<% Dim oCs, oRs, strSQL set oCs = server.createobject("ADODB.Connection") oCs.Open "Driver={Microsoft Excel Driver (*.xls)}; DBQ=" & Server.MapPath("/season/02-03/data") & "/premtable.xls;" strSQL = "SELECT * FROM [Summary$] ORDER BY Pos ;" Set oRs = oCs.Execute(strSQL) %> ToffeeWeb: Everton v Liverpool, Premiership Season 2002-03
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 FA Premiership (34); Goodison Park, Liverpool; Saturday 19 April 2003; 3:00pm
  Unsworth (pen:58')
Sent off: Weir (81') Naysmith (89') 

Attendance: 40,162
Halftime: 0-1


Owen (32')
Murphy (64')

Referee: Paul Durkin

Match Summary

Wayne Rooney starts alongside Kevin Campbell, with Duncan Ferguson on the bench.  No sign of Radzinski, who is presumably still not fully fit, and Pembridge is also missing.

Some great work by Yobo in his first derby game to start things off.  And in the next attack, Rooney seemed to be through and it looked like he was pulled back but Dudek made the save as Everton started brightly.

An early sub for Liverpool saw Biscan depart after 8 mins, to be replaced by Diao.  Dudek them got a lot of treatment for a groin problem.  Diao then dragged Rooney down to give away a free kick that led to the first Everton corner.

Liverpool then surged a little, putting Everton under some pressure but there was some great defending.  Then Campbell really should have score but it was cleared off the line.  A real fracas followed with Hamann and Gerrard both going in the book after a lot of handbags and intimidation of ref Paul Durkin.  Then another silly booking followed for a stupid trip by Gravesen.

Weir sliced his clearance and Liverpool attacked again, Owen danced past two defenders and fired in the first goal.  Not good.  Everton had been unable to impress themselves on the game after a good first quarter, and gave the initiative away with some sloppy football that preceded the goal.  Everton had simply fallen to pieces with numerous players making silly errors. 

In the three minutes of added time before the break, three more players went into Paul Durkin's book seven in all for what turned out to be a poor half for Everton.  Hopefully, Moyes can buck their ides up during the break...

A chance early on in the  second half for Everton and Gravesen fired inches wide when it looked like it was in.  Once again, Everton started the half with better football raising the hopes of the massed and very noisy Evertonians filling Goodison Park.

Naysmith was then brought down by Carragher and it was an instant penalty decision from Paul Durkin.  David Unsworth, cool as you like, smashes it into the roof of the net!  1-1 and all to play for!!!  

An Unsworth clearance went straight to Hamann who put in Danny Murphy in for the second Liverpool goal.  Everton punished for more sloppy football.  

Everton did their best to maintain the challenge despite the setback, with Ferguson coming on for Watson, who picked up a knock.  A number of Everton players continued to frustrate with miscontrols and poor passes.  Rooney was suffering the most from this with an almost criminal lack of service.

It then all fell apart as David Weir made a desperate challenge to stop Gerrard and received his second yellow card, and a red: Off, with 7 minutes left on the clock.

Down to 10 men, Everton now faced an impossible task to rescue the game.  And then it went from bad to worse as Naysmith was sent off after getting his second yellow card in added time, reducing the home side to 9 men as the wheels finally came off.  A sad, sad end.

Joseph Yobo: Nigerian
gets his derby debut

Everton v Liverpool:
Prior League Games
 Everton 31
 Liverpool 25
 Draws 27
 Everton 4
 Liverpool 2
 Draws 4
 Last Season:

Everton 1-3 Liverpool

BBC Match Preview
Electronic Telegraph

Premiership Scores
Good Friday 18 Apr
Tottenham  0-2 Man City
Saturday 19 Apr
Aston Villa 2-0 Chelsea 
Bolton  1-0 West Ham
Charlton  0-2 Birmingham
Everton  1-2 Liverpool 
Fulham  2-1 Newcastle 
Man Utd  3-1 Blackburn 
Middlesbro 0-1 Arsenal 
Southampton 2-0 Leeds 
Sunderland  1-2 West Brom

Match Facts
 Everton   (4-4-2)
 Blue shirts, white shorts, blue socks
 Liverpool   (4-4-2)
Red shirts, red shorts, red socks
Weir {c} [Sent off: 81']
Watson (69' Ferguson)
Gravesen (75' Gemmill)
Naysmith [Sent off: 89']

Subs not used:  Simonsen, Alexandersson, Li Tie

Yellow Cards: Gravesen (22'), 
[Naysmith (40', 89')], 
[Weir (45+2', 83')], Stubbs (45+3')

Red Cards: Weir (83'), Naysmith (89')


(Injured:) Linderoth, Hibbert, Pistone;
(Recovering:) Radzinski, Rodrigo
(On Loan:) Clarke, McLeod, Nyarko; 
(Departed:) Said
Biscan (8' Diao)
Baros (66' Diouf)
Gerrard {c}

Subs not used: Arphexad, Cheyrou, Smicer

Yellow Cards: Hamann (19'),
Gerrard (19'), Baros (45+1')

Red Cards:
Match Reports

Everton Web Sites
ToffeeWeb Match Summary
EvertonFC.com Match Report
When Skies Are Grey Match Report
Blue Kipper Match Report
Everton Fans' Reports
Richard Marland Match Report
Links to Other Media Reports
Electronic Telegraph Match Report
BBC Sport Match Report
4 the Game Match Report
Sky Sports Match Report
Sporting Life Match Report
SoccerNet Match Report
The Observer Match Report
The Guardian Match Report
The Independent Match Report
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report
Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Man Utd 74
2 Arsenal 71
3 Newcastle 61
4 Chelsea 60
5 Liverpool 58
6 Everton 56
7 Blackburn 52
8 Southampton 48
9 Tottenham 47
10 Middlesbrough 46
11 Charlton 46
12 Man City 45
13 Aston Villa 41
14 Fulham 41
15 Birmingham 41
16 Leeds 38
17 Bolton 38
18 West Ham 32
19 West Brom 24
20 Sunderland 19
After 19 Apr 2003

Match Preview

Is this our Cup Final, as the old refrain used to be?  Well, quite frankly, it is both teams' Cup Final this year.

Entering the second Merseyside derby of the season as we entered and exited the last, above Liverpool, you'd have thought that the bookies may look at our home form (one defeat all season, including victories over two top three teams in Newcastle and Arsenal) and give us the edge.  Not so.  Straight 6/4 odds for both teams seem the order of the day.

This pretty much sums up people's views of Liverpool.  Whilst still under-performing, the potential is there for them to put together the sort of run that would see them pinch a Champions League place.  With players such as Owen, Riise and Gerrard, they have the ability to put any team to the sword.  With a defence of Carragher, Riise, Hyppia, Henchoz and Dudek in commanding form, they are as impregnable as any team in the Premiership.

Ah! but there, again, is the rub!  That defence has not been in commanding form.  In fact, at Goodison, it won't even be together.  With their colossal centre-backs both missing (Hyppia suspension; Henchoz injury) the heart of their defence is dodgy Traore and simply awful Biscan.

Biscan once again Houllier's ability to pay over the odds for an average player and then convert him into a more defensive role shines through.  Though I am reliably (!) informed that he has played very well for the reserves at centre-back and Barcelona want to sign him honest, in a double swoop on Merseyside with Unsworth going as well...

Attack that breach, Moyes it is gaping!

David Moyes has built a simple philosophy into the club: Get into the team; play well; keep the jersey.

Time to throw that out of the window and throw Ferguson straight at the two no-marks.  He will murder them.  Realistically, Moyes is unlikely to do that and will start with Rooney (more later) and Campbell, bringing Dunc on later.  I wish he wouldn't.  Dunc has built his "legend" on these games; Rooney and Dunc starting together will petrify the new look back-line.  Get at 'em, Moyesy!

The saving grace for Liverpool is the defensive strength of their midfield.  Gerrard on his day is one of the best midfielders in Europe.  Hamann is THE best defensive midfielder does nothing at all going forward but completely shields his back four.  How Hamann copes with Rooney dropping into the space in front of the back four that he patrols could decide this game.  If Hamann stops Rooney, then our play could break down.  If Rooney can free those shackles, then we have him and Campbell running at the light-startled rabbits.

Another midfield match-up is Gravesen v Gerrard.  Gerrard is better but, with Carsley alongside him, Gravesen has the better support.  With Gravesen at his best, it could be a cruncher.  Gravesen has not disgraced himself against Keane or Viera this season (though slightly lost to both); another proper performance and we'll be in with a chance.

Unfortunately, I now come to my biggest area of concern: Unsworth v Diouf.  Diouf may miss the game due to a shin infection; personally, I really hope so.  Unsworth gives you everything he has got every time he crosses that white line.  The problem is, he simply hasn't got enough.  He was woeful against Arsenal to blame for the second goal, in my opinion and awful again against Newcastle.  

I try not to criticise players, I don't believe in negativity, but Unsworth has to learn to play the easy 20-yard balls.  Recently, he has done one of two things: Hump it up front or try a 20-yard pass and give the ball away.  In our attempts to improve the playing standard, Unsworth has got found out.  Compare him to Yobo in this game or even Hibbert on his return.  The fitness of Pistone cannot come soon enough for me.

Diouf's pace and degree of trickery could cause Unsworth lots of problems; it will give me nightmares just thinking about it as this week goes on.

Finally, the rest of our back line against their front two.

Owen and Heskey/Baros.  None of those are full of confidence.  Even though Owen has scored in his last 5 Premiership games, he has missed more chances than usual.  Weir and Stubbs will not grant him too many chances but his sheer pace will give him one or two...  Will he take them?  I dunno!

Yobo needs another belter but I am certain that he will give it.  His pace gives both coverage to the two centre-backs if they are caught out and a potent outlet down the left.  Yobo v Riise is another classic match-up!

The pace of the game will be extreme.  Individual battles will be fought out: Owen v Weir; Gerrard v Gravesen; Hamann v Rooney; Yobo v Riise; Unsworth v Diouf.  They are the key ones to me.  If Dunc plays, then add Ferguson v Traore.  Whichever teams wins the most individual battles will probably win the game.

I see goals in this one possibly as many as four but the game is so close that I don't know what score line.  Looking at the benches may suggest, amazingly, that we have the stronger squad: Ferguson, Radzinski and Hibbert on ours against Cheyrou, Smicer and Baros on theirs.  I prefer ours.

Battles will be fought and some will be won but I can't possibly end without mentioning him....

ROONEY!  His ability to improve with every big game is quite astonishing.  Bursting onto the scene with a cameo but no goal against United.  Setting the Premiership alight against Arsenal.  Awaking the world to his talents against Turkey.  Now he comes up against every Evertonian's most hated 11.  A big game is needed, and who would deny him?  In 10 minutes at Anfield, he flattened Kirkland, spun Hyppia and nearly shattered the crossbar.  This time, he is set to simply flatten the whole lot of 'em.

Release Big Dunc, Moyes.  Free up Rooney.  Destroy the little red Buggers!

3-1 to US!


Lee Doyle


It's time to try and rationalise yet another Goodison derby day defeat.  This is becoming a habit I could do without.  This was supposed to be our day.  Rooney against a makeshift central defensive pairing.  It looked even easier when one of the makeshift pair went off injured and the 'keeper did himself an injury by kicking the ground instead of the ball.  Whatever odds are stacked in your favour, though, count for nought when your midfield fails to turn up.

We had the better of most of the first half.  There was even a measure to some of our early play.  We forced a number of corners, we even forced a good save from Dudek, from a Naysmith free kick.  We failed, fatally, to cash in on a period of relative ascendancy.

As so often seems to be the way, especially in derby games, we paid a heavy price.  Liverpool had barely threatened before we gave Owen a little too much leeway.  Cutting in from the left on his favoured (only?) right foot, we backed off, and his slightly miscued shot beat Wright at his near post.  Poor defending and poor goalkeeping.

From this point on we lost our shape quite alarmingly.  How often have we seen this?  An Everton team behind in the first half and hanging on desperately for half time.  We made it and it was up to Moyes to weave his half time magic.

The second half brought no changes, despite Watson struggling from a knock he picked up from Diao.  He even limped back on after half time.  We were better in the second half, but still not troubling the Liverpool backline enough.  In all honesty we didn't really look like scoring, and I suppose it wasn't a surprise that our lifeline came through a penalty.  Gary Naysmith did Carragher down the edge of the box and he body checked him out of it.  A clear penalty, so clear they didn't even complain.  Despite the pressure, Unsworth produced the perfect penalty, high and powerful into the top corner.

We were back in it, and suddenly going for the victory.  Alas it wasn't with any great conviction.  Endeavour was there, but precious little wit or guile.  It appeared to be heading for a draw.  Neither side seemed to have the necessary to push on for victory.  That was until we gave them an inch too much again.

Murphy, limited player though he is, is well capable of the spectacular long range strike.  They were mounting an attack, we had already passed up one chance to stem it, when the ball fell to Murphy.  We were slow to close him down, he saw an opening and took it with some aplomb, finding the top corner with the aid of the underside of the bar.

We tried to change things around.  Dunc came on for the labouring Watson, Rooney went into the hole behind the front two.  Later still Gemmill came on for Gravesen (rendered impotent by another booking).  Once again, there was fuss and bluster but no real conviction that we would score.

It seems, though, that we can't just lose to Liverpool.  It seems that insult also has to be added to injury.  This time it came in the shape of two sendings off.  There had been a flurry of bookings in the first half (seven).  Two of these were to Weir and Naysmith.  Weir was the first to walk, a desperate saving tackle on Gerrard saw Gerrard hit the turf.  He had to walk really.  Then, in the ninetieth minute, Naysmith checked a Liverpool runner with his body and he too walked.  A little harsh, I thought.  In the context of the game I thought Durkin could, perhaps, have turned a blind eye to this one.

This was a bitter pill to swallow.  Made worse by news of Chelsea's defeat (yes Liverpool are going to sneak into the Champions League) and Phil Thompson's on-pitch antics after the final whistle (my hatred for this man is reaching unhealthy levels).  Suddenly we're looking like a tired team who has gone as far as they can.

  • Wright 7  Can't, in all honesty recall, a save.  When he was called into action he should have done better.
  • Yobo 7  Some excellent stuff, but sometimes he looks like an accident waiting to happen.
  • Unsworth 7  Did OK till he totally lost his distribution in the second half. Exceptional penalty.
  • Stubbs 7  A good man for derby's.  Did all he could.
  • Weir 6  Played very well with some excellent interceptions and tackles.  But, got himself booked twice and, couldn't complain about either.
  • Watson 6  Clearly hampered by his injury (looked like a bad tackle by Diao); surprised he stayed on as long as he did.
  • Gravesen 6  Typically Tommy need I say more.
  • Carsley 6  Struggled.
  • Naysmith 6  Thought he had his best game for a while.  Still not good enough for the left midfield slot though.
  • Campbell 6  Struggled.  Wasn't helped by a lack of service but still feel he should have done better.
  • Rooney 6  It's days like this that you're reminded he's only 17.  It's not that he did anything particularly wrong, it's just that, without the service, he doesn't have the maturity to shape the game.  Today he would have been better coming off the bench.  All part of the learning curve.
  • Ferguson 6  Looked lively and put himself about.  However, as he came on we dispensed with any form of width whatsoever.  He linked the play well, and showed good leadership, but again it comes down to the lack of service.
  • Gemmill 6  Did alright, but not enough to really change things.

Team 6  Ultimately found wanting.  We can't grumble we weren't good enough.

Man of the match Alan Stubbs.

Richard Marland

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