Southampton 2 - 0 Everton
Half-time: 1 - 0
FA Carling Premiership 1998-99 Game 38
Sunday 16 May 1999 4pm
The Dell, Southampton
|« West Ham United (h)||Ref: Graham Barber||Pre-Season Fixtures »|
|1998-99 Fixtures & Results||Final Position: 14th||Premiership Results & Table|
|Southampton:||Pahars (24', 68')||Bakayoko, Dacourt|
|LINEUPS||Subs Not Used|
|Southampton:||Jones, Dodd, Benali, Marsden, Monkou, Lundekvam, Le Tissier, M Hughes, Beattie, Pahars (80' Beresford), Kachloul.||D Hughes, Ostenstad, Hiley, Moss.|
Myhre, Weir, Short (62' Bakayoko), Watson, Unsworth, Ball,
Hutchison, Dacourt, Gemmill (73' Degn), Campbell, Jeffers (62'
Unavailable: Materazzi, Phelan (suspended); Barmby (ill); Bilic, Cleland, Collins, Farley, McDermott, Williamson, Parkinson (injured).
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Southampton:||Le Tissier (29'), Marsden (36'), Pahars (52').|||
|REPORTS BY EVERTON FANS|
|Guy McEvoy||Party at the End of the World|
|Lyndon Lloyd||The luxury of not having to care|
|Darryl Syndicate||E for Effort|
Pahars double makes sure for Southampton
by Christopher Davies
Pahars makes double payment on stadium
by Nick Harris
Pahars proves big asset for Southampton
by Russell Kempson
|OTHER INTERNET REPORTS|
|THE EVERTONIAN||Link to the latest Match Report||
|THE GUARDIAN||Link to Football Unlimited Match Report|
|SOCCERNET||Link to SoccerNet Match Report|
|CARLINGNET||Link to CarlingNet Match Report|
|Party at the End of the World|
Standing in the pub before the game I couldn't help but think that the Saints
fans knew something I didn't. They looked so calm it was chilling. In the
ranks of stupid ways to tempt fate wearing a "The Great Escape '99
I was there" T-shirt seemed reminiscent of the "United Double Winners '95"
tops which were (ever so) briefly once on sale. These guys were ice cool
about the day ahead.
Now, when I think back to this time last year and the Coventry game, I remember looking in the mirror when I parked the car and being an ashen white colour. The little alcohol I had before that game was for courage rather than social purposes. This lot might have been about to stroll to a pre-season friendly there was so little fear in the air. Maybe you can get used to last day do-or-die battles but to me it just didn't seem natural. No matter, I was just enjoying the fact that we could go to this one ourselves with no fear.
Us away fans, many of whom looked resplendent in the new 'proper blue' shirt, were tucked into one corner of the East Stand though, despite the ticket claiming a restricted view, I could see both goals clearly enough. The Dell really is a pokey little ground, light years away from most Premiership stadia. The real acid test of the backwardness of the place was that the urinal trough was already flooded before the players were even on the pitch. That's Division Two standard is that. Even at Goodison you don't usually need waders until at least half time.
The team that had trounced the Hammers a week earlier was apparently the one that started for us. By the end of the day though I couldn't help but feel that they did a better impression of the West Ham of a week ago than the Everton.
It was clear from kick off that Southampton had something to play for and that we did not. All the enthusiasm for this encounter was to be found in the red and white shirts. There were only one or two moments of entertainment in the first half; a spat between Hutchison and Le Tissier saw the Channel Islander dumped uncerimoniously on the floor and both men into the book.
Everton did have a guilt edged chance when Jeffers was put clean through but the shot drifted agonisly wide. The long journeyed fans put in a chant of 'One Nil to the Charlton' which quickly became 'four, then 'five- nil to the Charlton' for wind-up value but it didn't have enough gusto for the Saints fans to bite. We also had one or two words for the nearest linesman to us who was giving them help they didn't need by disregarding the offside rule for them for the entire half.
Back on the pitch Southampton were making a meal of it. We were offering them nothing in the way of resistance but they seemed to be confining themselves to long range efforts which weren't really testing Tommy. Eventually one had to come, and when whateverhisnameis was placed clean through, a quick glance at our back four confirmed he had so much time and space he surely couldn't possibly miss. Not one defender even made a futile gesture of trying to get back once he was through. Bang. One-Nil.
The only good news from the first half was when the word came through that United had fallen behind, but even that proved regrettably short lived. Perhaps the funniest moment of the match was at half time. The guy who came on and did their half time draw (no holiday at Pontins as a prize for them, they gave away a house in France!) anyway, he was so bad he made our bloke sound like a pro. He started singing 'Oh when the Saints' and by god he was flat. What a noise.
Back they came, no changes. However little passion we showed in the first half we managed to dig out even less in the second. Technically our game plan looked sound enough but that doesn't matter a jot if you're players duck out of every 50/50 tackle, or refuse to chase balls that might not be going out or do any of the other things associated with the term 'work-rate'.
Nothing summed up the afternoon more than their second goal. We were on the attack, though our strikers were in no rush to get to the box so it got laid back to midfield in the general direction of Dacourt. Whilst it would have been better to press the attack than lay the ball back there was nothing particularly wrong with the pass to Olly. The ball was clearly his. But a Southampton player just charged at it, and Olly completely capitulated and let him have it.
That was the action of a player who doesn't want to risk any injury which could endanger a summer move and was an annoying feature of Dacourt's game all afternoon. As soon as they had possession from this giveaway they were straight away down the pitch, a good cross in, a deft diving glanced header from whoeverheis and they were home and dry as Tommy was beaten on his near post. To be fair it was their move of the game and the one moment of class they showed in the whole 90 minutes.
Walter had tinkered with the team, Short and Jeffers came off for Bakayoko and Cadamarteri. Peter Degn made an appearance in the place of Scot Gemmill. The new faces didn't really make any real odds though Cadamarteri had a reasonable volley saved.
The thing that really gnawed at me though was the thought of Charlton. Thank God they lost or I'd never have been able to look one of their fans in the face. Remember what Chelsea did for us on the last day of last season? Remember what that gesture of professionalism meant to you and me? Well, our players clearly can't remember. And if they didn't give a stuff about Charlton they could have at least made some effort for those of us who'd made very long journeys.
Come the final whistle the Saints fans were by then in a mood far more appropriate for the circumstances. After the game, unlike before it I could equate the emotions on display to my own at the Coventry game. It was nice to finish the day back at the pub watching them sing and dance at the cars going past, horns tooting. Just a shame United won the league.
So then, that's that. The Everton season 1998-99. I missed most of it. But then I don't really think I missed much.
Team Very poor. A combination of everyone on the field not quite giving 100%. Scoreline would have been greater had Southampton had any more talent.
|The luxury of not having to care|
The object of the day was, simply, to enjoy a Sunday jaunt to the South Coast
and celebrate the end of what was an arduous but strangely rewarding season.
Rewarding in the sense that Everton proved that they are a team capable of
turning on the style and the goals when they put their minds to it. There
were some genuinely entertaining moments but the closing act of 1998/99 was
not one of them.
Everton's performance was disappointing. The turnout for a team with the majority of its support concentrated in the Northwest and nothing to play for was superb. Attendance at The Winston across the road from The Dell was at least 50/50 with Blue shirts everywhere. With that and the circumstances in mind not to mention the fact that getting to any game, let alone one at Southampton is a costly affair, the team could at least have tried. It's a good job Charlton sent themselves down with defeat at home to Wednesday because we did them no favours.
For the first 20-odd minutes, our line-up of Myhre, Weir, Ball, Watson, Short, Unsworth, Dacourt, Gemmill, Hutchison, Jeffers and Campbell was comfortable. Southampton were pretty toothless while we were offering almost nothing in attack. For a side that put six past West Ham eight days earlier, the final ball from the midfield was terrible.
In fact it took about a quarter of an hour for the Blues to muster their first meaningful shot on goal; Jeffers, finding himself unmarked on the six-yard line, contrived to side-foot a guilt-edged chance wide. At the other end, Le Tissier volleyed a wonderful effort inches wide before sending a piledriver just over Myhre's bar.
Then the home side made the crucial breakthrough. Everton's defence went AWOL so when Short was beaten in the air by Beattie, Pahars was left with a clear run on goal, dispatching an unstoppable shot past Myhre. The ground, naturally, went mental and into party mode which lasted, I'm sure, into the night.
Everton's response was to continue in the same vein as before so we watched the Saints fans celebrate and recalled the same stage of last season when it was us singing and chanting to a 1-0 advantage that pointed towards Premiership safety. You had to allow them their joy having gone through the same emotions ourselves a year ago.
The second half continued as the first had left off and with Everton's midfield in obvious slumber mode and referee Barber only able to give free kicks to the home side, it was becoming clear that the Blues who had packed out the away end were going to have little to cheer.
This was compounded when Beattie got to the by-line and found Pahars who dived in to head past Myhre to make it 2-0. Cue endless "the Saints are staying up" chants and bored silence from the Everton contingent.
Smith eventually pulled Short and Gemmill off in favour of Bakayoko and Degn but it made little difference. Jeffers was later withdrawn and Cadamarteri introduced but the dire display continued. A late flurry aside, when Unsworth went close with a header from a corner and Weir shot straight at 'keeper Jones in a goalmouth melee.
With the relegation and title D-day rather anti-climatic, thoughts wandered to the close season and the slight possibility that we might not be worrying about money by 7th August. The whistle blew and Southampton's celebrations began in earnest. There was much mutual slapping of backs and shaking of hands between rival fans who were familiar with the wrong end of the table before I headed off back down the A27 to Brighton contemplating a season in which I have seen just one win, two away defeats and three goalless draws. I didn't even want to calculate how much money that is per Everton goal.
Team 5 - They couldn't be arsed which is a fine way to reward the suckers who have stood by them all season; namely us, the fans.
|E for Effort|
Much like the weather couldn't quite decide whether to be nice and sunny
or overcast, Everton yesterday couldn't quite decide whether to try and ruin
a potential party or start a funeral.
Southampton fans looked happy enough before the start, although there wasn't much to hear from them in terms of singing like there was in the Netley before the Coventry game last year. A few hummed the tune to the great escape, and some tempting fate wore t-shirts with "99, the great escape, I was there", but at the Winston, which was the only pub around for miles, Evertonians outnumbered Southampton fans for a long stretch of time.
Right... the game. We lined up with Myhre in goal, Weir, Ball, Short, Watson, Unsworth across the back, Dacourt, Gemmill and Hutchison in midfield, and Campbell and Jeffers up front.
The first half was horrendous from us. A few good tackles from Olly, Unsie and Hutch made me think that we weren't here just for the formalities, but in almost every other case, a red-and-white-striped shirt was first to a loose ball. Whenever we won a ball, we inevitably lost it quickly. Southampton were meaner and they obviously wanted it more.
After a first few tackles, we decided probably to lay off a bit and go on that holiday after the game injury-free. Le Tissier, Beattie and Pahars all looked dangerous for them, and midway through the first half, when we hadn't even managed a decent attack, Pahars was put through the centre. With Tommy totally exposed, the finish was no surprise. Waggy was in my opinion out of position with that one, and throughout the game, it seemed to me that he was either the man too far back, or too far forward of the back 3.
We did have one good chance: Campbell's flick on from a cross fell at the feet of Jeffers who unfortunately fluffed what proved to be our best and only chance of the game. The rest of the half passed without any significant occurrences. Hutch stupidly got himself booked again after being brought down by Le Tiss and reacting to the tackle by pushing the Southampton man away. Totally needless.
Southampton have been finally promised a new stadium for the millennium, and obviously would not get it if they went down. This and other apparent factors meant it was a massive massive game for them. Still, at the start of the second half, I still had optimistic thoughts of a Wally half-time chat which would change the game around. Silly me.
It started much the same as the last half ended. Southampton on top and first to every ball. If we thought the first half was bad, this was even worse. The only shot we had on target was a Cadda shot without power or direction near the end, which Jones collected easily.
On 60 mins, Wally had brought on Cadda and Baka for Short and Jeffers. Hmmm... if only he had done that for some of the earlier games.. (Made changes when there was still time to turn things round.) There seemed to be an instant injection to our attack, but from one promising move, Baka was dispossessed it looked like a foul, but none was given and Southampton raced away down the pitch with only Olly as cover. Waggy and Unsie tried desperately to get back, but the ball had moved quickly from left to right, and from the ensuing cross, Pahars nipped in again to score past Tommy's near post.
This was a "turning point" if you could call it want. From a "promising" point in the game for us, Southampton manage a second. Game set and match. About 10 mins after this, Charlton contrived to go one behind against Sheffield Wednesday... cue massive delight among the Saints fans and chants of Rodney Marsh is a W*****, along with Stand Up if You're Staying Up. A chant some Evertonians joined in with.
After that, the game petered out. Degn came on for Gemmill and we had a few decent chances near the end, Baka blatantly trying to Maradona a goal from a left-wing cross and Jones had to keep out a deflected header with his feet, but that was it. Roll on the takeover.
After the final whistle, two players approached the away end and threw some of their belongings into the crowd. Olly walked up and gave his boots to a fan in the front row in what can only be a goodbye gesture, but Tommy's act of hurling his gloves into the crowd, seemed like nothing more than a thank you for your support. We shall see....
While I don't think Chelsea played all that well or tried all that much against Bolton last year, they still got a result. We've played worse than that, but I doubt if we have tried less.
I should have stayed home revising.
|Pahars double makes sure for Southampton|
|Christopher Davies, Electronic Telegraph|
MARIANS PAHARS ensured his place in Southampton folklore when the Latvian
striker's two goals earned a 22nd consecutive season in the top division
for the South Coast club.
In the end events at Charlton made the result academic, but Southampton were taking no chances and Pahars' goals in the 25th and 69th minutes confirmed the limit of the club's ambition all season - to remain among the elite.
A relieved lap of honour from Southampton as they beat the relegation drop
Two months ago the Department of Employment originally said the Latvian did not qualify for a work permit - in effect that the striker was not good enough for English football.
It took three appeals by Southampton before they could finally secure his £800,000 signing from Skonto Riga on transfer deadline day.
The club, as they showed yesterday afternoon, make a habit of leaving things late. But if Pahars never scores another goal for Southampton he will have repaid his transfer fee many times over.
Survival is worth a minimum of £10 million while the long awaited move to a new stadium can be pushed forward with optimism. Of course, this is not all because of the Latvian - it just seemed like it yesterday at the Dell.
Pahars' first goal came after Jason Dodd's hopeful long punt was flicked on by the outstanding James Beattie. The ball fell to the unmarked Pahars, who seemed to take an eternity to place the ball to the left of Thomas Myhre from 15 yards.
With just a one-goal lead Southampton were always vulnerable and the home fans' nerves were not helped when Francis Jeffers shot wide with no home defender near him.
The worry beads were put away mid-way through the second half, however, and once again Beattie, who looks an excellent prospect, was the provider.
Chris Marsden's pass to the striker was not a good one but Beattie still put over a fine centre from the right which Pahars stooped to head past Myhre on the near post.
Never one to be upstaged, Matthew Le Tissier was booked for a foul and went perilously close to being sent off for dissent. But on the positive side the Southampton favourite almost scored in first-half stoppage time with a shot from 25 yards and he also turned 180 degrees and, in one movement, volleyed just over the crossbar.
Mark Hughes also wasted a chance with a free header on the far post while in the 90th minute David Unsworth had a header stopped by goalkeeper Paul Jones's feet.
Southampton ended up five points ahead of the relegation zone, which sounds comfortable though it was only in the penultimate week of the season that the club climbed out of the bottom three for the first time.
They saved their best for last - three consecutive wins and 11 points from a possible 15 - though it must be said the home side were considerably helped yesterday by a lacklustre display by Everton, where Southampton manager Dave Jones spent 10 years as a player.
"It's a big weight off my shoulders," said Jones, who added: "I don't want to go through this again. The players responded brilliantly. A lot was riding on the game . . . our Premiership future, the stadium . . . everyone has been focused on that.
"Pahars has done better than we thought. We thought it would take him longer to settle in and it gives us a taste of what is to come.
"He has a big future. He's only 22 and when he adapts to the English style he'll do really well. We expect a lot from him."
|Report © The Electronic Telegraph|
|Pahars makes double payment on stadium|
|by Nick Harris, The Independent|
MARIANS PAHARS, the 22-year-old striker nicknamed "the Latvian Michael Owen"
scored two goals for Southampton yesterday to ensure that his side will start
a 22nd consecutive season in the top flight of English football come August.
The Saints only managed to sign Pahars - from Skonto Riga for £800,000 on transfer deadline day - at the third attempt, after two applications for a work permit had been denied. His first goal for the club, an equaliser in the 3-3 home draw against Blackburn in April that began an unbeaten five-match run-in, had already made him a local hero. His second and third goals confirmed his status.
In the event, with Charlton losing to Sheffield Wednesday, the Saints could have lost and still maintained their Premiership status, but there was never any question that Dave Jones' side were intent on taking all three points.
Staying up was more than a matter of playing in the Premiership or the First Division. Had Southampton gone down, the feasibility of the club's proposed new 30,000-seater stadium would have been thrown into doubt. Although their chairman, Rupert Lowe, had said that relegation would not affect plans to move to the new venue in the St Marys area of the city in time for the start of the 2000-2001 season, he had also said that "the move will depend on finance". It does not take a genius to realise that demotion from the top flight, with the subsequent loss of earnings of some £8m per season, would have made it more difficult to raise the required capital for the new ground.
"Can you not see the weight off my shoulders?" Jones said afterwards. "All we have done this week is concentrate on getting the result and we got it. We needed to get stuck in and get an early goal and we did."
Of his young Latvian, he said: "We knew Pahars could do well and what you saw today is just a taste of things to come. He has a big future." Of the escape from relegation, he added: "This is something we never want to go through again."
If his side could only maintain a season of performances such as yesterdays, Southampton would not be perennial strugglers. They are never likely to compete for honours, and only in the most remarkable of seasons would they be likely to be knocking on Europe's door, but they can certainly aim for the mid-table type of security that clubs such as Derby, Wimbledon and Leicester have achieved in recent years.
The breakthrough yesterday came after 25 minutes when James Beattie, the England Under-21 striker who was named as the clubs Player of the Year before kick-off, headed on a long ball to Pahars. The Everton defence had gone Awol and Pahars had acres of space in which to control the ball and move in on goal. He took his time before shooting to ensure that his effort would leave Thomas Myhre in the Everton goal no hope.
Southampton visibly relaxed after the goal, but in a way that let them play more confidently rather than dangerously. Matt Le Tissier, the veteran of many relegation scraps, saw one long-range effort go narrowly over the bar seven minutes before half-time, and then laid on a beautiful pass to Beattie, who could not control the ball.
Another 35-yard from Le Tissier on the stroke of half-time was also only just wide, but it signalled the intent of the Saints. After 68 minutes, Beattie received the ball on the right wing and ran strongly past two defenders before squeezing in a cross. Pahars was on hand in the box and there was never any chance that his diving header would be stopped. Everton, 6-0 winners last week against West Ham, rarely threatened.
Perhaps Kevin Campbell, the scorer of nine goals since his return home from Turkey, felt he did not need to do any more to prove to his manager, Walter Smith, that he has the ability to be an asset to the club if only the club can find the money to buy him. "We got what we deserved," was about all Smith said after the game. Southampton fans felt they did, too.
|Report © The Independent|
|Pahars proves big asset for Southampton|
|by Russell Kempson, The Times|
MARIANS PAHARS, the little man from Latvia, did not receive a warm response
when he put his case before the Department for Education and Employment two
months ago. Three times he had to seek permission to play in the FA Carling
Premiership and it was only at the third attempt, on the day before the transfer
deadline in late March, that he received the go-ahead.
Pahars, an £800,000 purchase from Skonto Riga, who is known at home as the "Latvian Michael Owen", scored twice against Everton at The Dell yesterday to preserve Southampton's Premiership place, thus consigning Charlton Athletic to relegation. He does not speak much English and, at just 5ft 6in, looks out of place among the Premiership's giants, but the delight that he evoked will live long in the memory in Hampshire.
"He's probably a bit better than what we thought," David Jones, the Southampton manager, said. "He's only 22, he's like a whippet and he's settled in really well. He has a big future and we'll be expecting a lot more from him next season."
Pahars has bought a house in the area and his wife is expecting a baby. Yet beneath the happiness yesterday lurked tragedy. Jones's brother-in-law, Peter, a railway worker, died recently after being hit by a train, and his wife, Anne, had also lost a young nephew to cancer a few weeks earlier.
"It's been a difficult time, but I've had to get on with it," Jones said. "Only my staff knew what had been going on. Going out of the Premiership would have been a big jolt to me but perhaps this will help my sister-in-law, Dot, to come to terms with everything."
"Winning has lifted a big weight from my shoulders and the players reacted brilliantly. We got stuck into Everton and, thankfully, got an early goal. Congratulations to Manchester United on winning the title but I almost feel as if we've won it today. It means that much to stay in the Premiership."
"Staying Up" and "Pride of the South" proclaimed the banners and T-shirts, messages of desperation on a fraught day. Southampton had survived in the Premiership for 21 years - four times in six seasons escaping relegation on the last day of the season - and nerves played a part on the pitch, too. Southampton were uneasy, but Everton's lack of passion assisted them. Southampton received their first glimpse of salvation in the 24th minute, when they went ahead through Pahars. Dodd thumped a hopeful punt into Everton territory, Beattie nodded it on and Pahars took an age before driving past Myhre.
The fans could take a breath, but it took until the 69th minute before they could fully release all their pent-up emotion. Marsden dispossessed Dacourt, passed to Beattie and his cross was met by the diving Pahars.
Pahars was hugged by Jones as he was replaced, Le Tissier left the pitch to similar raptures and Southampton lived again. "The Great Escape" blared out over the public-address system and a new club sponsor, Friends Provident, was announced. Everything was hunky-dory at The Dell thanks to the little man from Latvia.
|Report © Times Newspapers Ltd|
|FA CARLING PREMIERSHIP|
|RESULTS (Game 38)|
|Sunday 16 May 1999|
Arsenal 1-0 Aston Villa 38,308 Kanu 66 Charlton Athletic 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday 20,043 Sonner 79 Chelsea 2-1 Derby County 35,016 Babayaro 39, Vialli 67 Carbonari 87 Coventry City 2-2 Leeds United 23,049 Aloisi 63, Telfer 72 Wijnhard 42, Hopkin 90 Liverpool 3-0 Wimbledon 41,902 Berger 11, Riedle 49, Ince 64 Manchester United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur 55,189 Beckham 42, Cole 48 Ferdinand 24 Newcastle United 1-1 Blackburn Rovers 36,623 Hamann 51 Wilcox 36 Nottingham Forest 1-0 Leicester City 25,353 Bart-Williams 75 Southampton 2-0 Everton 15,254 Pahars 24, 68 West Ham United 4-0 Middlesbrough 25,902 Lampard 3, Keller 25, Sinclair 75,78
|FINAL LEAGUE TABLE|
Club P W D L GF GA GD Pts Manchester United 38 22 13 3 80 37 43 79 <ECL Arsenal 38 22 12 4 59 17 42 78 <ECL Chelsea 38 20 15 3 57 30 27 75 <ECL Leeds United 38 18 13 7 62 34 28 67 <Uefa West Ham United 38 16 9 13 46 53 -7 57 <ITC Aston Villa 38 15 10 13 51 46 5 55 Liverpool 38 15 9 14 68 49 19 54 Derby County 38 13 13 12 40 45 -5 52 Middlesbrough 38 12 15 11 48 54 -6 51 Leicester City 38 12 13 13 40 46 -6 49 Tottenham Hotspur 38 11 14 13 47 50 -3 47 <Uefa Sheffield Wednesday 38 13 7 18 41 42 -1 46 Newcastle United 38 11 13 14 48 54 -6 46 <Uefa Everton 38 11 10 17 42 47 -5 43 Coventry City 38 11 9 18 39 51 -12 42 Wimbledon 38 10 12 16 40 63 -23 42 Southampton 38 11 8 19 37 64 -27 41 ------------------------------------------------------------------ Charlton Athletic 38 8 12 18 41 56 -15 36 <Div 1 Blackburn Rovers 38 7 14 17 38 52 -14 35 <Div 1 Nottingham Forest 38 7 9 22 35 69 -34 30 <Div 1 ECL = European "Champions" League Uefa = Uefa Cup ITC = Intertoto Cup