FA Carling Premier League, Wednesday 22 November 1995
Previous Match: Liverpool v Everton Next Match: Everton v Sheffield Wednesday
Rideout 37, Stuart 18.
Everton: Southall, Jackson, Watson, Short, Unsworth, Kanchelskis, Ebbrell, Parkinson, Limpar, Stuart, Rideout. Subs Not Used: Hinchcliffe, Horne, Amokachi. Booked: Jackson, Ebbrell, Limpar.
QPR: Sommer, Challis (McDonald 82), Ready, Yates, Maddix, Zelic, Impey, Brazier, Barker, Gallen, Sinclair (Dichio 53). Subs Not Used: Wilkins. Booked: Ready, Zelic, Barker.
Ref: P Danson (Leicester).
Daily Mail Soccernet: Graham Stuart found the magic touch again to put Everton in front with a goal that had to be admired for both set-up and finish at Goodison Park.
The 24-year-old first took centre stage with a brilliant solo effort for Chelsea against Sheffield Wednesday in August 1992 that was later voted BBC TV's goal of the season. His latest stunner came after 18 minutes with a volley after a 40-yard pass from Anders Limpar. The Swedish winger, who recently said he wanted to move because his family could not settle on Merseyside, is playing like a man inspired.
On Saturday it was his long pass that laid on the chance for Andrei Kanchelskis for his second strike in the win over Liverpool at Anfield. His effort this time gave Everton the start they needed as they chased a third consecutive Premiership victory.
Everton had not beaten Rangers at home for five years but the visitors posed few problems this time. Everton extended their lead in the 36th minute when Paul Rideout forced his way past Danny Maddix and hit a shot that Jurgen Sommer could only tip into his net.
Rangers had started brightly and Neville Southall made a fine save from Trevor Sinclair after two minutes and a marvellous one from Brazier two minutes before half time. In between it was nearly all Everton.
For a change, there is not much to say except that fears about Everton's habit of winning the big one then losing to rubbish were unfounded.
QPR had the right idea, they closed down Everton from the off, strangling space and harrying the man with the ball, then breaking via the very quick Sinclair and setting up the chance for Allen.
This plan ran into a couple of bad snags, however. Firstly Allen was not hitting the target. Three times, good chances were wasted. Secondly, Everton are no longer the pass-all-night outfit which is going to lose to closedown marking - they have learned how to break fast themselves, and any flashes of skill would do the trick.
Sure enough, despite a lot of possession and goalmouth pressure, the first real chance was a break, and won the match. Anders kindly put on an instant replay demonstration of his derby pass, except instead of floating the pass from the middle to Andrei on the right, this one from further left fell perfectly for the charging Stuart, who looped a beautiful shot over the advancing red-shirted #25, Sommer. Unsworth immediately grabbed Limpar, and demanded to the Paddock that they applaud him for the goal. He needn't have worried. The whole crowd gave more acclaim to Limpar than to a goalscorer who will do well to ever produce better.
The mood was set, and began to harden rapidly when out of nowhere a (Parki) header forward from the circle saw Rideout turn quicker than his defender, get his shooting chance at the edge of the box, but make a rather weak low strike slightly to Sommer's right. Everyone was amazed when the ball shot up, probably due to a divot or bad bounce, and hit the back of the net high up off the arm (another derby match reminder).
A big win (and a goodbye to our reputation as a soft touch) looked inevitable. QPR did well to hold out from many dangerous attacks until half-time, and even had a good chance for a 'tea-sweetener' in injury time.
Luckily 2-0 was more than enough, because that was all Everton had to offer. The second half was a catalogue of poor passes, wayward crosses, and lack of interest in boosting the goal difference column as well as the points column. It really was awful, and we were very fortunate that Rangers had equally little to offer in response.
The crowd stayed happy though, and spent much of the time trying to seduce Anders into thinking of his family of supporters as well as his family of kin. Let's hope it was just weariness, because more concentration is going to be needed in less than 3 days.
Southall 7 A quiet night.
Jackson 7 Usual selection of good crosses.
Unsworth 7 Someone seems to have been working on his crossing skills - he delivered a couple of very dangerous balls from the left.
Short 7 Another solid and convincing performance. One saving tackle.
Watson 7 Rarely needed for more than distribution.
Parkinson 8 Had a bit of a stormer in the first half.
Ebbrell 7 Another Reid type performance, winning midfield, covering at the back and supporting at the front.
Limpar 7 Not at his explosive best, and saw very little ball in the second half, but made a goal and could have been more.
Kanchelskis 7 Everyone has their El Guapo's to face. For right backs, he's a Russian guy who will beat you all day and has a shot like a Bruno punch.
Rideout 7 Another day at the office being hold up man, but this time took home a little bonus, an overdue goal.
Stuart 7 That kind of a goal can give you the irrational confidence needed to become a 'good' striker. Looked capable of more. Has a bit of a streak going now.
Subs Not Used: Horne, Hinchcliffe, Amokachi.
Team Performance: First half - 9. A great display of concentration
and hunger for success against a 'small' team with no signs of feared
morning-after laxity after a Big Win.
Second half - 6. A very ineffective and bumbling performance that would have had them booed off except for the scoreboard. (All outfield marks reduced by 1 for this).
Ref: Danson - Quicker with his cards than Paul Daniels for any tap or push... EXCEPT Ready's second tackle on Limpar which should have had him sent off ... then he chickened out. Otherwise, ~just~ about ok.
PA News: Everton strode comfortably to their third successive victory tonight to continue their progress up the table and leave QPR poised uncomfortably close to the relegation zone. There was real confidence and purpose about much of Everton's work, with Anders Limpar and Andrei Kanchelskis reproducing the impressive form down the flanks that helped claim the scalps of Blackburn and Liverpool.
Everton's first goal after 18 minutes was the product of two pieces of exceptional skill. Limpar delivered a pass from wide on the half-way line that fell slam into the path of Graham Stuart as he surged into the box. It was still not an easy chance, but Stuart's first-time control was sublime as he lofted the ball delicately over goalkeeper Juergen Sommer.
Everton got the second nine minutes before the break, Joe Parkinson heading Sommer's clearance back towards him for Paul Rideout to race in, hold off a robust Danny Maddix challenge and strike a low, hard drive that bounced off the diving keeper's arm and high into the net.
Limpar had stung Sommer's hands with a fierce 30-yard drive after 17 minutes, the keeper just recovering to retrieve the ball before Stuart could pounce. Joe Parkinson stole into the box to chest down and shoot from Matt Jackson's centre, Sommer blocked with his legs and Kanchelskis lifted the rebound over in the 27th minute.
A minute later Kanchelskis shook off two players in a blistering left-wing run to find the unmarked Limpar, who should have shot but tried to return the pass and caught the Ukrainian offside. Then Rideout headed just over at the far post from Jackson's cross.
QPR, with youngsters Trevor Challis and Matthew Brazier making their full debuts down the left against the daunting challenge of Kanchelskis, almost caught Everton cold after three minutes. Craig Short failed to cut out Brazier's driven centre and Trevor Sinclair arrived at the far post to force a smart save out of Neville Southall. Southall reacted brilliantly to turn Brazier's low drive wide two minutes before the break.
Everton eased off visibly after the break and it was 69 minutes before Kanchelskis centred for Rideout to clip their next chance over. Rangers rarely threatened to get back into the match, substitute Daniele Dichio blasting over six minutes from time to end any realistic prospect of a late fight-back.
Everton boss Joe Royle saluted his forward line tonight after watching strikers Graham Stuart and Paul Rideout score in a 2-0 win over QPR. "Graham's goal was worth the admission fee alone," he beamed.
"It was a great delivery by Anders Limpar and a great finish."
And he said of Andrei Kanchelskis: "He is so dangerous when he attacks a defence. He is like Peter Thompson used to be at Liverpool. Shankly used to say that whenever he got the ball, the opposing defence used to end up facing their own goal."
Royle's side are climbing up the table after three successive victories and the Everton boss is now aiming to get among the front runners. "Three wins in a row just sets us a nice little gap developing. Now let's get after the top lot," he said.
QPR manager Ray Wilkins was furious with his side -- with the exception of Trevor Challis and Matthew Brazier, who made their full debuts on the left flank against Kanchelskis.
"We are naturally disappointed. I don't think we covered ourselves in much glory," he fumed. "But the two lads stuck to their task and handled Kanchelskis well. I have seen more experienced players ripped apart by him."
Guy McEvoy: A mid-week match against a middle-of-the-road team on a windy night in November is very much of a come-down after the excitement of a derby. Nevertheless, it's these sort of matches where we threw away our points last season, and the points are worth just the same whatever the magnitude of the occasion.
The team line up was much the same as for the previous two games. Unsworth replaced the injured Ablett but Craig Short had passed his fitness test and stayed; also staying was Ebbrell who's recent displays had been enough to keep Barry Horne on the bench for his return after serving his recent ban.
The first half produced 90% of the notable action. Everton quickly started to turn the screw and within 20 minutes were rewarded. Limpar found himself about 10 yards forward of the half way line on the left, he looked up saw Stuart dart towards the box and hit a perfectly weighted 40-yard pass over the covering defenders which landed on Stuart's toe (he didn't even have to adjust the rhythm of his run to meet it) and delicately lobbed the keeper. I can hear Ian Rush moan about our long-ball play; if that is long-ball play then I want more of it! A memorable goal - Joe is right, it was worth the admission fee in itself!
QPR were not completely without chances and Nev was forced to make a couple of very good saves, notably a close-range shot from Sinclair after a lethally curling cross had picked him out. Dave Watson in particular was looking very uncomfortable in the first half.
However, Everton were still dominant and we looked like going two up when the ball fell to Kanchelskis on the fast break; we had Stuart and Limpar well forward with only one defender covering. KanKan cut inside and decided not to shoot but to play the ball to Anders: the shot now had to come - just the goalie to beat. Mystifyingly, Anders tried then to pass it to Stuart but somehow it didn't come off and a glorious chance went begging. Sometimes, it's probably best not to try to be to clever.
Another good chance fell to Ebbrell who cut inside the box and somehow scuffed his shot. The rebound found it's way to Andrei who managed to miss from about 7 yards. Hands on back of head.
Keeping up the pressure, the goal that looked inevitable came in the 37th minute when Stuart (or was it Parkinson?) found Rideout on the edge of the box. Paul did what he does best in shielding the ball from the defender whilst he let it come down on the half volley. It seemed to head right at Sommers and I thought we'd wasted another, however, Sommers who'd looked sloppy all night was unable to keep his hands on it and consequently we got the nerve-calming two-goal cushion.
At that point there was a feeling that a rout might be about to follow but really we moved down a gear from then on.
Nev was forced to make one more top-drawer save from a fast break to the edge of the box and an on-target drive before half time.
The second half was a big non-event. It was lack-lustre stuff and we were seemed complacent with the score line. The hunger we looked to have had in the first half deserted us. QPR tried a change in taking Sinclair off (who hadn't impressed incidentally) and sticking Dicchio on. However. this didn't alter the pattern of play. By mid-way through the half, I felt we were crying out for a substitution (perhaps to have given Amo a run) but Joe seems content with his winning line-up and the injection of life the game needed didn't come. The three subs did warm up briefly and the Street End dutifully ordered each of them to give them a wave, however they sat down within 5 minutes and Amo's woolly hat stayed on his head.
By the end of the match the entertainment was confined to the Street Ends tributes to Anders Limpar ("Anders give us a wave" he turns, waves, then realises hastily that the ball is right next to him). There was one clear cut chance when Andrei had only the goalie to beat but he stubbed it with his toe schoolboy style and it went uncomfortably wide.
It has to be said that the referee (Mr Danson) did his level best to ruin the game. He was whistle happy and determined to stop any flow of play. More seriously, he was also card happy which saw six bookings (3 a piece) - I still have no idea what Jackson supposedly did to deserve his. Put this referee's name in your little black books.
When Anders left the pitch to the songs of the street end, his hoisted two hand waves looked a little final.
I could complain about the lack of passion in the Second half, or the squandered chances, but at the end of the day we won, 9 points out of 9 and kept a clean sheet, so who gives a stuff! If we beat Wednesday on Saturday then talk of a aiming for a UEFA place won't look so misplaced.
Southall 8: Made a couple of excellent saves; clean sheet, that's
Jackson 8: His passing was a bit off for a while in the first half, but his work rate was very good. As always, he was willing to provide Andrei with an option, and not scared to try and force an attack. Most notable last night was his actual defending though: very competent.
Unsworth 7: Non of the errors of a few weeks ago and a couple of forays forward. The captaincy of the England Under 21s has done his confidence good.
Watson 6: Had a bit of a shocker in the first half, didn't look like our Dave at all.
Short 8: All my early season doubts are no going, it's a pity he's so slow-thinking in attack though - it seems he attracts the ball like a magnet at corners but is too slow to react.
Ebbrell 8: Barry is going to be getting a little worried. This was Johns 3rd good game in a row (which is of course linked to us wining 3 in a row). Ran himself stupid again. Very unlucky to pick up the early yellow card.
Parkinson 7: Not as prominent as John, but did the job well, nonetheless. I recently saw a nice compromise description of the team in one of the national papers when we play with these two "Dogs of Science". It suits us.
Kanchelskis 7: Had a bit of an "Amo Game" lots of movement, some clever runs, created some chances, exciting to watch but sadly let down by his last touch.
Limpar 7: Will anyone be running an "Assist of the Season" competition? If so, this man won it last night. Lost his legs a little later on.
Stuart 7: Very well-taken goal, got himself well involved in the game, looks to be thoroughly enjoying his present role.
Rideout 7: Worked hard enough, got a goal, more involved in general play than usual.
By Nicholas Spencer, Electronic Telegraph
AFTER the excitement of Anfield on Saturday, Everton secured their third successive win in the most routine of games, first-half goals from Graham Stuart and Paul Rideout accounting for Rangers. Ray Wilkins's frail side battled gamely in the second half but their inability to trouble the home defence ensured the game died a lingering death. With just two points from their last six games, the Londoners are in urgent need of a lift.
Rangers, short on years, inches and confidence began with two debutants, Trevor Challis and Matthew Brazier, bracing themselves to deal with Andrei Kanchelskis. In the event, both Everton's first-half goals were direct creations with no blame attached.
With the player-manager on the bench, eight of Rangers' starting line-up were children of the 1970s and after a sprightly start - Trevor Sinclair's volley forced Neville Southall to parry at his near post - it began to show.
In the 17th minute Anders Limpar tested Jurgen Sommer's nerves with a 30-yard shot that the goalkeeper spilled. A minute later, Anders Limpar's diagonal pass from half-way gave Stuart the invitation to slip in behind Yates to score with a delicate side-foot volley.
Sommer saved with his legs from Parkinson, Kanchelskis blasting the rebound over, before the goalkeeper was left exposed from his own clearance for Everton's second.
Parkinson returned the kick and Rideout held off Maddix to unleash a shot which, though strong, seemed to take Sommer by surprise, rearing into the net off both his hands.
Rangers' best hope of a swift response fell Brazier's way in the 44th minute, but Southall's wiles denied the 19-year-old the goal his right-foot shot promised.
Rangers introduced Daniele Dichio, who has scored seven of their 15 goals, but six minutes from time he fired over from 20 yards.
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