Panathinaikos 4 - 1
Half-time: 2 - 1
Sunday 7 September 1997
Olympic Stadium, Athens
|« Bolton Wanderers (a)||Ref: Vorias||Derby County (a) »|
|Panathinaikos:||Warzycha (9, 32), Georgiadis (55), Kapouranis (57)|
|LINEUPS||Subs Not Used|
|Panathinaikos:||Wandzik, Milojevic, Kolitsidakis,Alexopoulos,Lagonikakis, Georgiadis, Saravakos, Warzycha, Nikolaidis, Alexoudis, Kostadinidis.||NA|
Southall (46 Gerrard), Hinchcliffe, Thomsen, Barrett
(46 Dunne), O'Connor (46 McCann), Grant, Oster, Stuart, Barmby, Speed (46
Unavailable: Bilic, Farrelly, Phelan, (International Duty), Ferguson (Ill), Parkinson, Thomas, Watson (injured).
|REPORTS BY EVERTON FANS|
|Stelios Lazaris||Greek Training Session|
|Greek Training Session|
Greek club Panathinaikos and Everton met today in Athens Olympic Stadium,
in a friendly match to celebrate (belatedly?) the 25th anniversary of the
1971's European Champions Cup clash between the two clubs.
Everton came to Athens without star players Duncan Ferguson and Slaven Bilic. Gareth Farrelly and Tony Thomas were also missing, while Panathinaikos were without their Norwegian internationals Mykland and Strandli.
Everton manager Howard Kendall started the game with Neville Southall as goalkeeper, Earl Barrett and Claus Thomsen as centre backs, Andy Hinchcliffe and Jon O'Connor as full backs. Tony Grant had a defensive midfielder role and just in front of him was Gary Speed. Jon Oster and Graham Stuart was the Everton wingers, while Nick Barmby was used as a support striker for Michael Branch who was used at centre forward position.
Right from the beginning Panathinakos dominated the Game. Everton's defence seemed to be a bit shaky, with Thomsen and Barrett too slow for the quick and pacy Panathinaikos attackers Saravakos and Warzycha...Tony Grant was unable to win the ball in midfield as Panathinaikos used a 3-5-2 formation. Grant and Speed were therefore surrounded by five Panathinaikos players and Everton lost possession right from the start of the game...
The first goal for Panathinaikos came in the 9th minute. Saravakos dribbled Thomsen and entered the Everton penalty area, then crossed the ball low to the far post. Southall dived to get the ball but he only managed to get a touch and Warzycha scored from close range.
After the goal, Everton tried to recover and for the next 15 mins kept possession and seemed to be the better team. Nick Barmby came back to an attacking midfielder role and suddenly Everton took control of the game with Gary Speed as playmaker. Speed's game was focused on wingers Stuart and Oster. But the crosses the two wingers provided had no effect as Branch was all alone in the penalty area.
Everton scored in the 24th minute through Michael Branch. Branch took advantage of a terrible misjudgement of the ball by Panathinaikos sweeper Milojevic and chipped an incredible ball over Wandzik for the equaliser.
Unfortunately for Everton it was all Panathinaikos from then. Everton's shaky defence posed no serious problem for Warzycha who scored again in the 32nd minute, as if he was in a training session. Everton lost the ball in midfield and Panathinaikos with only one simple pass got Warzycha again one-on-one with Southall. Warzycha had no problem and Panathinaikos were again in front.
By now it was made clear that Everton's defence couldn't deal with pacy forwards. Barrett couldn't keep up with Warzycha and Thomsen was too slow for Saravakos. Half time came with Panathinaikos leading 2-1.
For the second half Kendall tried to correct some things, especially in defence, only to make things worse. He substituted Gary Speed with Danny Cadamarteri, in order to play with two strikers up front. Earl Barrett, who had a bad game, was replaced with Richard Dunne, and Jon O'Connor, who had a good game especially offensively, was substituted by Gavin McCann.
The second half developed into a nightmare for Everton. The team was completely unorganised and surrendered to a much better and experienced Panathinakos team. If it weren't for Gerrard the scoreline would have been much bigger. However, the first good chance of the second half is credited to Everton. Cadamarteri rose above a couple of Panathinaikos defenders only to see the ball cleared off the line!
But Everton never passed the midfield line again till the 90th minute. Panathinaikos pressure was rising and Everton conceded 2 goals in just a couple of minutes. Greek international Georgiadis and full back Kapouranis scored the goals as Everton's defence was completely humiliated. Panathinaikos had chances to make the score 5-1 or 6-1 only for Gerrard to make a couple of brilliant saves.
Just before the end of the game Everton had two good chances. Michael Branch, the best Everton player on the night, took advantage of a through-ball but his shot was blocked by the Panathinaikos keeper. And lastly, Nick Barmby's header hit the bar just before the full-time whistle. Kendall's experimental side totally fell apart today. Everton certainly need strengthening; let's all hope Peter Johnson will do something about that.
Southall 5 (Gerrard 7), Hinchcliffe 6, Thomsen 5, Barrett 5 (Dunne 5), O'Connor 6 (McCann 5), Grant 5, Oster 6, Stuart 5, Barmby 4, Speed 7 (Cadamarteri 6), Branch 8.