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Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool
Premier League
 Saturday 10 March 2012; 5:30pm
Everton 
1 0
 Tottenham
 Jelavic (22')
Half Time: 1-0
 
Attendance: 34,992
Fixture 27
Referee: Mark Halsey

Match Summary

Coleman started the game playing on the left partnering Leighton Baines in the absence of Steven Pienaar, ineligible to play against the team from whom he is being loaned.

Sylvain Distin needed to be alert after a poor pass from Osman. At the other end, Drenthe and Osman combined well but the shot is driven wide as Everton started to get into the match.

Gareth Bale was getting ample room down the Everton left where defensive duties seemed to suffer as Baines was getting forward well.

Osman did well to dispossess Modric, while at the other end a Coleman shot was deflected safely into the goalkeeper's hands. Heitinga had to put in an excellent stop to deny Defoe who had run into the area and was about to shoot.

Fellaini got a good chance off a Jelavic header down but the angle was narrow and the keeper stuck out his leg to save. Moments later and absolutely brilliant work by Osman, a fantastic pullback ball perfect for Jelavic who struck it well and Brad Freidel could only push it on to the post and in to give Everton a worthy lead.

How would Everton play with such a wonderful first half advantage? The answer came quickly with Everton searching forwarded every opportunity looking to build on that lead. Osman was having an excellent game and almost repeated the scoring move minutes later. Then Drenthe came forward and had a good shot that was deflected but Friedel saved.

Tottenham were being well contained by the Blues' defense but Bale had to have a poke from distance that was well wide of Howard's post. Spurs won a soft free kick in a good position and Bale had another poke with the same result.

Everton won a dangerous free kick and Jelly stepped up to put in a superb shot around the Spurs wall and Friedel had to be very alert to push it around the post.

But the pace flag somewhat toward the break, Everton failing to take advantage, Osman giving the ball away too easily with a pass that Modric picked off far too easily. Spurs pressed hard toward the break, but could not breach a resolute Everton defense.

After the break and Spurs were straight into the action Defoe firing a good shot on target for Howard to save. Spurs kept pressing and the Blues were hanging on their nerves a little, working to retain their lead.

Defoe got free and had another good shot at Howard as Louis Saha warmed up to come on in placeof Adeybayor, Everton going on the back foot almost immediately, struggling to make much work going forward. Another lively Spurs attack ended with Modric firing over. I shockingly poor corner from Bale was followed by a poor foul by Assou-Okotu that earnt him a yellow card, with Jermain Defoe following him into the book soon after.

The hour mark came and Coleman fouled Assou-Okotu in the Dee... Kabul blasting the ball hilariously high and wide from the free kick. Jack Rodwell then coming on to replace Royston Drenthe, with Moyes going to secure a famous 1-0 victory.

But where is had other ideas, with Defor getting another shot on Howard has have a med Redknapp made his second substitution. Saha showed some turkey work cutting in the past at Neville and shooting into Serevent Diskus face

Everton finally mounted the first attack of the second half Coleman pushing the ball out wife to Osman in acres of space for a great chance for great chance but it was poorly executed, his shot going straight it Friedel. I poor sign of Everton's lack of adventure was the inevitable passing back to Howard, with Spurs continually allowed to apply more and more pressure.

With Everton becoming very stretched and panicky, Defoe fired home but thankfully was well offside. Jelavic had been ineffective in the second half an was finally replaced by Stracqualursi as the minutes ticked away.

Johonny Heitinga went in the book when another dangerous free kick was conceded. But Bale's floater went nowhere. Could the Blues hold on for 10 more minutes? David Moyes decided to increase the odds by swapping out Coleman for Jagielka.

Everton were shockingly poor when breaking from defense, Baines too easily dispossessed to set up yet another in a relentless stream of Spurs attacks. Redknapp swapped Parker for Livermore as Everton soaked up more and more pressure from a succession of Modric corners.

Into the last minute of full-time and incredibly five minutes of added time went up on the fourth official's board. The visitors kept plugging away with Everton backtracking but staying solid and continuing to neutralize every Spurs attack, a deflected shot from Vandover on sending five to close to the bar. in something of a scramble Saha poked the ball against Howard's post and away off Howard's knee he knew nothing about it, but got a card on 95 minutes for time wasting.

The game finally ended with another crazy sequence of headers ending in a safe by Alan and will see learning a little after 5 minutes added time. A tremendous result for all Blues and David Moyes as he approaches his 10-year anniversary in the Goodison hotseat, finally propelling the side into a decent run of form after a dreadful first half to the season that can should not be forgotten in all the hoopla.

Michael Kenrick

 

Match Preview

Everton begin a testing spell of four games in ten days this weekend when Tottenham Hotspur make the trip to Merseyside just two months after the teams last met at White Hart Lane in the re-arranged fixture originally scheduled as the season opener back in August. [That game was, of course, postponed due to the clean-up following the riots in that part of North London.]

Having emerged from the shadow cast by the Manchester clubs as possible dark horses for the Premier League title, Spurs have suffered something of a reality check in the last fortnight, falling to back-to-back defeats against rivals Arsenal and United and conceding eight goals in the process.

The Londoners haven't lost three league games on the trot since 2008 when Juande Ramos was ushered out the door in favour of Harry Redknapp, but David Moyes will be itching to reset that sequence with what would be a rare victory over Tottenham. Even though Spurs haven't won at Goodison Park for five years, the Blues have only won six of their 39 Premier League games against them over the past 20 years.

Indeed, Spurs ran out comfortable 2-0 winners over Everton in N17 in January but that game also marked the last time Moyes's side lost and they come into this televised, late-afternoon kick-off looking to make it nine games unbeaten in all competitions. Since that rather weak performance in which they barely managed a shot on goal, the Blues have strengthened their side with the acquisition of Darron Gibson, Nikica Jelavic and Steven Pienaar and have put themselves into a position whereby they could sneak into a Europa League qualifying place if they can put together a run of victories.

That won't be easy, though, with a sequence that sees them play third-placed Spurs, then face three games in the League against enemies Liverpool (A), improving Arsenal (H) and plucky Swansea City (A) in the next fortnight... with an FA Cup quarter final against Sunderland thrown into the mix next Saturday for good measure.

The improvement in the manager's selection options couldn't have come at a better time, then. As part of the arrangement that brought Pienaar back to Everton on transfer deadline day in January, the South African is ineligible to play against the team that holds his contract so he will be forced to watch from the stands.

But Phil Jagielka's successful outing in the mini-derby against Liverpool means that he provides strong back-up for the central defensive places it's possible that Moyes could throw him back into the starting line-up but it would be harsh on John Heitinga or Sylvain Distin if either lost their place.

In midfield, while he wasn't named on the bench at QPR last weekend, Jack Rodwell is presumably fit enough to partner Marouane Fellaini in the centre if Moyes feels that would be a better option than persisting with Phil Neville, and, despite his disappointing return as a substitute at Loftus Road, Leon Osman provides an obvious option on the left flank in place of Pienaar.

It's up front where Moyes might make a change, though, given Jelavic's return to fitness and the lively nature of what was only his second appearance since arriving from Rangers in the draw at QPR. The Croatian replaced Tim Cahill and provided plenty of movement and running alongside Denis Stracqualursi, suggesting that the partnership might be a viable one for when Cahill isn't deemed fit enough.

Jelavic has yet to make his full debut and hasn't played in front of the home fans yet but he could well get his chance as a starter this weekend.

Clearly, this will be a supremely difficult game and one that will demand the determination and focus that helped Everton send Chelsea back down to London mulling a sound defeat last month. Tottenham will be missing Michael Dawson from their defence, Aaron Lennon from their flank and, pending Harry Redknapp's adherence to a "gentleman's agreement", Louis Saha up front. The formidable trio of Rafael van der Vaart, Gareth Bale and Scott Parker should all be back, though, giving Spurs plenty of strength in midfield.

* Unfortunately, we cannot control other sites' content policies and therefore cannot guarantee that links to external reports will remain active.

Match Preview
Match Summary
Match Report
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Match Reports
2011-12 Reports Index
< QPR (A) Liverpool (A) >
EVERTON (4-5-1)
  Howard :90+5'
  Neville
  Heitinga :80'
  Distin
  Baines
  Coleman (82' Jagielka)
  Fellaini
  Osman
  Drenthe (63' Rodwell)
  Cahill
  Jelavic (78' Stracqualursi)
  Subs not used
  Mucha
  Hibbert
  Gueye
  Anichebe
  Unavailable
  Gibson (injured)
  Pienaar (ineligible)
  Bidwell (loan)
  Garbutt (loan)
  Wallace (loan)
  Yobo (loan)
TOTTENHAM (4-4-2)
  Friedel
  Walker
  Kaboul
  King
  Assou-Ekotto :60'
  Bale
  Sandro (68' Van der Vaart)
  Parker (86' Livermore)
  Modric
  Defoe :61'
  Adebayor (54' Saha)
  Subs not used
  Cudicini
  Nelsen
  Kranjcar
  Rose

Premier League Scores
Saturday
Aston Villa 1-0 Fulham
Bolton 2-1 QPR
Chelsea 1-0 Stoke
Everton 1-0 Tottenham
Sunderland 1-0 Liverpool
Wolves 0-2 Blackburn
Sunday
Man United 2-0 West Brom
Norwich 1-1 Wigan
Swansea 1-0 Man City
Monday
Arsenal 2-1 Newcastle


Team Pts
1 Manchester United 67
2 Manchester City 66
3 Tottenham Hotspur 53
4 Arsenal 49
5 Chelsea 49
6 Newcastle United 44
7 Liverpool 39
8 Sunderland 37
9 Everton 37
10 Fulham 36
11 Swansea City 36
12 Norwich City 36
13 Stoke City 36
14 West Bromwich Albion 35
15 Aston Villa 33
16 Blackburn Rovers 25
17 Bolton Wanderers 23
18 Queens Park Rangers 22
19 Wolverhampton Wanderers 22
20 Wigan Athletic 21
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