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Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool
Premier League
 Saturday 7 May 2011; 3:00pm
2 1
 Man City
Distin (65')
Osman (72')  
Half Time: 0-1
 Toure (28')
Attendance: 37,351
Fixture 36
Referee: Phil Dowd

Match Summary

A game of two halves for what turned out to be a rampant Everton, who dispensed with high-flying City in great style after a very poor first half showing.

Perhaps David Moyes selected Anichebe so that the boos for him starting another game could not be distinguished from the catcalls for Joleon Lescott, returning to Goodison for the first time since his acrimonious departure nearly two years ago. Everton won the toss and chose to play toward the Gwladys Street with the bright sun behind him.

Arteta pulled off a great dive from a nothing Zabaletta challenge early on winning an early free-kick that Baines cut squarely and Osman got three points from the off with a fabulous aerial strike... that cleared the Gwladys Street roof! Unbelievable. Next it was a hopeless hoofball to no-one from Jagielka. Was this to be the pattern for the game?

Some good midfield possession and passing for Everton ended with a bad pass from Hibbert and Silva ended up lashing a searing drive across Howard's goal and just past the far post: first warning shot! It looked a certain City goal on 11 mins, a beautiful Milner chip over the Everton defence, cut back brilliantly by Silva and blasted over by Viera... only a matter of time, surely, the way City were cutting through the highly vaunted Everton defence.

Anicebe laid off a nice ball for Osman that the little man lashed at the corner flag... oh deary me. But Everton won their first corner on 18 mins and Osman delivered a nice deep cross to the far post. Baines took the next one from the right that was even higher and deeper. Neville won the third corner when he crossed directly to the defender 7 feet away and the Blues worked it better to get a good cross in that was just in front of Distin.

20 mins and Everton started finally to play with some desire and purpose, a great ball in from Arteta drawing a bad foul on Anichebe by Kompany. Arteta banged the free-kick, just outside the area, into the wall, which prevented it from flying high and wide. A better Baines delivery from the corner came to nothing but at least Everton had looked more up for the game.

At least Anichebe was getting stuck in to Lescott, much to the pleasure of the Everton crowd, who appreciated the effort. But Milner looked to break the Everton offside trap and in the next attack, City sliced through all too easily, Silva and Toure combining and Toure firing in from a narrow angle to put them ahead..

Neville was getting better with his Delap throws but with no-one really on the receiving end they were of limited value, Everton still favouring an aerial route that was being easily repelled by the tall City defence. Osman's clever feet were no match for three City marauders and he stayed down after having his ankle troden on. Rodwell was showing some signs of life and not always chosing the safe backwards pass.

Hibbert delivered a great cross, lower and harder, that Anichebe almost got back for Rodwell, but the short corner routines were not really working (although they were probably a better bet than those soft looping floated crosses that never seem to do anything). Silva was causing havoc but the bigger cheer was for Anichebe winning another battle with Lescott. Arteta wasted the free-kick, though, playing it wide to Hibbert but from a trow-in, Neville crossed well and Rodwell should surely have got a powerful header on target! Chance missed.

Jagielka did brilliantly to deny Toure and what looked a certain City goal, and if not, a penalty, but his touch back to Howard could not have been better. Dowd then overruled his linesman, giving a free-kick against the Blues and then booking Neville for his protest. Everton had really not done enough to threaten Hart's goal in the first half.

David Moyes decided a change was needed, switching in Jermaine Beckford for Tony Hibbert after the break. Injury or tactical? Arteta moving inside to Osman's place, Osman and Anichebe playing wide. A free-kick was driven in by Baines, bounced off Anichebe an could not be turned in by Rodwell. Good corners form either side put real pressure on the City goal.

But a simple move got Toure free and one-on-one with Howard, the Everton keeper did very well to block away. From a free-kick, Djeko almost scored with a good header. Osman did well to touch a ball on for Baines whose cross Beckford turned on but his shot was weak. Still, it showed better intent, Everton pressing forward with conviction.

A good move involving Anichebe and Beckford ended in a half-chance that Baines and tripped, with muted screams for an Everton penalty. But instead it was a free-kick for City at the other end, that Howard came out for and punched away well.

A great penetrating run down the right by Jagielka saw him put in a brilliant ball cut back but behind both Beckford and Osman... maddening!

Rodwell went in far too hard on De Jong and Komapany reacted stupidly, preciptating hadbags alll round. Yellow cards for both. Rodwell looked to advance but failed to shoot and instead passed sideways to Anichebe, whose first touch was atrocious, and who then passed across field to nobody. A good opportunity wasted in classic style by the Big Galloot, but it was Rodwell who came off for Cahill.

Cahill immediately won a free-kick to set up an opportunity for himself but the wonderful ball from Baines was powered home by Distin, just inside the far post, beyond the reach of Hart, to a great Goodison cheer. Osman's name then went in the book for crashing late into Zabaletta, then Anichebe got sandwiched and won Everton an advanced for kick that Arteta drove too deep across the City goal.

Fantastic spirited response form Everton since Cahill came on, and a lot of of action as the Blues pushed City hard. Anichebe won a good ball and slips it to Beckford who had run past Lescott and was offside.

A seemingly nothing move down the right saw Neville loop in a typically lazy looping cross that the diminutive Osman saw early and leapt at like a salmon to meet perfectly, and head home superbly from around the penalty spot despite getting flattened by Kompany in the process, to send Goodison delirious. A fantastic turnaround by the Blues, and an absolutely top-class goal by Osman.

Everton almost scored again, a ball lashed in from the right that Hart knew little about, Everton put in one of their best second-half performances of the season before a vibrant Goodison crowd and that bear-pit intimidating atmosphere which Goodison should be famous for.

But with 10 mins left, the pace slackened as Zabaletta and then Anichebe spent time lying on the ground and Balotelli came on for Zabaletta... although he didn't quite get the message! A free-kick for City wide left was dealt with easily. But they kept pressing the Everton goal, a Milner shot deflecting up and over the bar. Bodies thrown to block all shots, and Distin getting a key touch on a deep corner... Everton held on, just.

5 mins left and Anichebe, who had put in a decent shift and got a good round of applause was replaced by Seamus Coleman, who proceeded to tuck in and run at the City left flank, but without enough support or flagging effort from his teammates, resulting in more late pressure on the Everton goal. But a Miner corner was neautralized as Dowd blew for various City infractions in the Everton area, with just 3 mins of added time that Everton played out competently, ending sweetly with Arteta holding off Lescott down by the corner flag for a good 30 seconds.

A great, great second half. This is Everton playing the Everton Way why can't we see more of it???

Michael Kenrick

Match Preview

From the Daily Express:

Tim Cahill and Joleon Lescott will share something in common again today, cast as they are as the players the fans love to hate whenever Everton and Manchester City square up. Yet, despite the antipathy in which each is held by the opposing supporters, the reactions they generate could hardly contrast more.

While a crescendo of catcalls will inevitably reverberate around Goodison Park whenever Lescott is in possession for what will be his first game back since an acrimonious £24million move to Eastlands in 2009, a deathly hush is likely to fall on City’s followers if Cahill finds himself on the ball.

“City is a big moment for us as players because throughout the season we seem to have been able to rise to the occasion,” said Australian international Cahill.

“City fans are always quite good, I don’t get much stick. Maybe it’s because we always seem to get good results against them. On the pitch it’s quite heated because we know how much it means.

“It’s not Liverpool v Everton, but it’s probably growing because of the results and the way they’ve gone. I fancy myself every game I play in, but it is nice that I always seem to get a goal against City.”

Tim Cahill's first-ever Everton goal came against Manchester City Cahill’s mind is playing tricks but his record is still guaranteed to strike fear into Roberto Mancini. His first-ever Everton goal came against City and in total he has five in 12 appearances against them, all in different games and two of them match-winners. Of those dozen matches, Cahill has also won nine and drawn one.

| It is a surprise, then, that City – or any other Premier League side for that matter – should never have sought to prise him away from Everton. Then again, Cahill has never hidden the sense of loyalty he feels to David Moyes and chairman Bill Kenwright, who plucked him from Millwall in 2004.

“It’s always easier to leave and jump ship, but a lot harder to stay,” said Cahill. “But I feel loyalty is very important at any club when the chairman and manager want you to be part of the revolution.

“When they say, ‘Tim, your time’s up’, then that’s fine. But at the moment we see the vision and the grass isn’t always greener.”

Steven Pienaar would testify to that with his January move to Spurs hardly progressing as planned and for 18 months Lescott’s difficulties at City could not be massaged by the fact he doubled his wages to £90,000 a week when joining two years ago.

The prospect of City bringing in new faces at centre-back this summer goes with the territory for Cahill’s former team-mate, but at least Lescott might have an FA Cup winners’ medal by then.

“If he wins something this season that might justify everything,” said Cahill. “At the end of the day he gave everything for us and that’s the main thing.

“Different players have different ideas of what they want. City have done really well. They have spent a lot of money and sustained a great position; they’re in the FA Cup final and probably couldn’t have asked for a lot more.”

The reverse is true of Everton. “This is the season that got away, 100 per cent,” said Cahill. “It would have been nice if we had worked together and it had all gelled sooner, but it didn’t.

“We are at a stage in our careers that we need to be pushing to do better and finishing higher but also for the manager and the chairman.

“We need to look at it now and say, ‘We’re not battling relegation, we have some great, talented youngsters and next season can be positive with a few additions’.

“We can look forward to a big season next year – even though we say that every year.”

Cahill is just happy to be involved after a foot complaint called plantar fasciitis hindered his progress.

“Three weeks ago I was told I was out for the rest of the season, so to be on the pitch or the bench is all that matters,” he said.
City will see his presence as a warning writ large.

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2010-11 Reports Index
< Wigan (A) West Brom (A) >
EVERTON (4-5-1)
  Hibbert (46' Beckford)
  Neville :45'
  Rodwell :61' (65' Cahill)
  Osman :67'
  Anichebe (86' Coleman :91')
  Subs not used
  Barkley (injured)
  Baxter (injured)
  Fellaini (injured)
  Saha (injured)
  Agard (loan)
  Akpan (loan)
  Silva (loan)
  Turner (loan)
  Vaughan (loan)
  Wallace (loan)
  Yakubu (loan)
  Yobo (loan)
MAN CITY (4-4-2)
  Kompany :61'
  Zabaleta (Balotelli 81)
  Kolarov :71'
  Vieira (Johnson 78)
  De Jong (89' Jô )
  Subs not used

Premier League Scores
Aston Villa 1-1 Wigan
Bolton 1-2 Sunderland
Everton 2-1 Man City
Newcastle 2-1 Birmingham
West Ham 1-1 Blackburn
Tottenham 1-1 Blackpool
Man Utd 2-1 Chelsea
Stoke 3-1 Arsenal
Wolves 3-1 West Brom
Fulham 2-5 Liverpool
Man City 1-0 Tottenham

Team Pts
1 Manchester United 76
2 Chelsea 70
3 Arsenal 67
4 Manchester City 65
5 Liverpool 58
6 Tottenham Hotspur 56
7 Everton 51
8 Stoke City 46
9 Bolton Wanderers 46
10 Fulham 45
11 Newcastle United 44
12 Sunderland 44
13 West Bromwich Albion 43
14 Aston Villa 42
15 Blackburn Rovers 39
16 Birmingham City 39
17 Wolverhampton Wanderers 37
18 Blackpool 36
19 Wigan Athletic 36
20 West Ham United 33

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