Everton 1-0 Chelsea
I managed to convince myself that driving the game today was a better alternative than getting the bus and having a few drinks and so took the full convoy with me?Gary, Sue, Simon and Ste all cramming into my Nissan for this, the final game of the season, and one which we are probably all relieved to see draw to a conclusion.
The pub was quite a good laugh as we discussed what might have been for this season and tried to draw our own conclusions as to who of the five were likely to join West Ham Utd in the Championship next season.
Onward to the ground and with Gary and I changing seats next season we took a quick peak at where we?ll be re-locating?and were quite impressed with what we saw. Back onto our regular seats and the match, the teams took to the field with Z-cars booming and Chelsea support vocal. Everton amended slightly from last weeks defeat at the Hawthorns with Beckford replacing Anichebe in attack and Neville rested to give Rodwell an opportunity in midfield. Torres and Anelka featured in attack for Ancelotti?s Chelsea. Everybody knew he was getting sacked after the game (well?not STRAIGHT after the game) so you expected a performance from the visitors.
The game began at quite a dizzy tempo with neither side really settling or able to put their foot on the ball whilst the Chelsea supporters continued to push their team on. It mattered not to us at this stage as we, and many around us were distracted by a spectator situated ahead of us filming the game from his mobile phone. He managed to clock up 30 minutes of the match before his phone gave up on him...I don?t quite know what he was thinking. Otherwise, everybody was of course keen to stay updated on the goings on in the relegation mire, and Everton didn?t disappoint, keeping us all updated with regular score updates on the big screen.
As for our match?both teams did indeed find their rhythm with Everton getting into their stride quite nicely and creating a few opportunities in and around the penalty area. Jermaine Beckford twice had efforts on goal, one wayward, one not quite so far away. At the other end Chelsea also looked threatening in and around our box though Howard remained generally untested thanks mostly to some solid defending by Jagielka and Distan in particular. At half time?all square. The game improving.
At the break the successful U-18 League winning team were paraded onto the field, all greeted by the great Neville Southall?it was nice to see he make an appearance before we got underway in the second half.
I don?t know what was said at half time but both teams (particularly Everton) came out with fire in their bellies. Everton picked up three yellow cards (one a second and then a red card for Coleman) inside only six minutes at the start of the second period. First Coleman was unfairly booked in my opinion?the referee certainly could have let that one go. Baines was then rightly booked for taking out Anelka before the red card was shown to Coleman. Seamus slid in strongly on Mikel to win the ball?and clearly won it. You could say he went in a little aggressively but Christ, what are you and aren?t you allowed to do any more? Anyway, at first the referee appeared happy with it only to hesitate when Mikel stayed down and eventually blow up for a free kick. Cue Cole, Terry et al to make a much bigger thing of this than was necessary, therefore persuading the hapless Walton to send off poor Seamus. I?ve never thought much of Walton and am glad to see the back of him for next season as he?s now reached retirement age I understand. Unfortunately we?re already two men down now for the start of next term following poor refereeing decisions at the end of the season when nobody else is fagged.
The bias refereeing was compounded later when the already booked Alex was allowed to get away with taking out Beckford as he attempted an attack on goal. It was all getting very frustrating though this certainly galvanized the supporters whom really pushed Everton on to eventually win the contest.
John Terry got forward and drove a shot onto the post with the ball rebounding away. This was about as close as the visitors got to goal. It was to be Beckford?s day though. On about the hour mark Beckford did all the hard work, dribbling past Alex and through on goal only for Cech to make a good save and deny the striker.
If Beckford did all the hard work that time, he put in a shift of Titanic proportions to score the winner. Dribbling the ball a long way from inside his own penalty area?getting a bit of luck to get it past one of the defender but still keeping his composure to run at goal, take on Cech and clip the ball over him?the giant Czech keeper getting a hand to the ball but unable to keep it out?Beckford reeling off in delight?Roof. Lifted. Off.
Everton battled hard to see the game out and did enough to heroically win the game 1-0 despite some atrocious refereeing. It?s just a shame it doesn?t count for anything come the season end. Hopefully by finishing well and with some good wheeling and dealing over the summer we can start next season with a team capable of taking us forward further next season.
It?s going to be tough I know, but we can dream can?t we?
Howard: Fine. Reasonably untested given the type of game we were involved in today. 7
Baines: Very good. Usual Baines really. 8
Distan: My man of the match. As imperious today as he was ridiculous last weekend. Has had a good season all in all. 9
Jagielka: Did well. Throwing his body in the way of things. It seems we now have quite a settled back line. 8
Hibbert: Had his moments but coped with Malouda well. 7
Heitinga: Had a decent scrappy game in the middle. 7
Rodwell: OK. Kept on going. More to come hopefully. 7
Arteta: Had a quiet first half but really picked up in the second, particularly when we were down to 10 men. 7
Coleman: Had a busy game before his early bath. Shame the referee decided to send him off as he?s had such a good season. Hopefully he can have a good rest and come back all guns blazing next season. 7
Osman: Excellent. Battled hard. Will have some bruises tomorrow. 8
Beckford: Very busy throughout. Doesn?t always make the right choices but what a goal! He got lucky with it also but that?s what you get for being brave and going direct at goal. Nice to see him finish on double figures. Maybe we have a striker there after all. 8
Anichebe (for Beckford): Didn?t seem bothered really. 5
Cahill (for Arteta): Good nuisance value in his short cameo. 6
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1 Posted 23/05/2011 at 08:18:05
They didn't exactly go to town on Beckford's goal where he took the ball from his own 18-yd area the length of the pitch with admittedly a lucky bounce between three Chelski defenders to score, if any of the Sky darlings had done that, they'd be creaming over each other. 12 v 10 and we still beat those mercenary bastards.
2 Posted 23/05/2011 at 09:10:50
What do you say about Beckford? First half he missed the corner flag with a shot and then scores like that!
A mate who is a Leeds supporter told me Beckford would get 20 goals a season. But the punchline is that he needs 200 chances.
That sums him up!
3 Posted 23/05/2011 at 10:09:15
4 Posted 23/05/2011 at 11:33:40
Ahhhhhh, and relax.
5 Posted 23/05/2011 at 12:32:25
I watched the highlights on a link on Monday morning here in Oz. It contained a clip showing half of Beckford's run for what was a great goal and yet we saw FIVE slow motion replays of Terry hitting the post.
If I didn't love Everton so much I would have run a mile from the meaningless EPL many years ago.
6 Posted 23/05/2011 at 12:31:26
I thought Seamus deserved the red card, but only because he'd already been booked and therefore got a second yellow and not a straight red. It was a bit of a lunge but I was infuriated by how, as the author points out, the Chelsea players got right in Coleman's face and started literally screaming at the completely inept Walton and his nearest assistant. That type of thing needs to be kept in Spanish football where it looks like it'll never change, I never want to see it over here.
Regarding Beckford, he can only get better as he gets used to the pace of the PL and he's already shown in abundance he can make the step up.
7 Posted 23/05/2011 at 13:07:28
8 Posted 23/05/2011 at 13:17:41
So tell me this: who gets the "assist" for it?
And was it our Goal of the Season? For sheer audacity and an (almost) sublime finish, I'd say Yes.
9 Posted 23/05/2011 at 14:06:50
10 Posted 23/05/2011 at 17:01:44
11 Posted 23/05/2011 at 19:27:22
We cannot compete financially but should at least be allowed to be on a level plying field regarding refs. But even that is tipped in favour of the dirty Sky bastards.
I love football but find that it is getting harder every year to stomach the cheating they do to win and finnish above us. The more I see, the more I hate them, yet the more proud of our reluctance to be like them. I will always be honoured to be a Toffee because we have class and play in a manner accustomed to being fair and honest. We won't win anything but at least we are not tainted by the turgid cheating manipulating gutless classless Sky breed.
12 Posted 23/05/2011 at 19:55:51
No surprises there. I don't watch Match of the Day (much) now, highlights are too short, too much mundane rambling, Everton on last more often than not (Why ?), and to be honest, I'd rather have a Saturday night out than sit at home and watch a trio of boring miserable fucks playing favorites or just mumbling away at a barely audible level, well I just don't need to watch it anymore. Anyone outside of the top placed heavyweights don't seem to get a look in anymore.
Piss Poor show now.
13 Posted 23/05/2011 at 20:12:22
14 Posted 23/05/2011 at 20:49:36
15 Posted 24/05/2011 at 09:05:16
I used to think Hansen had something to say but he has become a cliche-ridden charicature. Lawrenson is the most uninspiring predictable fool on television and Shearer is just a twat.
It's sad that the BBC can't see how biased and tedious the programme has become and try to do something different. Almost makes me miss Jimmy Hill.
16 Posted 24/05/2011 at 23:16:14
17 Posted 25/05/2011 at 09:06:24
Some people moan that it takes him 200 chances to get 10 goals. so what!! Next season lets have a team that give him 400 chances so that he gets 20. For me, he's a top player whose career is going in the right direction - A rough stone that Everton are now starting to cut into a beautiful diamond. And if there is anyone out there who still thinks that Anechebe should get the nod over Beckford then you need taking out the back and shooting.
18 Posted 25/05/2011 at 09:23:08
Then replace Motd with Motd2 - a much better programme with the young, piss takin Northern Irishman whose name I can't remember at the moment. He's better than big ears and then get the excellent Lee Dixon, and Martin Keown to do the punditry. Not often I give ex- Arsenal stars the thumbs up but these two, particularly Dixon do seem to be a bit more knowledgeable in their analysis and a bit fairer towards Everton too.
19 Posted 25/05/2011 at 19:51:45
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