<% 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 - Middlesbrough vs Everton
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Venue: Riverside Stadium, Teesside
Premiership
 Saturday 14 October 2006; 3:00pm
Yakubu (pen:27'), Viduka (71)
Half Time: 1-0
Cahill (77')
Attendance: 27,156
Fixture 8
Referee: Mark Halsey

Match Summary

Phil Neville surprisingly started, but Osman was out injured.  Tim Cahill was also listed in the starting line-up despite his International exploits on the other side of the world, with Simon Davies rewarded for his impressive Wales performances with a rare start.  Andy van der Meyde and James McFadden were among the subs.

Everton started well despite an overly physical response from the Middlesbrough monsters, Davies getting battered strongly by Euell, Huth (on his debut) unceremoniously thundering into Andy Johnson with an "old-fashioned" shoulder charge and sending him flying across the pitch-side path into the advertising hoardings.  There were some good signs that Everton would try to play decent football, with Arteta making a great run into the area and winning a corner, from which Simon Davies fired well wide with a first-time volley.

After a good opening 15 mins, the pendulum swung Boro's way and they put the Everton defence under some pressure, forcing an error out of Yobo but Lescott made key interventions to hold things together.  Yakuba was looking hard for a penalty, based on minimal contact from Lescott.  Howard was forced to punch well on the stretch while, at the other end, Valente had a long-range pop at Schwarzer.  But on 26 mins, an attempted clearance by Neville was charged down, and the bouncing ball caught Everton square, with Howard forced to run out but he brought down Yakubu in the process, conceding a penalty, which Yakubu calmly converted.

Everton proceeded to look even more ragged at the back, with a lot of last-ditch defending, Hibbert making a vital block to prevent Viduka from scoring.  Hibbert, back from a longish break, pulled something and hobbled off, pausing in the middle of the pitch on instruction form Moyes to give him a minute or two to organize his substitution.  Beattie was the choice, as Moyes switched to 4-4-2, with Phil Neville moving to right back.

Davies almost scored with a good strike that blocked well by Pogatetz, who alongside Huth had the measure of just about anything Everton could throw up their end. Yakubu got free at the other end and had a clear run on on goal but blasted it over.  More danger for Everton, after Neville fluffed a header and Valente gave away possession.  Everton were struggling to get a grip on things and keep their shape as lots of mistakes allowed Boro to run them ragged.  Downing was relishing his chances without Hibbert to block him, and Neville less able to catch him. 

An Arteta free-kick was superbly delivered, flicked on to the far post, but Lescott could not get the ball into the net.  Lescott should have done better at the far post on a crowded corner.  A good move ended with Beattie going down somewhat unconvincingly after leaning into Pogatetz but no whistle as half-time loomed.

Boro restarted with some moments of comedy, Yakubu performing a remarkable air-shot and Pogatetz falling flat on his back. But Everton were not without fault, with promising Everton moves breaking down at critical moments, wayward passes, aimless punts, or overstruck crosses. It was a very physical game being played by Middlesbrough with little protection to Everton's lightweight midfielders being provided by referee Mark Halsey.  To illustrate this, Cahill was clearly pushed off the ball in their area as he jumped but may have over-elaborated the dive, to no avail.

A long ball from Schwarzer had Yakubu got Lescott mixed up; the bal hitting him on a raised arm and it was given as another penalty!  Yakubu went the other way but Howard had guessed right and dived superbly to turn it around the post.  A massive let-off for the Blues!!!  But the Everton defence again looked poor as Cattermole missed a clear chance to score.  A second goal looked inevitable and a good attack on 71 mins finally undid Everton with Euell setting up Viduka to strike beneath Howard.  The Everton defence looked sad and sorry, with people drawn into the wrong positions, a shambles at the back.

At the other end, Everton tried to respond, with the corner count building, and Carsley firing but his shot was blocked. Arteta was everywhere, and playing some nice stuff, but the players in front of him were not running into space, or when they did, Arteta would overhit the pass.  James McFadden came on for Simon Davies after 74 minutes and seemed to give Everton some much-needed direction and urgency.  Three minutes later, stealing the ball off AJ's toe, Tim Cahill did superbly to run through and fire strongly into the roof of the net, putting Everton right back in it for the last 15 mins.

Howard had to save well from Cattermole before Everton were denied another penalty when Beattie was clattered at the near post to prevent him from scoring.  Then a great chip over the defence to Cahill, but he was offside.

Everton piled on some pressure, with a number of corners being won, that McFadden delivered with some threat.  But the game fizzled somewhat with more stoppage-time substitutions (Van der Meyde on for Valente) that led to eight minutes added. 

There had been patches of good football from Everton but the defensive lapses cost them dear, and the old old story failure to retain possession and deliver the final ball into the area effectively.  It was a tough physical game, though, with Huth and Pogatetz dominating at the back and Johnson didn't really get a sniff.  Blues fans will criticize the ref also for favouring the overly physical approach that worked out so well for the Boro, while Everton's centre-back paring of Yobo and Lescott  gave possibly their worst ever display.

Michael Kenrick

Match Report

Everton's unbeaten start to the season came to a frustrating end at The Riverside as a combination of defensive lapses, attacking deficiencies and inconsistent refereeing condemned them to a 2-1 defeat.

David Moyes was forced to make changes to the line-up that started against Manchester City but not, perhaps, in the manner that many expected given the pre-match team news. Andy Johnson, Nuno Valente and Tim Cahill were all doubts for the trip to the northeast but all three started, while Tony Hibbert returned at right back and Phil Neville moved into midfield and Simon Davies got his first start since the opening day because of an injury to Leon Osman.

As expected, the manager started with 4-5-1 and for the first 10 minutes or so, the Blues looked like the home side, stroking the ball around nicely and, in a pleasing contrast to last season, eschewing the long punt upfield in favour of a more measured approach. The problem was, though, that the passing game wasn't proving much help in the final third where the Tutonic muscle and physical presence of Robert Huth and Pogatetz kept Johnson shackled for much of the match.

An early effort by Lee Carsley trickled through to Mark Schwarzer and a Mikel Arteta through-ball that picked out Cahill was met with a similarly tame finish before the Spaniard skipped delightfully past Andrew Davies and pulled the ball back from the byline but Huth cleared before it could reach Johnson. From the resulting corner to the edge of the box, Davies volleyed crisply wide from distance, while Valente had a rare shot on goal from 30 yards that the 'keeper couldn't hold but there were no Blue shirts following in.

'Boro for their part took a while to settle but once Yakubu and Viduka began to find their rhythm, they began to ask questions of their own of the visitors' defence. First, the Nigerian prompted calls for a penalty from the home fans when, having danced past Yobo he tripped over the ball and fell in the box. Then, Stewart Downing crossed dangerously to the back post where Tim Howard had to punch smartly away with Viduka ready to pounce.

Then came the first pair of costly errors in the Everton defence: Neville's attempted clearance was blocked by a Boro midfielder and when Yakubu siezed on the loose ball and touched it wide of Howard, the goalkeeper clattered right through him for a clear penalty. Referee Mark Halsey had no hesitation in awarding the spot kick and sensibly elected not to book Howard as well. Yakubu's resulting shot which sent the American the wrong way and nestled in the opposite side of the net was to be punishment enough.

No need to panic in the Everton ranks, you would think, but just two minutes later came another balls-up at the back when Valente chested a loose ball down but had to pull out an attempted clearance when Howard dived at his feet to claim the ball... with the end result being that neither got it and as it squirmed free in the direction of Viduka, Hibbert had to turn it behind for a corner.

That was to be one of Hibbert's last contributions to proceedings as he was forced off with a injury after 33 minutes, with James Beattie coming on in his place and Neville slotting into his familiar right-back position.

The change to 4-4-2 seemed to give Everton more options and the Middlesbrough defenders more to worry about that Johnson who was dwarfed by Huth and no match physically. And the Blues' best chance of the half arrived 10 minutes before the break when the ball fell invitingly to Davies almost on the penalty spot but although he hit it sweetly and it could have been destined for the net, Pogatetz made a smart block to deny the Welshman.

Meanwhile, Gareth Southgate's side remained a menace at the other end, with Yakubu ballooning over after being put clean through down the left channel, Euell wasting a good chance that Howard parried and Valente hacked clear from three yards out and Neville doing his best to gift a second goal when he gave the ball away in midfield and almost finished the move off for Boro by turning the ball into his own net. Thankfully, Howard was well positioned and made the save from his captain.

Everton finished the half the stronger, though, with Arteta floating in a free kick that Beattie flicked on and Joleon Lescott just failed to connect with at the back stick, and the Blues' no. 9 tumbling in the box a minute later in what looked to be a limp attempt at trying to win a penalty.

That might not have been a legitimate claim but the one that arrived after 12 uneventful minutes following the restart was a far more viable one. Johnson, enoying a rare moment of space in the box went down under a shove by Pogatetz but the referee waved play on. From the resulting corner, Yobo rose highest of all to claim a free header but he could only steer it well over the crossbar.

Meanwhile, Everton were still shooting themselves in the foot at the back. Valente failed to get the ball clear on the hour mark forcing Yobo into an emergency clearance from the six-yard box from Lee Cattermole's cross, and then came what appeared to be game-killing moment when Yakubu chased a long through-ball with Lescott and forced the defender, who had been impreccable up until then, into an almost instinctive handball as he tried to flick it past him.

Boro were awarded their second spot kick of the afternoon but this time Yakubu went for the other corner and although he placed his kick well with plenty of pace, Howard guessed right and palmed it behind to keep the score at 1-0.

Not to be denied, though, the home side continued to carve out inexplicably large expanses of space in the Everton rearguard and Cattermole really should have done better in the 68th minute when, as the extra man over and in acres of room, he blazed well wide with just Howard to beat.

Four minutes after that, though, Viduka was not to make the same mistake, finishing a terrific Middlesbrough move that tore through the Blues' defence with apparent ease to double Boro's advantage.

If that wasn't frustating enough, two minutes previously Cahill had been blatantly shoved in the back in the Boro area as he rose to meet an Arteta corner but the referee had awarded nothing despite being well placed. What could have been 1-1 had turned to 2-0 in the space of a couple of minutes.

To their credit, Everton did respond by upping their game a little and Carsley had a volley blocked before Arteta turned inside and fired a yard or so wide from just inside the box.

However, Schwarzer really hadn't been tested until Cahill took the ball off Johnson on the edge of the area, jinked past Huth leaving the German for dust and smashed it into to the roof of the net to give the traveling fans hope at 2-1.

It set up a grandstand finish that never really came as Everton, despite the introduction of James McFadden for Davies and, in injury time, of Van der Meyde for Valente, didn't really create another chance of note. Beattie had another potential penalty turned down as he was bundled over at the back post jumping to meet Arteta's clever dinked ball in from the right but the best chance of another goal fell to Cattermole who forced a good save by Howard to keep the score down.

Despite eight minutes of injury time, the Blues failed to seriously test their opponents' defence and their challenge petered out into their first defeat of the season.

While the previous three failures to earn maximum points had been largely down to not taking their chances, in this instance it was a case of not creating enough opportunities, of not having sufficient ideas to break down a well-organised defence and of some very costly errors in our own back line.

Yobo was uncharacteristically jittery and unreliable and despite making a great save to deny Yakubu a second goal from the spot, Howard had his worst game for the Blues so far. In midfield, Davies once again offered almost nothing in an attacking sense and up front Everton's biggest weapon in the form of Johnson was marginalised by great defending. All of that added up to a first loss on the season and plenty for Moyes to think about as he seeks to arrest the current run of four games without a victory.

Lyndon Lloyd

Match Preview

With another international break out the way, Premiership football is back on the menu and unbeaten Everton travel to The Riverside to take on one of the division's more erratic sides in the form of Middlesbrough.

Gareth Southgate's team may have been the first — and thus far only — team to beat Chelsea this season but they have failed to win a game since that surprise triumph seven weeks ago.  They have lost their last three at home in all competitions and are currently languishing at 17th in the table.

Everton by contrast are enjoying one of their best starts to a season in decades and remain one of only two teams yet to be beaten among the 92 league clubs.  Despite occupying fifth spot, however, the Blues have failed to register a win in their last three games, drawing each when they could — and probably should — have taken maximum points.

Naturally, Evertonian fears ahead of this one will revolve around the availability of Andy Johnson, the player who has undoubtedly done more to transform the Blues' fortunes since last season than anyone else.  He picked up a hamstring strain against Manchester City a fortnight ago and was forced to withdraw from the England squad for their two uninspiring Euro 2008 qualifiers against Macedonia and Croatia.  He will undergo a fitness test before this weekend's game but my money would be on him starting.

If he doesn't, Moyes has some thinking to do as James Beattie, his other big money striking signing, has proven poorly equipped — through no fault of his own — to succeed in a 4-5-1 formation.  He simply doesn't have the pace to be a outlet on the counter-attack in the way AJ has been so successful.

The manager could, however, bank on the midfield's improved support for the lone striker so far this campaign and play Beattie alone up front anyway, or he could throw either James McFadden or Victor Anichebe into the mix for his first Premiership start.

Phil Neville, who picked up a hamstring injury of his own during the warm-up for the Macedonia game, is a big doubt as is Nuno Valente who has a groin strain.  If both of those players are declared unfit, Moyes will likely have to deploy a central defender as an emergency left back seeing as Gary Naysmith and Alessandro Pistone are also sidelined with injuries.

Tony Hibbert should return to right back following a one-game suspension and while Tim Cahill will likely be jet-lagged after flying back from Australia midweek, he should at least start.

Boro, who will be without the injured Jonathan Woodgate but welcome Julio Arca and George Boateng back to first-team availability, are clearly struggling to find the right formula so Everton will have plenty to exploit if they themselves can get their act together early on.

The emphasis must, on the evidence of the past three games, be on converting those chances that do arrive, while also ensuring that the midfield continues to support the striker(s) in forward areas, and the defence holds it's line.

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Stats

The 123rd meeting between Everton and Middlesbrough sees Everton and Aston Villa as the only two teams in the English league system who are still undefeated.  With the last three league games yielding draws, Everton are looking to remain undefeated and get back to winning ways on Saturday.

Everton's full record against Middlesbrough is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

22

10

6

6

35

24

Division One

84

41

20

23

147

115

FA Cup

11

4

5

2

18

15

League Cup

5

2

2

1

7

6

TOTALS:

122

57

33

32

207

160

The last match between the sides was at the end of last season on 29 April when a magnificent James McFadden lob secured the three points at the Riverside Stadium in a 1-0 win.

Whilst our overall record against Middlesbrough is quite favourable, our away record (at Riverside and Ayresome Park) is not as good:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

11

4

3

4

14

14

Division One

42

10

12

20

45

73

FA Cup

5

0

3

2

5

9

League Cup

3

2

1

0

5

3

TOTALS:

61

16

19

26

69

99

Whilst our overall away record suggests that Everton will not break their current drawing run, the record for 14 October would suggest otherwise, although Everton’s Premier League record for this day sees us with a 100% drawing record:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

2

0

2

0

2

2

Division One

12

6

4

2

27

13

Inter-Cities Fairs Cup

1

1

0

0

4

2

TOTALS:

15

7

6

2

33

17

The only other matches in the Premier League on this day were in 1996 (a 1-1 draw at Bolton) and 2000 (another 1-1 draw at home to Southampton).

Interestingly, out of the 15 matches played on this day, Everton have scored in 14 of them.  The only blank was the derby match in 1922, when Liverpool won 1-0 at Goodison Park.
Milestones that can be reached this game:

  • If Everton remain undefeated, they will increase the club record for the number of consecutive league games undefeated in the Premier League to 11, putting them just nine games behind the overall club record of 20 league matches undefeated, set in 1978.
  • If Everton draw, then they will match the club record for the number of consecutive drawn matches in the Premier League at 4.
  • If he plays any part in the match, James Beattie will be making his 50th League appearance for Everton.

Steve Flanagan

Fan Report

May appear here later

Author

* 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
  Home Teamsheet
  Everton Teamsheet
  Premiership Scores
  Premiership Table
  Match Preview
  Pre-Match Stats
Match Reports
2006-07 Reports Index
< Man City (H) Sheff Utd (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
MIDDLESBRO (4-4-2)
  Schwarzer
  Davies
  Huth
  Pogatetz
  Taylor
  Cattermole 53' (82' Parnaby)
  Boateng (c)
  Downing (90' Arca)
  Yakubu
  Euell
  Viduka
  Subs not used
  Turnbull
  Rochemback
  Maccarone
 
EVERTON (4-5-1; 4-4-2)
  Howard
  Hibbert (33' Beattie)
  Lescott
  Yobo
  Valente (90' Van der Meyde)
  Carsley
  Neville
  Arteta
  Cahill
  Davies (74' McFadden)
  Johnson
  Subs not used
  Wright
  Weir
  Unavailable
  Osman (injured)
  Pistone (injured)
  Stubbs (injured)

Premiership Scores
Saturday 14 Oct 2006
Wigan 1-3 Man Utd
Arsenal 3-0 Watford
Aston Villa 1-1 Tottenham
Liverpool 1-1 Blackburn
Middlesbro 2-1 Everton
Man City 0-0 Sheff Utd
Portsmouth 2-0 West Ham
Reading 0-1 Chelsea
Sunday 15 Oct 2006
Newcastle -v- Bolton
Monday 16 Oct 2006
Fulham -v- Charlton

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