FA Carling Premier League, Saturday 27 April, 1996; Hillsborough, Sheffield
Previous Match: Everton v Liverpool Last Match of the Season: Everton v Aston Villa
Sheffield Wednesday (1) 2 Everton (3) 5
Degryse 64, Hirst 9; Amokachi 4, Ebbrell 10, Kanchelskis 21, 54, 65.
Sheffield Wednesday: Pressman, Atherton, Pembridge (Hyde 74), Nicol, Walker, Briscoe, Hirst (Donaldson 81), Sheridan (Waddle 51), Degryse, Blinker, Whittingham. Booked: Blinker.
Everton: Southall, Unsworth, Watson, Stuart, Amokachi, Ebbrell, Kanchelskis, Hottiger, Grant, Short, Branch (Rideout 46). Subs Not Used: O'Connor, Speare. Booked: Stuart, Short.
Ref: M D Reed (Birmingham).
CarlingNet: Andrei Kanchelskis demolished Sheffield Wednesday with a brilliant hat-trick as Everton ran away to their biggest win of the season at Hillsborough this afternoon.
The Russian flyer scored three, set up another, had one disallowed and hit the woodwork in a magnificent display, which demonstrated his blistering pace and clinical finishing.
It left England under-21 defender Lee Briscoe, the player given the daunting task of shackling Kanchelskis' challenge, looking shell-shocked as Wednesday marked their final Hillsborough appearance of the season with the heaviest defeat of a hugely disappointing campaign.
Even the Wednesday supporters applauded the Russian as he left the pitch having completed his first treble in an Everton shirt since the acrimonious £6 million move from Manchester United last summer.
Nigerian international Daniel Amokachi began the goal spree with his fourth minute drive beating goalkeeper Kevin Pressman's dive at the near post.
Wednesday drew level just five minutes later with Dutch midfielder Regi Blinker springing Everton's offside trap to release Marc Degryse, who squared the ball for David Hirst to equalise off a post.
But that goal was the catalyst for Kanchelskis' brilliant one-man show and, less than 60 seconds later, his low cross was converted by the unmarked John Ebbrell to restore Everton's lead.
But if that was just the appetiser, the first course was quite spectacular, Kanchelskis racing past Briscoe as if he wasn't there onto Tony Grant's long ball before powerfully shooting past Pressman in the 21st minute.
Indeed, such was Kanchelskis' threat, Everton keeper Neville Southall's first major contribution - apart from picking the ball out of the back of the net - was to thwart Degryse's 36th minute snapshot.
If Kanchelskis' first goal was superb, his second was even better, picking the ball up in the centre circle before embarking on a run right into Wednesday's penalty area and with Des Walker backing off, the Russian picked his moment before jigging to the right and powering his shot into the back of the net.
Wednesday pulled one back when Hirst's flick header set up Degryse for a far post volley in the 64th minute.
But as in the first half, their joy was short-lived and Kanchelskis thought he had wrapped up the triple straight from the restart.
The ball was pushed out wide to Walker whose mistake let in Amokachi, who raced to the edge of the box before passing to Kanchelskis, who calmly put the ball in the back of the net only for a linesman's flag to cut short his celebrations.
It did not matter because less than a minute later he cut inside from the right and, in no apparent danger, unleashed a 30-yard left-foot shot which left keeper Pressman standing watching in admiration as it tore into the roof of the net.
Chris Waddle, who came on as a second-half substitute for John Sheridan and making probably his last Hillsborough appearance after failing to agree terms with manager David Pleat for next season, went close in the latter stages.
But even Waddle's farewell could not outshine Kanchelskis' brilliant display and left the whole of Hillsborough admiring Everton's Russian talent with a standing ovation at the finish.
Guy McEvoy: My expectations for this game were low. For both teams it seemed apparent that this match was going to be an end of season irrelevance, Everton apparently had their last chance of qualifying for a European place and Wednesday were seemingly assured of their Premiership survival. It didn't look like it mattered, both sets of fans were relaxed and hoping for an afternoon of entertaining if largely meaningless display of football.
The Everton team was far from Joe's first choice, Branch was sensibly chosen ahead of Rideout to give him a flavour of a league start, whilst Unsworth slipped into left back due to the absence of Hinchcliffe. Daniel Amokachi also made a rare start.
It was Daniel who made the impact immediately; the first attack of the game saw Kanchelskis with a neat lobbed pass to Stuart who had made an intelligent quick run. He fed the ball to Amo on the right who got into the box. The shot was poor but the keeper made a big enough hash of it to spare Amo's blushes. 1-0 and looking good.
The Everton crowd, enjoying the last day out of the season, had just settled into a period of rousing song when we were unfortunately caught on the hop, Blinker (dreadlock man) put an inspired through-ball past Watson who was beaten only by the quality of the pass and can take no blame, it was left to Short to try to race back and salvage a 2 on 1 situation but the Wednesday men made no mistake and Hirst competently finished the move to equalise.
The Wednesday fans though weren't even allowed time to manage a "you're not singing anymore" chant before we reestablished our lead within a minute. Amo found Kanchelskis who got himself near the corner flag on the right, he crossed to the center of the box, at first it seemed too deep but John Ebbrell arrived to sidefoot the ball into the goal. 2-1 and an electric pace setting in.
Everton looked like they meant business. Our dominance in the midfield area was near total: Grant, Kanchelskis and Stuart all looked likely to launch an attack with every touch whilst Ebbrell took a more defensive role. The confidence of the midfield was such that poor Branch was often left a spectator, his runs unrewarded with a pass, nevertheless he managed to draw his defenders which was important in creating the space that the midfield was able to exploit.
Our third goal was a replay of Kanchelskis's final goal against Blackburn. Tony Grant hit a 50 yard pass that still left Andrei with a bit of work to round his man but his strength made sure of that and the finish was assured.
The first half performance was only marred by a couple of needless bookings, Stuart was rightly infuriated with his yellow card after an identical challenge by a Wednesday player had gone unpunished only moments earlier. Nevertheless we entered the break with a 3-1 lead.
For once when Everton had dominated early, the second half was a case of more of the same. The only difference being the replacement of Branch by Rideout (a decision I still fail to understand).
Wednesday introduced Waddle for his farewell to Hillsborough but he was easily contained by our defense and his only meaningful contribution to the game was duffing a pass which was picked up by Grant who immediately fed it to Andrei on the half way line. KanKan ran to the box, his marker standing off and standing off until it was too late. Andrei was within shooting distance and able to drill home his second.
The 4-1 scoreline left me in that terrible situation where I had a couple of pound at 80-1 on the scoreline remaining the same, and my wallet was saying that I wasn't sure I wanted us to score again (why do I ever bet on correct scorelines!). Therefore, I wasn't entirely sure if I was pleased or disappointed when Tony Grant curled a delightful shot from 20 yards that was denied by the angle of bar and post.
My proper loyalties were restored when Wednesday altered the scoreline to their favour. The goal came from nowhere in a period of Everton domination, I didn't get a good view and Match of the Day didn't make it any clearer but somehow a ball found Degreyse free in an packed box and he was able to flick it in before anyone could challenge.
Again, Everton's reply was instant, no sooner had we kicked off than Amo launched a charge into space down the right that left him with only the goalkeeper to beat. He should have shot, but rather unselfishly laid it on for Kanchelskis to complete his hat-trick. Kanchelskis scored but the linesman was determined to ruin his party and called offside.
Not to be disappointed, 30 seconds later Andrei received the ball from Unsworth and from 30 yards, oozing the confidence of a man at the height of form, swerved a low drive into the net. This time there could be no offside and the hat-trick was complete.
Everton had more chances, one fell for Rideout and Craig Short could have done better with a header from a corner. Also, Wednesday could have got an undeserved third had Southall not made a good save.
As the final whistle approached the mathematicians began to realise that what was supposed to have been a meaningless affair suddenly had real significance, freak results meaning that Wednesday were suddenly vulnerable again for the drop. "Pleat out" came the chant. Everton fans, absent of calculators took a little longer the realise that we still had given ourselves a glimmer of hope for a European place.
It was a good performance and a great day out, the Everton fans sang their hearts out and it felt like a sweet revenge for that drubbing they gave us on Boxing Day last season. Andrei was the undoubted hero but it wasn't just a one man show -- it was also a good team effort. The fact that they managed two goals only flattered Wednesday's performance.
Southall 7 - One good save, and little to be done about the goals.
Hottiger 6 - Surprisingly quiet in the forward role, perhaps he's been told to stay back more. However in the absence of his contribution to attack, I didn't think he had that good a game and looked the most vulnerable of our defense. If Joe want's to give his youngsters a chance then O'Connor really should have replaced him at half time.
Watson 7 - Like all great centre backs, dull, solid, not flash, just got the job done right.
Short 7 - I still think Unsworth must be first choice center back (when the squad allows) but over the season Short has shown that he is a very competent back-up and this game was no exception.
Unsworth 7 - Confident and controlled, managed a couple of those "Rhino charges", and managed to contain all threats on the left. Good game.
Ebbrell 7 - His defensive support was what we would expect and added that crucial balance to the midfield. And a goal to boot.
Stuart 7 - Again, a good game and great to see him back to his old self although his fine performance was eclipsed by Kanchelskis efforts. Had a brilliant run in the first half that was hacked down. Unlucky to be booked.
Grant 8 - Wonderful game, looked like a midfield general, had a part in everything. It is no coincidence that in Grant's two best games, (Blackburn and this), that these have also seen the best of Kanchelskis. The man is class to watch, no wonder the squad have nick-named him "Grantona".
Kanchelskis 10 - My first 10 of the season, I desperately tried to think of something I could knock a mark off for but I couldn't. He helped out defensively, he set others up, he didn't loose possession and he picked up a hat-trick. Kind of hard to pick holes in. You can't help but wonder that if we'd had had him for those games during that solicitors wrangle and if Lee Sharpe hadn't done that tackle, qualification for Europe wouldn't be in doubt. And people wonder why we hate United. Next season Andrei is going to make himself into one of the biggest Everton legends ever. Get your season ticket now if only for the privilege of watching him!
Amokachi 8 - Good game, started to make use of his strength again, picked up another goal (what is his strike rate this season for games played?), and generally made himself a bit of a handful. If he is leaving Everton this summer then he's done our transfer fee demands no harm in this match.
Branch 6 - Unlucky in that the style of play left him very much a spare part and the run of the ball didn't go with him. Thought it was a bit tight to Sub him though.
Rideout 7 - Suffered for the same reasons that Branch did but dropped back a bit more and so saw a lot more of the ball.
Subs not used: O'Connor (why not?), Speare.
And that concludes this seasons away campaign.
The Suggs-Meister: On Friday I said on this very mailing list: "I don't want to go tomorrow - it's got 0-0 written all over it". Hmmm...
The atmosphere in the Everton end was brilliant - we sold all 3,900 tickets for the upper tier of the West Stand and we also took up our full allocation for the exposed corner, bringing the travelling support to about 4,500. It all led to the best (and loudest) support the Blues have had all season.
We were one-up after four minutes. The ball found its way to Branch who fed Amokachi, unmarked on the right-wing. He cut inside and unleashed a powerful shot from the corner of the area. It was low to Pressman's left but he somehow managed to dive over it and the ball squirmed inside the near post. 1-0 after four minutes.
The goal gave the Blues plenty of confidence - possibly too much. Hottiger and Ebbrell fannied around with it just inside the Wednesday half and Blinker won it off them. He found Degryse and suddenly it was two on one (Short). Degryse switched it to Hirst whose shot from 15 yards went in off the far post. 1-1 after 8 minutes.
The Blues hit back straight away. Amokachi and Kanchelskis combined down the right and the pull-back from the by-line found Ebbrell in space 12 yards out. His left-footed shot wrong-footed Pressman. 2-1 after 9 minutes.
The Blues still threatened the Owls' goal. Stuart went on a mesmerising run when he beat three men before his chip went straight at Pressman. Branch was penalised twice for holding Walker back when the ball was played over the top.
The third goal came soon after. Grant picked the ball up midway inside the Everton half and his long pass (NOT long ball) was over Briscoe's head and into the path of the on-rushing Kanchelskis. He bore down on goal and somehow we all knew where the ball was going to end up. The shot went inside Pressman's near post (again). 3-1 after 21 minutes.
The rest of the half saw the Blues threaten the Wednesday goal on several occasions, with Grant figuring prominently. Meanwhile the only Owls chances saw Hirst's shot smartly saved by Southall and Hottiger nearly giving away a magnificent 25-yard goal before he got back and cleared the danger.
Rideout came on for Branch at half-time (he didn't seem to have an injury though I may be wrong). The second-half started fairly slowly until the Blues all but made the game safe. Grant gave the ball to Kanchelskis ten yards inside our half. He set off on a run that had Walker back-pedalling furiously before he side-stepped the old England has-been and unleashed a fierce twenty-yard shot that beat Pressman at his near-post - again. 4-1 after 54 minutes.
"4-1 without Ferguson" (maybe it should have been "4-1 without Parkinson"?!)
Waddle came on for Sheridan to a great reception from the home crowd (and applause from several Blues as well) but still it was Everton who came closest to scoring. Grant hit the post from 25 yards and Atherton made a last-ditch block on Amokachi with Pressman well out of his goal.
"Tony Tony Tony Grant, Tony Tony Grant"
But Wednesday then got back in the game. Pembridge's throw-in was flicked on and an unmarked Degryse at the far post turned the ball home. 4-2 after 64 minutes.
This goal sparked Everton back into life. Amokachi picked the ball up when Walker slipped but instead of shooting he fed Kanchelskis for his hat-trick. But the linesman's flag was up for offside and the goal was disallowed.
But Kanchelskis was not to be denied. Unsworth ran down the left and he fed the flying Russian. He cut inside and unleashed a 25-yard shot that beat the despairing Pressman all ends up. 5-2 after 66 minutes.
"Andrei, Andrei Kanchelskis, Andrei Kanchelskis, Andrei Kanche-elskis OI!"
As Kanchelskis made his way to the touchline, half of the North Stand (which was full of home fans) rose to applaud him, which was nice...
The rest of the game went with a little less incident. Kanchelskis hit the post and Donaldson and Hirst both missed good chances for Wednesday. Blues fans entertained ourselves with chants of "Pleat out!" and "Sheffield United clap clap clap clap clap!"
Great result, great atmosphere, great crack. The fact that the other results sort of went our way helped to increase our joy. All we need now is for the Arse not to win either of their games against the RS and Bolton, Spurs to not win at Leeds, AND Newcastle and us to turn over Villa. About as likely as Southampton, QPR, Coventry and City all winning last Saturday. Hmmm...
Southall 7 - didn't have much to do - could do nothing about the goals
Hottiger 7 - OK. At fault for the first goal but otherwise good
Unsworth 8 - his runs forward were a threat to Wednesday, especially in the first-half
Short 7 - did little wrong and won everything in the air
Watson 7 - see Short - his kamikaze run into their box in the last minute was a highlight!
Kanchelskis 10+ - scored three, had one disallowed, hit the post, set one up - need I say more? World-class
Ebbrell 9 - very good. Won everything in the middle of the park and scored a goal. Continues to make his critics (including me) eat their words
Grant 9 - very good. Unlucky not to score and his long PASS (it was a pass all right!) set the third goal up
Stuart 8 - good. His mazy run nearly gave him a candidate for goal of the month and he threatened their goal on several other occasions
Amokachi 8/9 - much more like it! "A bull in a china shop" one paper said yesterday. He beat Walker for pace numerous times
Branch 7 - all right for a debut. The time when he tackled back deep inside our half showed he wants to do well.
Rideout 7 - (Sub for Branch) nothing special. Couple of decent passes.
TEAM: 9 - we always looked like scoring when we went forward. Good way to end the Hillsborough hoodoo (first win since August 1985 - 5-1).
By Frank Clough, Electronic Telegraph
IF SUMMER cannot come quickly enough for Wednesday's manager under fire, David Pleat, his Everton counterpart Joe Royle probably cannot wait for next August to arrive.
The "Pleat Out" banners have not gone on show in force yet but the murmurs of discontent on the terraces were growing stridently louder after this, their heaviest defeat of the season. It might have been even worse, so wide was the gap in class and confidence between the two teams.
This defeat, coming as the other relegation battlers Coventry, Manchester City and Southampton were all notching vital victories away from home, has sucked the Yorkshire team firmly back into the quicksand. Now they have to get at least a point at West Ham next weekend to ensure Premiership survival and on the evidence of this lacklustre performance it is difficult to see where it will come from.
There is an alarming lack of heart and fire in the Wednesday ranks; their defence was exposed by the pace, power and strength of Daniel Amokachi and Andrei Kanchelskis, who scored his first hat-trick for the Merseysiders, and the home side were always second best in midfield where too many passes went woefully astray.
Royle was all smiles at the end and not just because Everton's hopes of qualifying for Europe are still alive. Even given the paucity of the opposition there was enough evidence here to suggest that they could have a serious say in the championship proceedings next season when Royle will have a fully fit squad to choose from.
Even though they were without the lofty threat of the injured Duncan Ferguson, they always had too much speed and firepower for Wednesday to handle.
Degryse pulled one back for Wednesday after 64 minutes but the damage by then was irreparable.
Everton went in front after three minutes, Amokachi beating Wednesday goalkeeper Kevin Pressman embarrassingly at the near post after being put in by Graham Stuart.
And although Wednesday equalised within five minutes - David Hirst scoring after the link-up between Regi Blinker and Marc Degryse - Everton were back in front a minute later when John Ebbrell scored with a powerful shot from a low, accurate centre by Kanchelskis.
The strong running and purposeful Kanchelskis scored Everton's third after 22 minutes, surging powerfully past young defender Lee Briscoe and beating Pressman comprehensively after John Sheridan had lost possession, not for the first time in the match.
The off-form Sheridan was replaced early in the second half, crowd favourite Chris Waddle coming on for his last appearance in front of home fans before departing for pastures new.
But he hadn't even got warm when he saw one of his passes cut out and punished. Tony Grant fed Kanchelskis, Wednesday defender Des Walker chose to back off instead of tackling and the Russian international scored a scorcher of a goal after a 30-yard burst forward.
Degryse pulled one back for Wednesday after 64 minutes but the damage by then was irreparable.
Kanchelskis, who was simply in unstoppable form against the nervy Briscoe, looked as though he would be robbed of a hat-trick by the offside flag in the 65th minute, but he was back on the scoresheet again within 60 seconds, scoring with a 20-yard drive after an intelligent pass by David Unsworth.
Kanchelskis and Grant both went on to hit the post, giving some indication of exactly how embarrassing it could have been for Wednesday.
Pleat said: "Our poor defending set the pattern and we never coped with the pace of Kanchelskis. The other results have surprised us and temporarily stunned us but we have just got to get over it."
Electronic Telegraph is a Registered Service Mark of The Telegraph plc
By a Times Correspondent
THE creases on David Pleat's forehead appear so deep these days that it is easy to imagine a potholer emerging from one of them. There may be worse to come for the Sheffield Wednesday manager.
If Manchester City, Southampton and Coventry City win their final games on Sunday, then Wednesday will require a draw against West Ham United at Upton Park to guarantee their FA Carling Premiership survival on goal difference, and to earn that point they must defend more resolutely than they did on Saturday.
Cries of "Pleat out" intensified as Wednesday capitulated under the searing pace and control of Andrei Kanchelskis. He scored three times, had a goal disallowed for offside, created the other two for Daniel Amokachi and John Ebbrell, and hit a post. Doubtless there have been more complete displays of wing play, but it is hard to remember when.
"You can double up on Andrei or stop his supply, but you don't give him space in the first 20 minutes to allow his confidence to grow," Pleat said. "Lee Briscoe seemed to have too much respect for him. He just didn't want to rock him for some reason. When teams don't do well, supporters see the blame as resting with the manager. I can't change it and I wouldn't suggest it is right or wrong, but the side I put out here was definitely the strongest I could."
Kanchelskis played at right back in a five-man defence for Russia against Belgium in midweek, and is expected to feature in that role during the European championship. "I believe he is more effective further forward," Joe Royle, the Everton manager, said after he saw his side maintain hopes of a Uefa Cup place.
"Andrei has scored 16 goals for us this season, which is a phenomenal total for a wide man. We can only dream of what might have been if we hadn't missed him and Duncan Ferguson for parts of the campaign."
All of Kanchelskis's goals came when he breezed past a defender and created sufficient room to shoot from around the edge of the penalty area. Twice he went on the outside with his favoured right foot; then, to complete his first hat-trick for Everton, he shimmied inside the hapless Briscoe to beat Pressman with his left foot.
Amokachi had given Everton an early lead, a mistake by Ebbrell prompted Hirst's equaliser, but Ebbrell atoned by converting a low centre from Kanchelskis, whose first two goals extended the advantage before Degryse stole behind Unsworth to pull one back. Fittingly, though, Kanchelskis had the final word.
"This week we've got to be strong mentally and believe we can get something at Upton Park," Pleat said. He may hope; supporters expect.
Robbie Newton: A superb result today considering we were without Jackson, Ablett, Parkinson, Hinchcliffe, Horne, Limpar, Ferguson, Samways, Kearton.-- not bad eh ?
About 4,000 Evertonians went to Hillsbrough, situated in the Leppings Lane end. They got behind the team well, and out sung the home faithful, who didn't have much to cheer about anyway.
Stuart was unnecessarily booked in the 1st half, for a very minor offence, and indeed, the first "foul", if it be worthy of that title, of the game.
Southall *7* Didn't have much to do, made one good save and had no chance with either goal
Hottiger *7* Linked well with Andrei, and did quite well defensively. Sound game; not much threat from Blinker
Unsworth *7* Didn't have much to do either, but when faced by Waddle in the 2nd half, he held his own
Watson *7* Usual solid game, coped with Hirst well, and he didn't get a look in apart from his goal
Short *7* Won most things in the air, and coped well with pressure which was few and far between, didn't get forward too much
Kanchelskis *10* Scored a hat-trick, hit a post and had a hand in the other two goals, had the beating of Briscoe
Ebbrell *9* Another excellent performance from the now firmly established crowd "favourite". Got forward, created and scored, and defended well too, was unlucky not to be Man Of The Match
Grant *8* Virtuoso performance, led the midfield and was applauded by the home fans on a number of occasions for his flicks, passes, and pieces of skill. Hit the stanchion from 20 yards
Stuart *7* Stuck on the left, almost re-created the goal he scored at Hillsbrough for Chelsea the other year, before being hauled down. Linked well with the attack and was unlucky not to score
Branch *7* Didn't have too many touches in the first half, but his off the ball running was excellent, showed plenty of pace and promise, almost got on the end of a few crosses. Subbed at half time
Amokachi *8* Full of running as usual and was a constant menace to Des Walker and Peter Atherton, and scored a goal as well.
Rideout *7* Came on as sub for Branch at half time. Not in the game much, but had one effort saved. First time he's played 45 mins a league game since the last Sheff Wed game. Reluctant to jump, which is understandable.Michael Kenrick Last modified on 05/01/96