Everton Logo

Everton 4 - 4 Leeds United

Half-time: 3 - 2


Leeds United Logo
FA Carling Premiership 1999-2000 – Game 12
3 pm Sunday 24 October 1999
Goodison Park, Merseyside
Att: 37,355
Arsenal (a) Ref: Dermot Gallagher Middlesbrough (a)
[1999-2000 Fixtures & Results] League Position: 8th [Premiership Results & Table]
 MATCH SUMMARY
Davey Weir This was a fabulous game of Goals, Goals, Goals in the pouring rain at Goodison Park!  One of those matches the fans love, but have the managers tearing their hair out.

A couple of excellent goals by Campbell twice gave Everton the lead, but Leeds kept coming back. After a silly second goal was gifted to Leeds, Hutchison put Everton ahead to round off an end-to-end first half.

In the second half, Everton were denied a clear penalty when Radebe brought down Hutchison. Walter was so livid, he leapt up out of the Directors Box, down to the touchline, where he berated the linesman unmercilessly.  A critical moment: a few minutes later, Huckerby came on as sub, and Leeds scored two.

But in the dying seconds of the match, a surge by Gough lead to a free kick that Unsworth curled in brilliantly for David Weir to head his first goal for the club. 4-4!

 

  

 MATCH FACTS
   GOALSCORERS  Debut
EVERTON: Campbell (4', 28'), Hutchison (37'), Weir (91')  Sub: Tommy Johnson
Leeds United: Bridges (14', 71'), Kewell (35'), Woodgate (72') 
   LINEUPS  Subs Not Used 
EVERTON: Gerrard; Ball (78' Johnson), Gough, Watson, Unsworth, Weir; Barmby, Collins, Gemmill (25' Pembridge), Hutchison; Campbell.
Unavailable:
Jeffers (suspended); Xavier, Dunne, Myhre, Williamson, Parkinson (injured); Cleland (ill); Grant, Phelan (on loan); Bilic (in limbo); Branch, Farrelly, O'Kane (transfer-listed).
Cadamarteri, Ward, Simonsen.
Leeds United: Martyn, Kelly, Harte, Radebe, Woodgate, Kewell, Bowyer, Batty, McPhail, Smith (68' Huckerby), Bridges. Hopkin, Haaland, Robinson, Mills.
   Playing Strips  Formations
EVERTON: Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; blue socks. 5-4-1; 4-4-2
Leeds United: White shirts; dark blue shorts; white socks. 4-4-2
   Yellow Cards  Red Cards
EVERTON:
Leeds United:

 

 MATCH REPORTS
 REPORTS BY EVERTON FANS
Mickey Blue Eyes  Total Drama!
Chris Lord When NOT to leave early...
Richard Marland Bloody 'ell! What a game!
Rob Bland Young Sharks: caged but not killed
 NEWSPAPER REPORTS
ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH Bridges tops bill in a thriller
by Henry Winter
THE INDEPENDENT Bridges in full flight as Leeds are denied
by Guy Hodgson
THE TIMES Weir gives Everton fair share of pickings
by Kevin McCarra
 OTHER INTERNET REPORTS
EFC NEWS SITE Link to the Echo/Daily Post Match Report

THE GUARDIAN Link to Football Unlimited Match Report
SOCCERNET Link to SoccerNet Match Report
CARLINGNET Link to CarlingNet Match Report

 
 Total Drama!
Mikey Blue Eyes
 
Only just got me voice back. Yes, people, it REALLY was like that, right to the end. Not a load of good footy because of the conditions but plenty of edgy excitement. You've got to make sure your pacemaker's got a full battery for this kind of thing. But sadly, it looks like Dave Watson's is pegging out at last.

Incessant rain for hours before the kick off and if you were hoping for a break in it during the match.... tough – it just kept right on comin'. Mercifully, the temperature was mild.

It was a miracle that the standard was as high as it was. Players weren't slip-slidin' all over the place and nobody made a major error because of the rain. Incredible! Something about these conditions sometimes brings out the best in some players. Suppose they want to show how good they are as pros.

Leeds showed why they're top... and why they might not win anything. They're an extremely refreshing side to watch, full of running, bright youthful enthusiasm, talent and open play. They certainly didn't come to play it tight, though that might have something to do with the way we lacerated them early on. No matter.. they took up the challenge. My big concern was that their more youthful legs might carry the day during the last quarter. And it nearly turned out that way.

We won most of the early tackles and didn't allow them to settle. In the fourth minute one of our by now familiar switch-moves down the left enabled Collins to get Campbell clear just inside the box and he nonchalantly curled an absolute corker over Nigel Martyn's left hand into the Street End. Cool as you like! A man could get to like this sorta thing.

The Don was playing in closer support of Campbell and it unquestionably makes a difference to the flow of play. We were well on top for the the first quarter. But that came to an abrupt end when Leeds attacked down the right from defence and got the ball out to the left, to Kewell. He hit it across the box to the left side of our defence, close in by the goal area, and it was firmly side-footed in. No Bally again.

Leeds came back a bit stronger and started to win it more in midfield and started to show how sharply they can move it around. You could sense then this was going to be one of THOSE games. It was all over the park, free flowing and end to end, with us having the better of the exchanges. No surprise then when we got another. This time an almost straight line move right down the centre of the pitch... Pembridge, Collins...on to The Don....a beautifully weighted pass between the Leeds centre-backs....and Campbell was on it in a flash to chip it elegantly beyond Nige. Absolutely PERFECT!

Then we stepped up a gear and, no question, Leeds were more than a bit wobbly. But we all know why it's the greatest game in the world. It's because of moments like Leeds' equaliser out of absolutely nothing at all. When I saw it in the actual match I thought it was a dead fluke. But I've seen the tape now and there's no question in my mind that little Aussie bastard Kewell MEANT it. The ball just got played out wide to him on the left from a nondescript sort of move. He was maybe 35 metres out, looked up, and caught Paul Gerrard coming forward off his line with what can only be described as a perfect punt.

You'd have thought that was enough excitement for the entire afternoon. Don't be daft, people. This is The Beautiful Game. Campbell, Barmby and The Don were causing all kinds of problems when they combined. And eventually it paid off when the three of them got it in the box from (I think) an Unsie cross out left.... and the young Leeds defence stuttered long enough for The Don to get a rebound sidefoot from close in. Nigel Martyn's face was a picture. Then again, so was EVERYBODY'S. Remember how long it took us to score in the Street End last season?

The Second Half began and from the kick off we had the game by the scruff of it's neck and should have buried it within 10 to 15 minutes. First, Campbell was clean through with only Nige to beat and you would've put yer 'ouse on him... good job yer didn't because he rolled it tamely into his arms with the Park End going totally MAD. A few minutes later, The Don was away from Radebe and got snuffed at knee height....fuck me, if the blind bastard of a referee didn't wave play on! Aaaarrgghh!

This little escapade even brought Wally Babe out of the dugout, arms waving like a windmill. Anyone who doesn't understand the incalculable effect of personality on human history should have seen the crowd reaction to Wally's walkabout. How long is it since we've seen THAT sort of commitment to our cause? The crowd roared it's head off, all the way down to the echo. The guy's on his way to hero status at this rate.

But Leeds didn't fold... and then they got an equaliser right out of the blue again. An attack down the right got played into Bridges, right edge of the box with a Blue Belly right behind him. The ball bobbled just right for him and he caught Paul out with a neat lob just under the bar.

Then it was our turn to feel the draught as Leeds's younger legs began to sense something in it. They poured forward and got a stream of corners and generally camped out on the edge of our box. From one of the left side corners, it got nodded on and Woodgate (of all people! – given a terrible time by KC all afternoon) got a forehead on it and it shot in off the bar.

We had a few attacks after that, but I have to say I thought the game was up. Then, in the final minute we got a free kick right out on the left touchline, given away needlessly by young Woodgate. Unsie shaped to take it as everyone moved up, including Waggy, and I shouted, "Gerron the end of this Davey Waaaatttsssoonn!" more in despair than anything else. As I watched it came zooming over towards Waggy and it bulleted into the Park End net off, I thought, his head. Turned out it was Davey Weir who was in front of him. Not that I gave a brass monkey. It could've been Mickey Mouse for all I cared.

Then the ref blew his whistle and we all got our breath back long enough to boo him off and applaud everyone else. Emotionally draining isn't in it. Too many of these and I'll be off to see a shrink.

I made Davey Weir our man of the match and nothing to do with the goal. He was at right back again, with Goughie and Waggy taking the centre. In the conditions, Weir's passing was really good and he didn't lose many tackles.

Overall, it was a day for physical strength and commitment and we had those in abundance except for a fade toward the end.

Paul Gerrard will be unhappy about their second but I don't think he needs to be. He made a terrific save from a second half free kick to more than compensate.

Pembridge was brought on for Scott Gemmill and Unsie was moved over to the right to help Weir against Kewell. I thought John Collins had another outstanding game... he and Nicky Barmby didn't stop running all afternoon. The Don had a good game and did well with KC, who gave the Leeds defence the kind of nightmares they can do without at their age.

I regret to say I can't see Davey Watson playing again, unless it's in an emergency. I'm probably wrong about this of course. He didn't let us down for a moment... in fact he made some really important tackles. Sadly, though, his pace has almost gone and he's making up for it with owl arse positional play. If he continues much longer some young bastard's gonna skin him... and I'd HATE to see it end that way.

So....a terrific game, marvellous entertainment. A small miracle, given the conditions.

  • Gerrard - 5, disappointed in Paul today, more for lack of dominance at corners than the second goal, but he has'nt had many bad games so....
  • Weir - 8, needed help against Kewell who I think is amongst the best 10 attacking players in the PL. Stuck to it and passed it well too.
  • Gough - 6, plenty of effort but hard game for Richard.
  • Watson - 5, my hero for years but its time to end it right now Dave. Badly exposed today.
  • Ball - 6, lacking confidence still. Did well for our second goal but at fault for their first and third.
  • Barmby - 7, good game, not his best but some good moments.
  • Gemmill - 6, subbed early, not greatly effective.
  • Collins - 9, excellent match best I've seen him for us. Didn't fade too badly.
  • Unsworth - 7, asked to play left midfield, switched to the right in second half to help Weir with Kewell. Commitment but little class.
  • Hutchison - 8, mobile and committed and skilful at times. Does tend to dive a bit but was brought down by Radebe when through.
  • Campbell - 9, two excellent goals and slaughtered Radebe and (especially) Woodgate. Super Kev today!
  • Pembridge - 6, not very effective.
  • Johnson - 5, not in the match, only on for a short time.

 
 When NOT to leave early...
Chris Lord
 
I went to Goodison with what I assume was the same feeling that everybody had – which is also pretty much the same feeling soldiers had on their way to the Somme. 10 wins on the trot, and I felt pretty sure Number 11 was on the way. Still, with RS getting beat heavily 1-1 by Southampton the day before, I was OK with it as long as it wasn't a slaughter.

A look at the odds before the match, and one bet stuck out to me: Everton to be leading at half time, Leeds at full time: 25/1. I didn't even consider actually placing money on it, so I wasn't upset later on, but still it was kinda weird.

The game started out pretty even. Our first effort was a Collins shot which was deflected, and looped towards the far top corner. I thought it was in, but somehow it slipped past the post.

A few minutes later, Campbell broke the offside trap after a nice bit of skill from Collins (Collins doing two useful things in a few minutes – nope, my memory must be crap). He curved the ball towards the same far corner – but I wasn't going to be fooled into celebrating early this time. Needless to say it found its way in, and we had our usual early goal.

Our defense looked very shaky though, and never secure. A few attempts which never got as far as a decent shot showed the way ahead, and before long the ball was tapped in from close range by Bridges. Kinda messy, but it was coming.

My hope was gone at this point. Leeds kept the upper hand, without taking the lead.

Sort of against the run of play, Everton scored what is in my opinion our best of the season so far (and for once we have a few to pick from). Ball read the play to intercept on the half way line, got the ball through to Hutch, control, turn, and straight through to Campbell, again running the line well, to go one-on-one with Martyn, and finished with a superb chip. I think 10 or 11 Leeds players were behind the ball when Ball collected, and we just cut straight through the middle of them. Class.

2-1, and things were looking up. Leeds looking less effective up front, but luck was on their side. Kewell's cross looped into the far corner. Bastards! Actually, I say luck, but 1) It wouldn't surprise me if he meant it, after watching it on TV 2) A goalie should never, ever get beat from 40 yards out on the touchline. You can say he had no chance or whatever, but if positioned correctly that ball will not go in.

Again my head goes down. Not for long, as a complete and utter mess in the box somehow ends in a Hutch shot to roll over the line. Sloooooowwwwllllyyyy. I couldn't believe that luck went our way. No, scratch that, I was too busy wondering how we managed to score from a Ball throw, however indirectly.

3-2 at half time. If anyone at the club is listening, I want my "hit the bar 2 out of 3 times and win a car" game back. Please. Or at least Labone asking for my "forbearance".

After half time, we looked good. Really should have finished Leeds off – Hutchison mishit a volley completely when contact would have meant a goal. Campbell's strength caused problems. And then the Radebe incident, which angered Walter so much that he forgot that he actually got up himself, instead of getting Archie to do his dirty work. Soon his hair will turn ginger and he'll be criticising female officials. Maybe. Or maybe he'll go back to being dull.

Anyway, don't blame the ref, blame the fecking linesman. People criticize refs all the time, and no-one ever notices that the linesman never, ever help any more. Watch them – most of them actually wait for the ref to make a decision, and then just agree. Twats.

OK, back to the game: after wasting so many chances to secure the result, we all knew what was coming. We've improved and everything, but lets face it, we're still Everton. Sure enough, a great lob from Bridges went in, as an "up yours" to me for saying he was over-rated earlier in the day. Again, Gerrard at fault – the ball didn't go right in the top corner or anything, so positioning/reactions were suspect somewhere. He shouldn't get beaten like that.

Then a corner – corners had troubled us no end all day – which was headed in by Woodgate (he's international standard, honest). Inevitable. Only word for it. That 25/1 bet was looking even better now.

We did sorta battle on, but without ever looking like scoring. The goal came from an unlikely source (those with a history of heart problems may want to miss out the next sentence).

A pinpoint cross from Unsworth dragged the goalie out of his net, and was headed home by Weir. No really. If you didn't see it, you're probably thinking that its some sort of BlueNose practical joke on you, just to show how gullible you are. Really, it happened. If it makes you feel any better, Weir did his best to miss, squeezing the ball in the far post when the entire goal was gaping.

The Goodison faithful erupted. Well, the 75% that hadn't left. Why leave, anyway? As long as I'll live, I'll never understand why people would want to leave something they've paid to see. To quote Danny Baker (who does a superb Sunday morning radio show BTW, check it out) – "Do these people leave the theatre before the killer is unmasked? During sex, do they...".

Players:

  • Gerrard 4 – No longer the goalie we thought he could be, but now the goalie we thought he would be. Shot stopping is great, positioning is absolutely hideous. Again, I'm no huge fan of Tommy, but he's better than this.
  • Ball 8 – Class shines through, although still gets caught out of position. Personally, I'd like to see Ball left mid, and Unsworth left back (ie swap them around). Ball's class is an asset. And as I've said more times than I've had hot dinners, Collins is lost without him.
  • Watson 6 – Don't ya hate to see players playing after their time has past, thus ruining their legacy? That's what's happening here. On the other hand, I'd still rather have Watson available than not, but I don't think Gough + Watson will work, period. Needs someone with a bit now pace to cover for any mistakes.
  • Gough 7 – Has the same lack of pace, although slightly more nous than Watson to see him by. He does need somebody with a bit more pace next to him though – even its Weir.
  • Weir 7 – Scored a goal. Trust me, Armageddon is coming (in which case, I'd better learn how to spell it...). Fairly weak at right back, allowed too many crosses to come in, even if they were all from 20 yards out. Improved when Unsworth covered with him.
  • Unsworth 8 – Moved around a fair bit bit, but did pretty well is each position (and they all called for different skills, so credit to him). Is still no comfortable on the ball, but has at least learnt to cross to a decent standard – I suppose for a central defender I should be pleased.
  • Collins 9 – Finally improving to a point where I'd actually think about picking him if I was the manager :) Actually showing genuine class, and taking more responsibility himself – far less of the sideways balls. Works hard as well. Basically, Hutchinson without the psycho bits.
  • Gemmill/Pembridge 6 – May as well have been the same person. Both fairly ineffective, both attacking and defending. As much as I've sung Gemmill's praises over Collins, he didn't look to deserve anything of the sort. That'll teach me.
  • Barmby 6 – Very quiet day. One incredible run, and a lot of hard work, but never really got going. Not his best performance.
  • Hutchison 9 – Hard working, and very intelligent. One missed volley that should have secured the win though. Showed no sign of the psycho bits today though, which has to be a great sign.
  • Campbell 9 – Replaced Jeffers exactly. Running the line to break the offside trap. Also showed his advantage over Jeffers in those situations, as his strength on the ball helped well Jeffers would have lost it long ago. One worrying addition to his play is Jeffers style "token headers", where he jumps without any real effort to win it, just to make it look like he's trying. It looks crap, and gives him no chance of winning the ball no matter what happens. Cut it out.
  • Johnson 7 – Looked OK. Don't know what he was doing on the right wing though.

Walter Smith 9 – One of his better days. Putting Unsworth on the right wing seemed strange, but worked great and cut out Kewell completely.

However, I don't know what he was doing when he put Johnson on. Taking Ball off, who looked dangerous whenever allowed to go forward, and moving Unsworth to left back (and away from Kewell, which worked great). He then puts Johnson at right midfield (isn't he a striker) and left Hutchinson up front. What the fuck was that about? Why take Ball off and leave Pembridge on? The goal came from a set piece, and wasn't too likely to come from open play.

Overall, a draw was a fair result. We did have the chances to win it, but seeing as we wasted chances ourselves, we can't claim to have deserved to win. The Radebe incident could have changed the match, but I'm still not convinced we'd have won. Still, between this and Spurs, we've definitely lost a point or 2 over players not getting sent off.

Should mention the ref. Only bad decision in the game cam from the linesman, so I can't blame him for that. Other refs should be sent a tape of this game and told to follow the example. No bad challenges, therefore no bookings. Not a hard thing to figure out, surely? The game flowed great, and the ref just sat back and didn't interfere. We knock them well they're crap, so for once I'm avoiding being a hypocrite and praising this one.

Best thing about the game – watching the Leeds fans afterwards. Seeing as I hate the bastards (from a neutral point of view, probably more than the RS, and definitely more than the scum), so it's great to see arrogance backfire. Shame Reidy's Sunderland couldn't knock them off the top, but can't have everything.

Conclusion: A point is more than we expected, so I can't really complain. If we are going to win bugger all for the next decade or so, I might as well enjoy watching them play. Defense is worrying though: 8 in 2 games, even if it was Arsenal and Leeds. It will be interesting to see how we hold out against the much more average (but still dangerous) Boro attack next week...


 
 Bloody 'ell! What a game!
Richard Marland
 
When was the last time we saw sustained Goodison Park entertainment like this? At long last I feel as if I'm getting real value for my season ticket.

Walter was forced into more tinkering with his side, Richard Dunne was still out injured and Xavier was the latest to be forced out. This meant a recall for Dave Watson who partnered Richard Gough in the centre with Ball and Weir at full back. Midfield saw the real upheaval though, Collins and Gemmill were paired in the middle with Barmby on the right and Unsworth pressed into emergency service on the left. Hutchison partnered Campbell up front with Simonsen, Ward, Pembridge, Cadamarteri and Johnson on the bench.

Like we had against Coventry, we lost the toss and were forced to attack the St End in the first half. This also meant that we had the kick off and, like we had against Coventry, Don Hutchison took the ball and ran straight at the Leeds midfield and defence. It didn't work out quite as well as it had done against Coventry, Leeds are a better, more resolute side and they managed to hold us at bay for a full four minutes. It was then that Collins picked up the ball in midfield, ran at the defence and slipped a delightful ball through to Campbell. Campbell found himself all alone in the penalty area and finished with some confidence, curling the ball around Martyn and into the net.

We then got a reminder of just why Leeds have had 10 straight wins. They are a very good side with lots of pace and movement. They also had Harry Kewell who caused us problems for most of the afternoon. Kewell managed to get half a yard on Weir and got in a low cross across the face of the goal, it eluded everyone except for Michael Bridges who arrived, on his own, at the far post to bury the ball.

The game was being played at a furious pace with both sides looking to get forward, it didn't look like the scoring was going to end there. Sure enough, before too much longer, we retook the lead. A delightful through-ball from Don Hutchison saw Kevin Campbell beat the offside trap; once again, he again showed wonderful composure in a one-on-one against Martyn as he waited for Martyn to go down before chipping the ball over him and into the net.

Leeds, though, just wouldn't lie down and die, even though it took a fluke and some woeful Gerrard goalkeeping to bring them level again. Harry Kewell picked up possession over by the touchline, he swung over a cross, the flight of which Gerrard misjudged horribly, and the ball ended up in the back of the net. If the goal was a fluke the warning signs had definitely been there, they had forced a number of corners all of which were delivered in the style of Andy Hinchcliffe at his best, despite our surplus of central defenders we never looked comfortable in dealing with them and there was certainly no chance of Gerrard taking control of the situation.

Still the game rocked back and forth, no-one could gain control of the game, it was wonderful to watch. Either side could probably have scored but fortunately it was us as we found the back of the net through Don Hutchison after a very scrappy interlude in the Leeds penalty area.

That was enough scoring for the first half, five goals in a half that just never stopped.

The second half had something to live up to, in terms of goals it didn't quite match the first half, but in terms of excitement and incident it probably surpassed the first half.

The first notable incident was the Radebe-Hutchison affair. Don was sent through by a long ball, he was clear of Radebe and approaching the penalty area when Radebe's desperate attempt to redeem the situation saw Don brought to the ground. I was too far away to see precisely what happened but it certainly seemed to me to be a clear cut foul on Hutchison. There was certainly no question of Hutchison taking a dive. I guess the only question was whether Radebe got a touch on the ball.

To everyone's amazement the referee waved play on – not even a foul! This brought Archie Knox straight out of the dug out and over to the linesman (I refuse to call them referee's assistants because clearly they aren't). The ground was still buzzing about the incident a minute later when Walter suddenly emerged from the tunnel and marched over to the same linesman who was still reeling from Archie's verbal assault. Walter was ushered away by the, now overworked, fourth official and after another verbal volley slunk off back down the tunnel from whence he had come. In reality he shouldn't be doing this sort of stuff but all the same it was brilliant to watch and to think that some people questioned the man's passion.

Quite often when a decision like that goes against you it can work to your advantage – it wakes the crowd up and gives the players a feeling of injustice that they want to put right. Strangely this one had the opposite effect as it seemed to affect our concentration. True, Campbell was given another gilt-edged chance soon after as he faced his third one-on-one against Martyn (isn't that excellent testament to his intelligence and that of the teammates threading the passes through to him?); alas this time he got it all wrong, seemingly undecided on whether to take it with his left or right peg. But, apart from this, it seemed to me that we rather lost our way around this time.

Leeds began to dominate the possession a little and press forward looking for their third equaliser. It duly arrived when Michael Bridges lobbed Gerrard from outside the box. I felt that Bridges was a little fortunate in that he initially miscontrolled the ball but he deserves credit for the way in which he adapted to the situation and his finish was very good again, even if it did raise yet more questions over Gerrard.

Leeds now had the bit between their teeth and soon went in front for the first time, a corner from the left and Woodgate got a free header in the centre of the box. It was reminiscent of Liverpool style defending from corners and it was something that troubled us all afternoon.

There was a distinct feeling of that being that. With five minutes to go, the usual exodus started, we reached ninety minutes and most of us were accepting our fate and commiserating ourselves with the fact that we had played well and had only just been edged out by the league leaders. All seemed forlorn when Richard Gough picked up possession and went on a run into the Leeds half; he was fouled over by the left-hand touchline not far from the penalty area. Unsie took the kick and delivered an excellent cross into the danger area and who should be on the end of it but our unsung hero David Weir. He'd had a similar late chance against Coventry which he had put over the bar, this time he didn't make the same mistake and instead found the back of the net. Cue delirium.

There was barely time left for the kick off and so a classic game ended 4-4. I think that everyone accepts that ultimately a draw was a fair result. Both teams had contributed to a fine spectacle and if we had been edged out then it would have been very, very harsh on us. As it was we came away with a more than honourable draw and what I find most pleasing is that because of the security of our current league position we can just enjoy it for what it was, an absolutely cracking game, and not get beaten up over the fact that we had thrown away three valuable points.

Players

  • Gerrard 6 Just confirming what he is, a very good shot stopper but dodgy on crosses. Misjudged the Kewell cross-cum-shot badly and that goal has to go down to him. You also have to question him over their third goal.
  • Weir 7 Had some uncomfortable moments against Kewell but then I think most, if not all, people would. Showed again that he is a good defender with a few very important challenges, also contributed the goal that has been coming for the past few weeks.
  • Ball 6 Did OK but I had the feeling that he was carrying a knock and that this was affecting his performance.
  • Watson 6 Looked a bit dodgy to start off with but did get better. Made a number of good blocks and tackles but in all honesty struggled to contain a lively and pacy Leeds front line.
  • Gough 7 Not as commanding as of late but still getting the job done. Impressed with the way he carried the ball deep into the Leeds half to win the free kick that eventually led to our equaliser. This was in injury time, the man clearly hates losing.
  • Barmby 6 Not his most effective performance but the effort and endeavour were still there.
  • Collins 8 At the hub of everything today, constantly involved, always available for a pass. At last we seem to be seeing the real John Collins.
  • Gemmill 6 Not on for long, didn't do anything wrong whilst he was there.
  • Unsworth 7 Three separate positions for Unsie today – left midfield, right midfield and finally left back. As usual he just got on with the job in his typically whole hearted way. Naturally he won't get the credit he deserves from some fans but I reckon that for his commitment to the cause, his character and his under-rated footballing ability, he's priceless to us.
  • Campbell 7 I personally think that his general play has gone off the boil a bit of late, having said that two wonderfully taken goals show that he isn't doing too bad, pity he wasn't so accomplished with his third one-on-one with the 'keeper.
  • Hutchison 8 Excellent today. His form's been a bit patchy this year but he still remains a very good, intelligent footballer. He caused them all sorts of problems yesterday, scored one, came close with a couple of others and set one up for Campbell with a quite delightful through ball. Not bad for an afternoon's work.
  • Pembridge 6 Thought he looked a little off the pace (hardly surprising really), but I was impressed with his strength in the challenge – he's a strong little bugger.
  • Johnson 5 Came on late and never really got involved.

Team 7 There was much to admire in todays performance against what was a good team on a good run. What deserves particular praise is that all three departments of the team had been disrupted. Our continuing ability to create chances is very encouraging – four goals and several other noteworthy chances. The goals against is obviously something for Walter to think about and is clearly linked to the changes that have been forced upon him at the back, although surely he has to rethink the cost of breaking up the Gough-Weir partnership

Man of the match – John Collins.


 
 Young Sharks: caged but not killed
Rob Bland
 
What better way to annul a dull, wet and windy October day, than to witness an over-abundance of goals served up at Goodison park this afternoon.

With Everton enjoying there best start to a League campaign in nearly a decade, and David O'Leary's young Leeds side looking to extend their recently broken club record of ten wins in a row, today's encounter was set to be a fiercely competitive one – particularly as Everton looked to uphold their unbeaten record this season at home.

Everton made just the one change from the side that went down at Arsenal last weekend. Dave Watson was drafted into defence, as Abel Xavier missed out due to an injured foot. Leeds also made the one change from the side that defeated Sheffield Wednesday in last Saturday's Yorkshire Derby: Ian Harte replaced Danny Mills at left back.

At two minutes to three,the familiar Z-Cars theme bought the Goodison crowd to life as Dave Watson led the team out.

Everton kicked off and played the first half towards the street end. Within three minutes, John Collins gave us a foresight of how the game would pan out when, after having a chance carved out by some good intervention from Weir and Gemmill, he only barely missed out with a shot that went just wide.

A minute later and this time the ball had found the target. Receiving a pass from John Collins on the left, Kevin Campbell cut in onto his right foot, and quite intentionally placed an unstoppable curling shot past Nigel Martyn,1-0.

The Leeds riposte was instant, Bridges netting within the space of two minutes; however, he was adjudged to have been offside and the goal did not stand.

Again Leeds threatened, signalling their intentions to get back into the game when Lee Bowyer had a header that hardly tested keeper Paul Gerrard. But equalise they did, mainly down to the magic of Harry Kewell and some sloppy Everton defending. Beating Weir for pace on the left, the Aussie striker then squared the ball to Michael Bridges who side-footed home from close range after the ball had eluded the entire Everton defence: 1-1.

The end-to-end football continued. The physical presence of both Hutchison and Campbell – especially in the air – always caused Woodgate and Radebe problems, while at the other end Kewell, Smith and Bridges possessed the speed of sharks homing in on their pray that today consisted of Weir, Watson, Gough and Ball – who in all honesty copped remarkably well.

On the half hour mark,Walter Smith – who prior to the match was awarded the September Manager of the Month award on the pitch – subbed Gemmill for Pembridge in what looked like a necessary switch due to Scot the Scot picking up an injury.

Leeds nearly extended their lead soon after, but for the intervention of Nick Barmby clearing off the line from a Woodgate header.

But it was Everton who took the lead for the second time, and it was that man Campbell again. A neat through ball by Don Hutchison caught the Leeds defence unawares as Lucas Radebe left Campbell on-side; he beat the offside trap and lifted the ball over Martyn into the net: 2-1.

Leeds again replied almost instantly, catching the crowd and Paul Gerrard unaware. Kewell wide on the left, looking no danger what-so-ever, chanced his arm and lobbed the ball goalwards, to see it fortuitously go over Gerrard's best attempts to reach it, and into the net:2-2.

This time Everton rallied to the call and hit back instantaneously. After a scramble in the box, the ball fell to Don Hutchison who's shot trickled over the line in slow motion after a deflection: 3-2 and moments later the half was over.

Second Half

Everton came out for the second half and started much the brighter of the two teams. Barmby had a shot deflected over, and a Davy Weir cross along the six-yard area caused the Leeds defence problems as Don Hutchison stole in at the back post, but just missed connecting. But Hutch nearly made amends just after when Everton picked up a free kick about 30 yards out. John Collins stood over the ball and looked like treating us to a carbon-copy of the one he scored at Arsenal last week. However, he pushed the ball into the path of Hutchison who connected well to send a drive towards Martyn's goal that the England understudy did well to get down and push around for a corner.

There then followed the talking point of the game. Hutchison found himself played through one-on-one with the last Leeds defender Radebe... Just as Hutch looked to be winning the battle, Radebe sent Hutchison sprawling... Everyone's attention then went in the direction of referee Dermot Gallagher, whose astounding re-action was to wave away the claim.

The Goodison crowd was in uproar, so to was Everton No.2 Archie Knox on the touchline, closely followed (on arrival from the stand) by Walter Smith, desperate to get at the linesman who – it later transpired – he blamed, as he felt the linesman was in a better position than the ref to have adjudged the situation.

It was Leeds's turn then to turn up the heat,and it came by way of an inspired substitution from David O'Leary, bringing on Darren Huckerby for Alan Smith. Huckerby made an immediate impression, playing Bridges in to flick the ball in over the stranded Gerrard: 3-3.

Minutes later and Leeds took the lead for the first time in the game. Huckerby again causing the danger when Michael Ball brought him down on the edge of the area. The resultant free kick was taken by Ian Harte who blasted the ball goalwards for Gerrard to tip over. From the corner, which Harte again took, he managed to pick out Jonathan Woodgate who rose unmarked to head in off the underside of the bar:3-4.

Everton then introduced Tommy Johnson for his debut, replacing Michael Ball. The Blues continued to press and, seconds into time added on, the balance was restored. Richard Gough won a free kick which was floated in by David Unsworth to be met by Davey Weir rising majestically to head home at the far post: 4-4 and our unbeaten home record was preserved as the final whistle soon went.

Both teams left the field to a standing ovation for the tremendous spectacle that they had provided, apart from Lucas Radebe who left the field to jeers and boo's in the knowledge that he can count himself lucky that he saw out the game on the field of play.

After the game in the press room – where I was present – Walter Smith blasted referee Dermott Gallagher for opting out of sending off Radebe for his foul on Hutchison. Smith said: "My own personnel opinion is that I don't like to see players getting sent off, nevertheless the rule is there and for me the ref opted out of his responsibility of the game, because Hutchison had a clear goalscoring chance, being clear through". He added: "The fact that he didn't even penalise the player means he opted out twice. The referee otherwise had a very good game, but on the important decision he opted out, I blame the linesman just as much. He was closest, and they are wired up these days".

Walter Smith also added – referring to the game at Spurs when keeper Ian Walker got away with twice pulling down Jeffers in the box to concede penalties, but was not sent off – that it was the second time this has happened to the club this season, and that it does effect the result.

David O'Leary meanwhile shirked off being drawn on the row regarding the Radebe incident. He said: "I don't have a view on the incident, full stop." He also said that his side had attacked well, but defended diabolically. "I didn't feel safe at 4-3 ahead, not the way we were defending. I couldn't relax until the referee blew the final whistle. But I do know that we will always score goals, and my lads are winners, for sure. They don't give in."

MAN OF THE MATCH

Kevin Campbell and Don Hutchison both linked up well for Everton,causing both Radebe and Woodgate endless amount of trouble.Both Micheal Ball and John Collins had their best games this season. However, I give my man of the match award to late goalscorer Davy Weir, who showed great vision going forward and defended admirably against the young guns of Leeds.

Report provided courtesy of Rob Bland at Feelings Blue


 
 Bridges tops bill in a thriller
Henry Winter, Electronic Telegraph
 
IF Bill Kenwright, the impresario, succeeds in taking over his beloved Everton then he could transfer magnificent matinee productions like this to the West End and be guaranteed a box-office smash.

If only every game shimmered with as much drama. Compelling, end-to-end, edge-of-the-seats' entertainment, the scoring started after four minutes, ebbed and flowed through 1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 2-2, 3-2, 3-3, 3-4 before becoming 4-4 when David Weir deservedly equalised in stoppage time. A Goodison crowd of 37,555 roared in delight and disbelief.

The only sour note was Dermot Gallagher's failure to dismiss Leeds United's Lucas Radebe for bringing down Don Hutchison, who was through on goal with Everton leading 3-2. Yet the mistake by Gallagher, otherwise a sympathetic steward of a rain-soaked game's rhythm and rigours, simply reflected the errors stymying both defences, particularly Leeds'.

But what character the Premiership pacesetters showed, coming back to equalise three times. Michael Bridges was outstanding, looking every inch a future England international with his clever movement, vision and precise finishing – his two goals making it nine for the season.

Bridges's performance was even more exceptional because of the excellence of Everton, who refused to be over-awed by these ambitious visitors with their 10 wins on the spin. John Collins was industrious and inventive in central midfield while Hutchison and Kevin Campbell combined effectively in attack.

It took only four minutes and 19 seconds for the roller-coaster ride to start. Collins accelerated the move, slipping the ball through to Campbell, whose body language exuded confidence as he advanced confidently before beating Nigel Martyn easily.

Everton's edge lasted nine minutes. Lee Bowyer swept the ball from right to left towards Harry Kewell, whose cross was turned in from close range by Bridges. Yet Everton, direct and determined, so quick to deliver the ball to the head or feet of their busy strikers, regained the lead just before the half-hour: the ball raced between Mark Pembridge and Hutchison, who ushered Campbell through the middle for another assured finish.

It was breathless stuff, the radio commentators almost turning hoarse as attack followed counter-attack. Leeds were soon level with a goal straight from the theatre of the absurd, Kewell's 45-yard left-wing cross drifting over the static Paul Gerrard.

No matter. Everton re-claimed the lead with a scrappy strike 10 minutes before half-time, the ball bouncing via Campbell, Hutchison, Nicky Barmby and Jonathon Woodgate before Hutchison's low shot did enough to beat Martyn: 3-2. Half-time brought a welcome chance to catch breath.

Just before the hour-mark, controversy reigned with Radebe's sliding challenge on Hutchison bringing no censure from Gallagher but plenty from Walter Smith. "I don't like to see a player sent off but the rule is there," Everton's manager said. "Hutchison had a clear run on goal. The referee has got one major decision to make in the game and he opted out of his responsibility."

Leeds, with David Batty and Stephen McPhail quietly keeping the momentum going, exploited the reprieve to the full. Moments after sprinting into the fray in the 67th minute, Darren Huckerby took Bridges's lay-off and returned the ball into the area. Bridges flicked the ball up and lifted it sweetly over Gerrard; sensational stuff, Leeds at their audacious best. Six minutes later Leeds grasped the lead for the first time, Woodgate powerfully heading in Ian Harte's corner.

That seemed it. But Smith's Everton are nothing if not dogged competitors. Richard Gough ventured down the left to win a foul, David Unsworth's free-kick sailed to the far post and there was Weir, leaping like one of his homeland's finest, to head a richly-merited equaliser. "It was a terrific match," Smith said. No one would argue.

Report The Electronic Telegraph

 
 Bridges in full flight as Leeds are denied
by Guy Hodgson, The Independent
 
The more you see of Leeds United the more your admiration grows for this remarkable young side. Yesterday they were behind three times and it still required a goal in stoppage time to hold them to a breathless draw. If only football was always played at this rarefied level.

David Weir provided the denouement in an unpredictable tale when he rose to head in David Unsworth's free-kick. As the ball entered the net via the post, Leeds record run of 10 successive victories came to an end, although they remain top of the Premiership and look likelier to stay there almost with every outing.

Particularly as Michael Bridges blossoms as a striker. The 21-year-old looked expensive when David O'Leary paid Sunderland 5.5m for him, but he has become the focal point of an attack that appears to have endless options. Yesterday, he struck twice to take his tally for the season to nine.

The first half alone was as good a piece of entertainment as you could expect from football. Five goals, two clearances off the line and a sequence of near misses and pieces of invention – the impresario and Everton's would-be owner Bill Kenwright, must have wished he could have transferred the whole production to the West End.

Within a minute, a shot from John Collins grazed a Leeds post, but if that was only a near-miss, Goodison needed to wait until the fifth minute for the real thing. Collins slipped a pass to Kevin Campbell, who looked up to assess where Nigel Martyn was and then curled a shot of masterful precision into the top corner.

First blow to Everton, but Leeds were so dangerous the scoreline was unlikely to remain static, and after 13 minutes they equalised. Harry Kewell left Weir lunging at thin air, whipped in a low cross and, after Alan Smith had swung and missed, Bridges nipped in behind him.

The pattern had been set for a shoot-out. Campbell, finishing with the panache of a French polisher, made it 2-1 when he was put clear by Don Hutchison and chipped over Martyn and Kewell restored parity from wide on the left and 40 yards out. If it was intentional it was magnificent but the likelihood was it was a miscued cross.

If there was some doubt about the quality of that goal, there was absolutely none about Everton's third: it was as scruffy as a picture portfolio of Neville Southall's nights out. Not that the home side were complaining as the ball bounced off Nick Barmby and Jonathon Woodgate before landing invitingly for Hutchison.

Just about the only ingredient missing from that half was controversy, and that arrived after 57 minutes when Hutchison hared after a long ball only to be tripped by Lucas Radebe. the referee waved play on – to the fury of Walter Smith, whose deadpan mask slipped so much he had to coaxed back into the technical area.

How vital that moment was became apparent when Leeds scored twice in four minutes. The first, after 68 minutes, was arguably the best of the game as Bridges turned 25 yards out and, with an elegant swing of his right foot, delicately lobbed it over Paul Gerrard. Worse was to follow for Everton when Woodgate rose above his markers to head in Ian Harte's corner.

It appeared to be Leeds' day until Weir intervened in stoppage time. "A terrific game," was Smith's verdict and one that will be shared by anyone who saw it.

Report The Independent

 
 Weir gives Everton fair share of pickings
by Kevin McCarra, The Times
 
THIS tumultuous draw was created by the irresistible forces that thundered around the Goodison Park pitch. The immovable force must have been serving a suspension for this game. Defending was not so much poor as powerless. It was a lovely failing and any "tsk, tsk" from the coaches was drowned out by the delighted pandemonium of the crowd. So gripping was the action that its consequences seem insipid.

For the record, David Weir's equaliser for Everton, in the 90th minute, stopped Leeds United from adding to a sequence of ten consecutive victories, although the Elland Road team retain a one-point lead in the FA Carling Premiership. Minds, however, were employed in boggling rather than counting. The endeavour was great, the skills immense and the mistakes prodigious.

The devotion to recklessness made this one long, bungee jump of an afternoon. Managers, those middle-aged men who sit beside the field, take credit for making the game a leap into the unknown. Audacity is almost a mannerism for David O'Leary's team and here, Everton, too, were trying to live by flair. To balance the books, Walter Smith has sold many of the players he signed, but talent was not sent packing.

The passing of John Collins, Nick Barmby and Don Hutchison made Leeds wince and it was sufficient to establish a 3-2 lead by the interval. Everton would probably have gone on to win had Lucas Radebe been shown the red card in the 58th minute. He was the last defender and appeared to raise his leg in a sliding challenge to halt Hutchison as the forward broke clear. Dermot Gallagher, the referee, saw no offence.

Smith, the Everton manager, harangued the linesman for his refusal to signal a foul and was scathing in his candour afterwards. "I don't like to see a player sent off," Smith said, "but the rule is there. To me, the referee opted out of his responsibility. They would have been down to ten men and it would have given us impetus for the rest of the game."

O'Leary claimed not to have an opinion about the incident, reticence that the Everton supporters will take as a mark of Leeds's guilt. The manager, though, was justified if he merely wished to keep the glory of this contest undimmed. "I didn't feel safe even when it was 4-3," he said. "We try to win games, and sometimes we try to help the other team as well."

Everton did not need much assistance, taking the lead in four minutes, when a sharp pass from Collins put Campbell clear to bend a shot high into the net. Ten minutes later, Leeds equalised as Michael Bridges turned home the low cross that Harry Kewell sent flashing across the goalmouth. The lead was re-established by Everton, after 28 minutes, with Hutchison engineering the opportunity for Campbell to finish smoothly once more.

Leeds drew level when Kewell mis-hit a cross from the left and Paul Gerrard, the goalkeeper, let the ball fly over his head. He could have been consoled by the knowledge that even the ghastliest error would be swallowed up by the mayhem. Hutchison notched a third for Everton, in the 37th minute, when possession fell to him after a challenge by Campbell, an attempted overhead kick from Barmby and the break of the ball off Jonathon Woodgate.

The mere score never drained Leeds's resourcefulness. Bridges took his ninth goal of the season, after 68 minutes, with impudent virtuosity. Flicking up a pass from Darren Huckerby, the substitute, he volleyed home from the edge of the area.

Leeds assumed the lead for the first time in the 72nd minute. Harte had been denied by Gerrard's save from his free kick, but he swerved in the resultant corner and Woodgate converted it. The verve of youth, despite the exertions in the Uefa Cup, seemed to have told on Everton, but a needless foul on Richard Gough left David Unsworth to fire over the free kick that Weir headed into the net off the inside of a post.

A game that had hurled itself in every direction at last found its balance in an opulent draw.

Report Times Newspapers Ltd

 
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