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Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool
League Cup
 Tuesday 24 October 2006; 8:00pm
Cahill 23'
Keane (o.g.) 34'
Arteta missed pen 44'
McFadden 53'
Anichebe 83'
Half Time: 2-0
Attendance: 27,149
Round 3
Referee: S. Tanner

Match Summary

As expected, David Moyes rang some changes but retained the core of his first team, paying respect to the opposition and the importance of a competition like this for Everton.

Iain Turner made a rare appearance in goal as Tim Howard recovers from flu and Richard Wright nurses a back injury.

Alan Stubbs returned to the starting line-up alongside David Weir while Joleon Lescott continued at left back. James McFadden started his first game of the season while Academy alumni Mark Hughes and Bjarni Vidarsson were named on the bench alongside Victor Anichebe.

From the start, Everton were up for it and they got their reward for some lovely football when Cahill popped up to open the scoring after 23 minutes.

Mikel Arteta swung in a free kick to the back post, Lescott headed it back across goal and Cahill dived forward to nod home from close range.

10 minutes after that it was 2-0 when Keith Keane turned the ball past his own 'keeper. Johnson chased a bouncing clearance, muscled his way past his challenger and tried to square it but Keane stuck out a leg sending the ball into the far corner off the 'keeper's gloves.

The Blues had the ideal opportunity to extend the lead to 3-0 a couple of minutes before the break when Johnson caused all sorts of problems with a typical surge into the box and was hauled down by Keane. Arteta, though, gambled on sending the 'keeper the wrong way and his tame spot kick was saved by Marlon Beresford.

What could have been 3-0 was almost 2-1 on the stroke of half time when ... fired off the post. Unfortunately, in challenging to clear the ball, Weir clashed heads with Bennett and was knocked out cold. He regained consciousness while on the pitch and after being stretchered off in a neck brace, he was whisked off to hospital for precautionary scans.

Mark Hughes was introduced in his place at the start of the second half and the Blues picked up where they had left off in the first half with two good chnces early on.

James McFadden had a great chance but his shot was saved and from the resulting corner, Stubbs's bullet header was somehow cleared off the line by a defender.

It was 3-0 soon afterwards, though. Another example of straight-from-the-training-ground one-touch football between Arteta and Cahill ended with the Australian eschewing the opportunity to shoot and laying it off to McFadden who made no mistake to score the third.

Everton were in delightful form and Johnson should have made it 4-0 before the hour mark when Arteta threaded a perfect ball through for him to chase but, just as he did on Saturday, the striker failed to convert a gilt-edged chance.

Arteta was provider again a few minutes later when he whipped a ball in and McFadden's powerful header was saved well by Beresford. From the resulting corner, Arteta hammered a shot off the post with the 'keeper beaten.

At the other end, it was Turner's turn to pull off the heriocs when he denied Dean Morgan before Beresford pulled off another stunning save to deny Simon Davies' sweet strike. From that corner, Carsley drove narrowly over.

With 20-odd minutes to go, Moyes made some more changes, giving Andy Johnson a rest and allowing James Beattie a chance to impress, while Simon Davies picked up a knock and he was withdrawn for Anichebe.

The substitutions had the predictable effect of dampening Everton's rhythm and the game dipped into a lull but with eight minutes left Anichebe galloped down the pitch and after twisting and turning his marker he drove home the Blues' fourth goal.

And Everton weren't done. McFadden could have made it five in the closing stages but his shot was cleared off the line and Cahill headed wide in injury time.

Overall, a superb team effort that could have yielded double the four goals they did score. Now, a performance like that at The Emirates Stadium on Saturday could see us end our horrible run away to Arsenal... assuming the Gunners aren't in the kind of mood that Moyes's side were tonight!

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Stats

May appear here later

Steve Flanagan

Match Report

May appear here later


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EVERTON (4-5-1)
  Davies (Anichebe 70')
  Johnson (Beattie 70')
  Subs not used
  Hibbert (injured)
  Valente (injured)
  Van der Meyde (injured)
  Wright (injured)
  Neville (ill)
  Pistone (injured)

LUTON TOWN (4-4-2)
  Keane yellow card
  Robinson (O' Leary 80')
  Morgan (Brkovic 80')
  Vine (Boyd 80')
  Subs not used

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