Slightly better news for Everton on the injury front, with Jack Rodwell named on the bench, returning early from yet another injury, along with Seamus Coleman, also passing a late fitness test David Moyes did not let that prevent the team picking itself from the 11 seniors available, unchanged from last week.
Everton started well and Beckford really should have scored from a glorious early chance but his first-time shot was lacking as the Blues then spent the first five minutes camped outside Blackburn's penalty area. Osman was again dominant as the Blues' best playmaker with a great cross that was sadly away from everyone and too close to the Blackburn goal. Jagielka got the ball in a lot of space but could not pull the trigger.
Blackburn finally attacked and won a corner in the 12th minutes but Heitinga defended it effectively, but he started limping, clutching his hamstring and yet was able to thwart another attack. He could not continue and Rodwell got to return much earlier than David Moyes would have liked (otherwise, he would surly have started the game).
From more Blackburn pressure, it seemed to be a good move that saw Bily lay on a great through ball for Beckford but his first touch was all wrong and his bright running into space was completely wasted. It became a more even if frustratingly bitty midfield game although Magaye Gueye was getting involved with some nice touches down the left, one move giving Bily half a chance but instead of a rocket, he passed it back to Robinson.
Nixon got the first yellow card for persistent fouling of Osman, but Baines followed him for a mistimed tackle on Jones. Neville was aggressive in challenging Dunn and nearly followed Baines. Everton did win a corner but nothing came of it until Phil Neville got a chance to score another but he didn't get it right this time.
Blackburn had weathered the early storm and settled into closing Everton down with the lazy floated crosses from both Everton flanks being easily repelled by the giants in the Blackburn defence, any quality on the final ball noticeably absent, allowing the visitors to mount increasingly threatening attacks, while Everton retreated more into their shell, with Osman denied spaced and getting crowded out all too easily.
Osman switched to the right and got a chance to run at the Blackburn defence but his final shot was very poor and what had started so promisingly for the Blues fizzled into a poor half that yielded nothing, although they had mustered six shots to none from Blackburn.
With more of the same after the break, Blackburn's first shot finally came from Dunn and was thankfully off target. At the other end, Gueye played in Osman but his shot was horribly high. But Gueye was gaining in confidence and he ended up shooting himself, just over. Then from a Gueye corner, Baines fired in just wide as the Blues suddenly attacked with more intent and purpose. Bily was next but his shot came off Jones for a corner./
Gueye took it short this time and Osman drilled the ball through a crowd whence it deflected off Samba and in at the far post to finally give Everton the lead they desperately needed. Gueye then got a great ball from Osman and should have returned the favour but drove his shot into the side netting.
Everton nemesis Jason Roberts came on for Santa Cruz after the hour mark. For the home side, Baines was linking well with Gueye but Moyes decided the young Frenchman would come off, to a very good Goodison cheer for his sterling efforts, Coleman coming on and immediately running the length of the Blackburn half to shoot on sight.
Things got a little feisty with 20 mins left and Rochina's name went onto Kevin Friend's yellow card. Blackburn came scarily close to breaking through when Distin made a horrible mistake but they could not follow through and Everton attacked again through Baines, Jones diving in on Coleman for a clear penalty. Leighton Baines had to wait while Beckford got involved needlessly on the edge of the area, but he finally powered it home from the spot to finally given Everton a firm lead.
Everton looked to play a little football but Blackburn were not inclined to back down as a silly mix up in the Everton defence between Jagielka and Baines set it up for Pedersen from 8 yards and incredibly he fluffed it.
Bily laid in a beautiful through-ball that seemed perfect for Beckford to collect at his feet but Emerton denied him on the edge of the area with 10 mins left as Rochina was replaced by Benjani, the final change for Blackburn.
Everton tried to play it forward in a prominsing move but Bily was disappointingly blocked by Salgado when he should have passed to Coleman.
Beckford was really not having a good game, showing all his faults and failings as a Premier League player, with none of his goalscoring qualities on show today, and he was finally pulled off, but that would give Apostolos Vellios again only 5 mins of first-team football.
Baines set up Osman in space for a glorious chance to make it three from the edge of the area but his first-time shot was technically atrocious. A good cross from Hibbert was met at the far post by Vellios but not headed cleanly and Robinson palmed the bouncing ball past the post. Rodwell had to foul to halt a Blackburn breakaway and got a yellow card for his troubles.
Poor defending allowed Emerton to get a shot in near the end that Howard needed to save. In the end, it was job well done by the injury-decimated Blues in a potentially tricky fixture against relegation strugglers who had set Everton's season off to such a poor start all those months ago.
Michael Kenrick Posted 16/04/2011 at
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1 Posted 16/04/2011 at 17:19:56
2 Posted 16/04/2011 at 17:28:18
Where are you these days? My feed on FoxSoccer.tv was crap... think I need to switch from Comcast to DirectTV and get Fox Soccer Plus in HD.
Guess everyone else has been sucked in to watching the Mancs battle it out at Wembley.
3 Posted 16/04/2011 at 17:33:19
Still, Osman's sparkling at the moment!
4 Posted 16/04/2011 at 17:33:28
5 Posted 16/04/2011 at 17:32:57
Rodwell showed more than just potential, the apostle St Vellios nearly scored and Coleman was full of energy when he came on.
So much for the kids. Defence were solid with Hibbo standing out for me. Baines good going forward, as you'd expect, but nearly caused a mix up with Jagger the Hoof. Took the penalty well. Distin mostly solid.
Beckford tried hard and I think I heard Moyes praising him at one point, which is a good sign after last week's shout off. Tenacious display by Pip but MotM for me was Ossie, again. I've not been his biggest fan in the past but the last few months have started to change my opinion of him. Utd will be the big test. I'm really pleased for him and Hibbo.
6 Posted 16/04/2011 at 17:40:57
Osman was impressive again - made space well and put through some good passes. Between him and Baines for MOTM.
7 Posted 16/04/2011 at 17:40:51
8 Posted 16/04/2011 at 17:47:04
Two absolutely awful shots from great opportunities that were miles away from scoring; far too many times when he was brushed off the ball... he typically holds on too long and then abandons possession all too easily. If this is technical excellence.... well, I'm sorry: it's just poor Championship-level football in my book.
But apparently he is "excellent" at the moment, one 'Man of the Match' performance after another (which says more about the rest of the team than it does about him, methinks...) but what do I know?
9 Posted 16/04/2011 at 17:05:09
Who is this guy wearing the number 21 shirt, and what has he done with Leon Osman?
10 Posted 16/04/2011 at 18:02:42
Had he not stepped up to the plate, we would certainly not be top of the form chart. Osman's performances has helped make us the best team in the land on recent form. But let's see how he plays against United, and see if he can be effective against the top sides. That's where it counts.
11 Posted 16/04/2011 at 18:09:43
12 Posted 16/04/2011 at 18:08:40
Didn't catch the game today but doesn't sound like I missed too much. Another good solid win, in a game we were struggling to put away earlier on this season.
Anyone have any theories on why we always seem to do so well with a threadbare squad at the end of the season, as I'm a bit baffled? For me it's maybe about being able to play well when the pressure's off us.
13 Posted 16/04/2011 at 17:59:32
In Ossie's case, for me, he has been woeful for seasons, chipping in with the odd goal. I'd still keep him at Everton as a squad player plus the bonus of being a local lad; however, if we want to be challenging for honours, Osman needs to be replaced with proper quality.
At the moment Ossie is playing well, so well done, Ossie lad, for stepping up to the plate ? long may it continue.
14 Posted 16/04/2011 at 17:59:21
Hey Michael. Back for now. Too skint to go back to Britain. My feeds today were horrid,too. All seven of them...
15 Posted 16/04/2011 at 18:05:53
What it suggests to me is that our squad is better than we thought and that thankfully David Moyes has been forced to give some players a chance. This is not an anti-Moyes comment; I'm just glad we are comfortably still in the Premier League. Can anyone explain why our season always follows the same pattern? I just worry that sooner or later our shite start will go on long enough to get us relegated.
Anyway, enough moaning, good win. Last on MotD tonight? Of course.
16 Posted 16/04/2011 at 18:14:42
Credit where it's due, he's provided some much needed creativity when we've had our big players out. It's a bit harsh to label him 'Championship' just because of a couple of weak shots in a game where he actually managed to score.
17 Posted 16/04/2011 at 18:06:48
Osman is always going to be weak in the tackle Nd is clearly not the strongest. Why the need to bash him time n time n time n time again. Repeye to fade. So he missed a couple of shots. The rest of his play was very good. The lad never hides.
I'm writing this on my iPhone on the way home and everyone at the game said he was the man of the match.
But you carry on slating him when watching on an Internet feed.
18 Posted 16/04/2011 at 18:12:46
He's described by many with such glowing accolades... wonderful "technical" player, great touch etc... I just don't see it. But I reserve such terms for real quality footballers and he simply does not make that grade. I think what we are seeing is that he is finally performing to the limit of his abilities, which are okay but not that great, to be brutally honest.
And coming as it does after seemingly hundreds of poor under-performances, along with all the usual excuses about being played out of position, playing when injured (that's the one that galls me the most), and whatever other excuses there are... well, people say we have short memories. Not me!
19 Posted 16/04/2011 at 18:19:09
but Osman a Championship-level player is a little harsh, specially given the way he has moved into the central role.. I agree he is no great talent - but the fact remains that in the last 5-6 games, he has been involved directly in most of our goals..
20 Posted 16/04/2011 at 18:23:17
He can take the game by the scruff against the Blackburns, Wigans and Fulhams, but clearly goes missing in action when we play the top teams and crunch games. He can turn a game single-handedly and he can be a waste of space the very next. That's how I see Osman.
21 Posted 16/04/2011 at 18:10:39
Just need to scotch this 'Osman can't play v top sides' ? last season, when we beat Man Utd 3-1, he was IMO the best of our players.
22 Posted 16/04/2011 at 18:37:49
Enjoy the 3 points ffs..
23 Posted 16/04/2011 at 18:42:20
Well, who better to provide the explanation than our esteemed manager:
?We weren?t good enough in the early part of that race so we can?t have any complaints about it.
?In the early part of the season we didn?t have injuries.
?We had most people fit but we just didn?t get the results.
?It is sort of in reverse order because we have lost a lot of key players but we have been able to grind out some results in recent weeks.
?That is hard to weigh up but there is a resilience amongst the players.
?They know what is expected at this football club.
?Ever since I have been here there has always been a bit of being up against it ? whether it be because our neighbours have spent more money or are above us in the league or we are trying to catch somebody to get into a European spot.?
No? I'm none the wiser... and he clearly hasn't got a clue.
24 Posted 16/04/2011 at 18:58:57
25 Posted 16/04/2011 at 18:59:50
Rovers dictated the tempo and possession in the first half...
Were they really at the match??? 40% possession and zero shots on or off target. I've heard of biased commentary and reporting, but WTF?
26 Posted 16/04/2011 at 19:02:11
27 Posted 16/04/2011 at 19:10:35
are you referring to Apollon Limassol? I actually quite like them :(
28 Posted 16/04/2011 at 19:05:27
Today, in the filtered sunshine of a glorious Goodison Park pleasantly warmed after a creul hard winter, Everton ? the best team in the country at the moment ? were simply imperious, brushing aside the feeble efforts of a doggedly obstinate Blackburn team surely destined for relegation.
A strong result and another clean sheet in this fantastic run of unstoppable form were made possible by the tireless running and lethal predatory skills of their best player, Leon Osman. He was everywhere, pulling the strings in an advanced playmaker role at the heart of a midfield that exerted a stangelhold over Blackburn, ensuring they could not muster even one single shot, either on or off target in a first half where the Osman-inspired Blues did everything but score.
The rewards, however, would come in the second half were Everton would sweep all before them after Osman had a word in Gueye's ear and a training-ground routine from a corner which resulted directly in the first goal. Unleashed from the stunning right foot of Leon Osman, who had brilliantly dodged around a dozey Blackburn defender, a lethal bullet of a shot powered through a crowd of players, flying uneeringly inside the far post to rapturous adulation from every single Evertonian inside the ground, who stood as one to cheer and praise the work of this young local genius.
But Osman was not done yet: under tremendous pressure from those big ugly Blackburn players, he somehow pushed the ball sideways for the inrushing Seamus Coleman, thus creating the most perfect and indisputable penalty, from which Baines scored brilliantly. Why Osman was not given the honour of sealing this fabulous win from the spot, we will never know, but that will not dampen the huge fillip of knowing that Everton are absolutely the best in the country ? thanks to the one and only Leon Osman!!!
29 Posted 16/04/2011 at 19:10:58
30 Posted 16/04/2011 at 19:23:46
I'm hoping you that you have not watched Moyes' post match interview on the Beep, where he hails Osman as the difference...
31 Posted 16/04/2011 at 19:33:22
32 Posted 16/04/2011 at 19:32:00
I think it just says a lot about the league he plays in that he's considered "technically superb".
33 Posted 16/04/2011 at 19:43:28
Bet Birmingham hope we manage it as otherwise that's their spot gone to Sir Kenny and the lads. Accounting discrepancies, you see. Sorry Brum, that's the way it goes.
Would like to see Ossie play abroad at some stage but like good ol' Hibbo, he'll probably go down with the Moyes ship.
34 Posted 16/04/2011 at 19:37:11
35 Posted 16/04/2011 at 19:47:16
Satisfied, people, never some are!
36 Posted 16/04/2011 at 19:54:20
Gueye was helping change the game in the second half, he was getting comfortable, gaining confidence and enjoying himself and then gets taken off, not with 10 minutes to go but a good 30 or so minutes left ? I could not believe what I was seeing.
37 Posted 16/04/2011 at 20:07:12
My memory's quite good too.
38 Posted 16/04/2011 at 20:21:25
Let's get the superstars back (Cahill and Arteta ) we came flying out of the traps with all those "magnificent" draws when they were playing...
39 Posted 16/04/2011 at 20:26:55
40 Posted 16/04/2011 at 20:44:12
Paul (# ) ? I've tried to hold my tongue regarding Moyes but pulling Gueye off when he did was just utterly bizarre, while leaving both Bily and Beckford on for so long today was just horrible. They were both gash.
And giving Vellios another fabulous 5 minutes at the end... If you think I'm harsh on Osman, just press the button marked "Moyes" and stand back!
41 Posted 16/04/2011 at 20:29:58
I appreciate you do a great service on TW one way or another, but your continual attacks on Osman are a joke for someone who watches about 30% of a match experience, but has a 100%opinion of one players performance.
You need to evaluate what you are saying, with what you are actually seeing.
42 Posted 16/04/2011 at 20:41:54
43 Posted 16/04/2011 at 20:40:33
44 Posted 16/04/2011 at 20:55:03
Post of the day mate - award yourself a large drink
45 Posted 16/04/2011 at 20:40:40
As for us, the run goes on in no small part due to Osman's contribution which again was superb.
46 Posted 16/04/2011 at 20:45:40
Beckford seems to be frustrated at the moment. He seems to get really defensive when his team mates tell him he's done something wrong, which shows a lack of respect. I hope to God it won't turn into anything too serious in the future because I do like him as a player.
Good result today, puts pressure on the reds tomorrow and United looks set to be an opportunity after watching their appalling display in the second half against City.
47 Posted 16/04/2011 at 21:02:05
Meanwhile, others may indulge in a bit of post-match analysis...
Jeff (#41) ? while off-the-ball work can contribute to the play, I have this blinkered view (perhaps garnered from only watching TV feeds these days) that what you do with the ball is actually more important to the outcome of the game.
It's probably a good subject for another thread, but I don't actually believe that going to the game gives you a better impression of the way the team or the individual players actually performed. What I think you do get, that the armchair fan can never have, is a feel for the real atmosphere at the game. That atmosphere can include the crowd getting behind a player, which enhances his perceived contribution, as well as the crowd turning on a player, which diminishes his perceived contribution.
A lot of attending the match is about perception; what you see on the TV feed is cold hard reality. Especially in those replays that most match-going fans are denied.
48 Posted 16/04/2011 at 21:17:54
Everybody's entitled to their opinion ? and this is mine. He's far from world-class but he's a cracking player who, in my opinion, deserves some respect ? not constant criticism.
Little tribute to the lad here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUjLg5AIjQQ
49 Posted 16/04/2011 at 21:11:11
Alright, so he's not as good as Iniesta or whoever in terms of technical excellence but, after the rubbish we've witness this season of endless sideways passing or hoofball, it's a breath of fresh air to see the lad actually get on the ball and doing crazy absurd adventurous stuff with it... like running towards the goal, putting a cross in that doesn't trouble low flying planes ? god forbid, even having a shot.
Ah yeah but some 6 foot 5 hulk of a player who was outclassed by Leon the majority of the game managed to knock him off the ball now and then; yeah, actually he's rubbish.
50 Posted 16/04/2011 at 21:15:46
A very good win again today and a little run of results by the mongrels that United and Chelsea would have loved to produce. We're on a hiding to nothing next week but I've never wanted more for us to produce a good performance at least. It's 3 million a year net versus 30 million each for just 3 players. I for one am very proud that we can get even close to competing at the same level even with all of our faults.
51 Posted 16/04/2011 at 21:49:14
Further more, Bily, is not a winger.
52 Posted 16/04/2011 at 21:45:44
I met the "superheroes" sat above the away fans after the game, a bunch of guys down from Scotland who bought tickets for the game but not Evertonians ? if you didn't see them watch MoTD they've got to be on there, got two great pics of them too.
53 Posted 16/04/2011 at 22:04:36
They were sat behind a couple of Everton fans so the comms assumed they were Blues, but they did look proper daft. Send us one of your pics and I'll stick it in here.
54 Posted 16/04/2011 at 21:49:15
Also, in the past, Mikey has proven that he can do very well wide. So I hope that, if we have learnt anything, they should swap roles and, if during a game it is not working, then swap then. We see many times wide men swapping flanks so why on earth can't the playmaker and a wide man swap roles? Hopefully the last 7 games will make Ossie realise that he can be the 'creator' and things will evolve from here.
55 Posted 16/04/2011 at 22:23:11
56 Posted 16/04/2011 at 23:34:09
57 Posted 17/04/2011 at 11:40:12
- Michael Ball tapping his temple and telling his older team-mates to concentrate in the relegation game
- Dave Watson kindly sportingly picking up Owen and quietly remarking "cut it out, you cheating bastard"
- Jags doing his "calm down, calm down" to a very angry Tony Hibbert
You were spot on about the weather ? beautiful warm sunshine in the Lower Gwladys.
58 Posted 17/04/2011 at 13:31:13
59 Posted 17/04/2011 at 13:43:57
Happy days:- Steven, Reid, Bracewell & Sheedy, and I'm afraid your correct in thinking that Osman would not have broken into that midfield. But hey, the boy gives everything and I've noticed that in the last few games he dragging more effort out some players.
Shame though, GP was like a morgue yesterday, even after the goals.
60 Posted 17/04/2011 at 15:30:06
61 Posted 17/04/2011 at 20:04:56
I don't get to away games these day's and I know I am only seeing half the game when watching on T.V or the interweb.
62 Posted 18/04/2011 at 04:04:04
How big is your screen?
63 Posted 18/04/2011 at 18:29:43
One's bigger than the other... or is this where we get our dicks out and compare?
More important is the quality of the picture/feed.
HD, then standard TV... then PC Fox feed. And sometimes (rarely these days)... nada!
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