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 FA Premiership (2); Stadium of Light, Sunderland; Saturday 24 August 2002; 3:00pm
Phillips Penalty saved by Wright (71')

Attendance: 37,698
Halftime: 0-1

Campbell (27')

Referee: Mr R Styles

David Moyes stuck with almost the same line-up as against Spurs, bar resting young Wayne Rooney to the subs bench as Alexandersson started the game.  Linderoth's reported whining had probably had little effect: he was on the bench again.

Gavin McCann was quickly in to action, committing the first foul, quickly followed by a robust challenge on Richard Wright as the young keeper made his first save.  Sunderland started brightly.

A point-blank save by Wright saved Everton as Phillips bashed his rebound against the crossbar.  Moments later, McCann was let in and should have scored but blasted wide, with Everton tottering... 

But Everton survived the early onslaught and took the sting out of the Sunderland attack before starting to turn the tide with some promising attacks mid-way through the first half.

Then a well-constructed goal saw Kevin Campbell get off the mark for Everton.  Excellent work by Alexandersson and Gravesen got the ball to Radzinski, who laid it on a plate for SuperKev: GOAL!

Some lively stuff ensued but Everton did not really pile on too much pressure after the goal, although Li Tie had a couple of good potshots and Pembridge went close to scoring again as Everton realized that Sunderland were there for the taking. 

Sunderland were strong after the break, with Phillips almost scoring again.  More attacks by the Mackems looked promising as Everton struggled to survive.  Piper and Quinn came on for Sunderland and then Richard Wright badly fumbled a Reyna free-kick which went into the net, but the ref thankfully ruled it out for offside!  A remarkable escape for Wright!  

Quinn then was awarded a penalty as a corner came across and Wright tried to push him out of the way... but Richard Wright then made an absolutely superb one-handed save deep to his right, and caught it just before it crossed the line!  In a moment, he repaid Moyes's faith in him.  Fantastic stuff! 

This really lit up the game as Quinn's presence really began to tell for the Mackems.  With 15 mins or so left, on came Rooney and Linderoth...  Some great work from Rooney ensued, with excellent runs and touches.  

It was tense and dramatic as Sunderland fought and struggled to equalize, but Everton held out through the 4 mins of added time... a FANTASTIC EVERTON WIN!

Match Facts
Sunderland (4-4-2)
Red & white shirts, black shorts & socks
Kyle (62' Piper) 
McAteer (70' Quinn) 

Subs not used:  Macho, 
McCartney, Arca

Yellow Cards: Wright (65')

Red Cards: �

Everton (4-4-2)
Blue shirts & socks, white shorts
Weir (c)
Alexandersson (74' Rooney)
Tie (74' Linderoth)

Subs not used: Simonsen,
Unsworth, Rodrigo

Yellow Cards:
Naysmith (61')

Red Cards: �

(Injured:) Chadwick,
Ferguson, Gemmill, Moore, 
Pistone, Tal, Watson, Yobo;
(On Loan:) Clarke, Nyarko, Southern
Match Reports

David Moyes: Master of la Mot Juste

Sunderland v Everton:
Prior League Games
 Sunderland 44
 Everton 15
 Draws 11
 Sunderland 4
 Everton 0
 Draws 0
 Last Season:

Sunderland 1-0 Everton 

Premiership Scores
Chelsea 2-1 Man Utd
Man City 1-0 Newcastle 
Brum   0-1 Blackburn 
Bolton   1-2 Charlton 
Liverpool 2-0 Sotton 
Mid'sbro  2-0 Fulham 
Sunderland 0-1 Everton 
Tottenham 1-0 A Villa
West Ham 2-1 Arsenal 
West Brom 0-0 Leeds

Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Leeds 6
2 Liverpool 6
3 Fulham 4
4 Arsenal 4
5 Chelsea 4
6 Everton 4
7 Man Utd 4
8 Tottenham 4
9 Blackburn 4
10 Newcastle 3
11 Charlton 3
12 Man City 3
13 Middlesbrough 2
14 Sunderland 1
15 Southampton 1
16 West Ham 1
17 Aston Villa 0
18 West Brom 0
19 Birmingham 0
20 Bolton 0

After 24 Aug 2002


Everton Web Sites
ToffeeWeb Match Summary Match Report
When Skies Are Grey Match Report
Satis? Fanzine Match Report
Blue Kipper Match Report
Everton Fans' Reports
Guy McEvoy Peter Reid is an Evertonian
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


Given Moyes's exciting and oh so promising start at the helm, the chances of Peter Reid ever becoming Everton manager must now be very close to nil.

Given his team's penchant for long-ball football and over-reliance on one decent buy made 5 years ago, maybe that isn't such a bad thing!  Sacrilege?  Is to speak of such a great Everton player in such low terms acceptable?

Well � given that Sunderland are in a bit of a mess � Yes!  Their defence held firm in the first game of the season away to Blackburn but, other than the aforementioned Phillips, there is very little else resembling an attacking threat.

Last season saw us play Sunderland twice very quickly during our terrible pre- and post- Christmas slump.  A 1-0 loss at The Stadium of Light saw us drop ever lower before a 1-0 win (Jesper Blomqvist � remember him?) at Goodison gave us a bit more heart.  Little football was played in either game.

We are all aware of the forward steps that our squad has taken over the summer; Rooney, Rodrigo and surprisingly Li Tie have already added to the coffers of ability at Goodison.  With Rodrigo having benefited from another run out against Sheff Wed in the reserves on Tuesday night, he may now be set to take a more active role in proceedings in this game.

Yobo may also be on the bench as he joined Rodrigo in the steel city and Kevin McLeod's goalscoring man-of-the-match display will also have reminded Moyes of his promising ability.  Wei Feng also played but I imagine he is still some way from the 1st team squad.

Sunderland, however, have not made such confident forays into the transfer market and � like Spurs � are desperately seeking a striker.  Linked and then rejected by all sorts, the latest tabloid titter has them targeting Tore Andre Flo � he of Joe Royle's downfall � and Ibrahimovic, a young Swedish striker who can't get in to the Ajax side and scored 6 in 24 games last season.  Michael Mols � remember when Smith tried to sign him on loan? � may also sign before deadline day...  just don't hold your breath!

Other summer activity has seen young Evertonian Stephen Wright leave Liverpool to join one of his boyhood hero's; Ex-Everton custodian Thomas Myhre has arrived; and Ex-Liverpudlian Phil Babb has joined (is there a common theme here?).

Things may have taken a turn for the better for the Weirsiders as Reid has succeeded in signing Leicester's promising youngster Matty Piper.  Piper is more of a winger but his pace and tricky could cause us a few problems if he makes his debut up front alongside Phillips � the debutant's curse?

Other than Piper, there is nothing to really set the heart-racing.  Wow � Phil Babb!!

I did say last week that Spurs shouldn't score against us and, Mr Wright, they shouldn't have!

A better day for Wrighty and a clean sheet is a possibility; one thing we know about the Blues under Moyes is that we can always score.  I'd actually not be surprised to see Rooney start on the bench in this game � maybe with a half-hour run out before the home game against Birmingham next Wednesday.

McCann and Butler may well be a young central midfield partnership for Sunderland but Gravesen should dominate and, if Li Tie continues his impressive early form, then a 1-0 or even 2-0 win could be the end result.


Peter Reid is an Evertonian

Despite their frequency, a minute's silence prior to kick-off is always sobering.  This time it was in memory of dead kids, two murdered, one a player's baby.  Only an ill-timed mobile phone ring filled the air.  The whistle went to signal the moments end.  The silence shattered.  Minds returned to the great escapism of football.

The team returned to 4-4-2.  Wright was a man with something to prove.  Hibbert, Stubbs, Weir and Naysmith took the back line.  Pembridge deservedly kept his place to combine with Gravesen, Li Tie and Alexandersson who was introduced as a starter at the expense of Rooney.  Campbell and Radzinski up front.

One of the more satisfying things about the day's eventual outcome was that we only actually played for 75 minutes.  I'll swear for the first quarter of an hour we didn't even start.  It looked like we had come for a hiding.  First blood seemed certain to go to the Mackems.  How they didn't score is beyond me � this culminated in Phillips, from point blank range, firing into Wright.  Wright couldn't hold it (would have been special if he had), the rebound dropped back to Phillips five yards out with Wright prostrate in front of him.  He hit the bar.  What a let-off!

And then Everton woke up.  And you know what?  We were Ok.  The midfield tackled and supported well, neat passing between all; Campbell held the ball up; Radzinski ran ragged and freaked them out with his pace; Pembridge fired in some good corners.  We more than held our own.

So it was deserved when the goal came.  Simple stuff.  Gravesen, drifting wide, put a diagonal ball into the box; Radzinski knocked it into the path of Campbell who was where he should be, swung his leg and put it in.  Kevin is a confidence player.  The goal was just what the Doctor ordered.

The rest of the chances in the half were long-range efforts: a couple for us from the impressive Li Tie, and a couple for them from one-time Blue-boy, Gavin McCann.  Tie had us worried after he over-enthusiastically chased a hospital ball and spent a long time down after the inevitable clash.  He got up on his feet as if nothing had happened after quite a bit of treatment which meant he was targeted as an actor by the Sunderland Boo boys for his remaining time on the field.  Anyway; ahead at half time.

In the second half, they came at us in waves for a full half hour.  How we soaked it up is beyond me.  Quinn was thrown on, and seemed to have been on just moments when the woodwork was struck for the third time.

Finally Sunderland seemed to break their demons.  A free kick was floated in.  Wright, who still hadn't inspired confidence at all in the first half, completely flapped at it and put it in our own net.  Heads dropped into hands throughout the away support.  Then there was that magic, slow to catch on, cheer amongst the dejected as people sussed the offside flag was up.  This was at the other end from where we were sitting so I have no idea the justice of this.  What I do know is that Gerrard would have looked attractive had it have stood.

A few minutes can be an age in football.  A second can change everything.  People have moments where they say; 'that' was the turning point.  And so just a few moments after the gaffe was disallowed, Sunderland � still pushing hard � won a penalty. Kevin Phillips took it, and hit it well and true.  Wright guessed the direction, hurled himself at it, adjusted himself in mid-air to get a hand to it and take the sting out, and managed to snatch it out the air as he landed.  A truly fantastic save.  'England's Number One' rang loud across Sunderland's South Stand.

Sunderland had the wind pulled out of their sales. We detected it, and did a professional job in playing out the time. Rooney came on for Alexandersson, and gave us a shining cameo. In one run he picked the ball up on the edge of their box, put his head down and ran diagonally all the way to the wing in their half level with the 18 yard line. No-one could get near him.

Linderoth came on for Tie.  The midfield passing was majestic at times towards the end.  Keep-ball stuff.  Sunderland, emotionally drained, resigned to their fate.  The icing on the cake was reminding all that 'Peter Reid is an Evertonian' and even a nostalgic burst of 'He's fat he's round, he's worth a million pound...'.

Sunderland will look at this game and wonder how the hell they did not get a point at the least.  Still, the truth is they didn't have the character to see their spells of dominance last, and they let their bad luck get their heads down.  Credit to the Blueboys on the day � if you can't be outstanding, then being OK and lucky are the next best thing.  Three points on the board.  Great day out.

Individuals (Hard to write: no real stars or sinners) 

Wright  7 - Still looked dodgy as hell to start with.  Then he made 'that' save.  Hopefully that is his Gremlins out of his system then.

Hibbert, Stubbs, Weir, Naysmith  7 - A professional job by the back line.  Particularly in the spells when Sunderland were on top.  They weren't broken.  Naysmith still looks so comfortable on the ball bringing it forward, but then lets himself down with the final cross.

Gravesen  7 - Fine.  Sometimes looked to try to take the ball on too far but was having a 'lucky' day and seemed to end up with the ball at his feet despite their best efforts!

Pembridge 7 -  In form.  Will start again on Wednesday.  Best corner taker we've had at the club in recent memory by the way.  Goals will come from these this season.

Alexandersson 6 - Fine, but the least visible of the midfield.

Li Tie 8 - I really, really like this bloke.  Calm, hard working, vision.  Not every pass found its man on the day, but even for those that went astray you could see the intention and the intelligence behind it.  The crowd is currently struggling to get a song that fits his name though.  'One Li Tie' doesn't quite fit.

Radzinski 8 - Shades it for over Tie as man of the match if only as he made the full game.  Tireless work rate, used his pace to open them up a few times, laid on the goal, had a couple of decent chances himself, and looks so sharp.

Campbell 7 - Much better. Held the ball up well, good work rate, was were he needed to be for the goal.

Linderoth 7 - Enthusiastic and immediately got stuck in.

Rooney 8 - OK, so it was brief showing, but he still took the piss and scared the shit out of them. One great run in particular. No coincidence that him coming on about coincides with them starting to look defeated.

Guy McEvoy

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