No Steven Pienaar today, a big blow for Everton; he was replaced by Osman, playing wide left. Cahill played despite that injured knee, and David Moyes gave another start to Seamus Coleman in that advanced right midfield role. Everton slotted into the possession football on 3 mins, getting the ball out to Baines who crossed well but Cahill's header was straight at Ben Foster.
Everton incorrectly won the first corner that was delivered high, long and deep by Arteta, to avoid the big Brum defenders, producing some limited penalty area action. Birmingham were looking to break but Jerome was getting himself offside as Everton won a second corner looped way long to Fellaini... bizarre tactic, as there is no power on the header and the second header is powder-puff.
Fellaini caught Ridgewell with his elbow on a free-kick, but Arteta this time was way too short and failed to clear the first defender. Osman was linking well with Baines, who got a good run into the area but went down under pressure on the return ball from Yakubu. The Yak did better as left winger, crossing deep for Coleman to head back but to no effect, stealing the ball off Cahill.
Yakubu did well on the hold-up play but then elected to shoot instead of playing in Coleman as Everton dominated possession, but as ever, nothing to show for it after 25 mins. A better cross from Baines but Cahill was backing up and could not do better with his header that went well wide. After showing nothing, Jerome had a glorious chance as Jags and Distin let him through but his half-volley off a bouncing was poor and flew wide.
Osman did great to get the ball in for Yakubu and he benefitted from a defensive error to get a clear shot past Foster but the keeper had slowed it and the ball was somehow incredibly cleared off the line, Yak's shot in truth totally lacking in sufficient power.
Everton were pressing harder, Baines again looking to have been clipped as he dodged into the area. Some lovely football between Osman and Yakubu was spoilt by a poor poor finish from Osman when he really should have done far far better. After another promising forwad move, Carr brushed Osman off the ball too easily and galloped forward to set up a chance for Brum but their crossing, like Everton's was ineffective.
Half-time and Everton had again put in a decent shift but to no meanigful effect; too many looping crosses lacking power and drive; too little invention in the final third... Same old same old?
No changes into the second half Coleman and Osman looking to probe but getting in each other's way. Osman got a golden chance but wanted an extra touch instead of shooting first time and his shot was blocked away. A far, far better cross by Baines, lower and harder, was sent out for a corner by Johnson with Fellaini about to pull the trigger. Much better tempo to the game from both sides, Brum winning a corner that was well defended...
Everton looked brighter and at the other end, they got the ball forward with some pace for once, from a free-kick, Arteta to Baines and a clever low first-time cross from Osman looked to be going to Foster but Johnson bizarrely nicked it past him and into the net ? for Everton's first away goal of the season!!! Fully deserved based on the overall balance of play, which was well in Everton's favour, if symbolic in that a Everton player did not actually score it!!! Arteta finally had a shot from the edge of the area that was deflected away for a corner that was then totally wasted by Arteta. The chance to recover with a cross from Neville was equally poor.
Arteta gave away a silly free-kick, clipping Hleb, Fellaini defending it away well for a corner as Everton sustained some pressure with increasingly desperate defending. After weathereing that squall, Everton looked to strengthen their hold on the game but the towering Zigic came on to put more pressure on the Everton defence. Time to blood young Ross Barkley perhaps?
Coleman had been struggling to make much impression down the right, the game largely evading him, and when it didn't, the ball not running for him. Everton were thus not too convincing when looking to secure the second goal and they proceded to play rather nervously, letting Bowyer get close with an overhead kick. Carr than ran determinedly down the touchline to win a corner, from which Dann pushed over Johnson and then called for a penalty!
Heitinga was the first sub, on in place of Yakubu as Moyes implemented a "have, hold" policy that may be considered somewhat negative... McLeish pulled off Jerome but had two attackers now to Everton's none. Coleman went on a mazey run but lost his footing, and the respite was all too brief as Brum came back with another corner. Everton, unable to retain possession, drew Brum back into their area yet again, much to Moyes's annoyance, and Derbyshire should have done far better when he got through to the byeline, lashing the ball across and over the goal.
A rare cameo for Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, who came on for Coleman in the last 5 mins. His first contribution was a foul and his second a big hoof out of defence as Everton clung on to their somewhat fortuitous lead. Jagielka did well to confound Zigic and then Hleb broke through but his cut-back was poor as Everton shakily cleared the ball repeatedly to the half-way line before once again surrendering possession.
Three minutes of added time saw more balls pumped toward the Everton goal, the Blues playing on their nerves. A floated Brum free-kick from the half-way line bounced easily through to Howard and finally Everton took the ball up the other end, Arteta wining a free-kick near the corner. As they looked to time-waste, Baines had no alternative when he ran to the byeline and fired in a superb cross that Cahill stooped to conquer, banging home a fantastic powerful header from close range that almost broke the net to finally set Everton on their way this season.
Everton were much the better side so the victory was fully deserved, ending an unbeaten run for the home side of 18 games at St Andrews going back over a year. So ironic that the best moment of the game came inadvertently when the last thing they wanted to do was attack... it's a funny old game!
Michael Kenrick Posted 02/10/2010 at
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1 Posted 02/10/2010 at 17:14:15
2 Posted 02/10/2010 at 17:15:12
Osman was indeed one of our very best today, but a different headline would be suitable here.
3 Posted 02/10/2010 at 17:15:58
On the positive side at least something to take into the derby.
4 Posted 02/10/2010 at 17:24:41
And why bring on Billy with five minutes left? He brought him on a few games ago with three minutes left. What's the point?
At the end of the day, out of the bottom three - even if only until tomorrow and with the derby looking promising next week!
5 Posted 02/10/2010 at 17:28:53
Watch the game carefully if you have the chance: Osman was well involved in most of the decent stuff we did. Whereas Arteta, for example, once again was almost completely useless. (Although to be fair, the crucial first goal came from his free-kick played out to Baines rather than lofted uselessly into the area for teh umpteenth time.)
I can only tell it how I see it, and I would give Osman MotM. Hence the title.
6 Posted 02/10/2010 at 17:38:33
7 Posted 02/10/2010 at 17:38:31
8 Posted 02/10/2010 at 17:46:12
A more general point, is it maybe the case that playing on our left, with Baines supporting you, is a much easier job than playing on the right with only Hibbert or Neville for back up? Thoughts?
9 Posted 02/10/2010 at 17:52:52
Doesn't mean he won't be just as frustrating as usual next week; I'll hold my hand up and admit I'm one of his harshest critics, but I think he played well today, and could indeed have been the difference for us.
10 Posted 02/10/2010 at 18:00:33
11 Posted 02/10/2010 at 18:00:47
I also saw, througha very choppy online feed, more low-percentage long passes from Jagielka, as in previous games. Rarely if at all do they seem to be effective. - Can anyone elighten me as to the managerial logic of this instruction?
But a great result is a great result. Well done Boys.
Michael (Kenrick) - good action on getting a report published so quick mate - my feed was so bad today I couldn't even have a solid opinion of the team performance tonight!
12 Posted 02/10/2010 at 18:06:25
Considering Brum were 18 games without a home defeat, that was a job very well done.
Now bring on The Shite..
13 Posted 02/10/2010 at 18:10:08
I've come over all light headed & feel dizzy.... We're gonna win the league EE..I.. ADEDO, we're gonna win the league.
SHIT, I'm so happy I think I'm turning into Richard Dodd.
14 Posted 02/10/2010 at 18:18:21
15 Posted 02/10/2010 at 18:28:21
16 Posted 02/10/2010 at 18:33:35
17 Posted 02/10/2010 at 18:40:45
18 Posted 02/10/2010 at 19:00:29
Good to keep a second consecutive clean sheet. Still a bit worried about the performance of Arteta again, who looked well out of sorts, especially on set pieces and was playing sideways far too much. Think the Yak held the ball up well today, but still looks way overweight and his shooting is still under-par.
19 Posted 02/10/2010 at 19:07:46
20 Posted 02/10/2010 at 19:34:51
Football's like that, of course, so I for one am very glad to have the points in the bag this time around. Thought Osman had a good enough game. MOTM? Maybe, so I won't argue the toss.
Come on Blackpool - play the game of your season and depress those Gobshites even more.
21 Posted 02/10/2010 at 19:57:03
Much needed points on the board. COYB
22 Posted 02/10/2010 at 20:09:58
23 Posted 02/10/2010 at 20:12:43
24 Posted 02/10/2010 at 20:10:32
Pip might not be Cafu but I'm pretty sure our win rate when he's on the pitch pastes the rate when he's not. He's a leader and a winner and the team fight that bit harder when he's there and I think sometimes that's what makes the difference. Wasnt it Pips tackle on Ronaldo two seasons ago that kick started our season? He's the heart of our team.
Listened to the match on Everton TV so cant really comment on MOTM but fair play Michael Kenrick for giving Ossie credit where you think it was due.
25 Posted 02/10/2010 at 20:27:56
Fair play to Osman. He has had a lot of stick recently, deservedly so, and from me included, but in the interest of fairness he should be praised when he plays well as he did today, so well played Ossie.
Also in answer to post 11 from Mark, I actually thought Jags cut the long stuff out a bit more and played through midfield. He did play the odd long ball, but they were flighted into the front men, rather than the fast flat hoof that he has played recently. Also I can't believe he is told to hoof it, I just think he panics in possession when closed down.
Also Yak looked a lot sharper, and just needs a long run of games.
I also agree that we are better organised with Neville in the team in whatever position he plays. Arteta may be a good player, but he is not a captain
Let's hope we can keep this form going and build some confidence.
Oh, an international break next week, never mind...
26 Posted 02/10/2010 at 20:32:31
Anyway... great result and a pretty decent performance... Credit where it's due. Osman had one of his rare moments today... a relatively error-free game. Pity he can't do that with any consistency.
27 Posted 02/10/2010 at 20:41:11
If one more person attributes 'that' tackle to turning round our fortunes I swear everyone in my office should stay home on Monday, because that murderous rampage is on its way.
We still played crap after the Man Utd game that season, Wigan away being a particular lowlight, and it was the tactical decision to play Arteta in the centre that turned our fortunes, not a one-off tackle from a traffic director.
28 Posted 02/10/2010 at 20:48:11
All good teams have that mix of skill and steel. We got played off the park the other week by a Newcastle side that have just lost at home to Blackpool and Stoke. We lost to Newcastle because we had no fight.
29 Posted 02/10/2010 at 21:00:46
Mark, that's a verbatim quote from above... So, it is being suggested that he's the heart of our team.
Someone also implied our last two clean sheets are somehow down to his inclusion at right back..a rather ludicrous suggestion considering that he's replaced the most consistently good defensive player we've had this season...
30 Posted 02/10/2010 at 21:35:39
31 Posted 02/10/2010 at 23:03:39
Ian (27) - would that be the season Arteta missed the final third of due to injury......? And would it be the game before which we averaged 1 point per game and after which we averaged almost 2 until the end of the season.....?
Erm..... yeah... I guess it would be.
Sorry, but it was the defining moment in the defining game of our season and it was down to one Philip Neville. I'm not making it up - honest. I was there to see it with my own eyes but I'm sure you can see footage of it somewhere....
The point is Neville essentially made a statement that we weren't there to be fucked about and the players and fans responded to it. Which is what he brings to the table rather than a handful of stepovers that some would prefer him to have in his locker.
32 Posted 02/10/2010 at 23:28:41
It didnt turn our season around we continued to play poorly after that match. and not until the tactical decision to play Arteta in the centre did we turn things around, and once he got injured we tailed off badly, with Neville still in the team.
He was awful today, and is on the way down.
33 Posted 02/10/2010 at 23:40:28
Games after the Man U match:
W W W D L W L W D W W W....
Would you take that 12 game run now?
Lawro? MOTD? Do me a favour.
34 Posted 03/10/2010 at 00:43:57
Those are pretty meaningless stats unless you ignore the other ten players and their contributions, not to mention those coming off the bench. Equally what of the other players who were missing from games and returned from injury.
We've just been knocked out of a cup competition by lower league opposition having played poorly but I guess it's convenient to ignore Pip's involvement in that one as technically speaking we weren't beaten in open play. I'd have preferred to have seen Hibbert at right back as I think he would have linked up better with Coleman.
Osman to his credit had a good game and combined well with Baines throughout the match. Very grateful for the three points, but lets not kid ourselves. Our two recent results have been against opposition who can't buy a goal. Talk of clean sheets and attributing these to the presence of Neville is well wide of the mark. For a start, it ignores the fact that Coleman playing in front gives added defensive cover where previously we had none. This was patently obvious in the Fulham game when Coleman had to bail Neville out. This highlights the flaws in using statistic's in this way. I'm not against the use of stats per say. However, they do need to be used with caution.
35 Posted 03/10/2010 at 02:17:15
Osman is not a permanent star player. Unfortunately. But he has his games. This game was a good one for Osman, as for Everton. As for us all.
I've also critcized Osman. And will do again.
Sorry, Osman. Way of the game, you know?
You are playing for Everton. And I know you're heart is in the right place. Good enough for me. Just please be a star player more often, would you?
But I like yo
36 Posted 03/10/2010 at 02:12:44
Personally I thought the Yak was shite today. I admit to only watching on TV as I live in the US but here is my take on what I saw:
A player with a poor touch.
Running with the ball at a defender he pokes it forward with too much weight and possession is lost.
An easily controlled ball (for a player in the PL) which he allows to go out of play and then feigns disbelief.
Cahill sells an excellent dummy and the ball arrives at the Yak's feet who then does not look up and sees Timmy's run to his right and a chance goes begging.
A player who chooses to shoot when Osman was a far better option to his left.
When in on goal uses his left foot when his right would have curled it past the keeper (I know the defender may have still intervened but...)
A forward player that played too far out of central. I know this is caused by the manager's team formation but can he not sprint back to central areas rather than trot back to where he should be?
A footballer has to make quick decisions, that I understand, but for me the Yak has become too selfish in trying to get that first goal for him at the expense of the team.
My thoughts only and feel free to rip 'em apart!
37 Posted 03/10/2010 at 03:52:50
I thought this was a good match report and fully impartial in giving Osman the credit for finally putting in a good shift, thanks Michael.
Neville: I am sick of hearing how he makes a difference, his main contribution yesterday was to give the ball away consistently. At the moment, Hibbert is our best option at RB.
Regardless of how we do over the next few games, let's celebrate finally breaking our winning duck.
38 Posted 03/10/2010 at 07:52:46
Give credit where it's due. Osman had a very good game. He had a few shots and it's always nice to see people having a crack at goal. His link-up play was pretty good too.
39 Posted 03/10/2010 at 09:14:15
Great report I managed to watch the match on live feed and apart from short bursts from Brummies we controlled the game and the only difference from some of the earlier games this season was a bit of luck. Apart from magpies.
40 Posted 03/10/2010 at 10:18:57
You totally miss the point. I'm not out to bash Osman who was good. I was simply pointing out that when you use his name in the heading you would also expect a bit more lines on how he bossed the game?
To mention that i fail to see anyone that really stood out in this game is also not the point.
When the title is "OSMAN drives Blues to victory" one would expect Kenrick to deepen his sentiment a bit.
And again, no I AM NOT having a go at Leon Osman, just my opinion on headings.
41 Posted 03/10/2010 at 11:08:14
On Osman knockers, the English summariser on the feed I was watching gave him MotM at full time. This almost exactly coincided with someone on the matchday blog posting something like "Another crap performance from Osman" ? Couldn't believe it.
42 Posted 03/10/2010 at 14:06:57
43 Posted 03/10/2010 at 14:14:06
44 Posted 03/10/2010 at 14:25:27
45 Posted 03/10/2010 at 14:08:33
Another game well controlled that could have easily have gone the way of the other away games so far. A bit of luck at last, which seemed to be going against us after the two penalty shouts when Baines was tripped.
Very good win but still the same problems with the cutting edge. Reliable on Cahill until Yakubu shins one in and gets his own confidence going. Solid at the back yet one error from Distin and almost a disaster.
Great support and Cahills gesture to the crowd when he scored spoke volumes on how he feels about the fans. Well done, Everton.
46 Posted 04/10/2010 at 03:47:33
His set-pieces are still trash though.
My MotM was Fellaini or Jags.
47 Posted 04/10/2010 at 15:25:39
The next two results will see if we have turned the corner I believe. One win doesn't make everything in the garden all rosy again.
48 Posted 04/10/2010 at 20:23:46
For people who ask why Bily comes on near the end of the game, its not Moyes being clueless, its to do with his work permit. As a non EU player, he needs to appear in a minmum percentage of games that he is available for (around 75%), in order not to lose his work permit - hence brining in on with 2-5 mins to go is for him to register an appearance.
Although why Moyes would pay 10m for a player he does not seem to rate enough for him to start, is another topic.
49 Posted 05/10/2010 at 02:33:49
50 Posted 17/10/2010 at 20:21:16
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