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Everton 3 - Pompey 0

Goodison

Sat 05-05-07, 3pm

Attendance: 39619

Everton 3-0 Pompey

Last week we welcomed one half of Merseyside to Fratton in the shape of Liverpool, this time we had to go to Merseyside and Goodison Park to face the other half in Everton for a virtual winner takes all Uefa cup place match. A typical away day for Pompey saw us go down 3-0!

It was hoped that the Achilles injury Sol Campbell is having wouldn't keep him out again this week but unfortunately it did, although Harry Redknapp would probably rather have him fit for the final game though. Injuries to Dejan Stefanovic, Matty Taylor and Richard Hughes had seen them doubts all week and they did miss out. Noe Pamarot, Niko Kranjcar and Sean Davis came in.

A dour first half saw the sides go in 0-0 at half time, but only one side looked like winning it in the second half and they did. Mikel Arteta's penalty was followed shortly after by Joseph Yobo's header capped in injury time by Gary Naysmith's diving header.

First Half
With Pompey conceding a foul and a free kick in the first 10 seconds of the game after original thoughts - or was this hopes of a positive result dissolved and I immediately got this feeling that I was once again not going to like what I saw on the road from Pompey!

Early cries for an Everton penalty, when Victor Anichebe went down in the area were waved away before Linvoy Primus missed the games best chance to date. Niko Kranjcar's corner was met by Primus midway into the area but he could not get the direction quite right and narrowly headed over.

Primus' best chance of the game was soon cancelled out as Everton broke through for what should have been the games opening goal. Anichebe flicked on for his strike partner James Vaughan but thankfully from a Pompey point of view he dragged horribly wide of David James` goal to the dismay of the Everton following. Then shortly after Leon Osman headed across goal instead of into it.

Kranjcar finally became a Pompey player to test Tim Howard in the Everton goal as the half entered the final 10 minutes but his long ranged effort was safely fielded by the American international.

It wasn't a pretty first half as many had expected, but in truth isn't anything new from a Pompey performance away from Fratton but it could have ended with us ahead. Firstly Joleon Lescott volleyed straight at James a minute before the break, which could have seen the toffees ahead at the break then in first half injury time after being sent through by Benjani our skipper Gary O'Neil could only shot wide.

Second Half
Everton had clearly been given greater orders from their gaffer at half time to go on and win this game as they came out with a far greater purpose and but for an incredible miss from Lee Carsley would have been ahead within 4 minutes of the restart. The impressive Mikel Arteta made himself room for a cross that was touched on by Osman to Carsley and with the goal at his mercy from only six-yards he somehow shot wide.

Soon after former Pompey loanee Manuel Fernandes - who has become somewhat of a favourite at Everton also, but seems destined to move on in the summer, almost had Everton ahead. His twenty-yard effort fizzed across the face of goal beating James in the process but also beat the post.

It was only looking like a matter of time before Everton finally broke the deadlock and on the hour they had the best chance yet. Vaughan beat Primus with some clever skill before being hauled down by Glen Johnson for a penalty. Arteta placed the ball on the spot and made no mistake. James got a hand to the ball but it was so well struck he could do nothing more than help it in.

Minutes later almost came an Everton second. Vaughan, again played in by Arteta saw his effort turned around the post by James. We had kept the score to one, but only for a brief moment. From the resulting corner Joseph Yobo beat a token gesture challenge from Djimi Traore to head home for 2-0.

Everton were now rampant and would have been three up had it not been for a good save from James to deny Fernandes again, who again struck from range.

In order to try and change the game Harry Redknapp took off Lauren and Kranjcar with Arnold Mvuemba and Lomana LuaLua coming on it their places. It didn't work and Everton could and maybe should have scored again soon after, Arteta got onto the end of Anichebe's centre but couldn't hit the target.

We finally woke up in the final ten minutes of the half and actually created some chances with an end product. Firstly Johnson shot wide from twenty-yards before Mvuemba made Howard make a save, albeit a comfortable one from a similar distance.

Redknapp made his final change with 8 minutes to play, Rudolph Douala coming on for Kanu. LuaLua then forced Howard into actually making a save of note, with Johnson again trying his luck from range, this effort causing no problems for Howard and Douala shot wide.

None of our efforts were looking particularly troubling though and our misery was completed in injury time as substitute Gary Naysmith scored with his first touch. The Scottish international dived to head home James Beattie's flick to complete a comfortably 3-0 win that almost assures European football will be witnessed on both halves of Merseyside next season, as for the South Coast, this is still to be decided…

Match Summary
I love Harry Redknapp to bits but why doesn't he at least have a go when we are on the road. If we had a go and lost we could accept this couldn't we. A point is a point but how much use would it have been today? Fair enough other results meant it wouldn't have been bad but he couldn't have known they would have turned out as they did! Why does he even bother taking a squad to most of our away fixtures? We almost never seem to have any interest of actually winning the games - the 9 defeats on the road tells its own tale.

Quite simply we don't deserve Uefa cup football next season - ready for it or not, on the basis of our away form, and in general our away performances, however, over the course of a season a table doesn't lie so if we do get in after 38 games we would have deserved it.

After an incredible day of results, defeats for Bolton and Reading also mean we still have a chance of making it in by finishing at least 7th, maybe as high as 6th but you would favour Spurs for a 5th or 6th place finish at the very least 7th surely? But after today's results we can't write off Charlton on Monday and Blackburn still have it all to play for on Thursday when they face Spurs so who knows what will happen!

Simple fact is we have to beat Arsenal at Fratton next Sunday - which I feel we will and always have then hope we get some help. You would expect Spurs to make it now so we will need both Bolton and Reading to fail to obtain victory. Depending on what Blackburn do with Spurs on Thursday and what happens with Spurs and Charlton on Monday it may well still come down to goal difference so how crucial could the goal we conceded today with the last kick prove to be???

PLAY UP POMPEY!

Goals
Everton 3 - Mikel Arteta 59 (penalty), Joseph Yobo 62, Gary Naysmith 90
Pompey 0

David James
Linvoy Primus
Lauren (Arnold Mvuemba 70)
Noe Pamarot
Glen Johnson
Djimi Traore
Gary O'Neil
Niko Kranjcar (Lomana LuaLua 70)
Sean Davis
Benjani
Kanu (Rudolph Douala 82)


Substitutes Not Used
Jamie Ashdown
Andy O'Brien




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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday May 5 2007

Time: 9:15PM

Your Comments

As said in countless other comments, we would go there & hope for a 0-0. If they score, they win. Nothing clever about stating the obvious but bl00dy frustrating at being right.
storagematt
OH BOLLOX
paultsmouth
I feel the sweaty hand of fate on my shoulder, a chill wind blows, and a voice booms from the darkness, "this the voice of the inevitable, what you have witnessed is the football of the inevitable - have a good night, don't stay out too late". We played pretty good - I think we need an imaginative/flair player in the squad. Kranjie looks too lumpen, Lua Lua is a mentalist
Pompeyscum
oh well, roll over arsenal and hope the others balls up
paultsmouth
It's still not beyond reach people. Reading have to go to Blackburn (who will fancy their chances of a place in Europe too), Spuds have to get something at Charlton on Monday and all we need to do is beat Arsenal - which I am sure we can do, so it is all still wide open. I would not be too surprised to see Sol back for this one either, playing through the pain barrier.
TruePompeyBlue
Couldn't agree more TPB... Plenty to play for and with big Sol playing - he'll not miss this game for the world. I can't believe the way the results went on Sat, and with Charlton needing nothing less than victory over Spurs - who lets face it are not opposed to conceeding goals, especially away, they've let in as many as they've scored haven't they, a lot of both - and then Spurs facinig Blackburn who are flying and also need to beat Spurs on Thurs I'd not be at all surprised to see the table reading as follows come Thurs night...
6. Bolton 55pts
7. Reading 54pts
8. Pompey 53pts
9. Blackburn 53pts
10. Spurs 53pts
If we see this I can't see both Reading and Bolton winning, they could draw and it's enough so long as we beat Arsenal - which since before the United and Liverpool games I've felt we would. Spurs may well win both games they have in hand but I'm not convinced... The team we have to watch is Blackburn I would say as they have quietly crept up on [Edited by rug]
pompeyrug
With the home support on Sunday we'll finish the season on a high won't we... A win gives us a very, very good chance of finishing at least 7th... PLAY UP POMPEY!
pompeyrug
Although i would like to see you guys in Europe instead of the other rubbish around to suggest Spurs won't get atleast 5 points from a trip to the valley and home games against Blackburn and City is very wishful (especially as we've lost 1 in the last 9 league games, winnign 6). Realistically you should be looking for Bolton to capitulate. As I said i do hope to see you in Europe next year (just not at our expense!). COYS!
Phartman87
I have to agree. Spurs are playing well and whilst I haven't watched Bolton recently (who would, given the choice) but I reckon they are ripe for a fall. Classic football occurrance. Where's me passport?
Pompeyscum
Cant wait till Sunday, PUP, I can imagine the atmosphere already! Lets sign the year off with a win at Fratton, Big Sol to score the winner???
pompey4me
just got back, Dont see too many big stars wanting to come on that performance we were awfull, blo0dy crap, we never looked like scoring and something in the both striker and management departments need to change if we are to take that next step up from our current stepping stone as some people on here keep talking about. Kanu should not be getting a two year contract just a one way ticket. Can someone find Harry another manager for away games please. i mean it has to be more than bad luck that he cant win away, we dont seem to learn. I cant see reading or spurs losing but if they do im flipping glad our last game is at home so we could just still make it. people tell me we have only had 4 bad performances but is anybody else fed up of travelling to watch away games just to be short changed by your teams performance almost every time.
russellm
and to cap it all we are trying to buy tithead bramble !!!!!!
russellm
and the scum won, oh well 4 sure points for next season i suppose
russellm
The assumption we will finish on a high next week-end is a bit over the top. Given that Arsenal will want to finish above Liverpool and claim 3rd coupled with the fact that this is our 8th effort to beat Arsenal in the Prem suggests to me that we might have to wait another season. A draw at best is my prognosis, as long as we put in another big home effort. Something sadly lacking on travels. What happened to that early season dash when we really threatened other home teams - Middlesbro' springs to mind.
pompeygray
pompeyrug-Spurs are also not opposed to scoring goals either having hit 99 in all competitions thus far.The table you predicted gave me a good giggle as well....!!Despite the horrific start to the season where Tottenham took just 4 pts from the first 6 games we are all set to match last season"s 5th spot.Despite missing our most important player for long periods (King) & juggling over 20 cup ties we have reeled Pompey,Everton & Bolton in.The saying "the cream allways rises to the top" springs to mind methinks...??
chalky76
Chalky you are so right, thats why spurs are nowhere near Champions league spots again, and are fighting it out with the rest of us for UEFA, a touch of "big time charlies" methinks...??
paultsmouth
good win!
Goofle
Well that's it now folks, barring a major breakdown by Spurs. A catalogue of wasted opportunities and missed chances have come back to haunt us again, now perhaps Harry will see we need to get a proper striker as Kanu really is not up to the task - we certainly cannot afford to keep a player like him on our books for next season, he's only a three month player.

But we've had an excellent season, it is our best so far and yes it could have been better - but I'd sooner be us than be Wigan, Charlton or Watford!

This time next year, we'll be millionaires!!
TruePompeyBlue
Spurs and Everton will qualify
Mudhara
paultsmouth-make that 101 goals...!!Will send you a postcard.......
chalky76
Really does come to something when Pompey fans call us Spuds.... As a Pompey resident, it would be great to see Pompey in Europe.... but as a Spurs season ticketer, we were never going to be out of the running. We may not have been near the Champions League spots this time around, but after the start we had and the extra games, that was not unexpected. What was expected was the consistency in terms of where we finish this season, and that looks like fifth again, along with European football next season once again. That sounds like progress to me.
Othello
Spoken like a Shakesperean character. Bet you would like us to do a Macbeth on Arsenal this week-end...
pompeygray
yep lets hope spurs get in a special chef for their match dinner.....hubble bubble toil and diving zokora etc
russellm
various financial pages today have us with a spending capacity of an additional £5million for next season, along with the biscuit men and blades should they stay up.
russellm
PompeyGray, I would love nothing more than for Pompey to hammer the Arse on Sunday to claim their place in Europe. Would like to see European football at the Park. If that happens to hurt Arse, then so be it! lol And RussellM, all we at Spurs can say is that dive won't happen again. We are not Arsenal and we were very upset ourselves by it when it happened.
Othello
Not wanting to get drawn into any argument here Othello as your comments and presence are most welcome. But I do find it a little hard to swallow when I hear or read Spurs fans saying how upset they were with the dive. That dive cost us a good chance of gaining points, points which in fact could be the difference between Spurs and Pompey at 5.00 p.m. next Sunday - just one point difference could be all that gives you European football at our expense.

So I do hope you will forgive me in not being at all moved by any spurs fans being upset at the dive - I'd expect them to be upset if they were the ones on the receiving end.

No disrespect to you for your comment, I fully appreciate and understand what you mean.
TruePompeyBlue
That's fair mate. All I meant was that we've been on the receiving end of them as well and know what it felt like, and although we can't change the result, we can change the attitude of the player himself. Martin Jol is against divers in the team and it has showed with the way Zokora has bucked up his ideas and Malbranque is staying on his feet a lot more since he joined us. Thos kind of antics is something the Spurs faithful don't tolerate easily from within our own ranks. Anyhow, good luck against Arse on Sunday.
Othello
I will say though that it looked a cast iron pen at the time.When i got home & saw it i felt we had cheated & as Othello said we leave that to our neighbours to do.Tottenham does & has allways stood for whats good in the game.A couple of weeks later Rosicky dived twice in the box & won 2 pens so we know how it feels.Cant help but think you guys have blown it this season though.Wasnt you top at one stage..??
chalky76
We were top for two weeks, we never dropped out of the top six until two months ago - I know one or two on here will chastise me for my next comment, but I personally hold the likes of Andy Cole and Kanu responsible, both had plenty of chances to do more but failed. Cole is now at Brum on loan and hopefully he can stay there. Kanu is still here sadly and has only scored TWICE in the league since last November. Had they proved to be more of a threat, we would not be where we are now, our front line has been appalling since November and it has only been our midfield that has kept our goals going in. We had our chance and blew it - but I'm very happy with our season, it's been our best so far.
TruePompeyBlue
TPB, thought cole was back now, and harry is even considering him for sunday.
pompey4me
I've not heard that pompey4me, I certainly would be very disappointed if he played on Sunday or even made it to the bench. As far as I'm concerned, the sooner he and Kanu go the better!
TruePompeyBlue
cole is back, but according to 5 live earlier Todorov is looking favourite for a start, i dont know if that is a marketing thing, or a message to one of the other strikers. it would seem odd to give Cole a go when he has made it quite clear that he wanted to stay with the brummies. as for kanu i think it would be a travesty if he got a 2 year deal, get the yak in for anyone of LL,Cole, Toddy & maybe Kanu, Muntari for Davies in midfield, the two young african french defenders we keep under offering for in to replace Johnson and or Dejan and we could look at another 6 points next season.
russellm
We are apparently in for old Sylvain Distin again but every time i have seen him he has made a goal costing gaff. loL so it's a done deal then.... over 30 and iffy... give im an OKI shirt
russellm
A mate of mine who is a season ticket holder at the Park says that it was the inability of Cole and Kanu to gel together that was the main problem. Surprised to hear that Kanu hasn't scored as many as he is capable of, and Benjani was never a real out-and-out scorer anyway, so he can be excused I guess. I felt you missed a trick in letting Manuel Fernandes go when he did, as he is really turning on the style at Everton now. I think £12million was a workable fee, and really should have done everything to keep him at the Park.
Othello
not the best of games for your lot!
richy23
 

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