Saturday, 10 September 1995
Previous Match: Manchester City v Everton Next Match: KR Reykjavik v Everton
Everton (1) 2 Man Utd (1) 3
Limpar 27, Rideout 55; Giggs 74, Sharpe 3, 49.
Everton: Southall, Holmes, Watson, Unsworth, Ablett, Kanchelskis (Hinchcliffe 14), Horne, Parkinson, Limpar, Rideout, Amokachi. Subs Not Used: Barlow, Kearton. Sent Off: Unsworth (80). Booked: Watson, Ablett.
Man Utd: Schmeichel, Neville, Bruce, Pallister, Irwin, Keane, Butt, Scholes (Giggs 66), Sharpe, Cole (Davies 73), Beckham. Subs Not Used: Parker. Booked: Irwin, Pallister, Keane, Sharpe, Butt.
Ref: G Poll (Tring).
Daily Mail: A re-run of last years FA Cup Final - only this time with excitement - captivated a Goodison crowd finally celebrating the debut of new £5million signing Andrei Kanchelskis. It turned out, however, to be a disappointing day for the home fans, with Everton going behind to a Lee Sharpe side-footed goal after only three minutes. Eleven minutes later a sad-looking Kanchelskis was forced out of the match with a shoulder injury.
In a rumbustious game which brought one sending-off and eight bookings - five for United - Anders Limpar made it 1-1 in the 27th minute. Soon after the start of the second half Sharpe put United back in the lead after impressive work by Paul Scholes and Andy Cole. Everton came back again in the 55th minute when Limpars delicate chip from a free-kick rebounded off the bar for Rideout to slip home.
But substitute Ryan Giggs secured victory for Alex Fergusons fledgling
team in the 74th minute, shortly before David Unsworth was sent off for his
second bookable offence - leaving Everton unlucky not to share the honours.
United took the lead after 3 minutes when the unmarked Sharpe knocked in a Beckham cross. Limpar equalised after 27 following a mistake by defender Bruce. MU retook the lead in the second half when Sharpe took the ball off Andy Cole's toe and volleyed it into the corner of the net. Everton equalised again when a Limpar freekick cannoned off the MU crossbar and back into the penalty area where Rideout eventually forced the ball home. United's winner came on 74 minutes when the excellent Beckham passed to sub. Giggs whose left-footed shot from the edge of the box slipped past Southall in the Everton goal. To add to Everton's woe their former MU winger Kanchelskis was taken off injured after 15 minutes following a clumsy though not malicious challenge from Lee Sharpe. Kanchelskis will miss 8-10 weeks with a dislocated shoulder and joins Everton's other long-term casulty Duncan Ferguson. Everton's misery was complete when their admired defender David Unsworth was sent off for 2 bookable offences.
Colin Malam, Electronic Telegraph: ANDREI Kanchelskis may have been the name on everyone's lips in advance of this hugely entertaining Lancastrian confrontation, but it had been replaced long before the end by that of Lee Sharpe. That is because Sharpe not only scored two of Manchester United's goals on this impressive victory but ended Kanchelskis's big day almost before it had started.
A foul by the United winger on his former team-mate brought Kanchelskis crashing down so heavily on to the hard ground that he sustained a serious injury. The Russian international was undergoing surgery last night on a badly dislocated shoulder and damaged collarbone that will keep him out of action for eight to 10 weeks.
Everton manager Joe Royle said of his expensive new signing: "He's torn a few things around the shoulder, and the surgeon feels it would be better off pinned. I feel very sorry for the lad, particularly in this game because he was looking forward to it so much."
Kanchelskis's protracted £5 million transfer from United to Everton had caused so much ill-will between the clubs that Sharpe's heavy tackle on him after only 10 minutes hardly improved matters. Although some of the subsequent offences were purely technical, the temperature of the match remained so high that it was no surprise when Everton's David Unsworth was sent off 10 minutes from the end for receiving the eighth and ninth bookings handed out by Graham Poll.
Thus, United themselves will have carried a few bruises on to the aeroplane when they left soon after the game for the long trip to Russia for the first leg of their UEFA Cup tie against Rotor Volgograd on Tuesday.
While the thought that they had recorded their fourth straight Premiership win and avenged last season's FA Cup final defeat by Everton will have helped soothe the pain, it was a blow to have to leave Andy Cole behind. United manager Alex Ferguson said Cole had pulled a hamstring during the match and was remaining at home for treatment. "We feel it's the sensible thing to do," said Ferguson. "He wouldn't have been fit to play on Tuesday, but we're hoping he'll be fit for next Saturday."
Separated now from leaders Newcastle only by goal difference, United are beginning to look a good bet for the title once more. Ferguson's bold, bitterly criticised reliance on youth is beginning to pay dividends that could become even richer once Eric Cantona returns from suspension.
Yesterday, certainly, the economy and coherence of United's play often made Everton look ragged and poorly organised, especially in defence. While the home side were not helped by the unavailability of both Earl Barrett and Matt Jackson at right back, damaging errors were committed in more than one position.
Royle was as surprised as anyone else by this sudden porousness at the back. Since his team had kept a clean sheet in all but two of their previous 13 matches, he felt this defensive performance could be fairly described as untypical.
Sharpe preyed on their fallibility as early as the third minute. That is not entirely fair to United in that it was an absolute peach of a pass that Cole played inside Gary Ablett, Everton's left-back, as the visitors counterattacked with deadly effect. The pass, another shining example of the dramatic improvement there has been in Cole's general play, enabled David Beckham to deliver the perfect low centre across the face of goal.
It looked at first as though Nicky Butt was going to touch the ball in at the near post, but the lunging mid-fielder failed to make contact. Nor did any of the Everton defenders, though, so Sharpe was able to beat Neville Southall with ease as the United winger came in unmarked at the far post.
Sharpe's switch from hero to villain came soon after that. When Kanchelskis tried to go past him on the outside, he brought him down heavily with a poorly-timed tackle.
Kanchelskis did not seem to appreciate Sharpe's attempted apology and was taken off for treatment on the touchline. He did not return, Andy Hinchcliffe replacing him when a further four minutes of treatment failed to relieve the pain.
Kanchelskis had been booed by the United fans before the game, but now it was Sharpe's turn to be cat-called every time he touched the ball. The whole atmosphere turned rather sour as a combination of reckless tackles and fussy refereeing saw five players - United's Roy Keane, Denis Irwin and Butt and Everton's Ablett and Dave Watson - booked in the first half.
The slightly larger number of United cautions reflected the amount of pressure brought to bear on them as the opening 45 minutes developed. Everton began to find gaps, and only a desperate blocking tackle by Irwin stopped Daniel Amokachi scoring as Paul Rideout sent him in for a shot at goal.
Everton's disappointment was shortlived. They equalised shortly afterwards, when Gary Pallister and Steve Bruce were punished for dallying with the ball uncharacteristically on the edge of their own penalty area. As a pack of Everton players descended on Bruce, Anders Limpar whipped the ball away from his feet, ran on and curled a shot past the advancing Peter Schmeichel to level after 28 minutes.
Amokachi wasted another couple of chances before the interval. Yet United could point to the 20-yard free-kick Beckham bounced off the Everton crossbar as evidence of their continued willingness to make a game of it.
Sharpe put United ahead again after 49 minutes. He did so with a firm shot into the bottom corner after Paul Scholes and Cole had tried to engineer an opening in the penalty area by more complicated means.
Back came Everton six minutes later to equalise again after Limpar had emulated Beckham by hitting the bar with a free-kick from just outside the penalty area.
Dave Watson headed the rebound back into the goalmouth, where Rideout applied the finishing touch. Ferguson pointed out afterwards his young players' lack of big match experience by saying that four of them were still standing in the defensive wall.
They were still pretty effective going forward. The Everton defence was undone again 16 minutes from the end, when a poorly-judged back pass from Barry Horne caused his team-mates all kind of embarrassment.
It enabled Beckham to provide a square pass from the left that Ryan Giggs, a substitute for Scholes, stroked cleanly past Southall.
Giggs, who was kept on the bench as a precaution because he had received a slight injury in training, caused Everton so many further problems that Unsworth eventually brought him down near the corner flag. It was the young Everton defender's second bookable offence in three minutes and this referee had little option but to show him the red card.
Guy McEvoy: There was a buzz around Goodison at 3pm; a full house and the return of the team that we single-handedly cost the double last season. My pre-match trip to the bookies predicted more of the same with my correct score bet at 1-0. I was confident it would be another low scoring affair -- shows how little I know.
We had the first attack of the game and my confidence brimmed -- no-one lifts their game like Everton for a full-house big match. Then, after 3 mins, out of nowhere Cole found himself on the edge of the box, Ablett decided to try to close him down even though TV replays showed later that Cole had already drawn two blue men -- this left Beckham (a useful looking player) in space for the pass, and he in turn found Sharpe in masses of space: 1-0 United. It was Gary Ablett who walked awy from the goal with his head in his hands -- I think he may have been being a touch hard on himself though, it should really be put down simply to a well worked move by the Scum.
If things looked bad after five minutes, they looked dire after ten. Kanchelskis (who'd predictably been booed by the scum crowd with his every touch) was on a rampage down the right, then that bloody man Sharpe came in with a clumsy (though probably not malicious) tackle. Kan went down and then didn't get up. The lad sitting next to me (arm in sling) said with the confidence of a x-ray weilding bone specialist, "same as me - collar bone buggered - 15 weeks". I could only hope he was wrong. After a couple of minutes of Everton 10-man pressure it was clear that Kan would play no futher part in his reunion, Andy Hinchcliffe came on. It looked an up hill struggle but I still had faith.
Both teams continued to have chances, then United gifted us a goal, Bruce seemed to stand clueless with the ball on the edge of the box with two Blues closing him down, Limpar won it and found himself through with only Schmeichel to beat. There is no other Evertonian I would rather have had in such a postition at the moment than Limpar: 1-1.
We nearly came unstuck a few minutes later when Beckham curled a free kick off the cross bar. That was a let off -- I felt our luck definatly turning. A few minutes after that Amo had a fine chance on the edge of the United area when he realised Schmeichel had come way to far off his line, he completely fluffed the required lob though, and the shot was easily held by the Dane.
Both teams left the pitch at half time to warm applause. It was entertaining stuff (in a way that neither last seasons home victory or the FA cup final ever were) and I still felt it was ours for the taking.
Again after the break we started strongly, (this time Amo cut through left flank only to rifle his shot past the corner flag). And again United took a quick lead. Someone played a ball over the top which found Cole and Sharpe (who'd been tripping over each other all game -- and exchanging harsh words for it) fighting over who was going to stick it in -- it was bloody Sharpe who made the connection, and he was straight over to the Bullens/Park end corner flag to do his damn Elvis impression: 2-1 to the Scum.
This time we didn't hang about as long for the reply. We won a free kick outside the box, and Limpar showed that anything Beckham can do we can do better. It hit the bar in a carbon copy of United's earlier chance, the only difference being that we gave the scum a lesson in how to follow up - Watson headed down - and Rideout was there to poke it in: 2-2.
Now I definately felt we could snatch it. We put some more pressure on through corners but they came to nothing. By this time Cole had limped off and the (supposedly) out-of-form Giggs came on. Southall had (over-)confidently played a neat chip to one of our midfielders, however it caught US by surprise, United quickly claimed the ball back, broke fast, and played the ball accross the front of the box. Giggs was there, a blue defender wasn't and the Quorn-Burger Kid calmly placed it beyond the reach of Nev's dive. 3-2 the Scum.
To add to the woe, Unsworth found himself sent off for a second bookable offence (both daft challenges) -- a pity really; he'd had a good one till then.
The Scum fans were delighted with their day out and chanted "Judas - what's the score". By all accounts "Judas" couldn't hear them cos he was at the Liverpool Royal Hospital. (The latest I've heard is a disloccated shoulder - 10 weeks). And that is how it ended up.
Some thoughts: Everton will play a lot, lot worse than that this season and win. They showed good spirit, despite the absence of a couple of big names.
I have to disagree with the man who said our defence was dire - we were playing against one of the finest passing attacking teams in the country, and for the majority of the time dealt with them comfortably. We were beaten by three smart moves and sometimes that's the way it goes -- no matter how well you play. Having said that, Paul Holmes was definatly the weak link -- what a great pity that Jackson is injured. Holmes never looked that comfortable with the ball, he seemed to either take the ridiculously easy going nowhere pass, else have his long efforts intercepted. It was a mistake for us to expect him to fill Earle Barrett's boots and to play almost as yet another winger. He didn't really make the most of his first team chance.
I am in mixed minds about the attack. Comparing Rideout and Amo is comparing chalk and cheese. Time and time again, Amokachi found himself in wonderful positions, through sheer hard work, and flashes of enouromous skill -- he permanantly harrassed their defence, nevertheless his finishing was awful! Time and time again, he was let down by his last touch. Then we get Rideout, completly anonymous for an enouromous chunk of the game, contributed little to the build ups but it's him that sticks the goal in. Oh well, there is little justice in the world. Still I'm not going to give Rideout all that much credit -- I've said it before and I still stand by my belief that Paul would benefit from some time on the bench to get back his hunger.
One thing that didn't come out on Match of the Day was just how Brutal the game was - I counted 9 bookings!!!! It is yet another travesty of justice that it was an Everton player who went off, United had been far the more aggressive team. Aside from their aggression, they did show some real class, we fought back twice and their heads never really went down -- don't write the Scum off yet.
And that is it as I saw it from my chess-board style Top Balcony View - why does anyone ever sit anywhere else? (other than if they suffer from vertigo!)
The final whistle had come as a cruel blow, I honestly never once felt we were actually going to lose the game, the we showed great spirt and were deserving of at least a point. My feeling of frustration at the final result cannot be adequately expressed - oh well, that's footy!
Southall 6 - must be goalie silly season, did a couple of really daft things at one stage was caught well outside the box having to take a man on with his feet. An over confident pass led indirectly to the third goal. His most noteworthy save was when he did enough to put Cole off when he was on the break and a goal looked a certaintly. Nev got just enough of a touch on it.
Holmes 4 - The weak link, didn't make the most of his big chance, looked a bit overwhelmed.
Unsworth 8 - I really thought he'd had a cracking game till he got sent off, the second challange was the dafter of the two, must learn a lesson from his early bath.
Watson 7 - always reliable, has a greast calming influance on everyone.
Abblett 6 - Got off to a bad start but made up for it a bit later on.
Kanchelskis N/A - Desparatly unlucky, on the bright side we proved we're still a force to be reckoned with without either him or Dunc.
Horne 8 - Who needs Cantana when we've got Barry Horne?
Parkinson 7 - Hasn't had a bad yet this season, has become a real asset.
Limpar 10 - The man who lifted us, he picked, probed and explored the united defence was the man who must take the major credit for both our goals, he was taking a bit of stick from my section of the crowd for his apparent reluctance at times to go in for the tackle, however given his size and injury proness I think he may be wise. A truly team lifting performance and a joy to watch. What a difference a year makes.
Rideout 4 - Scored the second goal but it was only a poke in. Didn't seem to do much else.
Ammo 7 - An absolute stinker of a day for his finishing but he must take credit for his positional play and his ability to make the chances that he fluffed.
Subs: Hinchliffe 6 - Still not back to his best, but if Kan has to go off then you could have an awful lot worse options on the bench than Andy - took a lot of stick from Scum fans for being a "city reject".
Not Used: Barlow, Kearton
San Presland: (I know I should use stronger language but..) .. He trotted about the pitch with a Keith Hackett superior grin on his face while he booked trivia like Pallister's hand-ball and yet let go the successful 'let's take out the danger man early' late tackle by Sharpe on Kanchelskis.
He booked (I think) Ablett for a tackle on the edge of our box which gave a free-kick to them, and then when the ball went down the other end and an Everton player was on the receiving end of an identical challenge about a minute later, he gave the free-kick, but no booking.. a point which Ablett pointed out to him very vociferously (and looked in danger of getting red-carded).
Pushes on Rideout were just completely ignored. What worries me is that
apparently there are only 19 referees on the panel for the Premiership this
season (there were 21 last year but 2 retired) including Mr Poll (Saturday's
ref), our friends David Elleray (the Newcastle debacle), Robbie Hart (sent
off DD at Arsenal, I think) and of course Paul (i won't reconsider my decisions)
Durkin. If these are the creme de la creme then God help us.
Dave Shepherd: The pre-match summary I read in a national daily said 'Everton v Man Utd: a repeat of the cup final is unlikely to be any more entertaining, except for.. Kanchelskis.. Everton will kick United's kids off the park..'
So much for expert analysis. Instead the game was the opposite of the cup final in that the football from both teams was fantastic, but the result was diabolical for the blues.. and it was United who kicked Everton's Kanchelskis off the park.
Pre-match: A long sold out game started with the team news that Limpar was in, and Paul Holmes was to start at right back since both Jackson and Barrett were injured. For the opposition, miraculous recoveries from debilitating illnesses for the midweek internationals had them at full strength apart from the Frog-Fu expert.
First half: In brilliant sunshine, the early exchanges produced nothing much, but United gave away corners for safety in just the way that most of EFC's opponents have been careful NOT to. OK Hinchcliffe and Ferguson were not on the pitch, but even with Limpar and Watson as the key men, this is not what I'd call 'safe'.
Having had this pressure, it was hard credit the luck when United's first venture into the Everton half got a goal. A simple thrust up the right had Watson covering, with Ablett arriving to mark the second man. A simple pass from cole left Ablett stranded as he and Watson lost track of who was now the left-back, and although an Unsworthily brave tackle from Holmes prevented the main threat in front of goal from the cross, Sharpe was all alone for a tap in. Unsworth did not seem to be anywhere nearby.
In one of the first attempts to wipe out this annoying setback, Goodison and the MotD millions were treated to some genuine old fashioned soccer butchery, when Kanchelskis was thrown off his feet by Sharpe. One arm to the neck, one foot to the ankles, push. AK out for 10 weeks. No yellow card, no harsh words. One hatchet mission accomplished.
This adding of injury to insult did not seem to upset Everton, (it is nice to be able to replace class with more class, and Hinchcliffe qualifies) and they continued to look the most dangerous & likely to score. Amokachi the favourite because his style kept finding holes in the niggly red defence, whilst the referee was one of those who doesn't care a jot if Pallister and Bruce use their elbows jumping for a ball, so effective Rideout knockdowns were few.
But surely as the sun was setting, Everton did score.. a tangle of reds trying to dispossess Amo near the D let the ball squirt right to the flying Limpar, who touch, measured, and buried a hard & perfect low strike into the far side of the goal. The celebrations were rightly extra joyful, and the best part of it was that if AK not been hatched, Limpar would not have been there to score - he'd started on the left.
Everton improved further, and could easily have got ahead from any one of a bunch of chances which nearly all fell to Amo, but every one had a high difficult-to-control bounce, a desperate defender, or a lucky goalkeeper in the way. As a result of the when half time blew, the home fans cheered the team off.
United had created attacking opportunities themselves, but not creating any threat except long range strikes - their best came from free kicks, one of which hit the bar full in the face and bounced back to the wall, where an alert Barry Horne cleared. The most dangerous thing about Andy Cole had been his reputation.
Second half: No team changes, and the play resumed where it left off, but resulted in another early and pitifully soft goal. Defensive muddles, Cole flapping around like a boxer in the 10th round, and Sharpe grabbing a slim chance with both overemployed hands. OK his booking came later, so when he should have been off, he had already scored two, but where is the football god of fair play to allow an assassin to be the winning factor? Replays made the foul look innocuous, but the intent was there, and to fans who have seen Ferguson sent off for less, there is going to be no question that 'no yellow' has to rank as among the worst decisions of the season.
It could be argued that the flow and confidence of the United midfield against a famously restrictive opposition was enough to deserve such goals. On the other hand, their spoiling tactics of stepping all over the opponent with the ball are exactly the complaints they and others level against Royle's Dogs, and it begs the question have Joe's ideas been turned against him this time?
Once again the task was there and once again Everton responded. Attacks came regularly, and so did the inevitable equaliser. A free kick near the left of the D was taken not by Hinchcliffe, but by Limpar. The chip floated slowly and delicately toward the top corner, but came back off the bar at a strange angle to Watson unmarked in the right half of the area. His downward header to Amo six yards out was hit hard towards the clown in lime Green who had by now scrambled out of his own net (!?), but Rideout deflected the ball slightly wider and in to the joy of the massed blue ranks, and himself, having not scored since against, erm, Man Utd, 20th May 1995, FA Challenge Cup Final Tie.
There were 25 minutes to go. As they kicked off, I thought that there were going to be more goals to come, and we could even have another 4-4 classic on our hands.. but then something strange happened. Within minutes the game settled down, and so did the fans. Everyone on and in the park seemed to think that 2-2 was a fair result after a cracking game, and they were just going to see time out.
This continued for 10 minutes, but then an incredible third defensive error gifted the ball to United, who jerked out of their sleepwalk for a one-pass, one shot goal to slump-man substitute Giggs. It wrongfooted Southall, and only passed him by a foot.. his worst 'save' since Joe arrived. The original error has been attributed by different writers to four players, Southall, Watson, Holmes and Horne. The replay shows that no one player was responsible, but all four were very slack - an infuriating situation for a 2-2 scoreline in an important premier clash with a capacity crowd against much hated opponents.
As if this horror wasn't enough, Everton seemed to continue to play for the draw. No ideas, no danger, lots of lost possession. No moves to bring on Barlow. Only with 5 minutes left did they seem to remember it was time for desperation, and constructed a couple of slim chances which Amo tried his best to turn into big ones, but with the gods on holiday, the scripted hero in hospital and the perpetrator on the pitch, Evertonians were left only with the comfort that the viewers would be forced to admit they had surely taken part in one of the matches of the season.
Whilst a loss to United anytime anywhere is a bad loss, the performance was (until late on) a testimony to Everton's strength in squad depth. Without their two big money players, and down to 3rd choice at right back, they only lacked the run of the ball and whistle.
They coped through a day when not only the gods, but Southall's genius, the defensive miserliness and the midfield bite all went AWOL, yet still played the kind of football the prophets of boredom want you to believe they have abandoned. United do not have the luxury of depth, and are almost as unlikely to stay near the top as Wimbledon unless they sign up more cover before those 5 yellow card tactics start to take their toll.
They caught us on a bad day -- and even then we still looked good and easily deserved a point and were more deserving of a win -- so much for all the hype about wonderkids and Beckhambaur (Oh well - makes a change from the 'new George Best' bollocks they trot out every year).