Everton 3-1 Pompey
Sun 02-03-08, 4pm
A crucial game in our season, maybe not quite a definer but as close as you could be at this stage saw us travel to Goodison this afternoon, overall we were deservingly beaten 3-1.
Only one change was made from the victory over Sunderland last weekend, Milan Baros dropped to the bench in place of Kanu - who made such an impact when he came on in that game.
Yakubu had Everton ahead within a minute, but we managed to go in all level at half time after a Jermain Defoe goal. Goals in the final 20 minutes from Tim Cahill and a 2nd from Yakubu wrapped up their win.
A poorly given away foul - after we had kicked off - after a couple of seconds gave Everton the first chance with a free kick, and even poorer defending gave Yakubu a free header and he buried it, giving them the lead after less than a minute played, around 8 seconds of actual ball in play time…
After 15 minutes Everton were looking more likely to score, they had another free kick - needlessly given away - and created a good opening which we just managed to clear from Tim Cahill, although Niko Kranjcar did have a good chance after a decent move.
Everton were playing some really nice football, and a fine one touch pass movement move deserved a goal to be honest, but Leon Osman shot wide.
For 35 minutes or so we were shocking, Everton could and maybe should have been more ahead, and did have a decent claim for a penalty but suddenly we were level when Glen Johnson swung in a cross, Jermain Defoe made a run and stuck out a leg, but it is not clear if he did touch it - his run and attempted shot did make the difference between a goal or nor and was claiming it…
The goal sparked us into life and we finished the half strongly, 1-1 at half time did me fine, particularly as we were so poor for a good 37 minutes!
We started the 2nd half brightly too basically carrying on where we left off at the end of the 1st and Kanu almost worked a way through.
It was a good 20-25 minutes at the start of the 2nd half but clear cut chances were few and far between for either, Everton fans were crying out for a penalty - several times - but none were worthy of the calls, although Andy Johnson did have the ball in the net, but it was ruled out for offside.
With 17 minutes to play a good Everton move saw Cahill put them ahead again, personally I felt against the run of play in the 2nd half at that time… 2 players appeared to be free in the box, so it was good movement but it did seem poor defending too?
With 13 minutes to play Harry Redknapp made his first change of the game, Papa Bouba Diop coming off for John Utaka, who did not get into the game at all.
A breakaway goal 8 minutes from time from Yakubu - who turned Sol Campbell inside out, but too easily - settled things, he went off soon after.
Overall the result was a fair one, and the better side won, but we paid the penalty for a poor 1st half - well most of it - and failing to create any openings when we did get on the front foot for a decent period.
Well I think that the champions league dream is most certainly just that now a dream, but the uefa cup is still possible - we can keep this in our own hands if we can do the job at Old Trafford next weekend, or at least keep in the cup with a draw.
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Everton 3 - Yakubu 1, 82, Tim Cahill 73
Pompey 1 - Jermain Defoe 37
Papa Bouba Diop (John Utaka 77)
Substitutes Not Used