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Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool
Premier League
 Sunday 11 May 2008; 3:00pm
Everton 
3-1
 Newcastle
Yakubu (28', pen:82'), Lescott (78')
Half Time: 1-0
 Owen (pen:46') 
Attendance: 39,592
Fixture 38
Referee: Peter Walton

Match Summary

With AJ another victim of Everton's burgeoning end-of-season injury crisis, David Moyes gave Victor Anichebe a rare start in the line-up named for the final game of the season at Goodison Park. Hibbert missed the match as expected but Joleon Lescott completed an almost perfect attendance record with just one league appearance as a sub.  Among the subs for this game were Dan Gosling and Jack Rodwell.

Newcastle started brightly and put together a good move from the off that sliced through the Everton defence amidst a great atmosphere of celebration at Goodison Park. Howard was forced to save after 5 mins from Carroll. 

Poor use of the ball was Everton's downfall early on, as they looked a nervous and there seemed little intent to attack with conviction as the passing was poor with the final ball and Anichebe's touch letting Everton down.  But after the quarter hour Yakubu got in a somewhat scuffed shot after a lovely turn flew just wide with Anichebe sliding in. 

Jagielka got a shot in after chesting it down with his back to the goal but it bounced just wide. Everton were starting to look more cohesive and their improved football was rewarded after 28 mins. A free-kick on the left, awarded  when Duff cynically held back Pienaar as he was about to burst forward delivered in well by Fernandes, was converted superbly with a diving header from Yakubu that gave him his 20th goal of season and set Goodison alight.

A dangerous free-kick from Newcastle flew just over the bar but, after more good football from Everton and a great cross from Phil Neville, headed back perfectly by Lescott for Yakubu to power home into the net again off his head but the linesman flagged for Lescott being offside.

A decent shot from Fernandes followed some great work by Anichebe, pulling down a hoofball from Neville, fighting off two Toonies, then back-heeling superbly for into the path of the Portuguese midfielder. His shot  forced the save form Harper and and Osman following up could not convert as Everton ramped up the pressure and looked for the second goal.  Anichebe then got in on the act and Harper fumbled his strong shot, the ball bobbling just the wrong side of the post.

Some more superb football down the right say Fernandes lay the ball off perfectly for Neville who chose not to cross first time but drove into the area along the byeline and then powered a bullet-hard cross directly at Yobo's head.  All the unmarked centre-half had to do was power the ball into the net but it flew a foot over the bar.  Osman then ploughed forward and beat everyone as Everton piled on the pressure but somehow Harper stuck out a hand to stop his excellent goal-bound shot.

Just after the break, and N'Zogbia strolled through the sleepy Everton defence who were still celebrating the good first half performance, and won a penalty when Yobo could only stick out a leg that he greatly fell over, Owen powering it under Howard's body to equalize for Newcastle.  So much for that clean-sheet record...

It took a while for Everton to recover from the shock and start taking the game to the Toonies again.  Fernandes had a similar free-kick that he nearly scored from forcing a difficult save from Harper that someone should have turned in, and then he went more direct, forcing a smart tip-over by Harper.

As storm clouds gathered over Goodison, Everton looked to consolidate their superiority with a second goal, with good play form Fernandes, who was involved in everything, and fancy flicks from Steven Pienaar.  Anichebe did better, got around his man, but failed to push the ball in to Yakubu at the right moment, taking an extra touch that made the chance all the more difficult for Yakubu to convert. 

Then finally, on 70 mins, Carsley pushed a quick free-kick to Fernandes whoclipped in a nice ball that deflected off Taylor, and there was Joleon Lescott at the far post to fire the ball across goal and just inside the near post. 2-1! Europe here we come!  A good chance later for Anichebe on a great ball from Yakubu, one-on-one with Harper but the keeper somehow anticipated yet again with that magic left hand of his.  Brilliant save.

With 10 mins left, a great run in from Osman, who was struggling to retain the ball, saw him fouled by Taylor and Everton were (somewhat kindly!) awarded a penalty!!!  And it was converted with considerable lan by The Yak,: 3-1 for a wonderful finish to the season. By way of celebration, David Moyes brought on Tommy Gravesen for the last five minutes, to a great singing ovation for the ground, full of very happy Evertonians... bouyed by news that Villa could only draw at West Ham.

Jack Rodwell was the final substitution, Lee Carsley coming off after possibly his final Everton game.  Gravesen went on the rampage and almost created a hat-trick for Yakubu.  A final corner from Fernandes wrapped things up and it was a marvellous lap of honour to the raucous strains of "If ya know yer 'istory..."

A great performance to finish a great season that held so much promise of being far far better, but for that dreadful spell after the defeat to Fiorentina. The fact that this threadbare team was able to put in such a good performance today, in their 54th game of the season without the likes of Cahill, Arteta, Johnson, Vaughan etc just proves the lie that they were not capable of securing fourth.

Michael Kenrick

Match Preview

And now, the end is here... the end of a pretty long Everton season, comprising 54 senior games. 

But this is no time to start the season review, for the Blues face a pretty important task today: they need just a point from today's game against Newcastle to make absolutely certain of a 5th-place finish and automatic qualification for the Uefa Cup, for a second successive season. 

Of course, if Aston Villa who are three points behind Everton going into the final day fail to beat West Ham (away) then Everton will be home and dry no matter what result they achieve against  Kevin Keegan's resurgent Barcodes.  Which would be a good outcome because Everton are yet again on another dreadful end-of-season run, and to compound the potential misery they, failed to win their final league fixture for the last 11 years, since a 1-0 home victory over Aston Villa on 5 May 1996.


It was Ten Years Ago yesterday,
on the last day of the 1997-98 season, 
that Gareth Farrelly's unlikely goal
saved Everton from relegation:

Gareth has just had to have emergency
surgery to remove a cancerous growth
from his pancreas.  We wish him well.

In terms of current form, Everton still languish near the bottom of the league at 16th thanks to a series of abysmal performances since their failure to beat Fiorentina on penalties two months ago, crashing painfully out of the Uefa Cup, and ripping the heart out of the team.

Injuries haven't helped, and the latest on that front is that Tony Hibbert damaged medial knee ligaments in last week's loss to Arsenal, and will be out of action for three months.  Joleon Lescott needs special injections to strengthen his knee over the summer but may still play today, which would  be fitting as he has been named Player of the Season this week by just about everybody.   

Arteta, Cahill and Vaughan will all be missing again with long-term injuries, so the side will in all probability pick itself, unless David Moyes gets adventurous and decides to give Dan Gosling his debut or has young Jack Rodwell in the line-up.  Heck, if Lescott is out, perhaps Anthony Gardner might even get a game!

The last two months have been tough; happy memories of earlier successes and some glowing football from Everton at their peak have only served to deepen the frustration of watching the return of aimless  hoofball, as Moyes has seemed unable or unwilling to lift his supposedly tired troops out of their terminal torpour.

But come on  lads. One last push is all we ask for. And who better to put to the sword than Keegan's Toonies? I'd luv it, I'd really luv it if we could beat them and end with a win! 

Michael Kenrick

Matchday Stats

Everton go into their 156th match against Newcastle United looking to secure a spot in the Uefa Cup next season, in the last match of the season.

Thanks to Portsmouths defeat last week, Everton have secured Intertoto Cup football at least for next season.  However, the team can gain entry into the Uefa Cup by either gaining a point against Newcastle, or by Aston Villa failing to win at West Ham.

Everton's record against Newcastle United:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

29

9

6

14

33

44

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:

155

61

32

62

233

236

Our record at home to Newcastle United:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

14

7

3

4

18

14

Division One

59

33

11

15

122

72

FA Cup

3

2

0

1

4

1

Full Members Cup

1

1

0

0

5

2

TOTALS:

77

43

14

20

149

89

The last visit by Newcastle United to Goodison Park was on 30 December 2006, when a brace from Victor Anichebe and a very rare goal from Phil Neville secured a 3:0 win.

The last match between the sides, was the corresponding fixture earlier this season on 7 October when an Andy Johnson strike and a Shay Given own goal were not enough to stop a 2:3 defeat.

This will be Evertons 10th match on 11 May:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

4

0

0

4

5

15

Division One

5

2

2

1

7

4

TOTALS:

9

2

2

5

12

19

Worryingly, Everton have lost every Premier League match they have played on this date so far.  The last was the 0:7 defeat at Arsenal, when Everton had already secured Champions League football in 2005.

The last time Everton played at home on this date was in 2003, when the newly crowned champions, Manchester United arrived at Goodison Park.  A Kevin Campbell goal was not enough to prevent a 1:2 defeat which meant that Everton were pipped for a European place by Blackburn Rovers.

Milestones that can be reached this game:

         If Everton win, then they will beat the club record for the most matches won in a Premier League season.  The current team are level at 18 wins, matching the 2004-05 season when Everton finished in 4th place.

         If he scores a hat trick, then Yakubu will become the seventh Everton player to score at least 3 first class hat tricks in a single season for the club.  The other six are Bill Dixie Dean (who achieved the feat in 5 separate seasons, including the club record of 8 hat tricks in a single season in 1931-32), Bobby Parker, Bert Freeman, Tommy Lawton, John Willie Parker, and the last player to achieve this feat back in the 1985-86 season, Gary Lineker.

        If he scores a goal, Yakubu will have broken the 20-goal-a-season mark, the first time anyone in a Royal Blue Everton jersey has done that since Peter Beardsley in 1991-92.

        If Everton are not awarded a penalty against Newcastle, they will have gone the entire season without being awarded any penalties in the league.

Steve Flanagan

Match 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.

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EVERTON (4-4-2)
  Howard
  Neville
  Jagielka
  Yobo (85' Baines)
  Lescott
  Carsley (91' Rodwell)
  Fernandes
  Pienaar
  Osman
  Anichebe (85' Gravesen)
  Yakubu
  Subs not used
  Wessels
  Gosling
  Unavailable
  Johnson (injured)
  Hibbert (injured)
  Arteta (injured)
  Cahill (injured)
  Vaughan (injured)
  Van der Meyde (injured)
  Turner (injured)
  Vidarsson (loan)
  Boyle (loan)
  Jutkiewicz (loan)

NEWCASTLE (4-4-2)
  Harper
  Enrique (79' LuaLua)
  Beye
  Faye (46' Cacapa)
  Taylor (90' Ramage)
  Butt
  N'Zogbia
  Smith :65'
  Owen (c)
  Carroll
  Duff :27'
  Subs not used
  Tozer
  Forster

Premier League Scores
Sunday
Birmingham 4-1 Blackburn
Chelsea 1-1 Bolton
Derby 0-4 Reading
Portsmouth 0-1 Fulham
Sunderland 0-1 Arsenal
Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool
West Ham 2-2 Aston Villa
Wigan 0-2 Man Utd
Middlesbro 8-1 Man City
Everton 3-1 Newcastle

Premier League Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Man Utd 87
2 Chelsea 85
3 Arsenal 83
4 Liverpool 76
5 Everton 65
6 Aston Villa 60
7 Blackburn 58
8 Portsmouth 57
9 Man City 55
10 West Ham 49
11 Tottenham 46
12 Newcastle 43
13 Middlesbro 42
14 Wigan 40
15 Sunderland 39
16 Bolton 37
17 Fulham 36
18 Reading 36
19 Birmingham 35
20 Derby 11
Final Table
alt


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