1

0

1

3

4

TOTALS:

23

12

5

6

40

27

The last Premier League match on 444444 this day was a 2:1 win against Newcastle United at Goodison Park in 2003, with the goals coming from Wayne Rooney and David Unsworth.

Milestones that can be reached this game:

          If he starts, James Beattie will be making his 50th League start for the club.

Steve Flanagan

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

Key Links
  Everton TV
  Match Reports
  Everton Teamsheet
  Away Teamsheet
  Premiership Scores
  Premiership Table
  Match Preview
  Pre-Match Stats
Match Reports
2006-07 Reports Index
< Aston Villa (A) Bolton (H) >
 Everton websites
 ToffeeWeb Summary
 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
 Sky Sports Report
 Sporting Life Report
 SoccerNet Report
 The Observer Report
 The Guardian Report
 Liverpool Echo Report
 Daily Post Report
EVERTON (4-4-2)
  Howard
  Hibbert
  Yobo
  Stubbs
  Lescott
  Arteta (82' Naysmith)
  Neville {c}
  Carsley
  Osman
  Johnson (82' Beattie)
  Vaughan (79' Anichebe)
  Subs not used  :79'
  Ruddy
  Naysmith
  McFadden
  Beattie
   
  Unavailable
  Cahill (injured)
  Fernandes (injured)
  Player (injured)

FULHAM (4-4-2)
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
  Radzinski (52' John (72' Helguson))
   
  Subs not used
   
   
   
   
   

Premiership Scores
Saturday
  -v-  
  -v-  
  -v-  
  -v-  
  -v-  
  -v-  
  -v-  
Sunday
  -v-  
  -v-  
Monday
  -v-  

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