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Everton Logo Everton 1 - 0 Espanyol

Half-time: 1 - 0
Espanyol Logo
2001-02 Pre-season Friendly – Game 5
730pm Monday 13 August 2001
Goodison Park, Merseyside
Att: 18,395
« Wigan Athletic (A) Ref: George Cain Charlton Athletic (A) »
[ Matchday Calendar ] Testimonial for Alex Young [ 2001-02 Friendlies ]
Alex Young


Tonight, Goodison Park paid homage to one of the truly great Everton players from the 1960s Alex Young, or the Golden Vision, as he came to be known by his adoring fans.

Read the fabulous memories of Mickey Blue Eyes, and a brand new poem, Visions of Gold, commissioned to remember this great occasion.

The proceeds from this match will go to Alex Young, and to the Blueblood, the Everton Former Players Foundation, which provides among other things for expensive medical treatments, such as Gordon West's recent knee replacement. 

The visitors for this memorable occasion are Spanish side, Espanyol, who Everton last met in the Tournoi de Gala, in Belgium in 1998.  Espanyol have been having a fine pre-season tour of England, and come to Goodison off a rousing 4-3 victory against Southampton in their new stadium.

Everton are without their international stars, Thomas Gravesen, Niclas Alexandersson, Idan Tal, and Tommy Myhre.  Of more concern is the lingering absence of new boy Thomasz Radzinski, who is still troubled with a hamstring injury; Paul Gascoigne, who is still "two weeks" away from his comeback; and Abel Xavier, who has not shaken off his mysterious pre-season virus.  

Everton, attacking the Park End, won a penalty in just the 2nd minute as Campbell was hauled down, but Unsworth hit the post from the spot.

On 24 mins, a superb free-kick from Pembridge lifted over the wall, and was flicked in by Joe-Max Moore to open the scoring with a lovely glancing header.

Plenty of argie-bargie during the first half as first Watson and then Ferguson caused heated feeling among the Spaniards, who were taking the match very seriously.  Sensibly, no cards were shown, but the referee eventually insisted that Ferguson be substituted after a rather innocuous challenge brought a silly reaction from one Spaniard.

The rest of the second half was a bit drab in comparison as no-one really wanted to get drawn in and risk an injury.  Young Nick Chadwick came on to a warm reception and gave a good account of himself in front of a critical Goodison crowd.  Chadwick was later joined by Tony Hibbert who also performed well.  

But the crowd was not best pleased when Walter Smith true to form swapped Campbell for Clarke and set to defend in depth for the last 10 minutes.



EVERTON: Moore (24')
   LINEUPS  Subs Not Used 
EVERTON: Gerrard; Watson (73' Hibbert) , Pistone, Stubbs, Weir, Unsworth; Pembridge, Moore (46' Cleland), Gemmill; Campbell (80' Clarke), Ferguson (63' Chadwick).
Unavailable: Alexandersson, Gravesen,
Myhre, Tal (International Duty); Gascoigne, McLeod, Radzinski (injured); Naysmith (unfit); Xavier (ill); Nyarko (walkabout); Ball (in transfer limbo).
Espanyol: Mora, Figueroa, D Garcia, Lopo, Rotchen, Soldevilla (Munteanu), Velamazan, R Garcia (Fernandez), Tamudo (De Lucas), O Garcia, Palencia.  Argenso, Catala.
   Playing Strips  Formations
EVERTON: Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; blue socks. 5-3-2
Espanyol: Dark blue shirts; black shorts; dark blue socks. 4-4-2
   Yellow Cards  Red Cards

Wez Some Positives
BLUE KIPPER Link to report by Mickey Blue Eyes

FROM THE TERRACE Link to report by Phil Pellow

WHEN SKIES ARE GREY Link to report by Mark O'Brien

EVERTON FC SITE Link to Official Match Report

BBC SPORTS Link to BBC Sports Match Report
SKY SPORTS Link to Sky Sports Match Report
SPORTING LIFE Link to PA Sports Match Report
SOCCERNET Mail takes another pop at Gazza
FA PREMIER Link to FA Premier Match Report
THE GUARDIAN Link to Football Unlimited Available early Tuesday
DAILY POST Link to Daily Post Report

LIVERPOOL ECHO Link to Echo Report

 Some Positives
Gerrard was in goal, and he did well most of time better than I expected.  He made several decent saves without spilling the ball. 

We had three at the back: Weir, Stubbs, and Pistone.  This must be Walter's first-choice defence.  They play well together; Stubbs is always organising.  Rarely are any of them caught out, and when they are, Stubbs is backing them up.  They looked solid tonight against a very, very good passing team.  Hardly gave Espanyol a chance, restricting them to just a few shots.

Watson at wing-backs is brilliant.  Everything we did tonight came from him.  With Naysmith not fit, Unsy played left wing-back, where he is better defensively than going forward.  This will be a worry if Naysmith is not available, but at least Unsy gives everything.

In the midfield, Gemmill and Pembridge both did well.  Workrate was excellent, particularly Pembo.  Joe-Max was not really involved in the game, then popped up at a free kick to send a glancing header into the net (just after i said 'Our big lads will do well at set pieces, they are all up there.'  Then the littlest fella on the pitch gets his head on it.  Doesn't that usually happen against us?)  We were outplayed for most of the game by a very slick passing side, chasing shadows, but kept our shape and defended strongly.

Up front were Super Kev and Big Dunc.  Well, if Radzinski is missing for any length of time and Walter plays this pair up front, it will ruin our style what little we have and we will be in trouble.  On tonight's performance, they just do not play together.  With Duncan's total lack of mobility, there is so little movement that the midfield have no option but to look for the high ball.  Kev tried hard and nearly got on a couple of long balls. 

What a difference when Dunc was subbed at the ref's insistence after another late challenge.  Chadwick came on and suddenly we had pace and movement.  For a few mins we looked dangerous, then Kev went off to be repalced by the last sub Clarke, a defender and, believe it or not, we played Chadwick upfront on his own for last 15mins.

Overall, not inspiring but some positives.  The defence is sound; midfield needs something (Alex or Gravesen will improve it); upfront we definitely need Radzinski or we will struggle.

   Up to Reports Index ]
 Keeping it Brief
Mike Toal

Watson: Personally I feel he's getting stronger and stronger going forward. In the first half, he attempted and succeeded in 'skinning' their left back. He also threw in a couple of shuffles. Granted one or two of his crosses were poor, but I have a good feeling about him

Joe-Max Moore: Again, I might be alone here, but again his first half display had some promising signs. It appeared that he was eager to play off the front too, pushing forward looking to pick up the loose ball a la Barmby.

Gerrard: Some good saves, flapped at a couple of corners, but did come off his line more than the usual.

Unsy: Not a left winger.

Misc: Quite disappointed with the overall display. Espanyol had the majority of the possession and passed it around beautifully with good vision and one touch passing. Mind you our defence did restrict them to long range shots and played the offside trap well. Several aggressive challenges from both sides and the ref did a good job especially when he was surrounded by barracking Spaniards. Bit harsh on Dunc getting mandatory subbed, but it was probably for the best to avoid the injuries.

It would be wrong to judge how our season will fare on the back of this game. I still hold out that we will have a stale season finishing around 12th with _no_ injury worries. If Radz is as fast as i've heard then this can only benefit us as we were desperately lacking in speed upfront.

   Up to Reports Index ]

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