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Venue: Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Premier League
 Sunday 3 May 2008; 3:00pm
SUNDERLAND
0-2
 EVERTON
Half Time: 0-0
Pienaar (48'), Fellaini (71')
Attendance: 41,313
Fixture 35
Referee: Martin Atkinson

Match Summary

David Moyes finally rested two of his favourites, Hibbert and Osman, who have been looking increasingly jaded in recent weeks, Lars Jacobsen and Dan Gosling given starts in a new-look right-hand side.  J, Fellaini and Cahill also started in a pretty strong line-up that was merited in the face of a strong, determined and decidedly niggly Sunderland side.

Head injuries were the theme in the first minute, Malbranque coming off  worst against Cahill, off down the tunnel for 5 stitches and plenty of Vaseline.  The rest of the first half was scrappy stop-start stuff, with Atkinson blowing for almost all contact, and Jo being caught offside seemingly on every forward move.  But it was Everton who played the better football and looked the more comfortable, although the Sunderland style of aerial attack was at least getting ball into the Everton area.

J had been lively up front and looked to have a good chance, cutting inside form the left but his shot flew a foot wide of the far post.  On replay, it looked like Fulop got enough on it but, not for the first time, Atkinson erred on the corner decision.

It was not long after the start of the second-half, with Everton looking increasingly dominant that J fed a nice ball through to the energetic Pienaar.  He commendably held off Bardsley and just about kept his footing (when in truth he could easily have gone down for a penalty) enough to slide the ball nicely under Fulop for the crucial opening goal.

The win was effectively sealed when Jacobsen fed a good ball forward to Pienaar in space, and he picked out Fellaini with an inch-perfect ground ball, giving the Big Fella just the right set-up for an accurate side-foot onto the net form 12 yards.  A deceptively simple elegant goal of great quality.

After that, Moyes pulled Jacobsen off and  sent on Jack Rodwell for the last 20 mins.  Cahill was booked for a trip on Bardsley, and it looked like Jones might score as Everton ball-watched the resulting free-kick.  Pienaar then went into the book for a lunge near the touchline. J was then switched out to give Louis Saha a  coddled 10 minute run-out to keep him loose!

Gosling, who had been somewhat disappointing, and then Saha for having his foot dangerously high on Anton Ferdinand, both went into Atkinson's book in the last 5 mins... four yellow cards had become something almost unheard of in recent months for Moyes's highly disciplined players.  Castillo then came on for Gosling. 

Everton comfortably played out the rest of the match in  front of a deliriously happy travelling contingent, an excellent result and a well-drilled professional performance, thankfully shorn of the perennial frustration that is Leon Osman.  Hopefully he is now in serious jeopardy of losing his place for the final!

Michael Kenrick

Match Preview

Everton's quest to overhaul Aston Villa and finish fifth for the second season running continues this weekend with their penultimate away game of the season, a potentially tricky trip to Sunderland.

The Black Cats are four points above the relegation zone and hoping to put more distance between themselves and the four clubs below them, while the Blues are hoping that Hull City can extend Aston Villa's winless run to 10 games when they play at Villa Park on Monday night.

A win for David Moyes's men at the Stadium of Light would be their first on the road since the last time they were in the northeast when they beat Middlesbrough on Boxing Day and would see them leapfrog over the Villans for 24 hours at least.

In addition to Phil Jagielka, whose season came to a premature end last weekend when he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee against Manchester City, Moyes will also now be without Jack Rodwell who picked up an injury playing for the Reserves in midweek.


Jo: Likely to replace Louis Saha up front

Joleon Lescott will partner Joseph Yobo at the back, Jô is expected to return to the starting line-up up front and Tim Cahill should start as well after being rested for the first hour of the defeat to City.

That leaves Moyes with a decision to make between Segundo Castillo and Marouane Fellaini and much will likely come down to the latter's fitness. Fellaini picked up a knee injury in the FA Cup semi-final and wasn't able to complete either of the last two Premier League games.

Lyndon Lloyd

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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SUNDERLAND (4-4-2)
  Fulop
  Ferdinand
  Collins
  Davenport :31'
  Bardsley :90'
  Malbranque (83' Edwards)
  Leadbitter :41'
  Richardson
  Whitehead
  Cisse (63' Healy)
  Jones
  Subs not used
  Tainio
  Murphy
  McShane
  Ben-Haim
  Colgan

EVERTON (4-5-1)
  Howard
  Jacobsen (73' Rodwell)
  Yobo
  Lescott
  Baines
  Neville
  Cahill :79'
  Pienaar :79'
  Gosling :84'  (86' Castillo)
  Fellaini
  J (80' Saha :85' )
  Subs not used
  Nash
  Vaughan
  Agard
  Wallace
  Unavailable
  Hibbert (injured)
  Anichebe (injured)
  Arteta (injured)
  Jagielka (injured)
  Yakubu (injured)
  Valente (injured)
  Turner (injured)
  Ruddy (loan)
  Jutkiewicz (loan)

Premier League Scores
Saturday 2 May 2009
Chelsea 3-1 Fulham
Man City 3-1 Blackburn
Middlesbro' 0-2 Man United
Portsmouth 0-3 Arsenal
Stoke City 0-1 West Ham
Tottenham 1-0 West Brom
Wigan 0-0 Bolton
Sunday 3 May 2009
Liverpool 3-0 Newcastle
Sunderland 0-2 Everton
Monday 4 May 2009
Aston Villa 1-0 Hull City

Premier League Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Man Utd 80
2 Liverpool 77
3 Chelsea 74
4 Arsenal 68
5 Aston Villa 58
6 Everton 56
7 West Ham 48
8 Man City 47
9 Fulham 47
10 Tottenham 47
11 Wigan 42
12 Bolton 39
13 Stoke 39
14 Portsmouth 38
15 Blackburn 37
16 Sunderland 35
17 Hull 34
18 Newcastle 31
19 Middlesbro 31
20 West Brom 28
After 4 May 2009



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