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Strupar (57', 81') 
Morris (76')
(0-1) Unsworth (38')
 Stubbs (52')
Alexandersson (54')
Ferguson (71')
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Derby County v Everton:
Prior League Games
 Derby County 30
 Everton 22
 Draws 9
 Derby County 4
 Everton 1
 Draws 0
 Last Season:

Derby Co 1-0 Everton 

Live Real Audio Commentary from Radio Everton

BBC Match Preview
Electronic Telegraph

Everton recorded only their second away win of the season in a seven-goal thriller that further emphasised the world of difference between the Walter Smith era and the promise of life under David Moyes.  In truth, Derby should never have been in the position to put the Blues through a fraught final 15 minutes; coasting at 4-1, Moyes' side allowed the Midlanders back into the game with some sloppy defending, although the home side should be credited for a gutsy recovery that very nearly saved a point.

Having been in the job for a week, Moyes made his first team selection and he was faithful to the line-up chosen by Andy Holden last week, the absence of Allessandro Pistone forcing David Unsworth into the back four and handing Jesper Blomqvist a return to the starting 11.  Thomas Gravesen was given his opportunity to atone for the sending off against Fulham and Tony Hibbert kept his place with Steve Watson still not ready to return to action.

The opening exchanges were, predictably for two sides struggling at the wrong end of the table, scrappy and clumsy with neither side able to create anything of note in attack.  Defensively, Derby relied heavily on the offside trap and restricted the visitors to two Gravesen volleys, while at the other end David Weir and Alan Stubbs were as dependable as ever.  Moyes was, however, forced into an early change when Lee Carsley limped off to be replaced by Niclas Alexandersson.

Despite the loss of Carsley, the Blues' rhythm continued according to what appeared to be specific instructions from the manager to contain and close Derby down at every opportunity.  Gravesen had the heart going with a couple of untidy tackles that referee Neale Barry sensibly overlooked and both Blomqvist and Gemmill were tenacious in their tracking back.  Although passion and commitment were abundant, offensively, Everton bore all the hallmarks of a team still battling to find their way.  Too many long balls found the heads of Derby defenders and possession was, as always, surrendered far too cheaply.

On 37 minutes, though, it all fell into place and it was that man David Unsworth again with the opening goal.  Thomas Gravesen moved to shoot from long range before laying the ball perfectly to his left for Unsworth to measure his shot and fire across the goalkeeper and into the net to make it 1-0.  Cue an ecstatic Rhino charge to the sideline to high-five the new boss; Moyes' magic was working again.

Although they were on the back foot almost immediately when Ravanelli was handed the Rams' first shot on goal with a free kick on the edge of the area, Everton held out comfortably until half time.

Within five minutes of the restart, it was 2-0 and Everton were flying.  A free kick on the edge of the Derby area looked to be prime territory for Unsworth to try for his second but instead Stubbs launched an Exocet that arrowed past the wall and into the net to send the huge and hugely vocal away fans into delirium.

The fun wasn't over, either.  After Georgie Kinkladze had blazed a shot inches over the bar at one end, Everton countered down the left where Tomasz Radzinski's low cross was just missed by Duncan Ferguson's outstretched boot but Alexandersson made no mistake from four yards out; although Foletti, the Derby 'keeper, did get a flailing hand to the ball he couldn't stop Everton taking a 3-0 lead.

Despite the glorious scoreline, you had to be ever mindful that Pride Park is no stranger to goals or high-aggregate encounters, particularly given the spirit with which John Gregory's team play.  So it was no surprise when Derby pulled a goal back just three minutes later.  Branko Strupar had only been on the pitch a couple of minutes before he sent an unstoppable volley past Simonsen to give County hope of a comeback.

David Moyes' response was not to add another defender as his predecessor would almost certainly have done; instead he withdrew Radzinski for Kevin Campbell and the Blues continued to play with increasing confidence.  Gemmill grew into a playmaker role and Ferguson looked quite at home holding the ball up and laying off passes to support the team's advances.  Alexandersson suddenly looked like the player we had been expecting when he signed from Sheffield Wednesday as he taunted and teased the home defence running down the flank as often as he cut inside.

And after Ravanelli had finished a dangerous Derby attack by heading over the angle, it was the Swede who created goal number four for Ferguson.  Alexandersson jinked his way into the area, faked to go one way but squared it instead and his Scottish captain was on hand to elegantly side-foot into the top left corner to make it an incredible 4-1.

Three goals up and coasting, however, is just not the Everton way, as we all know.  Four minutes after Everton had notched their fourth, Derby replied with a goal by tricky substitute Morris who capitalised on a flat-footed defence to belt the ball high into the net following a corner.  Four minutes after that it was 4-3 when an unmarked Strupar powered a header past the stranded Simonsen and Everton were suddenly transported back to a week ago when they found themselves desperately defending a one-goal lead.

Moyes' men held out relatively comfortably despite the loss of Alan Stubbs to injury with eight minutes to go and the addition of five minutes of added time that was soaked up largely by possession football by the Blues something they have found very hard to master this season.

Although it represented a second successive win for Moyes in a crucial relegation six-pointer, the manager will probably be more angry at the way his team threw away such a massive advantage.  He can, however, take enormous satisfaction as can we all from the fact that Everton have rediscovered the art of attacking and the precious commodity that is goals, not to mention the fact that all four strikes were scored on the ground.  Entertainment is back on the menu at Everton!

Most importantly, though, survival the preservation of our precious top-flight status, and the opportunity to start next season as the first club to play 100 seasons in the top division were all enhanced by what was a very pleasing display, despite the nervy finale.  Vive la revolution!

Lyndon Lloyd

M A T C H    F A C T S
 Sports Match Info  
  FA Premiership 2001-02, Game 31
3:00pm  Saturday 23 March 2002
Pride Park, Derby
Referee: Neale Barry (Scunthorpe)
Att: 33,297
Position: 13th
TV: Overseas
Line-ups Subs not used
Derby Foletti, Barton, Higginbotham, Riggott, Zavagno (55' Strupar), O'Neil, Lee, Boertien, Kinkladze, Ravanelli, Christie (46' Morris). Elliott, Grant, Grenet.
Everton: Simonsen, Hibbert, Stubbs (83' Clarke), Weir, Unsworth, Gemmill, Carsley (29' Alexandersson), Gravesen, Blomqvist, Ferguson, Radzinski (58' Campbell).  Gerrard, Linderoth. 
Unavailable:  Pistone (ill), Watson (unfit), Naysmith, Pembridge, Tal (injured); Nyarko (on loan) 
Playing Strips Formations
Derby: White shirts; black shorts; white socks 4-4-2
Everton: Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; blue socks. 4-4-2
  Yellow Cards Red Cards
Derby: Zavagno (51'), O'Neil (72'),  --
Everton: Campbell (79'), Ferguson (83'), Hibbert (87') --

Premiership Scores
Charlton 1-2 Bolton
Derby 3-4 Everton
Ipswich 0-0 Aston Villa
Leicester 0-2 Leeds 
Man United 0-1 Middlesbro
Sunderland 1-1 Sotton
Fulham 0-2 Tottenham
Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea

Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Liverpool 65
2 Man Utd 64
3 Arsenal 63
4 Newcastle 56
5 Leeds 54
6 Chelsea 53
7 Aston Villa 42
8 Charlton 41
9 Tottenham 41
10 Middlesbrough 38
11 Southampton 37
12 West Ham 37
13 Everton 36
14 Fulham 35
15 Sunderland 35
16 Bolton 33
17 Blackburn 32
18 Ipswich 32
19 Derby 29
20 Leicester 19
 After 24 March 2002
M A T C H     R E P O R T S
Everton Web Sites
ToffeeWeb Match Summary Match Report
When Skies Are Grey Match Report << Great photos!
From The Terrace Match Report
Blue Kipper Match Report
Everton Fans' Reports
Nick Pennick What do you say about that?
Links to Other Media Reports
Electronic Telegraph Match Report
BBC Sport Match Report
FA Premier Match Report
Sky Sports Match Report
Sporting Life Match Report
SoccerNet Match Report
The Sunday Times Match Report
The Observer Match Report
The Guardian Match Report
The Independent Match Report
The Times Match Report
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report

Match Preview

They don't come much more crunchier than this one!  The second game of the new Moyes era is massive.  A true six-pointer, with Derby one of the few starting to show some fight down at the bottom of the Premiership.  

Everton's away from has been atrocious up until now.  On away stats alone, Walter Smith has taken us to the bottom of the league.  

After his first week in charge, with morning and afternoon training sessions re-established in an effort to get some fitness (and hopefully some passing ability) back into the squad David Moyes has inherited.

Some suggest that Moyes will select the same starting 11 from last week, even though he may have more choices available to him, with a number of the walking wounded said to be on the mend.  

Only Mark Pembridge is still injured although Gary Naysmith suffered a reaction to his ankle after training and will not be risked.  Kevin Campbell is back in the squad, and could play a part following a week of rumours that had him departing to either Aston Villa or Charlton.

The important thing will be to pick players who can start playing more as a team, with a little bit of tactical organization and purpose ahead of the game.  David Moyes has already talked of getting them working together better, but a week may be too soon for the results of his methods to start bearing fruit.

Another win would of course be a fabulous result, and with Moyes in charge, you can feel once again that there is a desire to win; there is the possibility once again that Everton can win.  But it will be extremely hard; Everton's goal-shy front line is still basically the same.

A draw is the "safe" result; a loss is simply unthinkable. 

Everton fans around the world may have the opportunity to watch this one live, delayed, or with extended highlights, giving them a great chance to savour the new mood of optimism that David Moyes has brought with him. 

Well, what do you say about that?

by Nick Pennick

I live just 20 minutes' walk from Pride Park and, in spite of working this morning, there was never any chance I was missing the game.  I live and work in Derby, so I've been winding Derby fans up all week.  I had promised every Derby fan I know a battling defeat for their boys, by 1 goal to nil.  Now, I got the margin right but I never imagined it would be a seven-goal thriller...

Into the ground for 2:00pm, Jo, my wife, told me she had never heard the Evertonians so loud.  We looked more professional in the warm-up than I ever saw us under Walter Smith.  Maybe he did all his hard work in the week and felt nothing extra was needed 'when Saturday comes'...   Moyes, on the other hand, got involved and all the players seemed to respond to his presence.  Not bad for someone young enough to be playing for us under Walter's regime?

After the warm-up, just enough time for a pint and back to our seats in time to cheer the lads out onto the pitch.  Again, the travelling fans were as vocal as I can ever remember them.  And the new club song is apparently "We are the People's Club" nice one, David Moyes! 

We looked shaky at periods in the first 45, but we still looked better than Derby.  Clearly evident was the 'work ethic' Moyes promised us.  Carsley went of early following a clash and was replaced by Niclas Alexandersson.  There were flashes of flair from several individuals, Blomquist and Alexandersson notably getting involved.  They never looked like converting a chance though.  Mind you, neither did Derby.  

I was a bit concerned about Simmo's communication with Weir and Stubbs on more than one occasion, but we got away with it.  Then on 37 minutes, cometh the hour, cometh the Rhino.  Ball... chance... buried!  The boo-boys were cheering, and Davie-lad showed us all what that goal meant to him.  Great to see him back in the back four as he is no midfielder.

Well, the first half was a solid battling performance and David Unsworth, god love him, had given us a deserved lead to take in to half time.  A second pint of lager quickly disappear and back up for the second half.  Ian MacDonald was in front of me and had been, shall we say, critical of the boys at times.  I said we should expect more of the same second half.  What little I know eh?

1-0 at half time quickly became 2-0, as Stubbs buried a free kick.  The fans were going nuts.  Stubbsy's name echoed out around the stand we were in.  We barely had time to catch us breath and then Nic bagged the third.  It was to be a blue day in Derby and a rout was on the cards. 

Nic had been better so far in one game than he ever had under Walter with the possible exception of his first pre-season before Archie 'coached' his talent away?  Then Derby pulled one back a shot rifled to Simmo's left.  He stood no chance.  It kind of took the wind out of Everton's sails, and Derby pressed on harder than they had all game. 

We were defending dangerously at times, but getting away with it.  Derby continued to press, when we broke.  Duncan found his way to the box and pounced on a chance, created brilliantly by work from Niclas Alexandersson.  Ian Mac's shirt came off and 3,000 blues went off their tits!  The Dunc and Rhino show had done it again!!!

4-1, and about 20 minutes to play.  'We want 5' was all the Everton fans were interested in singing. Then a scramble in the box saw Stubbs flattened, and Derby scored.  Everton 4, Derby 2. 

Stubbs was down for a long time, and I was worried about him.  He didn't look fit to continue.  Not long after, his fitness told as Davie Weir was left one-on-one with Lee Morris.  Weir tried an Andy Gray-esque clearance, but Morris beat him to the ball.  Weir never regained his ground and it was Everton 4, Derby 3.

The next 10 minutes was a blur, with chances at each end.  Then the fourth official offered us 5 more minutes to hold on.  Needless to say, we did. 

Club captain Super Kev appeared for half an hour, but struggled to keep up with the pace.  But you could see he was trying.  Which made the comments from somewhere behind me all the more disappointing.  I can honestly say it's the first time I've heard 'fans' make comments like these: "lazy nigger" and "shite black bastard".  

I apologize for not editing these, but I'm telling it like I heard it.   Stuff like this is just not acceptable and, whilst we've heard nothing from the club for some time, I hope they're still investigating.  Frankly how anyone could slate him for being 'shite' when he scored a perfectly legitimate fifth goal (in all eyes except the eyes of the ref) which made it 5-3 and game over I do not know.

So, Moyes has started well; Everton are responding, and several players are rejuvenated (Dunc, Unsworth, Nic, Jesper - in fact you could almost say they all looked better).  Here's to it continuing for a long time.  We ARE stopping up.  Europe?  Well, let's just stop up first, yeah?

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