FA Carling Premier League, Saturday 10 February 1995, Goodison Park, Merseyside.
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Everton (1) 2 Manchester City (0) 0
Hinchcliffe 47 pen, Parkinson 32.
Everton (4-4-1-1): Southall, Jackson, Short, Watson, Unsworth, Limpar, Horne, Parkinson, Hinchcliffe, Stuart, Ferguson. Subs Not Used: Amokachi, Allen, Kearton. Booked: Horne.
Manchester City (4-4-1-1): Immel, Frontzeck, Lomas, Curle, Phillips (Quinn 45), Flitcroft, Symons, Summerbee, Brown (Creaney 45), Clough, Rosler. Subs Not Used: Margetson. Sent Off: Frontzeck (85). Booked: Frontzeck, Lomas, Flitcroft.
Ref: P Alcock (Redhill).
Guy McEvoy: Suspension, injury and international duty meant that Ebrell, Rideout and Kanchelskis respectively were all absent whilst the work permit problem meant that Hottiger watched the match from the bench and transfer-listed Matt Jackson got another chance to stick himself in the shop window, or convince Joe that if the work permit problem proves insoluble he need not be too downhearted. City were having to face us without their inspirational Kinkaldze, but with their new, much too pricey Clough.
Prior to the real business of the day, there was an immaculately observed minute's silence to the Arch-Bishop Derek Warlock; full credit to the City fans on that. Indeed, full marks to the City fans throughout the afternoon. If City do go down the fans can be assured, like Evertonians for the last two seasons, that it was not in anyway due to lack-lustre encouragement on their part.
Tactically, we were returned to the formula that served us so well in our quest for survival last season. We had a back four of Unsworth, Short, Watson and Jackson. Hichcliffe got another chance to stake his claim for a regular place joining Limpar, Horne, and Parkinson in midfield. Stuart seemed to have been given a freeish role up front, and floated from one side to the other of the pitch throughout the game, he played just behind Ferguson, whose head was the consistent target for Everton's forward adventures.
One of the problems with this style of play is that it isn't all that pretty to watch. It is easy for the fan to get infuriated when a patient build up is let down by an over or under hit cross. Even the corners (of which we had many) never seemed to have the edge we were used to last season. It was Hincliffe's "best" side corners that let him down most, hitting all his right hand side efforts too flat and easily dispatched of. Nevertheless, the sheer volume of our attacks meant that as the "Independent on Sunday" astutely observed it was more by the law of averages than strategic effectiveness that the goal eventually came.
Jackson received the ball from Limpar and whipped in a cross that resulted in a huge sigh from the crowd as it appeared both too high and too deep. Ferguson though had other ideas as he ran past the back post and rose high to nod the ball cleverly back to Parkinson who was waiting to head in his first league goal since we last played City at Maine Road. Obviously a team he enjoys playing against.
The goal hailed the most entertaining spell of the match as the cushion meant that Everton turned on a bit more of our flair. Limpar forced two very good chances. For the first, he darted past Flitcroft and took a shot himself which was parried behind. For the second, he danced through three defenders and neatly set the ball up on the edge of the box for Hichcliffe who thundered in a goal-bound shot that demanded a fine save.
The second half brought about a double substitution by City. Perhaps being inspired by our aeriel assaults, they brought on everyone's favourite donkey, Niall Quinn. Before the effect of the substitution could be gauged (and the effect was there wasn't one), Everton had extended their lead from the penalty spot.
A long through-ball was chased by Horne, who put enormous pressure on the sherperding defender. What is unclear is whether this pressure manifested itself in a push; what is clear is that, as the defender went down, he pushed at the ball with his hand. The referee ignored all protests as he pointed to the spot.
The most curious thing about the penalty was watching Unsworth as he stepped up to take it only to be gestured away by Hinchcliffe. Unsworth clearly annoyed walked away shaking his head and didn't even watch as Andy competently put the ball home. However, once the ball had gone in Unsworth did manage to shake off his sulk and join in the celebrations.
Once the two goal lead had been established Everton settled back to a half of uninspired complacency. We could have stretched our lead when a fine header from Ferguson was fortuitously saved by the keepers feet. City enjoyed only two half chances all game, the woeful finishing probably means that they wish they didn't even have those to add to their embarrassment.
However, I do not wish to leave too much of a critical tone, half the reason they were so poor was because our defence clearly had the bettering of them. The style we adopted is not the most entertaining to watch, nor necessarily the most productive, however there were some fine individual performances to be picked out. We were missing key players yet still managed to find a team that picked up 3 valuable points. We are now comfortably positioned in the table and a European challenge is a very realistic expectation.
One final note. The referee managed one of the most inconsistent performances we've yet been treated to. Towards the end of the game, City lost a player after a run-of-the-mill poor challenge. Worse offences had gone unpunished, harsher offences clamped down on. Cards waved sometimes, not others, (Limpar and Parkinson being recipients if my memory serves me correctly). It wasn't so bad for us, the home team, as he did seem to have a tendency to be swayed by the crowd. If I was a City fan, though, I'd be gutted. As it is, I dread the next time we get this chap away from home.
Southall 7 - The quietest day he'll have this season. Did not have
a single shot on target to deal with all afternoon.
Unsworth 8 - Nice to see him back in the squad. Showed a lot of confidence too. Enjoyed some good forays forward and even managed some useful looking crosses. Looks like his break has done him good.
Short 7 - A good performance from both central defenders, Craig as always was good in the air, though he did manage to miss an early chance from a corner.
Watson 8 - In control all game. Total rock.
Jackson 7 - Looked a bit of a weak link at times, quite frustrating coming forward as he doesn't enjoy the same understanding with Limpar as he does with Kanchelskis, nevertheless made up for it with some good defensive cover.
Hinchcliffe 8 - Though his corners weren't always up to it, he seemed back in the swing by the end. It was his all round play that impressed though, particularly his tackling.
Horne and Parkinson 7 - Managed between them to keep City completely closed down; both of their only serious charges into the box resulted in the goals.
Limpar 7 - Had a very good patch after the first goal but seemed to fade a bit into the second half. I'm quite surprised that Amo didn't sub him to give us a bit of pep toward the end.
Stuart 8 - Exceptional work rate again, ran solidly for 90 mins, was always first to close down, worked well off Dunc.
Ferguson 7 - Suffered all the defensive attention you would expect for an aeriel target man, but despite this close attention he managed to cause problems, particularly his contribution to the first goal. Unlucky not to get one himself in the second half. Having said that, at times he looked knackered and at others he was holding his groin. Particularly toward the end, he didn't look match fit.
By Derek Potter, Electronic Telegraph
FOOTBALL'S 'hang-glider' Duncan Ferguson teased and tormented City's defence with his aerial power yesterday to help Everton's impressive surge up the League table.
The Ferguson-engineered defeat ended a flurry of eight points from five games which, by City's horrendous start to the season, was something akin to championship form.
Ferguson may have failed as a marksman, but the towering Scot set up a 30th minute goal for Joe Parkinson with his fifth ball-winning climb and glide.
City had a disaster day. "That was the worst we've played for two months," Alan Ball conceded. "I think our Cup-tie at Coventry on Wednesday took a lot out of us. We weren't sharp enough, but we should have come in 1-1 at half time."
That was fair enough if optimistic. Youngsters Martin Phillips and Michael Brown missed chances in the first half of a less than memorable game Everton dominated, thanks to Ferguson and the pacey Anders Limpar.
A second-half penalty awarded for hands by Kit Symons was controversial in that it appeared a push by Barry Horne caused the 'misdemeanour'.
The City manager said: "I can only describe the penalty as bizzare. But the game was out of our reach."
Andy Hinchcliffe's penalty against the club where his career began, easily beat Eike Immel, whose acrobatics twice robbed Ferguson of the goal he so richly deserved.
Late shots by Steve Lomas and another deflected effort by Nigel Clough were the highlights of City's revival in the final phase, tarnished by the dismissal of Mike Frontzeck for a second bookable offence, which even some sympathetic Evertonians thought was rough justice.
City seem to take one pace forward and two back. But after taking only two points from the first 11 games, things are not as bad as they are at Bolton.
Phillips and Brown can be forgiven their misses that might have transformed the game and would certainly have given it a sharper edge. Much more experienced players didn't take easier chances, but a team in City's situation cannot afford to miss anything. It would be just like City to beat Coventry on Wednesday and then give United a fright in the fifth-round next Saturday.
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Richard Marland: With the last vestiges of the snow having melted overnight, the scene was set fair for the match against Man City. Conditions were fairly good, no wind and even a bit of sunshine, the only problems were with a very soft pitch.
We were given a surprise before the match, when it was realised that Unsworth was playing. This went against reports on Radio City which said, with seeming authority, that Amo was playing up front with Unsworth on the bench. Instead Unsworth was playing, with Amo on the bench.
So we lined up with Nev in goal, a flat back four of Jackson, Watson, Short and Unsworth, Parkinson and Horne in centre midfield with Hinchcliffe wide left, Limpar wide right and Dunc and Stuart up front. There was also an interesting selection on the bench with 18 year old Graham Allen taking his place alongside Kearton and Amo.
There was another surprise before we could kick off, a minute's silence for Archbishop Derek Worlock. It could be perceived as a brave move by the club, to ask 37,000 football supporters to stand in silence to the memory of a church leader. The silence though was held immaculately, testimony to the respect Derek Worlock held within the City. A nice gesture by the club and a fitting tribute to a man who did much for the city of Liverpool. Praise is also due to the Man City supporters who had the good grace to respect the minute's silence.
Anyway, finally to the match itself. The bulk of the first half was played in the Man City half without too many clear-cut chances being carved out. Stuart put the best chance wide having been given a clear site of goal by a Ferguson knock down. Short also missed with a header at the far post which just required a touch to put it in, but he failed to make contact.
Everton also had a number of corners, however Hinchcliffe, for the most part, had difficulty finding his range. As is often the case, the best chance of this phase of the game fell to Man City, who caught us on the break. Their youngster Brown was finally put through on Southall but put the ball over the bar from just inside the penalty area. It has to go down as a bad miss and a let off for us.
The goal we had been threatening for most of the half finally came. Jackson swung in a deep cross, too deep really, but Dunc did brilliantly to reach it, despite being pushed, yet again, by Symons, and guide it back towards the six yard box where Joe Parkinson of all people was on hand to head it over the line.
Before the half was out, we nearly went two up when Immel did well to fist away a poweful, swerving shot from Hinchcliffe. It was one of those ones where, if you're called Collymore, the goalkeeper very obligingly jumps out of the way.
The second half brought a double change for Man City, Quinn and Creaney on for Brown and Phillips. The change instantly made City look more threatening. Quinn was making his prescence felt, holding the ball up well and producing some nice flicks.
However, somewhat against the run of play, Everton went further into the lead. Symons, under pressure from an Everton player, was chasing a long ball into the City box, the referee adjudged him to have handled it and awarded a penalty to us. City were livid, I must say that I didn't actually see him handle it, but people around me reckoned that they did.
Andy Hinchcliffe very quickly grabbed the ball, he was going to take it and no-one was going to stop him, Unsworth came up from left back to see what was going but was summarily dismissed by Hinchcliffe, Unsy didn't look too happy about it. Hinchcliffe took the penalty with aplomb finding the bottom corner of the net, 2-0.
The remainder of the half was a bit of a let down as we sat back a bit. We conceded a lot of possession to City without looking in too much danger at the back. Despite our lack of forward drive we still managed to have the best chances, the closest call being Dunc's header which hit Immel's trailing foot. Dunc could still be seen muttering and shaking his head several minutes later.
The main talking point of the second half was as bizarre a performance of refereeing as I have ever seen in my life. In the first half, the referee, Mr. Alcock, seemed intent on keeping the game going, come what may. At one stage I even thought that maybe he had forgotten to bring his whistle with him. Then in the second half he seemed to find his whistle and also to remember the new FIFA directives and suddenly he was blowing for everything and brandishing cards left right and centre.
He also developed the knack for blowing for incidents that weren't fouls and missing the ones that were fouls. He managed to miss as blatant a challenge from behind as you are likely to see from Joe Parkinson, he waved that one on, but booked Barry Horne when Keith Curle ran into him (a booking which will probably mean a suspension for Bazza).
It was only a matter of time before someone walked, and that someone was the City right back Frontzeck, picking up his second booking after catching Limpar's heels in the midfield area. A harsh decision and the home crowd let their feelings be known by applauding the player off the pitch, surely a first.
All-in-all, a fairly comfortable win but not exactly a compelling team performance. Despite the fact that we are now 10 games unbeaten, we aren't really paying with the authority of a team on such a good run. We haven't played really well since the Christmas period, the run has been more down to our resilence as a side and a few players playing well in isolation, Stuart and Kanchelskis, in bursts, primarily. If we do get it all together someone could be on the end of a fearful hammering.
Southall 7 Not much to do, I can't recall him having to make a proper
Jackson 7 Nearly got caught out a few times, generally did OK.
Unsworth 7 Did OK, still nowhere near the peaks of last year.
Watson 8 In a good run at the moment, some timely interceptions and a couple of great last ditch tackles.
Short 7 Did well, unbeatable in the air, I still have a few reservations about his ability on the deck, but did OK today.
Horne 7 Not as influential as he has been, but didn't do much wrong.
Parkinson 7 Same as Bazza, also chipped in with a rare goal. On the whole, we lost the central midfield battle, particularly in the second half. The impressive Flitcroft and Lomas just shaded it.
Limpar 7 The little man buzzed intermittently in the first half, but was anonymous in the second half. Managed to get himself into several dangerous positions without delivering the final killing blow. Signs of him getting towards his best, I hope Joe perseveres with him.
Hinchcliffe 7 Very up for this one against his former club, no-one was going to deprive him of the opportunity to take the penalty.
Ferguson 8 Looking more and more impressive as he gets nearer full match fitness. Set up the goal, unfortunate not to score himself. Did loads of running and closing down, was a problem all day.
Stuart 8 At the centre of most of our attacking moves, ran for miles as usual. Just shades Dave Watson as my Man of the Match.
Team 7 Thoroughly deserved the win, rarely looked in danger at the back despite the amount of possession we allowed City to have. However, despite the fact that a number of individuals had good days, we never really clicked as a team, and in reality it was another rather fitful performance.
Jim Munro, The Sunday Times:ANY latecomers to Goodison Park may have been forgiven for thinking they had stumbled across a display in yellow card technique, such was the number distributed during this match. The seven cards and dismissal of City's Frontzeck aside, Everton were worthy winners, continuing an unbeaten run that stretches to 10 matches.
Alan Ball, the Manchester City manager, could have little argument with the result. But he certainly did with the Hinchcliffe penalty, awarded for an alleged Symons handball under pressure from Horne, that sealed the points for Everton. He said: "That was an absolutely bizarre decision.
"It was finished as a contest from that point. It was as blatant a foul from Horne as you'll ever see. It's difficult for professional men to take these decisions in."
Everton were missing the thrust of Kanchelskis, the Russian international having been drafted by his country for duties in Malta. It was left to Limpar and Stuart to busy themselves with a series of clever combinations in an attempt to fill the void. At the end of one such move a glorious chip from Limpar was bound for the onrushing Ferguson, only for Symons to intervene. On another foray, Stuart just failed to connect. That set the tone.
Somewhere inside the City formation is a skilful side struggling with its conscience, the desire to play a sweeping move wrestling with the need not to get caught out of position. Their newcomers were an integral part of that struggle.
In Frontzeck they have, they claim, a full-back with poise. The German international can read the game at the turn of a heel and commit a tackle without ruffling the line of his socks. But he was, on too many occasions, facing the Limpar-Stuart roadshow alone. Frontzeck, frequently frustrated, began to lose that poise and was booked on 30 minutes when Ferguson muscled in on the party down City's left. Clough too, may have nipped into a tackle here and clipped a measured pass there, but too often wandered away from the skirmishing in the middle.
Something had to give and you had the feeling as we passed the half hour mark that the effervescent Ferguson would be involved. Cue a Jackson cross from the right to the far post, where Ferguson was lurking. He headed the ball across the six-yard box and Parkinson gleefully nipped through the centre to nab his second goal of the season.
Limpar and Jackson continued to pepper the City penalty area with a series of crosses from the right flank but Symons, determined not to let Ferguson have things all his own way, rose to the occasion to clear his lines.
Apart from Brown ballooning a neat Clough through ball over the crossbar, City looked lacklustre, prompting their manager, Ball, to introduce Quinn and Creaney for the second half.
It was a courageous move but one that was punished before most half-time cups of tea had settled in the stomach. Symons, up to now the one sure-footed City man, buckled under pressure from Horne. Did he fall or was he pushed? Whatever, his hand struck the ball and a penalty was awarded. Hinchcliffe gratefully accepted the opportunity.
The barrage now became an onslaught. Everton doubled their quota of corners during one 10-minute period and Ferguson looked on bemused after one header corkscrewed off the foot of a prostrate Immel.
As Everton crafted and created, City chased and harried but the resultant clipping of heels and prods in the back brought a spate of free kicks, several being punished with a yellow card.
Frontzeck created a rare chance for City but Creaney, then Quinn, failed to connect. It was not long before the German found his services terminated by the referee's red card for a tackle on Limpar.
For Everton it was business as usual. For City, the light is a little dimmer.
By Peter Ball, The Times
THE thaw was well under way on Merseyside on Saturday, but a notice saying "Danger, thin ice" still stood beside the pond in Stanley Park. It might have been there for the benefit of Manchester City, who slipped back into the bottom three after a dire game overshadowed by absent foreigners and inept refereeing.
The decision to refuse Marc Hottiger a work permit exercised a lot of minds last week and provoked considerable anger in the Everton corridors.
In defence of the Professional Footballers' Association and the Department of Employment, it is doubtful whether a good-ish Swiss full back would have made much difference to the game, or to Everton.
Most English full backs can hoist in high, hanging crosses from 40 yards away, which was the main Everton attacking ploy in the absence of Kanchelskis, and Jackson did a serviceable enough job, playing a significant part in the first goal. His cross was nodded back by Ferguson for Parkinson to head in.
However, if Kanchelskis was missed, how much more did City miss their Special K. In Kinkladze's absence, they at least tried to pass the ball, with Flitcroft the best player on view, and Clough showing some nice touches, but, without the Georgian, there was no penetration, nothing to disturb Everton.
It may be less glamorous in these days of Asprilla and Ginola, Bergkamp and Cantona, but Everton at least had Ferguson's height to create chaos every time that the ball was hoisted in. Sadly, they also offered the return of the dogs of war, the epithet used by Joe Royle, their manager, of his team last season, which brings us, more sadly still, to the contribution of Paul Alcock, the referee.
One decision, to award a penalty against Symons for handball when the City defender was blatantly shoved in the back by Horne, may have been decisive. Hinchcliffe's conversion, in the 51st minute, ending any chance of a City comeback. "A bizarre decision," Alan Ball, the City manager said, choosing his words with care.
It was not as bizarre as several others, culminating in the dismissal of Frontzeck, the City defender, for two bookable offences pulling Ferguson's shirt and blocking Limpar. At the end, Craig Short, the Everton defender, left in earnest conversation with Alcock.
"I wasn't having a go at this particular referee as we came off the pitch, but I felt I had to say something to him about the way the game is going," Short said. "I've seen eight players sent off in Everton games alone this season. Some players need protecting, but it's getting out of hand."
The trouble is, though, that the players who need protection often are not getting it. "It is very hard learning how to play in England," Frontzeck said. "Referees sometimes don't blow for strong tackles, but will give you a card for shirt-pulling."
For "strong tackles", read scything fouls. Alcock looked on benignly as Parkinson and Horne crashed into tackles from behind, and Clough was laid flat with a malicious elbow in front of the referee. The seven yellow cards were produced for obstruction, dissent and shirt-pulling.