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Manchester City 5 - 0 Everton

Half-time: 3 - 0

Everton Logo
FA Carling Premiership 2000-01 – Game #17
3 pm Saturday 9 December 2000
Maine Road, Manchester
Att: 34,516
Sunderland (a) Ref: Steve Bennett (22' Phil Richards) West Ham United (h) »
[ Matchday Calendar ] League Position: 14th [ Results &  Table ]
Joe RoyleThings were not going too well for City, with six defeats in succession.  But Christmas came early for Joe Royle and Richard Dunne who each had a point to prove to Everton.  

Joe Royle deserves tremendous credit for guiding Manchester City back from the dead from the depths of Nationwide Division Two.  Its something he does best, recalling memories of his exploits with lowly Oldham Athletic in the early 1990s, when he propelled them into the big time.  

There are many now who deride his skills as a manager, and doubt his ability to get his teams to play anything other than alehouse football.  The Moose and Potato Head are commonly heard yet remarkably disrespectful epithets aimed at the man who lead Everton to their greatest triumphs of that awful decade.  In the first half of this rout, he was able to relish in Everton's demise as City ran riot through an "experimental" team selection that Walter Smith just couldn't resist messing with.

Although Everton continue to struggle with fresh blows on the injury front Gazza and Franny out for six more weeks Smith was freed from the shackles of playing his less-favoured winning team.  After the failures of Sunderland, Smith dropped Moore and Tal from the squad completely, and put Hughes and Cadamarteri on the bench.  On came Unsworth, Gravesen and Nyarko.  And the effect was dire... utterly dire, as City banged three past a moribund Everton team before half-time.

Off came the dreadful Unsworth at half-time, to be replaced by a more adventurous Cadamarteri, but the madness just continued, as City banged in their fourth goal when Gerrard failed to clear effectively.  Then, Naysmith deflected a Charvet shot to make it Five-Nil!

On 68 mins, Everton made their first decent attack, and finally forced Weaver into a save. Sixty-eight minutes!!!

Evertonians have long feared the sale of younger players who could eventually come good and return to haunt them.  Who'd have thought that would be Richard Dunne, playing centre-half and having nothing to do against Everton's lone, lonely striker, Kevin Campbell?



Manchester City: Wanchope (10'), Howey (22'), Goater (41'), Dickov (53'); Naysmith (og:65')
   LINEUPS  Subs Not Used 
Manchester City: Weaver; Charvet, Tiatto, Howey, Dunne; Haaland (46' Wiekens), Whitley, Horlock, Wright-Phillips (61' Kennedy); Wanchope, Goater (43' Dickov).  Bishop, Wright.
EVERTON: Gerrard; S Watson, Weir, Ball, Unsworth (46' Cadamarteri); Nyarko, Pembridge, Gemmill, Gravesen, Naysmith; Campbell. 
Cleland, Gascoigne, Gough, Jeffers, Pistone, Xavier (injured).
Simonsen, Alexandersson, Hughes, Ferguson.
   Playing Strips  Formations
Manchester City: Light blue shirts; white shorts; light blue socks. 4-4-2
EVERTON: Yellow shirts; dark blue shorts; yellow socks. 4-5-1; 4-4-2
   Yellow Cards  Red Cards
Manchester City:
EVERTON: Nyarko (45')
 Sports.Com Detailed Match Stats  


Guy McEvoy Define Misery
Mickey Blue Eyes Moss Side Musings
ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH City's electricity restored
by Derick Allsop
THE SUNDAY TIMES Goater leads charge in Royle's revenge
by Louise Taylor
THE TIMES Royle savours moment as City click
by Oliver Kay
THE INDEPENDENT Link to Match Reports
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LIVERPOOL ECHO Link to Echo Report

EVERTON FC SITE Link to Official Match Report

BBC SPORTS Link to BBC Sports Match Report
SKY SPORTS Link to Sky Sports Match Report
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FA PREMIER Link to FA Premier Match Report

 Define Misery
Guy McEvoy
3:45 pm Saturday afternoon a few minutes to go before half time.  It is pissing down with rain.  You look up and there is definitely a roof above you, but somehow this is having no effect against the downpour.  So you are cold and pissed wet through.  And on top of that your team has laid down to die you're 3-0 down and in little doubt that it's going to get worse.  That is misery.

A couple of thoughts from yesterday.   Only three players can have any credit whatsoever; Watson, Gravesen and Danny Cadamarteri.  Not that any of them were that good, just that they at least showed something approaching pride.  Danny C, in particular.  He had failed headless charge after headless charge at their goal towards the end.  Not an ounce of luck for him at all, but he at least kept going when most would've started to hide.

But it's far easier to pick clear villains so I'll plum for Unsworth, Gerrard and Nyarko.

Unsworth:-  Just wasn't happening. 

Gerrard:-  Palming stuff into the path of their strikers all afternoon.  Flatters to deceive with a couple of good saves but, the way our goal was peppered, the law of averages would have that happen.

Nyarko:-  This is a class player.  I've seen it with my own eyes in pre-season and at Leeds and Spurs.  So, if he doesn't want to play, can't motivate himself, and doesn't rate or want to play in a team with these teammates, then frankly he should fuck off back to France.  His 30-yard lobbed pass from the halfway line, over the defence, picking up the charging striker was a notable contribution from him.  Notable, cos the striker was a sky blue who thought Christmas was early.  Unbelievable.  As a measure of how bad he was, and I didn't join in but could almost sympathise, was that when he did a reckless challenge and was pulled up to be booked and a sizeable chunk of our fans started chanting 'off! off! off!'

After what he's done for us, I can't say Campbell is shit so I'll phrase it like this: Playing Campbell when he's still obviously not back in his sharpest form, up front, on his own, without a partner which is what he specialises in, makes him look shit.

The Ball/Weir centre back partnership?  That'll be that then.

The Arsenal and Chelsea games had one clear thing in common a team who played for each other, trusted each other and no-one who thought they were better or more deserving than anyone else there.  Against City, my three named villains took that element out of it spot the difference.

Oh aye, I resisted the temptation to leave at 5-0 and stuck it out (it had stopped raining by then).  The half of us still there actually had quite a good ironic sing-song in the last 15 mins.

Watson made a point of coming over after the whistle, looking gutted, to apologise via universal gesture after the whistle which was a nice touch and a credit to him.  (Though he got a few universal gestures back for his trouble...)

   Up to Reports Index ]
 Moss Side Musings
Mickey Blue Eyes
I thought of Richard Dunne and his Weekly Howler.  For some inexplicable reason, this triggered off a memory of the first time I heard a by-now-chestnut of an Irish joke.  More years ago than I care to remember, I was in a Washington DC hotel bar conflabbing with a minor government bureaucrat.  As the conversation neared the end of its useful life, an Irish visitor somehow inveigled himself into our company.  Well, you know all about Irish charm...  Quite soon, the Yanks conversation turned ebulliently to the American Space Programme.  Our convivial Irish friend was having none of the apparent chauvinism: Ah, thats nothing, NOTHING, to the IRISH space programme!

The Yank walked unsuspectingly right into the trap.  How so? he said with all the dangerous innocence of Mom-apple-pie-and-picket-fences in his voice.

Were going to land a man on the sun! came the riposte.

I closed my eyes.  Verbal doom threatened the Yank and his defensive radar had been badly damaged by alcohol.

Thats preposterous! exclaimed the Yank before he could stop himself, Howre you going to do that?

The Irish grin looked like a razor blade.  Were gonna do it at NOIGHT!

I made my excuses and left....Which was more than I could do yesterday afternoon.

But early on the sky had been almost clear and a high, bright lukewarm sun promised a superb day for the game.  Naturally this quickly turned to mush and rain began to spatter.  Eventually it turned into a constant cloying spray for the duration of the game.

I met up with a twenty-eight strong contingent and boarded The Bus like it was a landing-craft exercise full of cheery, determined infantry.  Tommy the Jock was navigating us to a pub called The Princess on, erm, Princess Road.  Thats alright, then . Except it wasnt.  He roundly ignored Texylas entreaties to get up front next to the driver and give him directions.  So we went sailing past the pub and ended up four klicks down the road and had to do a U-turn in the Moss Side Community Centre.  Nice one, Tommy, right into bandit territory.

Eventually, we all spilled into the near-empty pub and took up one corner where we supped a lager which tasted like your cats urine during the wrong season.  Some others tried the Guinness but it was no different.  Yeuk.  Why do the English pretend they brew good beer?

I sauntered over to Tommys table and sat down so I could pummel him mercilessly for his f##k up.  That didnt last long.  These pre-match thingies are all about swapping yarns, footy and otherwise.  Synchronicity soon struck.  It turned out Tommy had lived in the same road as me years ago.  And had likely served with my brother in the military.  But I was more interested in his footy yarns he told with all the certainty of tone you associate with Glaswegians.  He knew all the great Jock Blues of former years and had a lot to say about them.  Then I got a well-thought out lecture on how to find a good scotch whisky, not that I have any time for hard liquor.  I was more interested in the poetry.  Times like this I wouldnt swap for all the dinner table chat on the planet.

We went back to The Princess after the match but not before taking a few wrong turnings and hailing a taxi.  Everyone was in good heart if terribly disappointed and/or annoyed.  There was much defiant singing though none of it remotely matched the moment when a diminutive seven-years-old City fan stood on a stool.  Eyes shining, arms stretched upwards at 45 degrees, fists clenched and both forefingers pointing at the ceiling, he sang Blue Moon like his little life depended on it.  A magic moment which drew a storm of applause from everyone who saw it.

We left at seven oclock stoked up with cats urine and a memory which obliterated the afternoons events.  Texyla got up the front of The Bus and conducted the kind of sing-song you expect after a tumultuous victory.

The match?  Oh aye yeh.... We were:

(a) Pathetic; and

(b) Spineless.

All of them, no exceptions.  It also coincided with the return of The Gravedigger, Alex and Unsy.  More synchronicity?

Me, I went home, grunted as I went through the door, poured meself a glass of ros, played "On Days Like These" by Matt Monro and slumped into an armchair.  Everything was alright then.

If only.


Tommy Gravesen and Alex Nyarko: I am not blaming these two for yesterday's massacre.  All of them were useless.  But there's no point ignoring facts which stare you in the face.

Both of them look completely out of their depth.  Both appear to lack the necessary pace for Premiership football.  Nyarko in particular looks like he knows he's leaving shortly, for whatever reason.

The Gravedigger adds nothing to our midfield nothing at all.  Yesterday, as usual, with our situation hopeless, he ended up at outside right yet again... a sure sign we're in deep schtook.

Sadly, both of them undo most of the midfield hard work of Scott Gemmill and Mark Pembridge.

Time for a major rethink here.

   Up to Reports Index ]
 City's electricity restored
Derick Allsop, Electronic Telegraph
THE BLUE funk will switch from Maine Road to Goodison Park after Manchester City's annihilation of a dishevelled Everton yesterday.  

Joe Royle maintained that City's recent results misrepresented their ability and his players duly set about Everton with a relish and conviction that belied their precarious position.  Paulo Wanchope, Steve Howey and Shaun Goater gave City a 3-0 advantage at half-time and Everton fans were seeking shelter from the deluge of goals and rain.

The first two goals were the consequence of set plays and the excellent delivery of Kevin Horlock, a player told by Royle to cut out the sulking and to start producing.  The midfield player's response was precisely what his manager demanded.

Six consecutive league defeats had left City sixth from bottom but Royle was adamant that they deserved better.  In an endeavour to stem the flow of goals against his side, Royle gave Richard Dunne, the 3 million signing from Everton, the opportunity to play in his preferred position, central defence.

Everton's impressive run hit the buffers at Sunderland last Monday and their manager, Walter Smith, reacted by recalling Alex Nyarko and Thomas Gravesen to the starting line-up.  He also named Duncan Ferguson, the striker who has played only 58 minutes of football this season, among the substitutes.

City might have upset Everton's planning within 10 seconds.  Wanchope got behind Everton's back line but Paul Gerrard was alert at to smother the ball at the striker's feet.

Goater's deflected shot looped over the crossbar before City goalkeeper, Nicky Weaver, provided Everton with their first glimpse of goal.  He wandered almost to the halfway line and mishit his punt forward, but Nyarko failed to capitalise.

Wanchope was not so wasteful in the 13th minute.  David Unsworth needlessly bundled over Shaun Wright-Phillips, Wanchope thundered in the free-kick and when Gerrard parried, Wanchope dispatched the rebound.

Goater was unable to control the through-ball with Everton again caught square, but City had a second goal after 22 minutes.  Wanchope swung over a corner and Howey, arriving at the far post, scored with a regulation header.  Goater then took Wanchope's flick-on, shook off David Weir, and slid in the third five minutes from the break.

Horlock's first-time centre unhinged Everton again after 53 minutes.  Gerrard, under pressure from Wanchope, cleared only as far as Paul Dickov, a substitute for Goater, and he drilled in City's fourth.

Jeff Whitley chastised himself for dragging a chance wide but City were five up in the 66th minute when Gary Naysmith turned Laurent Charvet's cross into his own goal.

Report © The Electronic Telegraph

   Up to Reports Index ]
 Goater leads charge in Royle's revenge
by Louise Taylor, The Sunday Times
BEFORE kick-off, Joe Royle insisted "hiccups can be cured" but even City's manager cannot have imagined his side finding such a spectacularly effective remedy for their recent ills.  After six successive Premiership defeats, Royle admitted he was experiencing sleepless nights but will have been reassured by this ruthless dissection of his former team.

Indeed Royle, who left Goodison Park rather acrimoniously in 1997, could not possibly have anticipated a more satisfying outcome to this, his first competitive meeting with his former employers.

Contentedly slugging cider straight from the can in the post-match press conference, Royle enthused: "A lot of people in our dressing room are saying, 'It's been coming'.  I knew we were not no-hopers but you have to admire my players for being so positive after six defeats.  We started like a whirlwind."

Everton probably regarded City as more of a tornado.  Walter Smith's team were behind after 14 minutes when, despite getting both hands to the ball, Paul Gerrard could only parry Kevin Horlock's free kick, which was whipped in left-footed from the right flank.  The rebound fell conveniently at Paulo Wanchope's feet and the Costa Rican duly tapped in from virtual point-blank range.

Nine minutes later, Horlock, arguably Royle's best player here, took an inswinging corner on the left and, having advanced from central defence, Steve Howey found himself lurking unattended at the far post.  Gleefully accepting the invitation, Howey rose above everybody else to head City's second goal, the ball's flight deceiving the diving Gerrard.

Although naturally a left-back, Michael Ball was again used in the centre of Everton's back four with disastrous consequences.  Admittedly, the entire back line struggled to contain Wanchope and Shaun Goater but Ball, especially, endured a nightmare.  How on earth was he included in the last England squad?

Shortly before half-time, a hamstring strain disappointingly necessitated Goater's substitution by Paul Dickov but not before the Bermudian had scored City's third goal in thrillingly memorable style.  Wanchope flicked on a long clearance with his head and, seizing control, Goater sped towards the penalty area.  As he reached the 18-yard line David Weir was closing in but, just as the Everton defender looked poised to pull him down, the striker extended his left boot and unleashed a sidefoot shot which proved too good for Gerrard.

There was a wonderful Shaun Wright-Phillips cameo at the outset of the second half when he dispossessed Alex Nyarko, no easy matter, before dribbling half the length of the pitch and despatching a cross which, yet again, provoked panic among the visiting rearguard.

What a shame Gary Naysmith felt obliged to hack the 19-year-old down with a challenge so cynical he was ultimately forced to hobble off and be replaced by Mark Kennedy.

By then, Dickov had claimed City's fourth.  The goal originated from Wanchope who, twisting and turning, pulled the Everton defence alarmingly out of position.  Eventually the ball was worked across to the left and when it was centred back into the area by the irrepressible Horlock, who almost joined Birmingham City two weeks ago, Gerrard could only endeavour to punch clear.  The ricochet fell to Dickov, who lashed a right-foot shot into the roof of the net.

Another came 13 minutes later.  Naysmith, quickly punished for that crude tackle on Wright-Phillips, turned Laurent Charvet's right-wing cross into his own net to make it 5-0.

City had been rewarded for a determination that ensured they got to almost every loose ball first.  As Smith, who refused liquid refreshment but looked as if he could have done with some Strongbow, put it: "The way we defended we deserved to lose in the manner we did; we never really got started."

Royle was not complaining. "It's like a valve has been released," he beamed.

As a cure for hiccups, it definitely beat a few sips of water and pats on the back.

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

   Up to Reports Index ]
 Royle savours moment as City click
by Oliver Kay, The Times

GIVEN that they are such different personalities, the contrast in the mood of the respective managers was hardly surprising.  Joe Royle, the Manchester City manager, wears his heart on his sleeve, so it was expected that he would be beaming after this spectacular victory over his former club.  Walter Smith, not one to smile unless he has to, was so unhappy with his Everton teams performance that he decided to cancel their Christmas party, which was scheduled for last night.  

So overcome was Royle that he even forgot to exclude the reporter from the Liverpool Echo, the newspaper that he has not forgiven for its coverage of his 2-year spell in charge of Everton.  His former employers remain as hard up as they were when he resigned in frustration in March 1997, but he could extol the virtues of his present team.

Where do you start? Royle said.  It felt in the dressing-room as if a valve had been released.  He seemed to be talking about the emotion of his players, but the analogy could be applied as readily to their efforts on the pitch.

After a wretched run of six defeats in the FA Carling Premiership, equalling Royles worst sequence in 18 years in management, his team rediscovered the winning habit in sensational style.  All five goals came in a heady opening 66 minutes in which they scarcely put a foot wrong.

Their football was not always cultured, and they were aided by some woeful defending, but it was a performance to savour.  Eight of the 14 players involved were playing in the second division two years ago.  Adapting to the increased demands of the Premiership has taken a little longer than expected, but this was a landmark victory.

Royle has invested heavily in strengthening the defence that helped them to two successive promotions, but the contributions of Danny Tiatto, Kevin Horlock and Shaun Goater, veterans of the Second Division campaign, were more telling on Saturday.  Horlock, recently restored to the team, created the first two goals.  His thirteenth-minute free kick spilt into the path of Paulo Wanchope for the opening goal before he planted a corner perfectly on to the head of Steve Howey.

Goaters first Premiership goal, a calm finish after he raced on to Wanchopes header, put the game beyond doubt just before half-time.  The rout was completed by Paul Dickov and an own goal by Gary Naysmith.

Everton created enough chances in the final 20 minutes to salvage a little pride, but their awful first-half performance meant that the result was a fair reflection.

Ive not got much to say, Smith said.  Bah humbug.

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd
   Up to Reports Index ]

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