Boxing Day disaster ends proud unbeaten record

, 26 December, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent
Everton 0 - 1 Sunderland

Tim Howard's dismissal after 25 minutes for a foul on Ki following Osman's error left the Blues with a mountain to climb
Everton's hopes of going all of 2013 without being beaten at home were wrecked by a disastrous moment after 25 minutes when Tim Howard was sent off for tripping Ki Sung-Yeung and the South Korean scored what would prove to be the winning goal from the spot.

Everton had been in familiar control of proceedings, albeit without really troubling Vito Mannone on the Sunderland goal but the game turned on an awful slip by Leon Osman where he mis-controlled in front of his own penalty area and Ki robbed him to set up a one-on-one with Howard.

Referee Lee Probert had little option but to give the American his marching orders once he'd brought Ki down and Roberto Martinez was forced to hook Osman to put Joel Robles in goal to face the penalty. The Spanish 'keeper guessed the right way but couldn't save the spot kick and the Blues were up against it.

Martinez was forced into another change at half time when Kevin Mirallas was withdrawn through illness but his replacement, Ross Barkley, was a good deal more effective than the Belgian had been but he was unable to produce the heroics needed to pull Everton back into the match.

Like Romelu Lukaku, the 20 year-old had a number of efforts from outside of the area that tested Mannone to varying degrees but the Blues were generally frustrated by Gus Poyet's men who dug in and soaked up the pressure

Barkley came closest to salvaging a point from a Boxing Day disaster but Mannone pushed his 84th-minute free kick wide at full stretch and Borini headed off his own line from a Nikica Jelavic header off the resulting corner as the Blues threw bodies into the visitors' area in a desperate attempt to score.

Unfortunately, it wasn't to be and Everton fell to only their second League defeat of the season and remain in fifth place going into the last match of the year against Southampton on Sunday.

Quotes or other material sourced from ToffeeWeb Match Reports

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