Leicester City Logo

Leicester City 1 - 1 Everton

Half-time: 1 - 1


Everton Logo
FA Carling Premiership 1999-2000 – Game 33
3pm Saturday 8 April 2000
Filbert Street, Leicester
Att: 18,705
Watford (h) Ref: A Wiley Bradford City (h) »
[1999-2000 Fixtures & Results] League Position: 9th [Premiership Results & Table]
 MATCH SUMMARY
Don Hutchison Prodigal problem-child, Don Hutchison, sealed his rehabilitation to the first-team squad with a vital goal that gave Everton a point at the unpleasant Filbert Street venue.

However, there was a good case for Everton securing all three points following a spirited second-half display which saw Nick Barmby scuff an excellent opportunity.

 

  

 MATCH FACTS
   GOALSCORERS  Debuts
Leicester City: Taggart (8')
EVERTON: Hutchison (27')
   LINEUPS  Subs Not Used 
Leicester City: Flowers, Taggart, Guppy, Savage, Gilchrist, Impey, Izzet (80' Zagorakis), Lennon, Oakes (46' Marshall), Elliott, Cottee (65' Dudfield). Walsh, Arphexad.
EVERTON: Gerrard, Gough (62' Dunne), Unsworth, Weir, Xavier, Pembridge, Collins, Barmby, S Hughes (84' Ball), Hutchison, Moore (43' Cadamarteri).
Unavailable: M Hughes (suspended); Cleland, Campbell, Degn, Jeffers, Williamson, (injured)
; Myhre (on loan).
Simonsen, Milligan.
   Playing Strips  Formations
Leicester City: Blue shirts; white shorts; blue socks. 4-4-2
EVERTON: Yellow shirts; yellow shorts; yellow socks. 4-4-2
   Yellow Cards  Red Cards
Leicester City: Taggart (50'), Guppy (86')
EVERTON:

 
 MATCH REPORTS
 REPORTS BY EVERTON FANS
Steve Bickerton Tale of Two Stadiums
 NEWSPAPER REPORTS
ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH Hutchison's peace of the action
by Steve Thomson
THE SUNDAY TIMES Izzet the target as Everton hold firm
by Steve Curry
THE INDEPENDENT Izzet target of fans' abuse
by Jon Culley
THE TIMES Minority view does Izzet a disservice
by Russell Kempson
 OTHER INTERNET REPORTS
EFC NEWS SITE Link to the Echo / Daily Post Match Reports

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

 
 Tale of Two Stadiums
Steve Bickerton
 
I haven't managed too many away games this season (OK this was my second) but what a contrast between the two.

The first, at the Stadium of Light at Sunderland, a state of the art edifice, which dominates the skyline as you cross the Wear Bridge. Underneath, of course, is a functional structure, designed to suck every last penny from the fans who cross its portals.

The second, at Filbert Street, could hardly be more of a contrast. A tired, old stadium, which looks as though its never seen better days and expects only worse. A compliment to the home fans, who apparently rank, to the delight of the half-time presentation team, 101st scruffiest in the land.

Its the second stadium which says more about us these days. As we debate, once more, on the rights or wrongs of a move from Goodison, we need to look at these two stadia, to take find our benchmarks.

Goodison, of course, lies somewhere between the two and still ranks as a fine ground in comparison to today's venue. It's the comparison to Sunderland's home which has opened half healed wounds and set in motion the wheels of change. Apparently.

But today was about football, not about grounds, though I must admit to casting a glancing eye at Stoke City's Britannia Stadium as I passed it on the A50, heading to today's fixture. 

Early in the season we were at our most dangerous in the first 10 minutes of a game. That still appears to hold true, but the danger we present at the moment is to ourselves. Leicester came out all guns blazing. I remember thinking to myself that with their striking problems (Heskey off to pastures new, Collymore resting after breaking a leg. Eadie missing and Cottee just coming back) they were something of a mirror of ourselves, with Jeffers and Campbell out and Hutchison returning from the wilderness. Not many goals on offer today then. After 8 minutes, though all my theories were blown away to dust. Ineffective defending had already seen Guppy breeze past Xavier as if he wasn't their, but Cottee hadn't been able to finish off the move. Now it was a corner and Izzet, roundly booed by Everton fans as he stepped up to take it (more of this at the end of the report), drove the ball across the box. Slow motion action as your worst nightmare unveils itself before your eyes. A sudden understanding as to why he stays rooted to his line. Gerrard comes through a crowd of players to pluck the ball out of the air. Rewind. Gerrard stumbles over his own defenders, completely missing the ball allowing Taggart a free header and an open goal. Leicester City 1 Everton 0. Stunned silence from the travelling hordes. And then they find their voices once more.

Having had a bit of a wake up call, we started to play the ball around a bit. Moore and Barmby in particular were quite lively, with Collins seemingly out of sorts. I don't think the five man midfield was working particularly well in the early stages, especially with only four having any real impact. Xavier was having a nightmare against Guppy and might just as well have not been on the field.

Nevertheless we battled on, gradually taking the upper hand. Barmby was the key. He ran after every ball, tackled, dribbled (someone pass him a tissue), passed the ball unerringly. He ran into space, this time onto a ball from Joe-Max Moore (I think). He hared down the right, heading for the by-line and delivered an inch perfect cross for Hutchison to plant it away from Flowers and into the Leicester net. 1-1. Game on.

Well, maybe. We seemed to lose a bit of direction after Joe-Max Moore had gone down under a heavy challenge. There was a bit of keep ball tried by Everton as we waited to see Joe get up, but when he didn't, Xavier put the ball into touch. Joe was taken off and tried to regain fitness off the pitch. Leicester got the ball back into play and were jeered by the visiting fans for keeping the ball from the throw. Neil Lennon was a bit aggrieved at his team mates' actions and took the ball from Robbie Savage and punted it down to Gerrard. A public spat ensued between Lennon and Savage. For a few minutes we were down to 10 men and Leicester pressed forward, trying to take advantage. But none was gained and a full complement was restored as Danny Cadamarteri took to the filed, replacing the injured Moore. After that the game drifted a bit. Both sides had chances, both missed them. Both sides had penalty appeals turned down, neither looked an obvious infringement. Half-time came and 1-1 it remained.

The second half started much as the first had...but without the early goal. Elliott had returned to defence for Leicester having played the first half as a striker. Good ole Ian Marshall came on to take his place up front. The change was an important one, as it relieved some of the pressure we'd been feeling at the back and in midfield. Suddenly our midfield found room to pass the ball about. Collins was a new man, jinks and twists, swivels and passes. Almost a full repertoire. Sadly no goal. Barmby found space and energy. Pembridge again showed that he may yet possess the heart and legs of Barry Horne.

We weren't dominating Leicester but we were definitely causing them more problems than they were causing us. But we were still prone to silly mistakes.

One such saw Unsworth and Pembridge leave the ball for each other as Impey nipped in between them. No damage caused, except to Richard Gough, who, in making the saving tackle, seemed to pull a muscle. He tried to run it off, but to no avail. Off he went to be replaced by Dunne.

A mini-reshuffle saw Xavier mover to the back three to replace Weir, who stepped into the middle to take up the role vacated by Gough. Dunne took up Xavier's position wide on the right of midfield.

Xavier suddenly found new life...making tackles that he couldn't make before, stepping in to make timely interventions. Weir, as ever, was solid and strong. Collins, now with the Captain's armband, was now looking inspired. A quick flick of the ball, a shimmy of the hips, a twinkle of the feet and three defenders lay in his wake. A ball to Barmby, who fed Cadamarteri and its got to be a goal. But somehow, Flowers made the block. But Barmby follows up to tap the ball into the net only to see it taken off his toe by a last ditch effort from a defender. Corner, when it should have been 1-2.

After that it was end to end. Not a classic cut and thrust game of football, more your tired legs trying to get back and recover lost ground sort of game. Either side could have nicked it, neither side did. Final Score 1-1.

I reckon we just edged it on points, but it was close. The sides were a bit like the teams respective grounds.

Leicester, not a startling place, bit ramshackle, but does a job that seems to satisfy the locals.

Everton, some parts a little bit past it, but with some one-time star areas and some newer inclusions that might yet see better days. The fans want better; now.

Man of the Match: Nick Barmby

There is another issue that raised its head at today's game that warrants more than a mention. That's the treatment dished out to Muzzy Izzet. I'm not going to sit on the fence as far as that situation is concerned.

I subscribe to the sanctimonious, do-gooder, holier-than-thou view, which says that in no way should we lay the ills of a nation at the feet of one of its citizens, let alone a British lad, who happens to have a Turkish father. No matter what went on in Istanbul the other night, Muzzy Izzet wasn't a part of it. We should have left him alone and it was puerile and stupid to react in the way that a large section of the travelling support did.

This was the view that was held by Richard Littlejohn in his 6:06 phone-in show on Radio 5. His reaction to the story was a bit over the top though, cutting off a caller who tried to justify the action (how!!) instead of confronting the issue head on. Its also the view held by the club, as a statement from Chairman Philip Carter later indicated.

Of course, its utopian in the extreme to expect that there would have been no reaction. That point was made earlier in the day on Radio 5, when someone made the point that it was as well Leicester weren't playing Leeds, this weekend. There are going to jingoistic (not racist) elements in any crowd who will see such an incident as happened in Istanbul on Wednesday as an affront to national pride. What galled me about Littlejohn was the fact that he categorically believed it would not have happened anywhere else. I'm sure White Hart Lane fans would never have stooped so low.

Nevertheless, if the fans who taunted Izzet had meant to make a statement to the Turkish government and FA then maybe a boo to his first couple of touches might have made the point and after that it would have been general abuse hurled at everyone, as normal. What happened though was over the top and out of order.

Here endeth the sermon.

 

 
Hutchison's peace of the action
By Steve Thomson , Electronic Telegraph
 
DON Hutchison celebrated making his peace with manager Walter Smith by snatching the goal that earned Everton a deserved point at Filbert Street yesterday.  

The Scotland international was stripped of the captaincy and made to train with the juniors following a contract dispute two months ago, but his recall was necessitated as injuries took their toll on the Merseyside club's striking resources.  Hutchison answered the call by nodding them level after Gerry Taggart had given Leicester an early advantage. 

But Everton needed to win if their already slim hopes of a European place were to be taken seriously.  Martin O'Neill's side, with a UEFA place already sewn up by their Worthington Cup triumph, never seemed to have a sharp enough appetite for the contest.  

Emile Heskey's 11M departure to Liverpool coupled with Stan Collymore's absence after breaking a leg against Derby a week ago left Leicester looking decidedly lightweight up front. At least it gave veteran striker Tony Cottee, 34, the chance to cross swords with his old club and centre-back Matt Elliott was pushed up alongside him as an emergency forward. Elliott soon gave evidence that he lacked the polish of a genuine finisher when Muzzy Izzet put him through and his weak shot was comfortably pouched by the goalkeeper. 

But his principle purpose was to unsettle Everton in the air and, when Steve Guppy's cross was hastily cleared for a corner by Richard Gough, a goal immediately followed in the seventh minute. Izzet swung over the flag kick and Taggart rose and challenged to head his seventh goal of the season from close in. 

Soon afterwards Taggart once again strolled forward for a set-piece and Gough was forced to head inches past his own post as the Northern Ireland international challenged for a free- kick.  Everton offered no such aerial menace until Nick Barmby suddenly scampered free down the right midway through the half and whipped in a quick cross that caught Tim Flowers and the rest of his defence napping, Hutchison stretching to head in from only a few yards out. 

Shortly before the interval, Cottee squandered an inviting chance to restore the home side's lead after Barmby was caught in possession on the edge of the box.  The ball broke to Cottee, but he stumbled at the crucial moment with only Paul Gerrard to beat.  

Elliott reverted to his normal defensive duties on the resumption which allowed Robbie Savage to move back into midfield after looking uncomfortable in central defence.  The impression that the game was becoming an inconsequential end-of-season affair came when O'Neill decided to bring on Lawrie Duffield, a raw youngster, in place of Cottee, who is 16 years his senior. 

As Leicester took their foot off the pedal Everton grew in confidence.  Hutchison and Richard Dunne combined on the right to set up Barmby, who miscued, and then Danny Cadamarteri forced a brilliant full-stretch save from Flowers.  Barmby looked certain to net the rebound only for Phil Gilchrist to deny him with a smothering last-ditch tackle. 

Report © The Electronic Telegraph

 
 Izzet the target as Everton hold firm
by Steve Curry, The Sunday Times
 
MUZZY IZZET had to run the gauntlet of some verbal abuse from the Everton fans at Leicester yesterday, an unfortunate reaction at the end of a sad week to his decision made recently to play international football for Turkey, the land of his father.  The fact that Izzet was born within walking distance of Bow bells in East London mattered little to the Scousers who needed a target for their boredom on an afternoon where there was little else to occupy their vocal chords. 

"It was uncalled for. The fact he has opted to play for Turkey and the events of last week are quite unrelated," said Leicester manager Martin O'Neill.  "I had not seen fit to talk to Izzy about what happened two days ago.  We are all very saddened by it but we would not ask him to review his decision to play for Turkey.  There is no reason." 

Everton later issued an apology to Leicester and Izzet, disassociating the club from the actions of the mindless few.  You did need to be a real football fanatic to make the journey from Merseyside for a match where the outcome meant so little.  On that basis, the Evertonians deserved more than they got. 

It was a wasted journey, too, for a more illustrious man in the crowd, Kevin Keegan, who was running his eye over the form of Nick Barmby, which was, at best, good in parts.  Barmby did provide the centre for Everton's equaliser and he had a chance mid-way through the second half to provide the winner, slicing his shot wide of a far post. 

"He has been playing well all season and deserves another chance with England," said his manager Walter Smith.  Indeed, Everton had the better of the chances in the second half after a slow start and with the striking crisis they are suffering Kevin Campbell, Francis Jeffers and Mark Hughes all missing this was perhaps as good as they could have expected.  

The opening goal came after eight minutes from a set piece, an Izzet corner being converted by Gerry Taggart with the marking poor but Everton were level after 26 minutes.  Barmby's centre from the left was glided home by Don Hutchison, back from the isolation he has been in since refusing new contract terms. 

Everton seemed to find greater enthusiasm in the second half.  There was more desire to their play and it manifested itself in a series of opportunities, most of them falling to Barmby.  "A couple of my players started playing better after they heard the Grand National result," said Smith with a smile.  "We were disappointed to lose a goal so early from a set piece but in the end we were just as disappointed not to have won the game." 

In fact it was Leicester who almost snatched the victory in the two minutes of injury time with a short free kick from close range headed over the bar.  "If that had gone in it would have been unlucky on Everton," said an honest O'Neill.  "There was a lethargy about the game but we didn't intend it to be that way." 

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

 
 Izzet target of fans' abuse
by Jon Culley, The Independent
 
Forced by circumstances to recall Don Hutchison from acrimonious exile, Walter Smith saw his olive branch to the Scottish international midfielder rewarded with a goal.  But Leicester, typically resilient, refused to crack under second-half pressure and earned a point from Gerry Taggart's early header in a mid-table contest that rarely threatened to exceed its billing. 

Hutchison, standing in because Francis Jeffers and Kevin Campbell are injured and Mark Hughes was suspended, headed a fine equaliser from Nick Barmby's cross.  If anyone stood out on either side it was the latter, whose form increasingly begs consideration for England's Euro 2000 plans.  The watching Kevin Keegan, would have left with a favourable impression, although Barmby did miss two chances to win the game. 

The recall of Hutchison, more than a month after he and Everton fell out over his contract demands, should have been the main talking point.  Instead there was another, less savoury, matter to discuss after some Everton fans subjected Leicester midfielder Muzzy Izzet to abuse throughout the game.  

Izzet has decided to commit his international future to Turkey his father's homeland after failing to catch Kevin Keegan's eye, and after last week's tragedy in Istanbul it appeared some of the more boorish visiting supporters felt he was a legitimate target for booing and abusive chants. "It was quite uncalled for," Leicester's manager, Martin O'Neill, said.  "I'm sure Muzzy will have been surprised and I must say it had not occurred to me to speak to him beforehand." 

Leicester have enough problems. With Emile Heskey gone and Stan Collymore injured, they have only Tony Cottee as a striker of recognised Premiership quality.  Yesterday they began with Matt Elliott as their target man, while Robbie Savage, moved to centre-back.  The experiment was abandoned at half-time.  At least they have Taggart, no one's forward but with good positional sense and instinctive timing.  It came as no surprise, as Izzet swung in a corner from the left, that it should be Taggart's head giving Leicester an eighth-minute lead. 

The goal disturbed Everton's composure, but they deservedly reached half-time level.  Barmby's cross, from wide on the right, set up the equaliser, powered past Tim Flowers by Hutchison, who met it with a prodigious flying leap to which neither Savage nor Taggart had an answer.  Hutchison was proving his versatility, himself employed as an emergency front-man.  As such he could not have emphasised his value more pointedly.  Whether he and Everton can reconcile their differences remains to be seen. 

The goal prefaced a spell of Everton pressure in which a Joe-Max Moore free-kick stretched Flowers, but Leicester countered through Cottee, who seemed to be tripped before shooting, off-balance, straight at Paul Gerrard.  The loss of Moore, injured just before half-time, dealt Everton a blow. 

Leicester, meanwhile, decided to move Elliott back to defence, Savage to midfield and replace Stefan Oakes with Ian Marshall, whose effectiveness may not be what it once was but who at least has a striker's cv.  But it was Everton who looked the more likely to find a match-winning goal. 

Twice Barmby might have found the decisive touch, first scuffing his shot after Hughes had laid back an inviting ball from the byline, then defied by a last-ditch tackle by Phil Gilchrist after Cadamarteri's effort had been blocked by Flowers.

Report © The Independent

 
 Minority view does Izzet a disservice
by Russell Kempson, The Times
 
EVERY club has them: crop-haired, tattooed beer monsters who travel the length and breadth of the country for the "love" of their team.  Anything goes, anyone is fair game for a snarling sub-species of society that uses football as a vehicle for its loathsome excesses.  Everton's moronic minority did themselves proud at Filbert Street on Saturday, choosing an easy target in Muzzy Izzet, the Leicester City midfield player.  Izzet, though born in Mile End in East London, has a Turkish father and has decided to play for Turkey in the European championship finals this summer.

Thus, in the wake of the death of two Leeds United fans in Istanbul in midweek, warped minds judged Izzet guilty by tenuous association.  He was jeered at his every touch and subjected to the sight of forefingers drawn across throats.  What had begun as a gentle stroll, with Leicester and Everton having little to play for, became another sour example of the cancer that the English game has yet to rid itself of.

Martin O'Neill, the Leicester manager, said: "Him [Izzet] deciding to play for Turkey and the incidents in Istanbul are just so unrelated.  To take abuse for that is uncalled for."  Izzet was similarly bewildered.  "I can't win whatever I say," he said.  "So it's best to say nothing."

Everton were quick to condemn their own.  The club is writing to Izzet and Leicester to offer its apologies and the Everton Independent Blues, a supporters' group, will do the same.  Stan Collymore, the Leicester striker, who is recovering from a broken leg, later rang Richard Littlejohn on the Six-O-Six radio show and described the heckling as "disgraceful".

Leicester had gone ahead early on through a close-range header from Taggart, Everton equalised in the 26th minute through Hutchison's replica finish and Taggart should have nodded in again in injury time but missed.

What happens when Campbell and Jeffers, the Everton strikers, return from injury?  Campbell once played for Trabzonspor, of Turkey, and Jeffers is believed to have once eaten a kebab from a Toxteth takeaway. Do they get the Izzet treatment, too?  Littlejohn had the right idea, abruptly cutting off a caller who defended the moronic minority.  Were it only so easy.

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

 
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