Everton v Liverpool

FA Carling Premier League, Tuesday 16 April, 1996; Goodison Park, Merseyside

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First, the facts ...

Everton (1) 1 Liverpool (0) 1
Kanchelskis 18; Fowler 87.

Everton: Southall, Hottiger, Watson, Unsworth, Hinchcliffe, Kanchelskis, Grant, Ebbrell, Horne, Ferguson, Amokachi (Stuart 55). Subs Not Used: Short, Limpar. Booked: Grant.

Liverpool: James, McAteer, Wright, Scales, Ruddock (Thomas 83), Jones, McManaman, Redknapp (Rush 83), Barnes, Collymore, Fowler. Subs Not Used: Warner. Booked: Ruddock.

Att: 40,120
Ref: D R Elleray (Harrow on the Hill).

Fowler robs Everton of derby double

The Irish Times: FA Premiership: Evertonian Robbie Fowler ensured Mersey pride was shared with the late goal that prevented Joe Royle's men claiming their first Derby double in 11 seasons.

Andrei Kanchelskis looked to have left Everton singing in the rain when he ran the ball into the net after John Ebbrell had hit the angle of post and bar in the 18th minute.

But just as Goodison was beginning to celebrate the way Everton's rearguard action in the second half had repelled all that Liverpool could throw at them, Fowler stepped in with his 36th of the season.

Stan Collymore, so unlucky not to have celebrated his England recall after raining in a torrent of shots on Neville Southall's goal, swung the ball in from the left three minutes from time.

Fowler had done little else, but when the ball came over he was first to react, poking home from close range to salvage a point.

Before he found the target, Kanchelskis had completely miskicked twice in front of goal, and Ebbrell had fired at David James.

But he made no mistake in the 18th minute. Neville Southall's clearance was routine, but this was not a routine night.

Ferguson pressured John Scales into missing the ball, which bounced into the box. James came and slipped, Ebbrell nipped in to hit the woodwork but Kanchelskis was on hand to add to the two he had scored at Anfield in November.

The goal appeared to waken the Reds and Collymore fired narrowly wide, but Jamie Redknapp and Neil Ruddock in particular were having nights to forget.

Daniel Amokachi was also lively for Everton and the Nigerian's 39th minute shot from Dave Watson's cross might have brought a second.

James could not hold but bravely regathered his feet to stop the converging Ebbrell and Ferguson. Still the danger was not cleared but, when Amokachi reached the ball six yards out, he blazed over.

Whatever excuses were offered at the break, they clearly cut no ice, and Liverpool were a changed side afterwards.

Collymore's goalbound effort was blocked by Dave Watson and then he headed over from Jason McAteer.

The rain was unrelenting, but Liverpool, by now, deserved to be on terms.

When Southall denied Collymore twice, it seemed destined not to be. But that was counting without Fowler, whose goal also served to savage Everton's UEFA Cup hopes.

Liverpool's point loses interest

By Peter Ball, The Times

A SPIRITED second-half performance by Liverpool ensured that honour was satisfied in the 154th Merseyside derby, but the draw effectively ended their interest in the destination of the FA Carling Premiership title while doing little for Everton's European ambitions.

"In terms of the championship, that's probably finished it," Roy Evans, the Liverpool manager, admitted afterwards. "I was a bit disappointed with our first-half performance but, in the second half, we deserved to get something out of the game."

Liverpool earned their point, finally imposing their passing game after being hustled into disarray by Everton's high-speed harrying. If Everton wrote the script, the first half followed it.

Rain had poured down throughout the day. By kick-off, water glistened on the pitch, the perfect conditions for a helter-skelter derby, allowing Everton to dictate the pace. Turning was a constant danger for defenders, sliding tackles the order of the day.

It was not to Liverpool's taste. Collymore left no doubt about his readiness for battle in the first minute, as a wrestling match with Unsworth ended in pushes and shoves and a wild right from the England forward which fortunately missed its mark. But Collymore had little support. Ruddock looked out of place on the left side of the back three and Liverpool struggled as Everton made light of an injury list which sent three of their players onto the pitch only after painkilling injections.

"In the first half, we swarmed all over them, because we were high on adrenalin," Joe Royle, the Everton manager, said. That adrenalin, and the pitch, proved too much for Liverpool for 45 minutes and that was enough for Royle to extend his unbeaten record in Merseyside derbies to four games.

Everton might have done even better. From the start, the pace of Kanchelskis and Amokachi and the height of Ferguson, who impressed the watching Craig Brown, the Scotland manager, but whose participation in the European championships remains in serious doubt, kept Liverpool's defence at full stretch. Everton might have taken the lead after nine minutes as Amokachi sent in Ferguson, and they did so after 18.

The pitch played its part, and so did uncertainty in the Liverpool defence. A long ball was allowed to bounce as Wright and Ferguson missed it. So did Amokachi, but Ebbrell was running on, James came and was undone by his foothold and Ebbrell sped past him. From a narrow angle the midfield player did well to hit the bar but that proved no escape for Liverpool as Kanchelskis, who opened his Everton account against them, maintained his record in derbies, bundling the ball in from close range for his sixth goal in six games.

With McManaman being pushed into culs-de-sac, and Redknapp anonymous, Liverpool's interest in the event seemed to drain away and only some excellent saves by James and some missed chances prevented the home side tying up the game by half-time. But, inevitably, on such a demanding surface, they could not maintain that pace for 90 minutes.

Reminded of their responsibilities at half-time, Liverpool increasingly tilted the game in their favour. Collymore sent one deceptively lazy long- range shot over Southall which came back off the bar, but an equaliser looked increasingly on the cards.

Finally, with three minutes remaining, Collymore turned provider. A perfectly struck curling cross went behind the defence for Fowler to pounce for his 36th goal of the season. "He had only had one kick previously, but that's what he does," Royle said with reluctant admiration.

A Game of Two Halves

Richard Marland After all the injury scares, it was a relief to find Ebbrell and Dunc included in the starting line-up along with Amo, and Graham Stuart returning on the bench. We lined up with Nev in goal, a back four of Hottiger, Watson, Unsworth and Hinchcliffe, a central midfield trio of Grant, Horne and Ebbrell, with Andrei wide right and Dunc and Amo up front. On the bench were Stuart, Limpar and Short.

Liverpool won the toss and, typically, decided to change ends so we ended up attacking the Street end in the first half. The pitch at this stage was a near quagmire, persistent rain on Merseyside had lasted right up to kick-off.

Typically we started the match at a quick tempo, chasing and harrying Liverpool to good effect. The pitch also worked to our advantage making passing fraught with danger, especially with the inevitable blue shirt in close attendance. We quickly earned the ascendancy as Liverpool became distinctly ragged under pressure, and the majority of the first half was played in their half. Chances came our way, through Amo and Dunc and it wasn't long before we took a deserved lead when Ebbrell did well down the left hand side of the penalty area. He drew out and wrong footed James before clipping the bar from a very acute angle, Andrei following up, picked up the rebound and bundled the ball in.

Pleasingly we didn't sit back and rest on our laurels, instead we carried on in the same vein, looking for a second. We certainly had chances to claim a second, -- one mad scramble when James spilled the ball springs to mind. But worryingly we didn't add to our lead despite our almost total domination of the first half.

If the first half belonged to Everton, then the second belonged to Liverpool. We were unable to maintain our pace of the first half as the pitch sapped weary limbs, and we started to defend deeper and deeper. This inevitably gave Liverpool more space and they started to use it. McAteer and McMannaman started to make inroads down our left where there was a lot of space in front of Hinchcliffe. Collymore also became an influence as he came deeper into the no-mans land between defence and midfield, in the main we failed to pick him up. They forced a succession of corners, none of which came to much but the pressure was mounting. Then Collymore hit the bar with a shot from outside the box.

Stuart was brought on in place of Amo, and he went straight out to the left-hand side of midfield, presumably to try and help out Hinchcliffe and also to try and occupy McAteer defensively. It didn't really work as we struggled to keep possession for any length of time, being reduced to lone breakaways through the ever dangerous Andrei.

With 3 minutes to go our heroic defence was finally undone, a good cross came in from the left from, inevitably, Collymore and it was forced in, inevitably, by Fowler, 1-1. Despite this setback, we went straight down the other end in an attempt to win it as Liverpool seemed to accept the draw. The whistle soon went, though, and that was that.

In the end a draw was a fair result. We really needed to have taken more advantage of our domination of the first half. A one goal lead on an energy sapping pitch, with the number of barely fit players we had, was never likely to be enough, and so it proved. It was cruel that the equaliser came so late, but in a way we should be thankful that it did come so late, if it had come earlier then I think that they would have gone on to win it, as it was they didn't have the time, or the inclination, to press on for the win.

Southall 8 Superb performance, his handling under the wet conditions was exemplary. I can distinctly remember two occasions where he had to hold on to difficult balls, with reds in close attendance, both times the ball stuck.
Hottiger 7 An assured, competent derby debut.
Hinchcliffe 7 Did as well as could be expected against McMannaman and McAteer, despite being somewhat isolated
Watson 8 A commanding performance, the number of blocks and tackles the man made was incredible. My MOM.
Unsworth 7 A competent display from Unsy.
Horne 8 Another superb performer, got through loads of work in midfield. Gave Watson a good run for MOM.
Ebbrell 8 Hard to believe he nearly didn't make the game. Did exceptionally well for the goal, and did well all round.
Grant 7 Didn't become much of a creative influence, but put in loads of work closing people down etc. Played his part.
Kanchelskis 8 So scared of Andrei were Liverpool that I don't think Rob Jones set foot in our half. Despite the close attention he still managed to score and cause them a perpetual problem.
Ferguson 7 Clearly not fit, after 10 minutes of running round like a lunatic he was fu...goosed. Didn't win too much in the air, but still managed to keep their defence occupied. Made some crucial defensive headers in the second half.
Amokachi 7 Did his share of running, harrying, etc. brought off for purely tactical reasons.
Stuart 6 Not on long, and playing out of position. Didn't really seem to do too much.

Team 7 First half was a definite 8, but we clearly struggled in the second half as tiredness set in. despite that it was still an heroic defensive performance in the second half. Everyone played their part, and once again we showed that if there's one thing we don't lack it's heart and bottle.

Fowler dashes Everton chance of rare double

By William Johnson, Electronic Telegraph

THE result neither half of Merseyside wanted was the result that both halves of Merseyside just about deserved at the end of a frantically-fought 154th League meeting between these fierce but friendly rivals last night. Failure to secure all three points virtually extinguishes Liverpool's faint hopes of coming with a triumphant late run to deny the two teams above them in the Premiership; and Everton's agonising failure to hold on for a hard-earned win makes it unlikely that they will claim the third UEFA Cup place which goes with finishing fifth.

Few in Goodison's biggest crowd of the season, 40,120, would have backed against Everton increasing the European pressure on Arsenal and Tottenham, at the interval stage of a battle which took place on a barely playable saturated surface.

Everton's players had insisted beforehand they had the greater incentive and they demonstrated such a belief by swarming all over Liverpool from the outset, creating enough chances in a first half of dominance to have been out of sight by half-time.

A single goal by Andrei Kanchelskis to add to the two match-winning strikes he produced at Anfield in Liverpool's "Black November" was scant reward for Everton's splendid first 45 minutes of endeavour and it was apparent by the way Liverpool began the second period that Joe Royle's team would be made to pay.

The manner in which they did pay was cruel. Neville Southall's goal had survived a series of scares as Liverpool gradually upped the pace and with three minutes remaining it appeared as though they were going to hang on.

Robbie Fowler, who had one of his quietest outings in a season which has brought him Young Player of the Year honours and full England international status, pounced in typical fashion to profit from his colleague Stan Collymore's persistence to move ahead of Alan Shearer in the national goalscoring charts.

He was even moved to dismiss his team's first half display as "rubbish."

Fowler had not had a single scoring chance before he claimed his 36th goal of the campaign by prodding Collymore's left wing cross past a stranded Southall.

It earned a reward which Liverpool manager Roy Evans thought was merited but not enough, he admitted, to keep alive hopes of a first title since 1990. He was even moved to dismiss his team's first half display as "rubbish."

Indeed, it looked as though Everton would become the only team to complete the League double over Liverpool in some style. By the time Kanchelskis forced the ball over the line in the 19th-minute, the contest could have been over.

The Russian winger, who had squandered a couple of good early chances, reacted quickest to profit from the persistence of John Ebbrell in chasing a towering clearance by Southall which was hopelessly misjudged by Liverpool goalkeeper David James. Ebbrell did exceptionally well to force the ball goalwards, and when it clipped the crossbar Kanchelskis was first to the rebound.

A rebound off David James, this time from Daniel Amokachi's fierce volley, almost led to an Everton second in a first half which they overwhelmingly controlled.

Duncan Ferguson, responding positively to the news that Scotland manager Craig Brown had come to watch him in spite of a nagging groin problem which Everton manager Joe Royle suggested might not clear before the European Championships, was denied what at that stage was an overdue second Everton goal by the speed of James' recovery.

Collymore, celebrating his England recall, was a constant threat to Everton after the interval, going close several times, particularly when beating Southall from more than 30 yards with a shot which thudded against the crossbar.

Fittingly, he set up the equaliser for Fowler, who is shaping up to be a long-term partner at both club and international level.

Electronic Telegraph is a Registered Service Mark of The Telegraph plc

Kanchelskis -- the sourge of Liverpool

SoccerNet: Andrei Kanchelskis put his mark on Liverpool again as Everton set out to confirm their position as recent masters of the Mersey derby.

The flying winger from the Ukraine hit the target to open the scoring after 18 minutes as the rain fell heavily on Goodison Park but failed to dampen the spirit of Kanchelskis and his team-mates in royal blue.

But Liverpool improved significantly in the second half and Robbie Fowler deservedly equalised three minutes from time with his 36th goal of the season. Liverpool faces had been as red as their shirts as they huffed and puffed to try to contain opposition who clearly relish these parochial affairs. Even the pudding of a pitch could not slow Everton down.

It was completely with the run of play when Kanchelskis, whose first two goals for Everton following his £5.5million move from Manchester United sank Liverpool at Anfield in November, pounced.

Goalkeeper Neville Southall hit the ball long and John Ebbrell chased it out to the left. He arrived near the by-line ahead of David James, beat him and then crossed from an angle. The ball hit the face of the crossbar, came out and Liverpool's worst fears were confirmed as they realised who was first on the scene.

It was that man Kanchelskis and no Liverpool defender was going to stop him as he chested down and then kept running to apply the finishing touch to put the ball into the net. It was his 13th goal of the season and his sixth in six games. He has become Liverpool's worst nightmare.

It was clear even before the kick-off that Everton were in the mood. There was a tremendous roar when it was announced that Duncan Ferguson was fit to lead the attack. It was to the relief and delight of everyone connected with the club - and Scotland manager Craig Brown.

Liverpool manager Roy Evans recalled Mark Wright and Rob Jones after injury and Neil Ruddock after suspension. He could not even find a place on the bench for £3.6m defender Phil Babb, fit after missing seven matches with a toe injury.

Wright and Jones were two of the six Liverpool players named in the England squad for next week's Wembley meeting with Croatia but there was not even a split second for them to think about anything except the forces of Everton.

Stan Collymore, also in the England squad, was booed by the home fans when he ran out. Last summer he preferred Liverpool when he made his British record £8.5m move from Nottingham Forest.

Inside the first 90 seconds he was involved in an incident with David Unsworth, pushing the Everton defender away after being fouled. Referee David Elleray lectured the pair but produced no cards.

Jamie Redknapp and Fowler, two of the other England men, then made contact, with Redknapp swinging the free kick across and Fowler rising to meet it, but the young striker could not threaten Southall's goal.

That was the last seen of Liverpool's attack for a long time. Daniel Amokachi's low shot was deflected wide and then Ebbrell moved on the ball when Ferguson headed down but he put his shot straight at James.

Liverpool's problems increased when Ruddock, back after serving a two-match suspension, was booked for a foul on Tony Grant.

Kanchelskis just failed to make contact when the ball skidded off the top of the head of John Scales. Ferguson moved in menacingly on the left when Amokachi flicked on a clearance from Unsworth, but James blocked the Scotland striker.

There was a Kanchelskis miskick, but it was only a brief reprieve for Liverpool. He soon hit them with the goal that seriously dented their prospects of the victory needed to keep alive even a faint title hope.

Liverpool again managed an excursion into the Everton area and Collymore shot first time after a Barnes effort was blocked but Marc Hottiger managed to clear the danger.

Everton were soon back on the attack, determined to clinch a victory and improve their prospects of qualifying for a UEFA Cup place. There was a tremendous scramble in the goalmouth with James saving low down from Amokachi then blocking as Ferguson and Ebbrell moved together on to the rebound. The ball bounced out again and to Liverpool's relief went behind off Amokachi.

Liverpool are due to record their song for Wembley - they meet Manchester United in the FA Cup Final on May 11. They had been right out of tune in the first half but found some harmony in the second.

Collymore hit a powerful shot after meeting a cross from Jason McAteer and turning smartly in the area but Dave Watson blocked at the expense of a corner. Collymore and Fowler both put headers over and Steve McManaman saw a shot deflected wide off a defender.

Collymore was within inches of a equaliser, hammering the ball against the bar foot from 25 yards.

But three minutes from the end Fowler equalised, stretching out his left foot to meet a cross from Collymore and poke the ball into the net.

Next Match: Sheffield Wednesday v Everton

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