Injustice Adds Insult to Injury

Denied two legitimate goals by poor officiating, Everton looked to have beaten off Newcastle's challenge anyway but let Demba Ba in at the death to steal an undeserved point

Lyndon Lloyd 17/09/2012 67comments  |  Jump to last

Everton 2-2 Newcastle United

An 88th-minute strike by Victor Anichebe looked to have led Everton to a triumph over refereeing incompetence at Goodison Park, but for the second time after coming on as a half-time substitute, Demba Ba would profit from sloppy defending to peg the Blues back and earn Newcastle an undeserved point.

David Moyes's side were denied not one but two legitimate goals in the second half as they sought to overcome the frustration of letting slip the well-earned lead they had carried into the interval; Marouane Fellaini's calmly-taken shot was ruled out for non-existent offside and Anichebe's headed goal was missed by the same linesman as it crossed the line before being hacked away by a Magpies defender.

Undeterred, Anichebe would grab what should have been the winner with a crisp left-footed drive following Steven Pienaar's incisive pass but when Shola Ameobi chested on a launched ball by Steven Harper, Ba got enough contact to steer it past Tim Howard in the dying seconds of regulation time.

The Goodison faithful were put through the proverbial wringer during a frenetic game that had drama almost from the first whistle. Nikica Jelavic had the ball in the net inside two minutes after Harper had spilled Fellaini's close-range shot off Kevin Mirallas' cross but, correctly, the "goal" was chalked off for offside.

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The Croatian suffered what looked to be a game-ending injury when he collided with the post at the end of the move but he managed to run it off, before a clash of boots in his own area shortly before half-time eventually forced him off amid much concern from the home fans.

In between, Everton dominated and appeared destined to repeat their attacking exploits at Villa Park at the end of last month. An probing 11th-minute move down the left that saw Leighton Baines jink his way to the byline was a sign of things to come and a more composed finish by Steven Pienaar from the fullback-s cut-back from the byline might have yielded the first goal. The South African sliced his effort badly wide, though.

Four minutes later, though, with the roles reversed, Baines put the Blues ahead in style. A lovely interchange on the edge of the box saw Pienaar backheel smartly into Baines' path and the England international surged into the box before driving hard and low past Harper.

Everton were all business, with Pienaar pulling the strings down the left, Fellaini in typically bombastic mood behind Jelavic and Mirallas hell-bent on marking his full Premier League debut in the same way he did against Leyton Orient last month. He came close with two carbon-copy efforts after cutting in from the left in the 19th and 20th minutes, the second swerving agonisingly past the post, missing by an inch.

And Phil Jagielka almost smashed home his first of the season after playing his own one-two with Jelavic but his effort whistled past Harper's other upright as the Blues threatened to extend their lead.

Alarm bells for the defensive weakness that would scupper them in the second half were there to be heeded in the first half, though. Phil Neville set the tone in the 27th minute for what was, in truth, a shocking personal performance in the middle of the park by heading poorly straight to Papisse Cisse in his own area but the striker, thankfully, smashed his volley across the face of goal.

10 minutes later, Anita thought he had leveled matters when typically incisive work by Hatem Ben Arfa set the midfielder up in front of goal but Baines somehow managed to clear the ball off the goalline and Everton escaped.

Back down the Park End, with two minutes left of the first half, Pienaar really should have put the Blues into a commanding 2-0 half-time lead but, having robbed James Perch, he spurned the gilt-edged chance by curling wide from 18 yards.

Having seen his side improve in the 15 minutes before half time, Alan Pardew decided to introduce Ba at the beginning of the second half and his decision had reaped dividends with less than five minutes on the clock after the restart. Leon Osman made a mess of possession in the middle of the park by over-running the ball and then losing it to Yohan Cabaye and the Frenchman made him pay with a perfectly-weighted through-ball that put Ba in the clear behind the home defence.

Howard advanced, Ba took his shot earlier than the American expected and left him embarrassibgly flat-footed as the ball rolled into the empty net.

1-1 and Newcastle started to sense blood as the nerves started to jangle in the stands and referee Mike Jones' officiating became increasingly fussy and erratic, with bemusing decision after bemusing decision going the visitors' way. Nevertheless, despite having ceded the majority of the possession to Newcastle by this point, it was Everton who were creating the better chances.

Osman ballooned a decent one high into the Gwladys Street but Fellaini made no mistake in finishing off another lovely move that ended with Pienaar slipping the Belgian in level with the last defender. The referee's assistant, of course, saw things differently and the goal was disallowed.

Not to be outdone, though, Perch sprung Everton's own offside trap with a terrific ball over the top that Ba side-footed first time over the stranded Howard but his effort dropped into the top of the crossbar and bounced behind to safety leaving the teams deadlocked once more.

With a steady rain now falling and the pitch playing like grease in many areas, the game opened up even more, as evidenced when Harper's neat footwork well outside his area ended with a long ball forward that Ba again controlled well with his first touch but Sylvain Distin hacked the ball clear before it could threaten the goal.

Still Everton came forward as the minutes ticked by and Osman side-footed another superb chance a yard wide of the post when he should have at least tested the goalkeeper, before Anichebe connected with a cross from the right and his header cannoned off the underside of the bar and over the line. Again, the assistant was having none of it and play continued despite incredulity among the Blues' players.

The back door remained wide open at times, though, and were it not for excellent work by Howard, Ben Arfa would have scored what might have proved to be a cruel winner in the 86th minute. Another through-ball carved open the home defence with Jagielka skinned for pace by the French winger but Howard stopped his shot as he tried to slide it under the American's body and Jagielka did enough to clear the danger.

Two minutes later, relief appeared to have arrived, both for Everton and the officials. Pienaar picked out Anichebe and he rolled his marker impressively to make space for the shot that he would despatch past Harper and then it was just a case of protecting what we had.

Unfortunately, the trio at the last line of defence were found wanting again on another desperate long ball forward by Harper, Distin being out-muscled by Ameobi, Jagielka losing Ba, and Howard executing an ill-advised pre-emptive jump trying to stop a lob that never came. Instead, the ball bobbled underneath him and over the line to make it 2-2. Four minutes of stoppage time action couldn't separate the two sides and Moyes had to be content with a point.

In the afermath, it was one of those draws that felt like a defeat. When you score a late goal at home, particularly at the end of such a hectic encounter, you feel like you should go and win the game. But having seen two perfectly good goals wiped out by abysmal officiating, these two dropped points were especially hard to take.

And yet, with better defending it wouldn't have mattered. Credit should go to Pardew who acknowledged the freedom with which Everton were playing in the first half having nullified the limited threat posed by Cisse as the loan striker because the Blues struggled to cope with Ba all second half. But as Moyes tries to square the circle of perming two from Jagielka, Distin and Johnny Heitinga, you can't help but wonder after tonight and the West Brom game if last season's Player fo the Year might not bring a bit more cohesion at the back.

Central midfield, too, continues to be a worry, with Neville doing his cause for continued deployment in that role no favours with what was, to these eyes, as poor a performance as he's had in a Royal Blue jersey. Osman was bright and purposeful going forward but was wasteful in front of goal and crucially sloppy in his own half for the first goal. More weight to the argument, perhaps, that Fellaini should drop back to his natural position, although any absence through injury for Jelavic would complicate that issue further.

Despite all of that, though, there was still so much to admire about Everton going forward. During that opening half-hour of near ceaseless domination, they played some sublime stuff and even when the conditions got more slippery, they continued to carve out good chances that would have won the game with better-sighted officials.

Mirallas was enterprising and positive but betrayed a little unfamiliarity with the speed and physicality of the Premier League which he will, of course, develop over time. Fellaini was combative and dangerous, Pienaar a little mercurial but still a thorn in Newcastle's side all nighth, and Anichebe took his chances well after replacing Jelavic.

So, a setback but certainly nothing to get too discouraged about unless the injuries start to pile up. The hope is, of course, that Jelavic is able to shake off his injury in time to repeat his goalscoring heroics at the Liberty Stadium in the early Saturday kick-off against Swansea. Let's cross that bridge when we come to it.

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Reader Comments (67)

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Ian Bennett
1 Posted 18/09/2012 at 06:56:16
Hugely frustrating. We should have been out of sight with the amount of chances, last night, but we also looked wide open for every long ball keeper punt so no surprise we blew 2 points, and nearly 3. Why at 2-1 Moyes didn't take Neville off and put Heitinga or Duffy on was beyond me to close the game out.

Take away Jelavic and Gibson, and our stock plummets. Osman was fairly frustrating, as was Victor. Neville was probably the worst I have seen him play, and has to be dropped. Fellaini has to be moved back to midfield, with last night exposing our short comings when a couple of bodies are out. Missed chance let's not repeat it.

Alan Noon
2 Posted 18/09/2012 at 07:31:57
Shocking performance by Tim Howard not only for both goals but for clearly not organising his defense.
Kase Chow
3 Posted 18/09/2012 at 07:34:52
Since we lost Lescott I've not felt confident in keeping a clean sheet. Jags was poor yday and Howard...what was he doing for either goal? Really poor

We started the 2nd half with the wrong attitude: as if the game was already won-that's something to improve

Also thought Felli looked as if he'd been reading about his own hype. Didn't contribute much

However, when all is said and done, we should have won that match but for shite refereeing. It's the mark of a good team to win when not playing well. However the officials denied us that.

We need a new centre back and Hettinga is not the answer

Sam Hoare
4 Posted 18/09/2012 at 07:42:56
Frustrating as it was last night i'm not sure we should throw the baby out with the bathwater. We had the best home defense in the league last season bar Man City. Personally i'm not sure Heitinga would have necessarily made much of a difference last night as he is weaker in the air than Jags and Distin. Duffy however might have and perhaps Moyes might have slung him on once we got our second goal? Or had we run out of subs?

Neville for me should not be in the midfield, Osman, though he had a poor game is a higher quality of player, plus we don't exactly have a plethora of options in the middle of the park.

The plus side is that Bainaar looked back to their best, Mirallas looks to be quality and another night with better officiating and less profligacy we might have scored 5 or 6 goals so at least we are creating chances which has been our achilles heel in the last few seasons.

On the downside, Howard looked dodgy, Jags might have to be hooked out for Johnny, Neville is not a permanent option in midfield and Jelavic does not have any replacements. Also our 'good' start has now become an average one as we sit familiarly in seventh.

3 points in wales please. Hopefully Jelavic is back.

Mike Green
5 Posted 18/09/2012 at 07:53:00
I'm still a little stunned from last night. I'd be disappointed enough dropping points to Newcastle but in the manner we did - by our own inability to close the game out and officiating errors - makes it all the more frustrating.

On the plus side Baines and Pienaar were fantastic, if Jelly had stayed on I'm pretty sure he wouldve got on the scoresheet, as limited as Hibbo is one thing he can do is defend, Fellaini had some great moments and Mirallas looks like a class act - once he gets half a dozen games under his belt I reckon we'll have a great player on our hands.

On the downside - its a real shame for Victor, and I know its not right and he "scored" twice but the moment he came on for jelavic I just thought "thats that then". If I were him I would look elsewhere becasue he is just does not offer enough to the team, I always feel like we're playing with 10 men when he's on.

Distin / Howard / Jagielka - Moyes needs to sort this "triangle" out, Howard's past it in my book and I'd like to see Johnny back.

As for Phil Neville - I think he genuinely offers great leadership and experience but otherwise he's sub standard if we genuinely hope for top 4.

Bottom line is we've got a great first 10 now, we just havent got the squad. First place to reinforce is goalkeeper, as much as I hate to say it, then we'd have a great first 11.

Trevor Lynes
6 Posted 18/09/2012 at 08:04:50
We were very unlucky with the decisions and it should have been 4-2 but this Newcastle side will give a lot of trouble to every team with their two strikers playing together. They are both very strong and fast.

The only downside to our performance was that we were over powered and definitely Neville and Osman should have been subbed. Naismith and Heitinga should have been on long before the end. But I would not be too downhearted at our performance as we played some top football throughout the game. Osman played OK in the first half but faded and unfortunately Nev is looking at the end of his days.

Let's just hope that Oviedo is the goods and Gibson comes back soon. We are still threadbare for decent cover and our squad is too small.

Overall a very good and entertaining game, Mirallas looks an exciting addition and Baines/Pienaar were brilliant. If we had not been robbed of a goal or two it would have been a terrific victory.

Anichebe took his goal very well and no one could be faulted on effort. I don't think Heitinga would have coped if he had been played from the start, but he should have been brought on for Osman as soon as we went 2-1 ahead.
Dave Charles
7 Posted 18/09/2012 at 08:03:37
Newcastle were poor first half and they were going to change things for the second half. We just looked as if we were not sure what to do with their more attacking style in the second half. Our lack pace in supporting attacks and getting caught on the break was there for all to see and it was so clear when Osman was caught out for their first goal and nearly again only for Howard to save his blushes. Roll on Swansea.
Paul Ward
8 Posted 18/09/2012 at 07:54:40
Luck was against us last night but ominous signs for our small squad. Gibson was missed and like early last season Distan is a liability and should be replaced by Heitinga. Moyes favourites Osman and "Flapper the Seal" in goal will play every week however bad they are. Osman is a physical week link between attack and defence. He runs aimlessly around in circles and is exhausted when he receives the ball and hopes his pathetic dive gets him a free kick. I thought Naysmith should have been preferred last night.
Brian Williams
9 Posted 18/09/2012 at 08:23:20
I've never been one of the Osman bashers previously, and I believe against certain teams where he's able to use his quick feet going forward in some space he's useful...but last night he was a very weak link and lost the ball time and time again, got muscled out of it time and time again, and often looked off the pace.
He cost us a goal and it could have been worse. Definitely time for him to become a sub rather than a starter, especially with the arrival of Naismith and Mirallas.
Lee Gorre
10 Posted 18/09/2012 at 08:18:30

I think Moyes was about to bring Heitinga on but the ball never went out of play between then and the equaliser. Anyway I thought he would have been better moving Fellaini back and his height would have given the back 4 some protection.

I thought Neville was poor but he was excellent there against Man Utd the other week so I don't think its a case that he should be discarded based on last night. However, I think Moyes needs to react quicker and better to what sometimes is obvious. Neville was an accident waiting to happen last night and irrespective of his display should have been subbed after his final warning foul. Second half we lost our way for a bit and started knocking the ball long too often which played into their hands at the back. Fellaini should have been dropped back into Neville's position, Naysmith brought on and we would then have had 4/5 players doing the intricate pass and moves that we look so good at and would probably have finished them off.

At Swansea that is the line up I'd prefer to see as that would suit the type of game that is going to be.

Paul Gladwell
11 Posted 18/09/2012 at 08:24:22
Mike be careful what you say about big Vic, some people take offence although most lads I speak to at the game feel the same, once Jelavic went off all the movement and hold up play up front stopped and that is why Moyes put Vic out wide in the end, He just has not got it and I don't mean that in a nasty way either, we went from looking like a top three team to very mid table like when Jelavic went off, obviously there were other factors like our two centre mids shitting themselves because newcastle stepped thing up a bit, but he is poor to me and was again last night.
Sam Morrison
12 Posted 18/09/2012 at 08:29:07
After every defeat - or draw that feels like one - it's natural to point the finger. Personally I feel criticism of Osman and Fellaini is misplaced. I agree with Lyndon that Heitinga gives us more composure at the back but the one player who didn't look part of a pass-and-move team to me was Neville, who I've defended many times before. At 34 he doesn't have the workrate to break up opposition play and Naismith, though hardly an enforcer, might have been a better ploy.

Mainly though I appreciate a cracking game and reserve my wrath for the officials.

Derek Thomas
13 Posted 18/09/2012 at 08:25:40
Distin and Jags have sometimes looked frail when the ball is lofted between them They seem to bottle it when having seemingly too much time. They are both better at backs to the wall defending... but the Centre Midfield (ha) must hold up their hands, they are part of the cover, a factor in the equation when defending ( ha).

Big Vic, got 1, could and should've been 2, but he just doesn't come across as, well I'm just not sure what he comes across as, but most of us don't like it.

If he had a bit of Mongrel in him and half the Straq's attitude he would be a world beater. ( see Moyeses get an idea and stick with it below )

Some have said Moyes is a one trick pony and I have to say once he gets an idea in his takes a lot of shifting ( Saha and Cahill, 451, Neville in MF, KITAPI, USA pre seasons, the whole sq peg round hole thing )...Now we have the Fellani Factor.

Davy; be a bit Flexible with the Fellani Factor, don't Flog to death FFS.

So to mis quote Chris Tarrant;


This is Everton watch and smile ( ruefully )

Mark Murphy
14 Posted 18/09/2012 at 09:00:25
I really wish people would lay off Victor Anichebe and give the lad a break!
He took both his chances well and terrorised their defence last night.
Pienaar, Fellaini and Osman all missed decent chances but its big Vic who gets the predictable stick.
He's not Jelavic and I'm not saying he should be our first option but he gave us a winning lead twice last night and only a crap linesman and a dozy centre half let that slip.
I would much rather see Vic line up next game (up front) than Phil Neville in midfield!
THATS where we are weakest.
Dons tin hat and goes back to work....
Guy Hastings
15 Posted 18/09/2012 at 09:03:18
Newcastle had two clear cut chances in the first half - Cisse's miss by a posts' width and Baines' line clearance. We had to be 2 up by half-time or points were going to be dropped. We weren't and they were.
Nick Armitage
16 Posted 18/09/2012 at 09:08:49
There is no way Man United would have drawn that game. We threw it away, and when I saw Jags, Hibbert and Neville playing the ball to each other with 2 mins to go I switched off.

We simply are not ruthless enough attacking or defending.

Derek Thomas
17 Posted 18/09/2012 at 09:23:45
Mark; no need for tin hat, maybe ear plugs and some glasses, in fact both you, the reff and the linesman should have gone to spec savers. With the best will in the world Vic has never terrorised a defence in his life. His idea of a reign of terror is a balloon on a stick.

I'm with you on Neville though, How many times ( years ) have we been saying, never, never, never, etc etc ever do we want to see him in MF.

Paul Gladwell
18 Posted 18/09/2012 at 09:47:50
Mark, give the lad a break, no one was booing him in that ground last night, he gets our support, but if people feel they want to discuss it on here that he is not good enough then what is wrong with that? I thought he was garbage last night and you never, it is a matter of opinions, but if he terrorised their defence why did Moyes decide to throw him out wide? we looked lost up front once Jelavic went off and this put pressure on the rest of the team.
Ajay Gopal
19 Posted 18/09/2012 at 09:37:00
Bring back the Heitinga-Duffy central defence combination. They were key to our season turn-around last year. If you don't believe me, see the statistics from last season. Coleman should be given a chance to start at right back (use Hibbert to close out a game if necessary). As somebody mentioned, Moyes needs to be flexible in his use of Fellaini - in Gibson's absense I would much rather like to see fellaini's physical presense at the back than in the front. A front 5 of Jelavic, Pienaar, Mirallas, Naismith and Osman isn't too bad, but possibly too light-weight?

Hopefully, Barkley does well in his loan spell and Moyes thinks he is good enough to bring back to Everton.

James Thomas
20 Posted 18/09/2012 at 09:53:50
FFS, Vic played well last night. He scored twice, charged down Harper all night, causing him to slice it out two or three times and for those complaining about his passion did you not see how he celebrated his goal?

Why is he the scapegoat for so many people. Nobody's saying he's got the technique of Jelavic but if Jelly had scored the two goals Vic did we'd all be raving about how he's a natural finisher.

As for Nick Armitage saying United would never have drawn that game, are you forgetting last season when they were up by two goals with ten minutes left and we drew with them 4-4. Some people are just desperate to have a go. We were screwed by two bad decisions, Osman getting caught in possession and our centre halves being unable to deal with route one football, NOT Big Vic scoring two goals and working his socks off.

People's abuse of Anichebe is a disgrace.

Ray Roche
21 Posted 18/09/2012 at 09:50:25
I agree with several comments on here today, Neville was woefull, Osman, although I thought he played a decent game in the first half with Pienaar and Baines when it was all "pass and move" , became a liability in the second half. Jags and Distin... dreadfull, once Ba had joined Cisse and the Skunks deployed the big hoof up front, crude but effective, they were struggling.

Once more we were frustrated with Moyes substitutions. Why can't he figure it out earlier? Like many on here, I would have preferred to see Fellaini drop back, and Naismith come on for Neville, Mirallas move inside and PLAY THE BALL ON THE FLOOR! Christ, it's not rocket science! We were all over them in the first half using that tactic. They are a big side and the movement early on had them chasing shadows. Still, if the officials had been merely incompetent instead of effin incompetent, we would have won and this would have been a discussion about a great win and a great game.

I think Victor must read this sites comments judging by his reaction to his goal (that stood)

Great tribute before the game, worthy of the plaudits it has recieved in the media. "He aint heavy" was an inspired choice.

Gary Creaney
22 Posted 18/09/2012 at 09:56:25
Every game, the team is announced and the first thing I look for : is Neville in midfield? And then my mood thereafter is determined.
No matter what happens to us in terms of injuries, all roads lead to Nev in midfield. Before the game, I was studying out how it could have been avoided, and it simply involved Fellaini into midfield and Mirallas off Jelavic but knew that Moyes would simply not do that.

Please Moyes no more Nev in midfield ever again.... ever!

Shaun Sparke
23 Posted 18/09/2012 at 10:01:26
Well said James Thomas. I thought that Anichebe acquitted himself well last night and you could not fault him for his effort. In the past he has sometimes gone to ground too easily and has been guilty of moaning and crying over the slightest of knocks. I thought he was going to do it again last night at one stage when he got a smack in the mouth. He seemed to think about crying but then decided to just get on with the game. Maybe the lad is learning. He took his goal (s) really well and made a nuisance of himself. Some will never see that sadly and will continue to give him stick even when he plays well.
Lee Preston
24 Posted 18/09/2012 at 10:01:14
Quite right, Victor did score twice. But, way off the mark with the 'he charged Harper down all night' comment. He charged him down twice, but he also just watched on as Mirallas charged 3 Newcastle players down, playing triangles round him, despite asking for support.

Truth is, Victor has a lot of decent attributes and sometimes shows the guile and determination we hope and expect from him. But, it's all very fleeting. However, there were a lot of signs of improvement from him last night and I genuinely hope he can prove me and a lot of other people wrong.

Kase Chow (439), last years player of the year is not the answer? So I guess only Gerard Pique or Sergio Ramos will do for you yeah?

Paul Gladwell
25 Posted 18/09/2012 at 10:28:05
No one is being nasty about Vic, it`s an opinion, the three people next to me in the car going home and in the Park End sitting next to me said similar to me and far worse, maybe we see a different game to the TV, but it is just our opinions, I never booed him last night< I would love him to come good, sadly I just cannot see it.
John Crook
26 Posted 18/09/2012 at 10:32:06
Well, the season really is back now. Got that regular feeling back. Unable to kill off average teams (under strengthed average teams) shit attendences, unreliable Captain Pip and and unconvincing Tim fuckin Howard.

Fuckin great feeling, good to be back!!!!!!!!
Kevin Gillen
27 Posted 18/09/2012 at 10:34:31
I don't know why Evertonians are always looking for scapegoats on Toffeeweb. Our team totally bossed the first half, Neville and Osman were as good as anyone in the first half and Anichebe, on for 50 minutes scored two goals one of which was quite frankly terrific. We should have won that game 5-2 and if the officials had been doing their jobs properly we would certainly have won it 4-2. Saying that Man United would never have blown that game too is true in one sense because no linesman in the land would have dared giving the first goal offside at Old Trafford and they would have certainly gave the Anichebe header. If I have one complaint I thought the goalkeeping was poor, but again, if the officials had done their jobs properly, that would have been overlooked. Two points dropped. A travesty.
Chris Fisher
28 Posted 18/09/2012 at 10:39:18
Last night just showed why we will never challenge the big boys in this league. Yes, we was robbed of two goals but when we got the lead with two minutes left, that should've been it. Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal... even Liverpool none of those clubs would've let go of that lead. The defending for that second equaliser was schoolboy stuff, we shouldn't be drawing with clubs like Newcastle.

On a side note, is Alan Pardew the most hateful man in football? I litreally can't stand to look at him, he is just a nasty little man and 100% delusional.
Brent Stephens
29 Posted 18/09/2012 at 10:15:59
The way I saw it...

Weakened from the start with the loss of Gibson.

First half we played a lot of great football, on the ground. Baines, Peanuts, Mirallas, Jelly, and at time Osman when we were going forward. Our first goal was a result of such play.
Whether we outplayed them first half because they set up wrong and let us play, or we were just so much better... I'm undecided. But once we lost Jelly, I think we dug our own grave by bringing on Anichebe. I think we should have put Naismith on instead, to continue playing football, on the ground, to get it up to and into their box, not the bull in a china shop that Anichebe is.

So second half, we lost it in the middle. A combination of factors. They came out with Ba, Neville so weak, Osman poor going back, as opposed to going forward, our defence under pressure, with Jags generally exposed for pace, and Distin as ever vulnerable to the one over the top. So all those factors combined means we were then under the cosh, and then with no controlled outlet through "on-the floor" football as in the first half but with the ball being lobbed high up to Anichebe, who gives us little outside of the box. (It got worse later when Anichebe was pushed out on the right).

At which point, relatively early in second half, I think DM should have grabbed the bull Anichebe by the horns and taken him off, along with Pip. Pulled Fella back to replace Pip, put on Naismith and Coleman (possibly?) to continue the "on the ground" stuff, working up to and into their box. Or Johnny replacing Pip and Naismith replacing Anichebe.

I think my point is that Anichebe was only useful if it got into the box. But we were losing it in midfield and let them in. That's what needed to be stopped and there was away of doing that, as above,which was at the same time stronger defensively and would have continued the threat going forward up to and into their box.

Ajay Gopal
30 Posted 18/09/2012 at 10:43:53
In the absense of our main striker, Anichebe did a decent job and I give him credit for that. However, he was mostly anonymous the other times. Even when he had a one-on-one chance just past the halfway line, we was so slow on the ball that 3 defenders easily overtook him and he was forced out wide and the chance was lost. But based on his performance yesterday (and knowing that we are not Man City or Chelsea), he would do as decent cover for Jelavic.

By the way, I thought that Naismith was more anonymous than Anichebe when he came on.

Lee Courtliff
31 Posted 18/09/2012 at 11:02:50
I thought Nev and Ossie played well in the first half.

They faded in the second as N'castle grew stronger but they weren't the only ones to be fair.

Ossie was at fault for their first equaliser but Howard was at fault for both goals,imo.

Everytime I see their first goal it seems to move slower and slower yet Howard still can't get to it. And the second was a pathetic effort. I thought he might have learned after Doyle made a twat of him a while back.

Having said that Tim did make a couple of very good saves so fair play to him for that.

We need Gibbo back soon as.......and the linesman wants fucking!!!

Kevin Tully
32 Posted 18/09/2012 at 10:53:56
That was a good attacking line-up last night. Mirallas gives us some real threat down the right and I can see him becoming a crowd favourite.

Pleased with that showing overall, but there was a time at 1-1 we stopped showing for the ball out of defence and the old "Hooferoo" came back into our game. It's like the players run out of ideas on how to move the ball forward. Nothing to do with the manager or tactics that one - just the least intelligent way to play.

That was all I wanted to see anyway, attacking intent from the start but next time I would put Naismith in to replace Neville or Osman. I don't look for their faults every game, they just seemed weak in the tackle, and it looked to me they gave the ball away more than most. (I would like to see the stats on that though.) Howard needs to look at himself for their two goals.

I cannot believe this current team would go a whole game at home without mustering a shot on target something we witnessed last season, so improvements all round!!

Paul David
33 Posted 18/09/2012 at 10:58:40
Anichebe had his best game in a long time and took his goal really well but theres no getting away from the fact he's still shit.

No player should be getting a round of applause from the crowd for chasing down a player but Anichebe did and its because we're so used to seeing him being a lazy bastard.

He is a big lad but still didn't win a single aerial battle all night.

His movement is terrible, there was a break down the left and there was only Anichebe and 2 centre halves in the box. So what does he do? Runs over to the centre half to get himself marked.

The worst and most typical example of Anichebe's lack of ability was when the ball was played over the top and he beat the off side trap. He had a 15 yard head start on the nearest player and all he had to do was bring the ball down and have a clear run on goal. Instead his first touch was poor, poor second touch, poor third touch. By the time he finally managed to get control of the ball the entire Newcastle defence had got back and even had enough time to organise themselves.

Oliver Molloy
34 Posted 18/09/2012 at 10:02:44
Yeah, if Victor does read this site "I would say well done-only for a terrible decision you won us the match"..

Where was Victor when he scored his goals? IN THE BOX not chasing down the right or left channel.

Yes, he's no Jelavic but to me it's the Yak situation all over again. If you are a striker, you score goals by being in the right place at the right time and getting the service. Goals for strikers breeds confidence the lad should be supported.
Dave Lynch
35 Posted 18/09/2012 at 11:09:00
Ba and Cisse terrorised our defence in the 2nd half. Moyes should've seen this as Jags is not strong or physical enough for me. He should've been replaced by Heitinga.

Or, he should've taken Hibbert off, put Neville at right back, moved Fellaini into the middle, and put Johnny on as an extra defender.

It was all a bit messy 2nd half for me and we handed them back the initiative.
Ray Roche
36 Posted 18/09/2012 at 11:11:00
Osman is fine when we're playing a side who allow us to play football, but against the likes of Newcastle, Stoke (spit), and Sunderland, big, physical teams who can dish it out, he can't compete. During the first half he linked well with Baines and Pienaar but faded after half time and lost control which led to their first goal. Mirallas looks usefull.
Jimmy Srheim
37 Posted 18/09/2012 at 11:20:14
I agree Lynch!

Moyes made a mistake not getting jags off before the game, and he should have given Heitinga the chance instead of Jags.

Everybody can now see how poor our defence really is, last year we had Heitinga. who made it look much better.

I think it is time to replace both Distin and Jags, to me they are to error prone,.

Craig Walker
38 Posted 18/09/2012 at 13:06:35
Coming away from that last night, it felt like a defeat. It's always gutting to nick a goal late on and then throw it away immediately.

The first half was as good a display I've seen from an Everton side in decades. Some lovely football and a real flow to our play. Unfortunately, their equaliser meant that Moyes resorted to more hoofball. I said this over the summer and got a load of people correcting me but when Everton's back is against the wall, we resort to long ball. It was the same in the semi final last year. Why can Moyes not see that every time we knocked it around, we looked threatening or created something? I don't believe that the players just resort to knocking it. I think Moyes encourages it.

Neville isn't a central midfielder and l lost count of the number of times he surrendered possession. The warning sign was there when he headed it to Cisse who shot narrowly wide. He was also pushing his luck with persistent fouling, having already been booked early in the game.

Reflecting on the positives, Mirallas looked threatening and I thought he was unlucky to be taken off. Baines and Pienaar linked up well and I thought Hibbert had a solid game. Maybe it's a good sign that we feel disappointed with a draw against a team who did so well last season.

The negatives are the injury to Jela. I think we feared losing him over the close season and wondered where that would leave us. Our defence looked shaky once they scored and Howard should have done better on both goals despite making a great save late on and the aforementioned Neville needs replacing.

Would like to add that I thought the tribute to the 96 was well judged and I was proud to be blue with the way the club and fans conducted themselves.

Mike Gwyer
39 Posted 18/09/2012 at 13:52:01

Kevin #487

"Saying that Man United would never have blown that game".

United were leading 4-2 against us last season, we then went and scored twice in the last ten minutes. It happens to all teams, even the best - it's just that the top teams take the positives and move on, not us, we will now disect last nights match blaming each and every player, the manager and the ref till any positives have long gone.

For me we have a good first eleven, however when injuries hit we are extremely limited - though playing Neville as the anchor man seems to always stink.

Finally, the officials do what they do in most matches - fuck the game up, you just have to hope that these decisions even out over the season.

Sam Hoare
40 Posted 18/09/2012 at 14:08:34
The real problem is squad depth. We have none. This is mainly down to money, of which we also have none.

Our first 11 is good. Our second 11 is very average. This is the difference between us and Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea and possibly even RS.

Karl Masters
41 Posted 18/09/2012 at 14:39:02
Sam. Liverpool don't even have a good first eleven.......
Karl Masters
42 Posted 18/09/2012 at 14:40:34
Best thing about last night for me was seeing two of my lovely kids pictured in the programme. And both goals were sheer class as well. One of those matches I'd say.
Kristian Boyce
43 Posted 18/09/2012 at 14:32:50
I parts of the 2nd half last night it was like watching men vs. boys in the centre of midfield. Osman was being knocked around like a pinball and lost his pace & legs around 10 mins after the break. In the first half the quick movement between him, Pienaar & Baines cut them to pieces. During the 2nd they brought in a more physical approach and Osman couldn't compete.

I saw an interesting clip straight after the Neville's tackle on Gutierrez that should of seen him off, Pienaar was shouting at him to calm down. Neville is always hyped due to his leadership presence on the pitch and somewhat explains his inclusion in the team. But on last nights evidence he didn't really show any reason to keep him there.
But as others have mentioned, what other options do we really have due to a small squad and injuries. With these rumours of Hargrieves/Reo-Coker/Hitzleberger I think Moyes needs to get one of them just to give us another option in Midfield especially with Gibson gone for a while.

Brian Keating
44 Posted 18/09/2012 at 16:43:34
Robbed by terrible decisions. It should have been 4-1 when Ba got their 2nd. Moyes got the team right, we tore them to bits in the 1st half and should have been at least 2 up.

Having said that, what the hell was Tim Howard doing for their 2nd goal? Since when is jumping up in the air in the goalkeeping manual?

I am surprised people are being so hard on Anichebe, he scored two perfectly good goals but only the 2nd stood. The one that stood was a beauty too, lovely turn and shot off his weaker left. The lad has something about him if he applies himself. Give him stick when he's lazy but last night he wasn't lazy.

David Heaton
45 Posted 18/09/2012 at 16:38:11
It's hard being a blue! Why is it us who always us who come off worse in any refereeing decision?
But maybe we make a rod for our own back with the team selection,we do seem to have a good squad at the moment thanks to Moyes shrewd dealings but why o why does he keep playing Hibbert and Osman neither of them are premiership quality we will never get in the top 4 with those two playing they are just not good enough. Neville and Howard are both border line but can do a job. Osman gave the ball away for the first goal then lays on the ground like girl. Hibbert is just useless both of their goals came from our right which is always the case as Hibbert is always out of position he can tackle but the rest of his game is first division stuff. if he played Coleman and Naismith on the right we could attack down both flanks. Howard needs to be told to stay on his line unless he is sure of getting the ball, he was very poor for both goals, flapping like a seal as someone suggested. Moyes needs to get a pair and play some of the squad he has, if it's a disaster he can bring back the two muppets but until he tries other players will never know if he is playing his best team.
Paul Olsen
46 Posted 18/09/2012 at 16:59:01

A joke surely?

Everton - Man Utd 3-3 2011, two Everton goals in injury time
Manchester United - Everton 4-4, well behind a looked beat. Cost United the title as well.

Paul Olsen
47 Posted 18/09/2012 at 17:04:34
Erm, really directed at #465 that last one.
Steavey Buckley
48 Posted 18/09/2012 at 17:22:02
Everton clearly lost the WBA game and drew with Newcastle because of mid field. It beggars belief, why Moyes can sell 2 midfield players, Cahill and Rodwell, when there are no immediate or adequate replacements.
Gavin Ramejkis
49 Posted 18/09/2012 at 17:50:31
Brian #573 apart from his header and well taken goal Anichebe did fuck all, did you not see Howard having to literally push him towards a Newcastle player when they had a couple of corners when he was just standing next to Howard like a spare part at a wedding?

The midfield pairing of Neville and Osman was really poor last night, Neville only seemed to find a blue shirt in the crowd and his decisions to pass back to Distin a few times utterly shocking with Distin screaming to him not too. Howard didn't command his box last night and his gift to Ba for the second was piss poor, surely any keeper knows if they go for the ball the ref would defend them and give them the foul (even given that Geordie ginger bastard last night gifting the skunks every decision)

Peter Thistle
50 Posted 18/09/2012 at 18:18:30
Give Vic a break, he scored a real nice goal and should have had 2. If you wanna give anyone abuse then aim it at the linesman and ref who were both a joke.
Jim Knightley
51 Posted 18/09/2012 at 18:29:57
It's interesting how the players from last night..Neville, Howard, Osman, Vic...played poorly in some eyes (Gavin's) but that we still managed to draw 2-2, and have two good goals ruled out, against a team which finished fifth last season.
Maybe the other seven are just fantastic, or those insulted are not as bad as suggested?

And Steven, the Cahill sale is completely irrelevant to our current scenario. He played fundamentally as an attacking midfielder, and we have Fellaini, Osman and Naismith who can play in an AMC position, and Pienarr at a push.

Paul David
52 Posted 18/09/2012 at 18:46:39
Or maybe Newcastle were poor, which they were for most of the game.
Andy Crooks
53 Posted 18/09/2012 at 19:00:46
Jim I respect your views more often than not but surely you agree that Neville and Howard were poor last night. When was the last time any one can recall an established first teamer being dropped for being shite? Tim Howard needs to get the point that not every howler-and there have been a few-will be forgiven.

Phil Neville at his best and most committed, i,e against Man U, can still do a job. He can't do a job week after week and ,admirable as he is, no team with Phil Neville in midfield can qualify for the Champions league. I like Leon Osman but he is a luxury player who should never feature in the same midfield as Phil Neville.

Shane Corcoran
54 Posted 18/09/2012 at 19:26:53
Peter Thistle, do you think you'd have gotten the offside decision correct. Both Phil Neville and that linesam took to the field last night with a job to do. Which of them performed best?
Paul Ferry
55 Posted 18/09/2012 at 19:10:45
Erm this is 100% priceless: Paul (497) "Anichebe had his best game in a long time and took his goal really well but theres no getting away from the fact he's still shit."

Completely agree, by the way. But dear Lord... "his best game in a long time" and "he's still shit"!

And then this from Mark (463): Anichibe 'terrorized' the barcodes defence.

Split opinions, your honour. 'Terrorized'? He was a lumbering oafish paceless awkward-gawp looking piece of shite. Sheer shite. Did you not see him with his 2-second start on the left back who picked him off with ease? Ship the worst so-called forward I've seen in donkey's years at The Old Lady to the mutants at Stoke where he belongs; he is a fucking classic Pullis player, match made in mutant Heaven.

Howard - Hibbert - Osman - Neville - Anishitbe off the bench. The Moyes Five. No questions asked in his mind: the five, the famous five. Each one a liability: sorry a per cent hit rate for a goalie is, erm, well, crumbs, not good enough.

Captain Pish, my heart sinks every time, every time, and you are NOT the great leader folks on here seem to think merits your place in the 11. NO, absolutely no way at all, the great sideways/backways midfield crab really show leadership in the 2nd half right, a hand-clap here, a hand-clap there.

Hibbo is honest and decent and not good enough. Osman is a lightweight piece of tissue, blown across the pitch, who needs too be directed not too far away to say Wigan or Bolton.

It's so blind bleedingly obvious innit? Everton win games, sometimes we might go on a winless streak but we we win games, we bounce back, and we can go on a run. Nice. Moyes always picks Howard, Neville, Osman, Hibbo (but not always) and Anashitbe on the bench waiting to impact and terrorize defences. They are always picked so fucking obviously they will be in winning teams right, and this then lets a few folk come on here and say, cough, long sip of this neat sauvignon blanc: we win when they play, how can they be bad at all when we just beat X, murdered, Y, and played Z off the park.

We are five, FIVE, players away from a top-drawer starting 11. Happily, there are people on the bench who are better than the frightful five. But so long at the frightful five not one of whom is anywhere near up to par for a Chumps League bound team are in the first 11, there is no way in the world that we can compete on anywhere near a level playing field with Shitty, Arse and Co.

Championship players at best; too old for one, too unpredictable. New shit-hot goalie in the next window, Moysey mate; give this erratic star-leaping 50% yank something to fucking play for.

Frightful Five Out. Frightful Five Out. Frightful Five Out.

Graham Mockford
56 Posted 18/09/2012 at 19:36:01
Shane #621 a nice easy one Phil. Next!!
Ian Bennett
57 Posted 18/09/2012 at 19:07:45
Thanks, Lee someone at work said he was trying to get Heitinga on, although I couldn't see from the top balcony. To be fair, Neville was on a booking, had a last warning from the ref, and should have been subbed earlier.

I appreciate we had 2 goals disallowed, but let's not kid ourselves: we were also hanging on at times against a Newcastle side that had its own injury problems. The goals we gave away were really poor play, and I am sorry but a side that contains Osman and Neville in centre midfield, and Vic up front is going to squander points.

We missed Jelavic's movement, whilst the control in midfield withered considerably in the second half, and the back two and Howard looked flustered. I don't have an issue in having Neville or Osman in centre midfield, as long as he is next to Gibson or Fellaini, but we can't have them both together in centre midfield. You wouldn't see it at any top 5 side, so let's be realstic and say you can't have it in ours and achieve.

Yes, Vic did have some chances, but he is clearly not Premier League quality. Assuming Jelavic is injured, I would far rather stick Naismith and Mirallas up front, and drop Fellaini into the midfield, although who the arse would play on the right exposes the depth of the squad. I know this post is going to be high on the moan front, but we would be far better cashing in on Vic with some of the Rodwell money and getting someone else in, anyone.

Bobby Mallon
58 Posted 18/09/2012 at 19:46:56
Nick Armitage. Have you forgotten Man Utd 4 - 4 Everton from last season? We are a good team who were let down by officials. I must agree with some on here that Neville is weak in midfield. I would drop him, bring Mirallas to centre with Coleman on the right.
Paul Gladwell
59 Posted 18/09/2012 at 20:27:38
Gavin, I noticed that too at the corners and this is more evidence that Moyes should leave at least one player up when defending a corner as some players are actually a hindrance to our own defenders in situations like this, Hibbert had a go after Howard too on Vic at one point and Mirralas was back there doing nothing when surely his pace would be a great outlet for a break away rather than trying to defend like a headless chicken.
Eddie Tully
60 Posted 18/09/2012 at 20:30:00
From My armchair....I saw great passion in Big Vic last night,plus what should have been 2 goals! However,maybe Moyes could have chosen someone else to take off other than Kevin Mirallas.

Obviously,he's not in the same league as Jelly when it comes to controlling the ball or passing. He's an old fashioned centre forward I suppose. May I add i've never been a fan of his,especially his rolling round on the deck antics.

Bainaar were a credit to the shirt,as was Mirallas. Did anyone notice him trying to close their defence down,flailing his arms in fustration in the second half? That was great to see.

We deserved to win and played some superb football,especially in the 1st half.

Shane Corcoran
61 Posted 18/09/2012 at 22:46:52
Graham #623, please do enlighten me. If it's easy for you I mean.
Paul Ferry
62 Posted 18/09/2012 at 23:34:17
And then just to complicate things, somewhere, somehow, one of the frightful five, two if it's a red letter day, put in a good shift and even sparkle, and so everything is once again alright with the Toffee world.

You felt safe and sound as a pound but one of the rightful five pulls it off and the Freshy goes nuclear ape-shit. Doddy (may he rest in peace and all who sail with him) and his ilk bounce on the boards here to say something like, "So what you gotta say now, you big fucking bollocks tellytubbies MOB? What ya gotta say, eh, eh, ya see ow Anashitbe terrorized their defence, eh eh?"

And so someone says blah blah back. Before you can say Anashitbe there's furious tapping of keys in the Freshy and in proper scouse-land saying blah blah blah back, after that great show do you still want Leon to go to Wigan mobber (yes please, yes please).

Things are changing. But the frightful five must be taken to the elephants / stokie / pieeaters / Salford Quays graveyard okay, might go softer on Timothy Roosevelt Howard, but for the love of Sheeds, please give him some serious competition for his as of now, set in stone, holy scripture and all that place in the starting 11.

James Flynn
63 Posted 19/09/2012 at 00:31:42
God we have a great Side. What a game. And what a fine group of finishers NU has. That chest pass, on the fly, right to Ba's foot wasn't common. Ba and Cisse in the same side. Fuck me.

Looks like the Lads will have to find the balance between this all out attacking and getting back to defensive shape. Moyes too.

But, man, we look really, really good. Very exciting.

As a bonus, my first 4-2 draw. Who knew?

James Flynn
64 Posted 19/09/2012 at 00:46:28
By the way, about Heitinga. Something must be up with him that he's not playing at all. He's not injured, but can't get in the Side.

He had a poor National Team tournament and was kicked off the team. Now, he's not started games for us. At some point, the manager's not playing him for a reason.

Chad Schofield
65 Posted 19/09/2012 at 06:08:09
Incredibly frustrating that Moyes refuses to make snappy tactical changes. We battered them first half, but rather than addressing Newcastle's changes we continued letting them get into the game.

Yes the decisions were poor, yes we should have won, but Newcastle second half pressed Neville quickly when we he had the ball tied up our left and got more of a grip on Fellaini as Vic isn't as threatening as Jelavic (few are and great goals by Big Vic even so). It seemed obvious to move Morrelias into Jeli role to give them something more to think about and move Vic onto right as Fellaini and Vic too one dimensional... But Neville should have been off and Fellaini dropped back into his natural position.

Against Man Utd, inspired to play the big man there. But please not week in week out. It allows teams to work us out... Because come what may Moyes won't budge (unless forced by injury) until everyone in the entire world can see our system isn't working.

We really played some great stuff in the first half, but Moyes isn't a young inexperienced manager any more and while Neville does offer leadership, that is undermined when he is the one fucking up and putting us under pressure. We didn't need to take risks just be a little more dynamic and willing to be proactive in that second half and Newcastle wouldn't have had a look in.
Karl Masters
66 Posted 19/09/2012 at 15:09:39
Chad... Morrelias? Did we pick him up at 11.55 omn deadline day and I missed it? ;)

It's like calling you Chad Schadenfreud, ha, ha!

Christopher Timmins
67 Posted 19/09/2012 at 17:44:31
Vic on the right no way, the guy has proven over the last 8 months that he can finish, leave him up top. Coleman or Vic wide right, a no brainer!

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