Everton 3 - 1 Oldham Athletic
Everton booked their place in the FA Cup quarter finals and moved within one game of a return to Wembley by seeing off Oldham Athletic's plucky challenge in this evening's fifth round replay.
Though it was a performance that at times lacked authority and cohesion, after being pegged back by the Latics in the original tie at Boundary Park 10 days ago and then suffering a major set-back in the Premier League at Norwich on Saturday, priority number one for David Moyes's side was to win. That they did thanks to the three-goal cushion that Leon Osman's glancing header provided just after an hour's play and though Matt Smith would score another unchallenged header to give Tony Philliskirk's men a ray of hope, the result wasn't ever in much doubt.
Injury to Marouane Fellaini forced one change on Moyes, with Phil Neville coming into central midfield, and the manager made another in starting Kevin Mirallas in place of Steven Naismith wide on the right. For those who felt that the Belgian should have started at Carrow Road three days ago, Mirallas made their point with an often lively display and a deftly-taken goal to open the scoring after a quarter of an hour.
After his lovely footwork had set up an early opportunity for Leighton Baines, one the defender fired into the defensive wall after three minutes, it was Mirallas who arrived in the box to meet Darron Gibson's wicked cross from the right and side-foot past the stranded Bouzanis to make it 1-0 to Everton.
Oldham, however, had shown no signs of being overawed by their top-flight opponents and either of two incidents in the 17th minute could have had them level almost immediately. First, after the ball had ricochted kindly to the visitors off Phil Jagielka, Jose Baxter curled an excellent shot around Tim Howard but off the face of the post; then, in the immediate aftermath Jagielka drove an attempted clearance straight at Gibson's arm in the Everton area but, somewhat fortuitously, referee Michael Oliver waved play on .
Matters were evened up on the penalty-claims front a few minutes later when Nikica Jelavic was blatantly tugged back by Tarkowski in the Latics' box but escaped punishment before Baines prompted Bouzanis to push his raking left-foot drive wide the post, but the Blues would get their chance from the spot 11 minutes before half time.
Again Jelavic went down under the attentions of a defender as he tried to profit from superb work by Seamus Coleman's on the right but Brown inexplicably thrust out an arm to intercept the loose ball and the referee had no option but to award a penalty for handball. Bouzanis guess the right way and got a glove on Baines' kick but could not prevent the ball from nestling in his net.
2-0 up and coasting, it offered Everton the chance to settle down and establish some rhythm to their game but they seemed to be hampered by the general sloppiness and lapses in concentraction that have been a feature of their recent struggle for form. Osman had a particularly ragged evening in possession, frequently giving the ball away, Gibson was susprisingly inconsistent with his own distribution, and though the desperation to end his goal drought was etched all over his face and demeanour, Jelavic just couldn't find his touch or stay on his feet long enough to be a threat.
Much of the onus for producing when the Blues went forward fell to Steven Pienaar, who had a decent game overall, the quick and unpredictable feet of Mirallas, and the purpose and energy of Coleman and it was the Irishman who to set up Osman with a great chance eight minutes into the second half but the midfielder choked his shot and the goalkeeper was able to make a comfortable catch.
He would get the crucial touch to score the third goal nine minutes later, though, one that would partially extinguish a growing fire in Oldham's belly. The League One side had gone close to forcing an opening down their left but Neville cut out a dangerous cross by the near post and Lee Croft had flashed a decent effort into the side netting from the other side a couple of minutes later.
But Everton scored what would prove to be a killer third goal in the 62nd minute when Pienaar whipped a cross in from the left flank, Osman glanced it on with the merest of touches and though Jelavic didn't make contact as the ball flew past him, his presence was enough to confuse Bouzanis and the ball ended up in the far corner to make it 3-0.
Philliskirk had thrown the hero of the original game, Matt Smith, on by this point and the towering striker would have the ball in the net again barely two minutes later. Distin had done well to block a cross from the right after failing to deal with a bouncing ball on the edge of his own area but the Frenchman lost Smith altogether at the resulting corner and was left tugging vainly at the 6' 6" striker's sleeve as he rose to head past Howard from close range. Another poorly-defended set piece by Everton's defence and another soft goal conceded.
Oldham would try gamely to force another goal but mostly succeeded in battering Howard in aerial battles that left the American hobbling by the end of the game from a particularly poor rash challenge by Simpson. They had moved the ball around quickly and surprisingly well earlier in the game but were forced to resort to a more direct approach as the game wore on and the hosts were mostly comfortable in dealing with the tactic.
Instead, it was Everton who went closer to adding to the scoresheet in the closing stages and it should really have been 4-1 after a superb counter-attacking move that ended with Mirallas finding Jelavic with his back to goal with a pin-point cross and a neat lay-off to Gibson. Unfortunately, the Irishman lashed his shot over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
Given the team's recent struggles, it would have been nice to see a really slick, accomplished display by the Blues and, in particular, a goal for Jelavic, but the mantra coming in was "just win" so the result and progress to the next round to face Wigan is all that matters in the final reckoning.
There some genuinely impressive moments in which to revel, though, most of them involving Mirallas, and the hope is that this first win in five games can provide a platform on which to build as the team looks to consolidate a place in the top six and keep their European hopes alive.
Another home game in the Cup against Wigan provides a wonderful opportunity to return to Wembley, though, for the semi-finals and the chance to atone for last year's disappointment at the hands of the neighbours. Onward...
Notes: Osman's goal was his 50th for Everton in all competitions
This was Everton's first win over Oldham in the FA Cup since 1912.
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093 Posted 27/02/2013 at 09:36:30
I personally thought the performance was extremely poor and at times it was difficult to see who was the Premier League team. Once again we defended deep towards the end and this must be sorted out asap. Moyes was going apeshit at times for us to play our game but for whatever reason we reverted to, at times, panic!
From where I was sitting I could hear players having a go at each other, which in itself is not a bad thing, but against Oldham??
At the final whistle you could hear the sigh of relief from those around us.
102 Posted 27/02/2013 at 10:50:21
All the faults and problems visible at Norwich and previous games have disappeared.
106 Posted 27/02/2013 at 11:02:57
Let's see how that goes.
109 Posted 27/02/2013 at 11:07:08
On another note, Osman scored for the second game in a row, how many is that this season? 6, 7? Not a bad tally considering he's playing deep lying midfielder most of the time, imagine if he could shoot as well, or if Cech wasn't amazing, he'd be in double figures with ease. Pienaar with another assist again despite not being in top form, isn't he at the top of the assists table for the second season in a row for our team? Yeah they're crap those two, can't understand why Moyes keeps picking them, I mean what do they add to the team?
111 Posted 27/02/2013 at 11:19:28
It is obvious now, as it has been for a long time, what Moyes' preferred, and the fans preferred line up is, and that he'll flog it for all its worth till season's end.
But isn't that the reason for it being stale and out of form? If resting players with Barkley's inclusion is a risk I fail to see that with Oviedo or Hitzlesperger.
And what constitutes a risk because as much as I want him to succeed, Naismith is a shocker.
112 Posted 27/02/2013 at 11:10:45
For a few months we were going out with a great attitude and playing some really good stuff.
It wasn't ONE player playing well, it was 'the team', so a few chops and changes weren't of any great significance.
We were keeping the ball, moving it around well, basically playing what I think of as confident, energetic and intelligent football.
We weren't winning every game but we looked like we could beat anyone.
Plus, results-wise, we WERE having more success than with the (pre Swansea away last year) dross-football we'd had to endure.
Now, for reasons best known to Moyes, Round and the players, there seems to have been some sort of collective mental collapse.
Suddenly it's panic, we're constantly giving possession away, passing has turned to shite as has our defending.
Genuinely baffled and curious to hear considered opinions as to why and how.
116 Posted 27/02/2013 at 11:38:02
To me, there are players who look very tired and are struggling to concentrate the full 90 minutes. The stat that we have used the fewest number of players in the PL is fairly telling. A failure to rotate with what we have - Oviedo and Vellios have been criminally underused in my book - and on the part of the board to bolster the ranks in January have only added to the overall problem.
117 Posted 27/02/2013 at 11:50:36
Its form. It happens. WBA fell off dramatically over Christmas and NY and now they're on our tail.
Its not so much poor form that's a problem for teams, but how you come out of it the other end.
120 Posted 27/02/2013 at 11:47:01
Some thoughts as to why the 'joined-up stuff,' (copyright: Ken Buckley) isn't happening: The Baines-Pienaar axis is deliberately being nullified by opposition tactics, and our often unimaginative response is lumping it up to the average-sized Jelavic - who looks as though he's running around in calapers.
Fellaini's receiving more 'attention, ' and his suspected ambivalence, (Nb: Possibly thinking about pastures new) could be affecting his consistency levels. Unlike the last two England managers, Moyes seemingly has no problem with Jagielka launching it way to often - a particular bug-bear of mine.
The lack of January investment, the fact that teams are raising their game precisely on account of the great form you mention, and I think the confidence has been on the slide. The manager's contractual indecision - another possibility perhaps.
I'd be interested to read your take on it.
121 Posted 27/02/2013 at 11:58:06
Even though the likes of Wigan know they are going to be in a relegation fight, they seem to play out of their skin at the end of each season, because they know it's their last chance to get those 3 points that may keep them up.
Newly promoted sides may also take a while to gel, if they have a few new faces.
Or, we may just be mentally weak, some form of footballing ADHD. Our Jekyll & Hyde performances every season point to something a sports psychologist could get their teeth into.
We have heard the stories about Fergie - you are not allowed to rest on your past performances, he expects the same level of commitment each & every game. Maybe we don't expect our players to perform like this. We don't have that mentality, too many ready made excuses.
125 Posted 27/02/2013 at 12:15:03
126 Posted 27/02/2013 at 12:08:40
"At least you've seemed to simmered some Eugene, in the last few days you'd have said it was a tactic of Moyes to play so poorly"
This lazy nonsense is proof (if proof were needed) that you don't actually read the content of posts, just the tone in which they're delivered.
To suggest I'd have EVER said or suggested that 'it was a tactic of Moyes to play so poorly' only makes you look stupid.
Yes I have criticised Moyes many times for his tactics/selection/coaching/communication etc, but never once hinted that anything that has been detrimental to Everon has be deliberate on his part.
Like a few others, you seem to think any shite is acceptable to post as long as it's delivered 'calmly' and shows everyone what a rounded individual you are.
Reminds me of BK.
127 Posted 27/02/2013 at 12:13:46
I regularly disagree with DM's decisions but I can see his point (eg, playing Neville so much, not giving Barkely a few substitute appearances, etc), but I cannot for the life of me comprehend why Naismith has not been tried behind Jelavic, even when Fellaini's been out of the team. The lad is a better player than he's shown so far, so if DM fancies him - which he evidently does - and we are lacking a cutting edge up front then why not try him "in the hole"? I don't get it. I don't get it at all.
One definite plus is the return of the Coleman/Mirallas combo, which is a danger in itself and stops the opposition focussing on Baines/Pienaar, thereby allowing those two to do their stuff.
I've never been a Victor fan, but he has got to be first choice to start at the moment. I guess that's the silver lining to the dark cloud which has descended on Jelavic. It will do his (Anichebe's) confidence the world of good.
133 Posted 27/02/2013 at 12:44:51
Yesterday you took what was obviously bait and ran up a huge rant. Today it wasn't needed.
You've just gone back on the boil.
150 Posted 27/02/2013 at 14:50:49
More of a concern are Pienaar and Jelavic who never looked like scoring even against lower league opposition.
153 Posted 27/02/2013 at 12:41:35
Two words on there that I haven't seen on TW before - Sports Psychologist.
I think hiring one is a plausible idea,& with all due respect his first session should be with David Moyes.
154 Posted 27/02/2013 at 15:01:28
157 Posted 27/02/2013 at 14:58:59
Tip - instead of trying to impress us with your (unconvincing) 'look how calm I am' nonsense, why not address specific points raised in specific posts.
Failing to do so doesn't suggest 'reasonable', it suggests "Oh flip, I haven't got an answer for that, I'll say he's ranting".
175 Posted 27/02/2013 at 16:17:08
Yes, Osman scored again but how many times did he lose or give the ball away or fall over? He is starting to piss me off big time. I just wish he would stay on his feet.
What has happened to Jelavic? We cannot keep hoping he will come back into form — he needs to be droped and someone else givin a chance
179 Posted 27/02/2013 at 16:30:10
This is not an attempt to "Gang up on you" up on Nick.
Eugene I have to agree with your sentiments in the post, I have put a few posts on here and tried to state my case as clearly as possible and given those who want to reply plenty of chance to sink their teeth in (rightly or wrongly?) and suffered for it.
There's a few on here who seem to derive a vicarious thrill from the forum by using superficial comments that don't really contribute anything.
188 Posted 27/02/2013 at 16:50:02
"I tend to be quite positive so I think..." or "I see the glass half blah blah"
Who gives a flying fuck and what does this have to do with....anything?
Despite the fantasy that might be going on inside the heads of some, if your facts are fucked, NOBODY is thinking "Well he's got that wrong but oooh isn't he wonderful - so positive like".
Long-time poster Tony Marsh just gives his opinion.
Some agree with him, some don't but either way, he doesn't feel the need to say "I tend to be narky and sweary so I think..."
There's loads of different posters and they (naturally) all have different personalities and different ways of expressing themselves, but it's what they say ABOUT EVERTON I'm interested in.
If you have a fact, let's hear it, If you have an opinion, let's hear that.
Personally, once someone starts giving me 'you've lost it' or 'calm yourself' etc, it is often a good indication that they want to get away from the original point because they see their 'argument' falling apart.
It is deflection pure and simple and DEAD obvious.
224 Posted 27/02/2013 at 18:52:40
I had one by the name of John Ford deliberatly misquoted me with "'the wheels have come off' apparently (really?)'". I actually wrote: "the wheels are starting to come of the cart". This was after the Norwich loss, I had clearly stated why I thought they were coming off in my post .
His finishing line of his reply to my first post was patronisingly: "Focus, Boy ..... Focus!"
I absolutely slaughtered him in my reply, but he didn't bother with a reply.
They irritate me when the say "Why are you so negative, DM has done a great job, he's had no money!". It's their opinion and they're entitled to it.
Although they're replying to a post in which I would have given clear and good (I believe) reasons why we are not in such a good position, I/you have just spent time writing in detail an argument and they remain silent.
By the way have you seen this article on football365: http://www.football365.com/news/21554/8527174/Has-Moyes-Achieved-Enough-At-Everton-
It's well balanced I think and from a source outside the fan base.
226 Posted 27/02/2013 at 19:29:10
229 Posted 27/02/2013 at 19:30:46
240 Posted 27/02/2013 at 20:01:40
Then why don't you reply to it?
You just went silent and you are on here a bit. You mis qouted my post deliberately - plain and simple. So you could use your rediculous witticism.
And if you didn't read it (the original post) how the hell can you say:
"Robert, if your reply was as loose as the original post then I doubt there was much slaughtering going on.
Then go on to say
"I didn't read it so can't comment on the specifics"
If you didn't read the original post how the can you say my comment to Eugene Ruane about you is "loose".
You're exaclty the kind of person myself and Eugene have been talking about in the above posts.
Focus boy focus! You're one dizzy individual.
242 Posted 27/02/2013 at 20:11:39
Have a read of the above comments, he's just the kind of person we've been talking about!
246 Posted 27/02/2013 at 20:17:41
249 Posted 27/02/2013 at 20:22:48
Whether wheels were off, punctured, worn or on bricks was irrelevant, so for the points being made how I para'd you was also irrelevant. As I recall, and I don recall your exact words but you exaggerated the case, big time. Understandably perhaps after a duff performance at Norwich but nonetheless ripe for a bit of bashing. One person view. Let's move on.
318 Posted 28/02/2013 at 05:08:18
327 Posted 28/02/2013 at 07:00:32
One thing that comes from adding the Mirallas/Coleman combo (your words) is that they provide the right flank axis option. The chance here is it means the defences need to spread somewhat. Jela needs to move around in the attacking middle because the chances should come from having the LH and RH threats.
One thing that seems to be missing is our speed of transition. Watching against Norwich and even Oldham our transition from defence to attack has been painfully slow most of the time (unless we play Jag style hoofball, which is a total waste of time).
I wonder what goes on in the training sessions. And at games, from the dug out, do you think Moyes says, FFS speed the fucking game up guys!!???
Probably not. More like "steady at the back guys, a bit of tippy tappy, oh now back to Jags to hoof it up to Jela! Oh shit, that one went straight through to the keeper. Never mind, Jela was probably offside anyhow". (because he'd been waiting so long!!!.)
Frustrating, isn't it???
330 Posted 28/02/2013 at 07:24:00
Couldn't resist it
383 Posted 28/02/2013 at 12:45:25
Pienaar is knackered/out of form. We spent good money on Oviedo, who hasn't looked out of place when he's been picked.
Osman is knackered/out of form. We have Barkley, Pienaar (although see above), Mirallas and Naismith (last option in my opinion) who could play in the 'hole' or alongside Jelly.
Jelly is knackered/out of form. How about trying Vellios against the likes of Oldham or Reading? Why did Moyes sign up Hitz when he still insists on playing Neville in midfield?
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