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Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool
Premier League
 Sunday 26 November 2010; 3:00pm
1 4
 West Brom
Chahill (41')
Half Time: 1-2
Scharner (14')
Brunt (26')
Tchoyi (75')
Distin (og:87')
Attendance: 35,237
Fixture 15
Referee: Lee Mason

Match Summary

Without Phil Neville, David Moyes left Irish starlet Seamus Coleman on the bench and brought in the experienced Tony Hibbert at right-back as he stuck Victor Anichebe back in the first team. Phil Neville was injured (fluid on the knee) while the poor Louis Saha was dropped in favour of Yakubu.

An early free-kick was delivered in superbly by Baines but Distin could not reach it. Anichebe was in action too down the right. Pienaar did well to feed Cahill who decided he would be a striker today and had a poke but showed just why Everton don't shoot from distance. Hopeless. Anichebe had a better poke from wide that Carson had to save well as Everton looked to take full control of the game after dominating the first exchanges.

But of course that led to a period of more sustained possession for West Brom, although they could provide little penetration as Everton kept swinging the ball up the right to Anichebe. But it was West Brom who won the first corner, and a fantastic bullet header from Paul Scharner was poweered into the back of the net despite a hand from Howard, with Cahill nowhere to be seen.

Anichebe won a rather soft free-kick right on the edge of the area but Baines's curler was far too high as Arteta stood back and looked on. Cahill won another kick a little further out; this time, Arteta on que failed to beat the lone first defender. Heitinga needlessly passed straight to a West Brom player in the Everton half, allowing them to develop their second attack and a strike that screwed wide of goal.

Lee Mason was being very generous to Everton with marginal decisions, this time Yakubu going over very easily inside the Dee. Arteta did a lot better this time, forcing the save form Carson. Cahill then gave away a dangerous free-kick at the other end that Brunt stroked superbly over the four-man wall and into the top corner, just an inch inside the post, with Howard close to it but unable to keep it out. 0-2!!! Oh dear...

The Everton crowd now became frustrated and super critical of poor player decisions, Pienaar's pass back to a marked player who lost possession drawing howls of derision. But Mason gave them another soft kick and Brunt got booked for kicking the ball away. Everton's problems were underlined with a pathetic shot from Pienaar that dribbled well wide of the Park End goal, followed by Yakubu misplacing a simple pass from a throw-in.

Carson cleared straight to Cahill but Yakubu was clearly offside for the return ball as Everton struggled to get anything going. Pienaar looked to have stopped a cross with his arm but not for the first time, Lee Mason looked kindly on the Blues, although it actually was off his chest.

Everton won their first corner in the 42nd minute, and a beautiful outswinger delivered from Baines was met perfectly by Cahill and powered in to the far side of the goal, a superb header to put the Blues back in it. Much better football followed from Everton, winning Everton's second corner, clipped in well with real power by Baines... but incredibly no-one could convert it, Heitinga the closest at the far post.

Second half, and no need for Moyes to make any changes after that rousing Cahill strike, although Anichebe had switched to the left side, but the Baggies were not for giving up the fight easily, pressuring Everton all over the field, and making the Blues work for any meaningful possession. And when they got it, Anichebe's cross was poor.

With nothing happening for the Blues after 6 or 7 minutes of the second half, Moyes descided to make what was a for him an early and significant double change... but not completing it until West Brom had another worrying attack. Beckford on for Heitinga; Saha on for Yakubu at 56 mins!

Beckford got his chance early but Carsdon got a good piece of it, Brunt clearing it off the line, then Jara elbowed Baines in the face no free-kick as the crowd howled... then Jara leapt in on Arteta for a clear red card that incensed Arteta, who stampled on his leg, and the Everton players and crowd went nuts... But Jara, the cause of all the mayhem, got off scott free, while Areta walked for his reltaliaton.

So... a goal down, now a man down... Goodison not exactly a morgue this week! Moyes then switched Rodwell on for the tiring Anichebe on the hour. Beckford took a shot too early and screwed it weakly well wide. Rodwell did well down the right and then Cahill had a pop from distance but the chances were hard to create. Pienaar pushed through a good ground ball for Beckford, just fractionally overhit, but Carson was out fast. West Brom counter-attacked with pace to keep Everton's 10 men on their toes as Di Matteo began his substitutuions to disrupt the flow as much as anything else.

West Brom had a very strong spell as they took full advantage of the extra man; Dorrans went in the book for a tackle from behind on Pienaar. Everton worked the ball forward, Hibbert over everyone to Beckford who, with the goal gaping, wellied it horribly into the top tier of the Gwladys Street. League 1 striking skills sadly in full evidence from the ex-glass-fitter.

Cahill, playing deper, tried the same Route One to Saha but nothing came of it, while at the other end, substitute Tchoi ran in easily on Hibbert, backing off, and he clipped in an excellent shot high to the far side of the goal that Howard was nowhere near close to saving. 1-3 and the fightback now surely over, with 15 frustrating minutes left.

Tchoyi was dancing past Hibbert at will down the Everton right and creating havoc, Everton totally defeated, unable to do anything with the ball. Mulumbu should have been booked for a foul from behind on Pienaar. From the free-kick, the ball hit Jara's arm, but howls for a penalty were ignored by referee Mason.

Mulumbu was the next to rub salt in as, in yet another stinging attack down the Everton right, Tchoyi waltzed inside of Hibbert to set up Mulumbu for West Brom's fourth, which clipped in off Distin.  Mulumbu was yellow carded for his clebration, and them given a second yellow when he clipped Pienaar's heel... Red card.

Beckford squandered yet another guilt-edged chance, hooking over with only the keeper to beat, and summing up a dreadful day for him and the Blues.

An astounding confounding game of football that everyone expected Everton to dominate after a good opening, but little went right for the Blues today, while everything clicked for West Brom. Things could have ben very different if Jara had been correctly penalized and dismissed instead of Arteta at a critical point in the game.

Michael Kenrick


Match Report

Everton's erratic and increasingly frustrating season plumbed new depths this afternoon with a 4-1 home defeat to newly-promoted West Bromwich Albion that saw the Baggies win at Goodison Park for the first time in 31 years and David Moyes lose one of his key players to a three-game suspension just as another was serving the last game of his own ban for picking up a straight red card.

12 minutes into the second half, with the Blues battling to recover from an almost unthinkable 2-0 deficit, Mikel Arteta was given his marching orders by the appallingly inconsistent Lee Mason for an apparent stamp on Gonzalo Jara, becoming the second Everton midfielder after Marouane Fellaini to pick up a red card this season.

That turned a hill that Moyes's side were attempting to climb into a mountain and though substitute Jermaine Beckford had more chances to perform heriocs and salvage the game, the Blues ended up on the wrong end of a thrashing, leaving themselves and their manager with nowhere to hide.

It's hard to know where to begin with the post-mortem on this ugly result. It seemed like business as usual when Everton started the stronger side, Sylvain Distin coming within inches of connecting with Leighton Baines's early in-swinging cross, Tim Cahill taking advantage of space to unload from 25 yards but blazing over, and Victor Anichebe, thrown straight into duty wide on the right at the expense of Seamus Coleman, producing the first of a number of impressive saves from Scott Carson all inside the first seven minutes.

But Albion scored from two of their first three attacks and all of a sudden Goodison was overcome by a seething hush punctuated by the chants of the jubilant visiting fans and increasing groans and shouts of frustration from the home faithful.

After a quarter of an hour, Phil Scharner of course, who else? easily got in front of Phil Jagielka to meet a corner from the WBA left and power a header in off the hands of Tim Howard.

Then, after Cahill had needlessly bundled Youssouf Mulumbu over in a dangerous area outside the Everton box, Chris Brunt despatched a free kick so unerringly accurate that it flew into the one area of the goal that Howard couldn't reach, despite flinging himself across his goalline and into his left-hand post in an effort to do just that.

Two efforts on target Brunt had earlier blasted a left-footer wide after an awful giveaway by John Heitinga in midfield two goals and Roberto di Matteo's men were 2-0 up.

Everton were back in the hunt four minutes before half-time, though, when Cahill rose superbly to meet Baines' scorner from the left side and steer an unstoppable header back into the top corner to make it 2-1.

A second corner, this time from the other side, flashed agonisingly across the face of Carson's goal and Heitinga couldn't react quickly enough to get the vital touch to turn it home by the far post so the Blues had to be content with 2-1 going into half-time.

After 10 minutes of the second half without so much as a shot on goal, Moyes finally opted for an early change to his team, making his now familiar double-switch in the 55th minute, bringing on Beckford for Heitinga and Louis Saha for Yakubu.

The Nigerian had been below his best, certainly, but he could hardly be blamed for the drought of scoring chances. Continuing his mystifyingly poor form of late, Arteta was sitting confusingly deep, leaving Heitinga as the more advanced of the two central midfielders for much of the first 57 minutes and putting the creative burden once more on the shoulders of Steven Pienaar.

The South African had accepted the situation and, together with Anichebe, was one of the best Everton players on the pitch in the first half, that is until the pair switched flanks and everything seemed to grind to a halt.

If Arteta is carrying an injury, he'll get some time off to recuperate thanks to an ill-advised act of retribution on Jara in the 57th minute.

In a beautiful moment of precision and smooth link-up play, Pienaar had put Beckford in on goal with a perfectly-weighted, defence-splitting pass that the striker latched onto and tried to slip under the advancing Carson with a low lide-foot shot. The 'keeper got a hand to it and as the ball skipped on its way to goal, Gabriel Tamas's overhead kick prevented it from crossing the line.

As Baines jumped to challenge for the clearance on the edge of the box, he was poleaxed by Jara's elbow right in front of referee Mason who didn't even blink. Play continued as Pienaar bounced off the Chilean's next robust challenge and when Jara went to ground in a third tackle on Arteta, the Everton man appeared to deliberately attempt to bring his foot down on his opponent's leg.

As a number of players squared up to each other, Mason eventually flashed Arteta a red card after consulting his assistant and the Blues were down to 10 men. Jara escaped censure altogether...

Moyes responded by withdrawing the tiring and isolated Anichebe in favour of Jack Rodwell and, with a Goodison crowd fueled by a burning sense of injustice behind them, resumed their search for the equaliser with renewed vigour.

And they made a pretty decent fist of it for the next 15 minutes, with Beckford, for better or worse, in the thick of the action. He dragged a decent chance badly wide from 18 yards in the 63rd minute and after Cahill had bounced an ambitious half-volley a yard the wrong side of the post, Beckford looked to be in on another slide-rule Pienaar pass but it was slightly overhit and Carson swept it clear.

Two minutes later, Beckford tried to go it alone despite plenty of support either side of him and just one defender for company and wasted a great chance before he spurned one more gilt-edged opportunity in the 72nd minute. Tony Hibbert chipped a peach of a ball to the far post which Beckford met but he skied it embarrassingly over the bar from close range. Full marks for movement, for anticipation and for being in the right place time after time, but the new boy's profligacy would prove costly.

That's because WBA, having absorbed that spell of pressure from their hosts, suddenly took a grip of proceedings and killed Everton off with two excellent goals. First, with Hibbert backing five yards off him, substitute Somen Tchoyi turned inside, fooled both defenders in front of him with a shimmy before curling an impressive shot around Howard and inside the far post to restore Albion's two-goal lead.

The Cameroonian then skinned Hibbert again two minutes later but could only belt it straight at the 'keeper from a tight angle as the Blues wobbled.

Still, though, after Mulumbu had somehow escaped a yellow card for chopping down Pienaar with his umpteenth foul and Beckford had been booked for dissent, Everton could have halved the Baggies' lead again with six minutes to go. Beckford was on hand to collect Saha's flick-on into the box but, with no one around him, he over-elaborated with the finish, electing a scissor-kick that flew wide rather than a dinked shot over the advanced 'keeper.

Three minutes later, it was all over. Back at the other end, Tchoyi tormented Hibbert one last time, handed it off to Mulumbu who collected a one-two from the Cameroonian winger before clipping a shot in off Distin's chest to make it 4-1. The Congolose was finally booked for an over-elaborate celebration and was sent off 30 seconds later for a second bookable offence when he caught Beckford in full flight.

That was cold comfort for Everton who had played over half an hour with ten men and ended up being soundly beaten on home turf for the third time this season, their second home defeat to newly-promoted opposition this season.

Beckford's chances aside, it's quite possible they would have lost anyway even without Arteta's dimissal. The Spaniard had offered little to the game up to that point and where the Blues were again struggling to keep the ball and to make the final pass tell, Di Matteo's charges looked, on balance, sharper, fitter, stronger, faster and hungrier.

Albion chased everything that moved for the most of the game and Everton were eclipsed by individual brilliance while their own players, Cahill aside, failed to produce in front of goal. Where Baines and Arteta failed from direct free-kick attempts in the first half Baines put his over and Carson acrobatically palmed Arteta's second kick away Brunt was inch perfect; and while Anichebe and Pienaar played well enough, they couldn't unlock the opposition defence with such devastating efficiency as Tchoyi did.

And that was the difference. With the same personnel as last season, Everton remain perplexing ineffective, the answers to their malaise seemingly as intangible as the form that lit up much of the second half of last season.

Moyes's team selection was sound enough; Hibbert was disappointing but Coleman may have been torn apart by Tchoyi in the same manner had he replaced Phil Neville at right back; Anichebe was energetic and a handful for the first half hour and forced a great save from Carson; and Cahill proved that he deserves his place in whatever formation you call it with yet another headed goal, though the attacking threat was clearly amplifed with Beckford's introduction, perhaps making a strong case for two out-and-out strikers at home, with Cahill accommodated somehow in midfield.

Chelsea away next and an equally daunting trip to Eastlands to face Man City on the horizon with a home game against fellow strugglers Wigan in between, the challenges are going to be coming thick and fast for Everton as the festive season approaches. Moyes has shown resilience and surprising powers of recovery in the past but there is a worrying sense this time around that this season is running away from him and that he doesn't have the answers to his team's current malaise.

Fellaini returns next week, an obvious straight replacement for Arteta, but it's in the penalty area at both ends that the real problems lie right now a shortage of goals and a shortage of clean sheets are turning a chase for Europe into a battle to avoid a relegation dogfight... with no transfer funds to provide fresh blood to a stale-looking side.

Player Ratings:
Howard 6, Hibbert 6, Jagielka 6, Distin 8, Baines 7, Arteta 5, Heitinga 5 (Beckford 6), Anichebe 7 (Rodwell 6), Pienaar 8*, Cahill 7, Yakubu 6 (Saha 6)

Lyndon Lloyd

Match Preview

With the optimism that was creeping in a few weeks back on the back of a seven-match unbeaten run now being replaced by an increasing measure of frustration at recent performances, Everton return to Goodison Park this weekend for the visit of West Bromwich Albion.

That frustration is perhaps summed up by the fact that the two clubs — one tipped for Champions League qualification, the other just hoping to stay up — go into this, the 15th game of the campaign, level on points and only two points above the drop zone.

David Moyes's side have won just three of their first 14 games and with a trip to Stamford Bridge around the corner, all eyes are now October's Manager of the Month to see how he addresses the issue of a team that is playing mostly pretty but all-too-often ineffective football before the season becomes an irrevocable failure.

Whether it's a change in personnel, formation or approach, many fans will be looking for some indication that Moyes is prepared to use what is, on paper, an easier fixture in order to toy with his side to find a solution to its current malaise.

Marouane Fellaini serves the final game of his three-match suspension and Leon Osman remains sidelined with an ankle injury, but Victor Anichebe could be fit enough to make the substitute's bench for the first time this season after a long injury lay-off of his own.

As discussions around two strikers and the merits of Yakubu versus Saha abound on these pages, what attacking line-up Moyes goes with against the Baggies will be of particular interest. Anichebe, of course, would add to that equation when he is fully fit, and he would provide extra competition for Seamus Coleman wide on the right.

There is no doubt that a failure to pick up all three points against WBA would raise the levels of discontent among the faithful to new levels and there is a danger that the fear of failure and unease from the terraces could start to work against them. And their opponents, having seen their surprisingly good start come off the rails, will have pleny to prove themselves. As Moyes always says, there are no easy games in the Premier League.


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EVERTON (4-3-3)
  Heitinga (56' Beckford :83')
  Arteta :58'
  Yakubu (56' Saha)
  Anichebe (Rodwell)
  Subs not used
  Neville (injured)
  Osman (injured)
  Fellaini (suspended)
  Vaughan (loan)
  Yobo (loan)
  Wallace (loan)
WEST BROM (4-4-2)
  Mulumbu :87':88'
  Thomas (66' Tchoy)
  Brunt :31' (90' Barnes)
  Dorrans :71' (74'Reid)
  Subs not used

Premier League Scores
Aston Villa 2-4 Arsenal
Bolton 2-2 Blackpool
Everton 1-4 West Brom
Fulham 1-1 Birmingham
Man Utd 7-1 Blackburn
Stoke 1-1 Man City
West Ham 3-1 Wigan
Wolves 3-2 Sunderland
Newcastle 1-1 Chelsea
Tottenham 2-1 Liverpool

Team Pts
1 Manchester United 31
2 Chelsea 29
3 Arsenal 29
4 Manchester City 26
5 Tottenham Hotspur 25
6 Bolton Wanderers 23
7 Sunderland 20
8 Stoke City 20
9 Newcastle United 19
10 Liverpool 19
11 Blackpool 19
12 West Bromwich Albion 19
13 Blackburn Rovers 18
14 Birmingham City 17
15 Aston Villa 17
16 Everton 16
17 Fulham 15
18 Wigan Athletic 14
19 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12
20 West Ham United 12
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