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Festa (50')  (0-0)  
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Middlesbrough v Everton:
Prior League Games
 Middlesbrough 22
 Everton 13
 Draws 13
 Middlesbrough 2
 Everton 3
 Draws 1
 Last Season:
 Middlesbro 1-2 Everton

Live Real Audio Commentary from Radio Everton
Disgraced and rejected Danny Cadamarteri injected a new sense of purpose and urgency to Everton's laboured attack.  Everton started brightly, with an Unsworth free kick leading to a good Stubbs header that Crossely did well to save.  Another good move on 15 mins saw Gemmill putting Cada through but Crossley was out quickly to head the ball away.

The game drifted into a less inspiring period in the middle of the first half, but a good move on 30 mins saw Alexandersson's shot deflected marginally wide.  Alexandersson was then flattened by Greening, but no free-kick.

Cadamarteri than picked up a bad knock and limped off the pitch on 35 mins, giving Everton a scare, but Knox and Smith pushed him back on.  Ferguson then had a free-header out of nothing, but Crossley was again wise to it.  Cadamarteri was then withdrawn and Joe-Max Moore came on.  

As the half drew to a close, Duncan Ferguson had a terrific volley that crashed into the crossbar!  But Everton could not score. Alexandersson was replaced by Blomqvist at half-time.  Steve Watson went down very heavily on the hard ground at the end of the half and was replaced early in the second half by Tony Hibbert when Boro had a corner.  Festa scored from that corner against the run of play.  

Everton struggled to lift themselves from this unfair blow, while the goal enlivened an undeserving Boro side as the pendulum swung resolutely in their favour.

Ferguson's efforts to do his best for Everton involved fouling Ince, getting booked, fouling Ricard, and getting another strong warning from the ref...

Everton's second-half display was as miserable and woeful as it gets, with poor control of possession, atrocious passing, and criminal waste from set pieces and crosses.  Walter Smith has to carry the responsibility for the structural aspects of Everton's poor play on the field.  This latest dismal defeat surely must take him one step closer to the taxi stand...

M A T C H    F A C T S
 Sports Match Info  
  FA Premiership 2001-02, Game #21
3:00pm  Tuesday 1 January 2002
The Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough
Referee: Rob Styles (Waterlooville)
Att: 27,463
Position: 13th
Line-ups Subs not used
Middlesbrough Middlesbrough: Crossley, Festa, Southgate, Queudrue (65' Stamp), Stockdale, Mustoe, Ince, Greening (46' Gavin), Marinelli, Ricard, Whelan (82' Boksic).  Nemeth, Beresford. 
Everton: Simonsen; Watson (49' Hibbert), Stubbs, Weir, Unsworth; Xavier, Alexandersson (46' Blomqvist), Naysmith, Gemmill; Ferguson, Cadamarteri (37' Moore).   Gerrard, Tal.  
Unavailable:  Campbell, Gascoigne, Pembridge, Pistone, Radzinski (injured); Nyarko (loan) 
Playing Strips Formations
Middlesbrough: Red shirts; red shorts; red socks 4-4-2
Everton: Royal Blue shirts; blue shorts; blue socks. 4-4-2
  Yellow Cards Red Cards
Middlesbrough: Gavin (85')  --
Everton: Ferguson (70'), Stubbs (75')  --

Premiership Scores
Charlton   3-2 Ipswich
Chelsea   2-3 Sotton
Liverpool 1-1 Bolton
Middlesbro   1-0 Everton
Sunderland   1-1 Aston Villa
Tottenham   1-0 Blackburn
Leicester   P-P Arsenal
Leeds   3-0 West Ham
Derby 0-1 Fulham
Man Utd 3-1 Newcastle

Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Leeds 41
2 Man Utd 39
3 Arsenal 39
4 Newcastle 39
5 Liverpool 38
6 Chelsea 33
7 Tottenham 31
8 Charlton 29
9 Aston Villa 29
10 Fulham 27
11 Sunderland 27
12 West Ham 25
13 Everton 23
14 Bolton 23
15 Blackburn 22
16 Middlesbrough 22
17 Southampton 22
18 Derby 19
19 Ipswich 18
20 Leicester 16
After 2 January 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
From The Terrace Match Report
Blue Kipper Match Report
Everton Fans' Reports
No Reports filed
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 Guardian Match Report
The Independent Match Report
The Times Match Report
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report

Match Preview

Pressure is building on Walter Smith after four depressing defeats, and especially the gutless capitulation to Charlton.  Smith's comments recently in the Telegraph suggest he may not want to shoulder the burden for much longer...  Will the prospect of a fourth relegation battle be the final straw?  

Or will the Everton Board be stung to act?  Unlikely, given the unusual position of power Walter Smith has at Goodison Park.  He has a long-term contract that would cost at least 1.5M to buy out...

So Walter Smith still has to motivate his poorly performing players to put in some effort on what promises to be a difficult road trip to Teesside.  Hopefully, they won't have been up all night bringing the New Year in...

Continuing injuries to Campbell, Gravesen, Pembridge, Pistone, and now Radzinski mean that Walter Smith's selection options are strictly limited... unless he is bold and courageous enough to look further into the Reserve team.  But let's be realistic: that is extremely unlikely.

And what of Middlesbrough?  Well, they are in nearly as bad shape as Everton.  Their last win was nearly a month ago and they have also lost their last four games, so this one holds every promise of being a pulsating classic... NOT!

The most probable score line on the basis of recent from would be 0 - 0, and that would represent a precious point for injury-stricken and motivation-bereft Everton.  But Walter Smith's usual inclination is to play for that from the start, hoping to protect the point he believes we have already.  And we just know that ploy so often ends in tears.

We have to hope that Walter is sufficiently mad with the players to "inspire" them to something better.  But the reality is that tactics, team selection, game planning, and motivation are all areas where Smith has shown himself and his side-kick Archie to be most wanting. 

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