FA Carling Premier League, Saturday 30 December 1995
Previous Match: Everton v Middlesborough Next Match: Wimbledon v Everton
Everton (1) 2 Leeds United (0) 0
Kanchelskis 51, Wetherall 6 og.
Everton: (3-5-2) Southall, Short, Watson, Unsworth, Stuart, Horne, Parkinson, Ebbrell, Kanchelskis, Rideout, Ferguson (Hinchcliffe 72). Subs Not Used: Jackson, Kearton. Sent Off: Watson (18). Booked: Watson.
Leeds United: Beeney, Kelly, Dorigo (Worthington 45), Wetherall, Ford, Jobson, Brolin, Deane, Masinga (Wallace 59), McAllister, Speed. Subs Not Used: Radebe. Booked: Wetherall, Ford.
Ref: J Winter (Stockton-on-Tees).
Guy McEvoy (email@example.com ): The razmataz injection (some would call it Americanisation) of our national game took on another step at a freezing Goodison Park yesterday. First off, we were treated to a live guitar trio, though quite how they held their plectrums is beyond me; next up we we got a pom-pom troop (Cheerleaders International) who looked so cold and miserable during their routine that I'm sure, had the NSPCC been informed, someone would now be facing prosecution. Danka were obviously extremley keen to let people know who were sponsoring this pre-match entertainment, and as if they were'nt cold enough made the girls walk round the pitch with big Danka signs before they could go back into the warmth. Poor Kids. Eventually, the Z-Cars tune heralded the start of the day's real entertainment.
The first big shock was when Anders walked out the tunnel wearing a great coat. No-one around me had any idea what the nature of his injury was and indeed I'm still none the wiser. However, this meant that Ferguson did start the game on the field rather than on the Subs bench as had been widely touted.
Despite the absence of one of our key wingers Joe decided to stick with the 3-5-2 formation that had demolished Middlesborough, Stuart shifting wider.
We had a very comfortable start, and scored within 7 minutes through a spectacular own goal by the Leeds defender Weatherall. It had resulted from exceptional work by Ebbrell and also Ferguson that had resulted in a chase on goal between Stuart and the defender. Wetherall sensed that Stuart was gaining a yard, and lunged to make contact with the ball. The contact he got but it ended in a neat lob over the 'keeper and into the net.
The large crowd was on song and Everton settled playing neat football, Ferguson showing some lovely first touch skills, the dogs sticking in crunching tackles and generally keeping Leeds completely out of it. Everything was going great. Suddenly Watson executed a harsh, though not malicious tackle on Wallace. It was the kind of incident you see 10 times a game and carries a 50/50 chance of a booking. It was only when the Leeds fans started chanting "off, off, off" that most people realised what was happening. In the euphoria that followed the goal it had been easy to miss Dave pick up his first yellow for a similar challenge. No sooner had this dawned than the ref had the yellow and red cards out his pocket and Dave set off for his early bath.
The crowd rightly vented it's anger at the ref. Both challenges were the sort that maybe could have deserved a yellow but surely having awardeded the first yellow, he could have applied some common sence and realised that a sending off would have been out of all proportion. A warning would have sufficed. Still, he saw fit to punish the challenge, even though he let go most similar challenges for the rest of the game. Watson had to walk.
This left the players in an unusual situation. We only had two defenders on the pitch. The matter of reorginisation cannot have been helped by the fact it was also the captain who had gone. Short shitfed accross and Parkinson moved back. Ten men with only a one goal cushion and 70 minutes to go did not look a good prospect.
However, our lack of obvious shape seemed to completely flumux Leeds as to how to deal with us, and despite the extra man we were able to constantly close them down and stop them developing any kind of flow. Meanwhile we were creating the odd chance ourselves, the most memorable from Rideout, a 30-yarder that required an outstanding save from Beeney to keep out.
Half time brought the return of the pom pom girls, this time someone had kindly given them an Everton shirt each so I guess they were a bit warmer.
When the players came back on I was surprised to see that we hadn't made a substitution. We had two defenders on the bench (Hinchcliffe and Jackson) and the break would have seemed a sensible time to reorganise with the back in mind. Joe however, had more faith.
Again, we completely frustrated Leeds, they just couldn't get anything going. Even a change of strikers was not enough to inspire them. Indeed the second half was singularly lacking in inspriation from both teams until the 68th minute.
It was then that the crowd was treated to one of those 5 million pound moments. Kanchelskis picked up the ball to the right of the box and looked to be stuck by two defenders. As no Blues were presenting him with any options the only thing he could do was skip past them both (easier said than done), bringing himslef to a more central position on the edge of the box, again no blues gave him an option, the only thing for it was a shot. And what a sweet one it was, it curled into the bottom left in the only spot Beenys fingers couldn't cover. A truly memorable goal.
Only now with the two goal margin did Joe bring on another defender. Ferguson (who had been very dissapointing since Watson had gone off) made way for Hinchcliffe.
Leeds only had a couple of chances all game, they were squandered by Speed (who sent it to straight to Southall) and by Wallace who fluffed a sitter from about 8-yards.
It was a curious game, certainly no classic, though we must take pride in beating the team who had earlier in the week demolished Utd, with only 10 men and one of our key wingers missing, and a referee who did his level best to make sure we lose. That is a good 3 points.
We seem to be climbing the table dissapointingly slowly, however, bare this in mind - we are only 6 points behind 3rd place!
If we can only improve our away form we can be right up there. That task starts at Wimbledon tommorow.
Southall 7 - The complete absence of a penetration by Leeds kept it
a very quiet day for Nev. Good job he had his traky bottoms on.
Short 8 - Another very good game,had so much to do after Watson had left and coped well.
Watson 6 - Played well enough but bearing in mind he ahd a yellow should never have made that challenge in an area of no danger.
Unsworth 7 - Coped with his increased workload though not as dominant as Short.
Parkinson 8 - Had a typical performance in Mid-field earlier on, then adjusted extremely well to his defensive roll. Showed he's more versitle than he's often given credit for.
Horne 8 - Making the most of his return, closed them down and worked hard, actually had a shot for once!!
Ebbrell 9 - Another of those performances were you see him everywhere and he didn't give up on anything. Text book tackling. Good Vision. Responsible for the first goal. Top dog today.
Stuart 8 - Again worked hard, and showed his versitility. Is having a fantastic run of form.
Rideout 7 - Wasn't presented with the chances, though made a lot of running, unlucky with his 30 yarder.
Ferguson 6 - Started off very brightly, but seemed to lose interest once Watson had gone. Was suffering from very close defensive attention but nevertheless his off the ball movement was dire. Had his sleeves pulled down over his hands for a large chunk of the game. Just didn't look that into it. Subbed.
Kanchelskis 8 - Showed the passion Ferguson didn't, was determined to try and extend the lead and was rewarded with his memorable effort. Paying back his fee.
Hinchcliffe 7 - Put in a good claim for a first team return, except one very dangerous and unnecessary clearence accross the face of the box. Good to see him back after a spell out.
Dave Shepherd: Last year, Leeds were unlucky not to meet EFC until Walker had left; they became JR's 3rd opponent and 3rd victim, losing 3-0 in an otherwise dull and unattractive game. This year, their prospects looked bleak on losing Yeboah to the ANC (African Nations Cup, not National Congress ;-), although they did have wins v Man Utd and Bolton under their belts.
Everton unexpectedly had lost Limpar (must have been a terrible disappointment for the wee Swede to miss the chance of a game against Brolin). This forced a team change on JR, and he opted to keep the same 3CD formation, push Stuart out to sort of Outside Left, and start big Dunc up front.
The formation caused some concern, as Leeds in their better moments seemed to make easy progress on the wings, especially their right wing, and better crosses to their tall men led by Deane could have cost us several goals.
Fortunately, the game had hardly settled down when Everton were handed the lead. A through-ball up the middle just failed to catch out Wetherall, and he was in between Stuart and the ball, racing for goal, but Stuart's attempts to get a foot on the ball forced an error, and Wetherall's back-pass was shinned a fraction too high, resulting in a lob just inside the Street End's Church post with precision that makes it a contender for own-goal of the season.
This turned out to be a much-needed confidence boost, because the ball was neither falling nor flowing for Everton, and Leeds used their size and height to their advantage, with the ball spending a lot of time bobbling around in the air.
Then some bad luck, Dave Watson got the second of the only two yellows of the game and was off with under 20 minutes gone. The first tackle was a no-surprise yellow, and the second was one of those now illegal from behind. Both were cardable, but the total of his crimes did not merit a red.. i.e. it was bad luck.
The crowd reacted angrily to this, which is ok to pump up some partisan support on a cold day, but the real frustration with referee Winters, which continued to grow in both teams as the match wore on, was that he was inconsistent, therefore unpredictable.
His worst aspect was jump-balls. He seemed to ignore climbing, pushing and elbows completely, but would then blow for a barely noticable backing-in. Later, the same climbing got a lot of whistle, and nobody knew where they stood.
I have very little sympathy for Leeds in this respect. They moan all ends up about defenders, specifically Pallister, climbing all over their gallant players, but do exactly the same themselves.
When a referee allows this, I cringe because, once they see the ref allow it, Watson and Unsworth often start climbing themselves and, before long, the game turns into a midfield stalemate.
I despaired when a Leeds defender not only wrapped both arms around his man, but them wrestled him aside to the floor like one of Wigan's finest, and got no reaction from ref or linesman who were both watching.
With Everton a man down, their attacking options were reduced. With now only two genuine defenders on the pitch, a switch to 4-4-2 looked likely, since both Horne and Ebbrell have filled in as right backs before, and Hinchy was on the bench. The best bet was surely Jackson, who could become right centre-back. Other longer-odds possibilities were Unsworth to left back and Rideout reprising his centre-back role.
Joe and Willy had other ideas though, and the remedy was quite amazing -- they dropped Parkinson to left centre-back and carried on as if nothing had happened. Stuart played a bit deeper, and Rhino played more on the right, leaving Craig Short a lone tower in the centre.
The result was that Everton had to press forward less and relied on play opening up for them, but this only served to make the contest an even one against Leeds who already looked as if they were a 10-man team.
No further goals looked likely -- Leeds' best and rare effort was a drive which Southall bobbled at the near post. Everton's only danger was from corners, when Dunc seemed to be a decoy to draw the tall Leeds men away and give Short a chance of a good header. Leeds looked most likely to score next, and so it was good to get to half-time and an opportunity for tactics-talk still one up.
Second half though, almost nothing changed -- except for the referee's definition of a fair challenge. This led to a lot of midfield free kicks, and a few more forays into both penalty areas, but almost none of the excitement of Boxing Day for the crowd once again larger than Arsenal's, and only 1800 short of Man Utd's. (Had Leeds filled their allocation, GP would have beaten Trafford too!).
It was a lone shining pearl amongst the toil and gloom then when 10 seconds of AK magic made sure of the points. He collected the ball as usual on his right wing, and set off at pace on one of his runs that bring the whole park to it's feet in expectation. This time though, the angles looked all wrong for him, so even when he beat two all-whites and had a chance to shoot, it was a delightful surprise when the shot just clipped and nestled inside the far post. We'd now scored 6 minutes into both halves.
(The angle and goalkeeper position must have been similar to the treble-robbing Whiteside goal in the Cup Final of 1986 -- also uncannily for 10 men against 11 -- but the difference was that AK is a demigod who scores goals like that all the time, and Norman was a hardman midfield donkey & bootboy with dodgy knees who was dead jammy and scored the goal of his life.. 8-)
2-0 looked a lot more comfortable under the circumstances, since you had to believe that sooner or later McAllister & Brolin could conjure up something, or Worthington could manage to get a cross to a white head. Perhaps it was this progress up the right wing that finally made JR sub on Hinchcliffe, and remove the 'not match fit' Ferguson for the last quarter. It certainly had the effect of making the match look dead and buried from that point onwards, so it was quite an unpleasant surprise when Leeds found the heart to attack a bit more and end up unlucky not to get a consolation.
The best chance fell to Wallace - a typical goal for him, popping up on the laft to snap up a rebound or parry, but also a typical Wallace finish because he took his eye off the ball and nearly missed it completely. Other chances had been stabbed away by well marshalled defenders supporting Southall. Even so, that 'impenetrable' feeling our defence gives to the fans was very much there, even minus Watson.
So a dull game, scrappy and hacky, but a crafted 3 points earned in the face of poor reffing and a captain in the bath.
Southall 6. A personal opinion - I thought he looked less than solid
today and in one of his moods. Luckily not tested much.
Watson (d) 6. Maybe his poor timing was a sign of an overdue rest needed.
Short 7. Coped well alone in the middle of a tall attack.
Unsworth 7. Had a good game when EFC needed it from him.
Parkinson 8. Presumably has played left defence before, because he did not look out of his depth at all. Only fault was that he tried to dribble out instead of clearing sometimes.
Ebbrell 8. Relishes a good battle, and Leeds midfield joined it in a very Dog-like style to make great entertainment for fans who like tackling football. John showed everyone who's 'top dog' in THAT respect. A small chant of 'Ebbrell for England' even went up! I kid you not! And it wasn't even shouted or laughed down!!
Horne 7. Not as dominant as v Boro, but still had a great game.
Kanchelskis 7 A quiet day - but his goal return must have ManU tacticians wondering why his return for them wasn't higher.
Stuart 7. Saw enough of the ball, but with only 1 winger the spaces didn't open up enough for him today.
Rideout 7. Up front the ball seemed to avoid him, but great support work in midifeld and defence were vital contributions.
Ferguson 6. A difficult and frustrating day, but not for lack of effort.
Hinchcliffe 7. Nice to bring on such a cool head when the opposition is beginning to try to up a gear.
Team Performance: 8. Not for their entertainment value, but for their ability to adapt to disadvantage and come out just as willing to play positively.
Ref: J Winters (Stockton). A ref who looks like he's uses a sunbed does not inspire confidence. This one was erratic and unpredictable to the frustration and annoyance of players and fans of both teams. A lemon who will ruin many games.
By Ian Cotton, Electronic Telegraph
THE undersoil heating may have ensured that this game beat the freeze, but there was little on the pitch to warm another huge Goodison crowd on a bitterly cold Merseyside afternoon.
Leeds had not won at Everton for nearly six years, and their performance yesterday did little to suggest that they were about to halt their disappointing run.
Leeds were awful, a pale imitation of the side who had beaten both Bolton Wanderers and Manchester United in the previous seven days. Manager Howard Wilkinson summed up their ineptitude, saying: "It was a very disappointing result. We didn't adapt to Everton's powerful style of play, or to their tactics; we didn't adapt to the conditions very well, and we gave away two stupid goals at crucial times."
The analysis may well have been an accurate reflection of the Yorkshire side's play but paid scant regard to a battling Everton showing, especially after the 18th-minute dismissal of Dave Watson, their captain, for a second bookable offence.
Watson had been cautioned for an earlier clash with Gary Speed and referee Jeff Winter had no hesitation in reaching for a second yellow card after the central defender caught Brian Deane with another late tackle.
Everton manager Joe Royle said: "It was a shame losing Dave when we did. I'm not sure that the referee has any other options in these times, but then again I'm sure the rule changes weren't to get people off after two mistimed tackles on a difficult day."
Everton were left with 10 men to defend a lead given to them in the sixth minute when Leeds United's David Wetherall put the ball past his own goalkeeper. Attempting to clear a pass to the advancing Graham Stuart, the defender succeeded only in lobbing Mark Beeney.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Everton still took the game to their visitors, with striker Duncan Ferguson relishing the chance to start his first game since leaving prison in November.
In a scrappy first half, Leeds did nothing to suggest that they could bring themselves back into the game, and they found themselves two down seven minutes after the break from a delightful piece of play from Andrei Kanchelskis.
Fed on the right touchline by Paul Rideout, the Russian international skipped past a retreating Leeds defence before placing a precise curling shot past Beeney.
Royle said: "You're always tempted when you go down to 10 men to take a winger off. But Andrei is so dangerous and the goal really justified that."
The strike proved the highlight of another poor 45 minutes, with Everton never in real danger. Despite introducing Rod Wallace after an hour, Leeds did little but huff and puff. Perhaps they were trying to keep warm.
Electronic Telegraph is a Registered Service Mark of The Telegraph plc
CarlingNet: Andrei Kanchelskis produced a moment of magic that sealed Leeds' fate in an eventful FA Carling Premiership clash at Goodison Park. The Ukrainian winger warmed the hearts of another bumper 40,000 crowd with Everton's decisive second goal after 51 minutes.
Everton are now unbeaten in their last seven home matches and this latest victory owed much to their strength of character and ability to grind out a result. Down to 10 men after just 18 minutes when skipper Dave Watson was sent off, they shamed Leeds with their fighting spirit.
The Yorkshire side, who came into the game on the back of two victories, only started playing in the final 20 minutes. By then it was too late.
Duncan Ferguson made his first start for Everton after being released from Barlinnie Prison on November 24. The Scottish striker replaced Anders Limpar, who was a surprise withdrawal with a pulled hamstring. It was only Ferguson's third game since his return to the club, but he was a constant thorn in the side of the of the opposition before being replaced after 72 minutes by Andy Hinchcliffe.
Everton took the lead after just six minutes thanks to a bizarre own goal, John Ebbrell delivering a searching through ball which Graham Stuart raced on to. But Leeds central defender David Wetherall, in attempting to clear, somehow managed to steer the ball past his own keeper Mark Beeney.
Everton were reduced to 10 men after 18 minutes when central defender Watson was sent off after a lunging tackle on Brian Deane. Watson had earlier been booked for a foul on Gary Speed. Leeds, however, could not take advantage and Beeney did well to turn away a stinging shot from Paul Rideout. Then Stuart fired wide after being released by Ebbrell.
Leeds' first shot on target came after 39 minutes when keeper Neville Southall fielded a shot by Richard Jobson with some difficulty. Leeds manager Howard Wilkinson was forced to make a change at half-time with Nigel Worthington replacing Tony Dorigo at left-back.
Everton went further ahead after 51 minutes when Kanchelskis skipped past Gary Speed and then Mark Ford. He instantly delivered a curling left-foot shot that beat Beeney all ends up. It was the second goal in successive games for the £5million signing from Manchester United, and he has quickly become a big favourite with the Goodison fans.
Leeds desperately tried to salvage something from the game and Speed headed just inches wide after Gary McAllister had floated in a corner. Then Wetherall released substitute Rod Wallace, only for the striker to miscue his shot.
Daily Mail SoccerNet: The reappearance of Duncan Ferguson in Everton's starting line up was only one of the surprises in a game they won convincingly despite being reduced to 10 men.
Leeds never really recovered from an own goal conceded by centre back David Weatherall after only five minutes. Graham Stuart and the defender pursued a long pass from John Ebbrell and although Wetherall got to the ball first, his attempt to boot it behind for the corner turned into a lob which gave goalkeeper Mark Beeney no chance. Weatherall was never allowed to settle after his blunder. He was put under constant pressure by Ferguson, who might well have made Leeds pay if his reflexes had been sharper.
Ferguson had expected to be on the subs' bench but was plunged back into first team action after Swedish international winger Anders Limpar, who had been looking forward to playing in opposition to his famous fellow countryman Tomas Brolin for the first time, was ruled out with a hamstring problem. It was the first time Ferguson had started a game since August 23, although he had managed two brief substitute appearances since his release from prison in late November.
His spirit was matched by everyone in the Everton team, who continued to carry the fight to the opposition even after skipper Dave Watson had been sent off in the 18th minute for a second booking. He had fouled Gary Speed and Brian Dean in the space of 11 minutes.
Leeds could not match Everton's enthusiasm and their strike force, missing Ghanaian top scorer Tony Yeboah, carried no threat until Rod Wallace was brought on as a second half substitute for Phil Masinga. By then they were two down after the memorable goal from Andre Kanchelskis. The Russian winger danced inside from the touchline past Speed and young midfielder Mark Ford before curling a low left foot shot into the bottom corner.
In the last quarter or the game Southall finally had to earn his wages and was fortunate that first Brolin, then Wallace, had goalbound shots deflected wide of the posts. In the dying minutes Wallace was found unmarked just ten yards from goal by a Wetherall header, but he fluffed his shot and Southall was relieved to see the ball spin harmlessly wide.
PA News: Joe Royle saluted Andrei Kanchelskis after the Ukrainian winger's wonder goal secured victory against Leeds in the Premiership today.
Everton won 2-0 despite playing with 10 men for 72 minutes after skipper and central defender David Watson had been sent off by referee Jeff Winter for his second bookable offence. Goodison Park manager Royle said:
"You are always tempted to take a winger off in that situation. But Andrei is always dangerous and he proved it today. The goal was worth the admission fee alone.
"I am not sure the referee had any option but to send Dave off. I don't think the rules are changed to allow for two miss-timed tackles on a difficult day."
Kanchelskis struck Everton's second in the 51st minute after skipping past Gary Speed and Mark Ford before delivering the perfect finish. Everton had gone ahead after six minutes thanks to a bizarre own goal from Leeds defender David Wetherall. Duncan Ferguson made his first start after his release from Barlinnie Prison last month and played for 72 minutes.
"The big fellow did well considering his lack of match fitness. We were terrific against an in-form side," said Royle. "It was all hands to the pump and it needed to be that way."
Leeds manager Howard Wilkinson said: "We didn't adapt to Everton's style and gave away two stupid goals at crucial times." Tony Dorigo suffered a thigh injury during the match and was replaced by Nigel Worthington at half-time.
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