FA Carling Premier League, Saturday 3 February 1996, The Dell, Southampton
Previous Match: Everton v Port Vale (FA Cup) Previous League Match: Arsenal v Everton
Next Match: Everton v Manchester City
Southampton (0) 2 Everton (0) 2
Magilton 77, Watson 46; Horne 56, Stuart 52.
Southampton: Beasant, Dodd, Charlton, Magilton, Hall, Monkou, Le Tissier, Venison, Shipperley, Watson, Walters (Oakley 83). Subs Not Used: Maddison, Grobbelaar.
Everton: Southall, Jackson, Hinchcliffe, Short, Watson, Kanchelskis, Horne, Parkinson, Stuart, Limpar (Rideout 70), Ferguson. Subs Not Used: Allen, Kearton. Booked: Short, Limpar.
Ref: D Elleray (Harrow on the Hill).
From The Sunday Times
AFTER a dire first half, this match exploded into non-stop action, and while the ambitions of both sides were frustrated, justice was served by the result.
Everton are aiming for the top six with Southampton just happy to finish anywhere but the bottom three. Neither club was helped by the draw but at least the fans went home sated by the excitement.
Le Tissier's elusive search for his first goal since November 4 almost ended in the second minute as Southampton put the Everton defence under immediate pressure. Latching on to a curling cross from the left by Venison, his deft sidefoot lobbed over Southall but rebounded off the crossbar.
Everton's approaches were mainly through route one aimed at the head of Ferguson. At 6ft 4in he is a handful and his duels with defender Monkou were accompanied by flurries of flailing elbows at high altitude, but the Dutchman maintained his cool to keep Ferguson on a tight rein.
It was on the ground, however, that Ferguson created the visitors' first clear opening in the 35th minute. Picked out by Kanchelskis near the penalty spot, with his back to goal, Ferguson turned sharply and Beasant had to dive full stretch to keep out his rasping drive.
In an otherwise drab encounter, it signalled the start of a lively five minutes as Southampton's Magilton had two opportunities in quick succession. The first, a delicate chip passed wide of Southall's right-hand post and then, put through by Le Tissier, he shot weakly and straight at the goalkeeper.
As half-time loomed, Kanchelskis, who had been largely anonymous, let fly a stinging shot from the edge of the area that Beasant turned aside - ironic that he should have been the busier of the two keepers given Southampton's greater possession in the half.
Within 11 seconds of the restart, however, Southampton received their due reward. Walters threaded the ball through to Watson and his low shot hit Southall before trickling over the line.
Everton tried to hit back immediately as Kanchelskis tested Beasant at his near post, but then Walters cut in himself and Southall did well to prevent Southampton increasing their lead.
The argument over who is finally credited with Everton's 52nd minute equaliser could run and run. A shot from Kanchelskis was put beyond Beasant's reach by a deflection off defender Charlton and then forced over the line by Stuart.
There could be no debate about their second three minutes later as Kanchelskis cut the ball back and Horne swept home his first goal since May 1994 from 10 yards out.
Southampton's effort to equalise was frantic as Monkou had a shot cleared off the line and Le Tissier's deflected shot hit Southall.
However, they duly equalised 12 minutes from time through Magilton's stunning volley, and might just have snatched a winner in the dying seconds, but Southall saved brilliantly from Shipperley.
By Frank Clough, Electronic Telegraph
MAYBE it was something slipped into the half-time tea. Maybe it was something scathing the managers said during the break.
Whatever it was, the fans should have given thanks for the catalyst that transformed a match dying on its feet into a quite extraordinary spectacle of explosive and exciting football that brought a standing ovation for both teams at the end.
The first half was so devoid of noteworthy incidents you could have counted them on one hand.
We had seen Matt Le Tissier, approaching his best again, sidefoot a six-yard chance against the bar after only two minutes and a 'goal' by Graham Stuart wiped away by the offside flag.
Then came the revolution. Within 15 seconds of the restart, Southampton went ahead, Gordon Watson scoring via Neville Southall's burly frame after being put through by Mark Walters.
Within 10 minutes, Everton had not only drawn level, they had gone in front.
The equaliser was credited to Stuart, who applied the final touch after a shot by Andrei Kanchelskis, sent clear by a brilliant through-ball by Anders Limpar, had beaten Dave Beasant.
And it was Limpar who started the second, Kanchelskis and Barry Horne playing a slick one-two which ended with Horne, a former Southampton player, striking a magnificent shot past Beasant from 20 yards.
Justice was done 12 minutes from time when Jim Magilton hit Southampton's equaliser with an even more stunning shot than Horne's.
Joe Royle, the Everton manager, said: "We were nothing like ourselves in the first half. We started badly, but I always felt we would score and their goal stung us into action."
Southampton's Dave Merrington said: "We were very positive and I'm very pleased with the attitude of the players. We are only a finger snap away from turning draws into wins."
Electronic Telegraph is a Registered Service Mark of The Telegraph plc
PA News: Northern Ireland international Jim Magilton salvaged a point for battling Southampton with a late equaliser at The Dell. Midfieldman Magilton let fly with a left-foot volley from 15 yards in the 77th minute to give Neville Southall in the Everton goal no chance.
After a first half of few opportunities, the match sprung to life with three goals in the space of 11 minutes. The second half was only 15 seconds old when Matthew Le Tissier and Mark Walters combined for Gordon Watson to slip the ball under Southall's body. But Everton were level four minutes later when Anders Limpar carved out a shooting chance for Andrei Kanchelskis, Graham Stuart touching the ball over the line.
Southampton were still reeling from that set back when Kanchelskis set up Everton's second goal in the 56th minute. Kanchelskis provided the opening for former Southampton midfield player Barry Horne, who made no mistake with a right foot shot from the edge of the area.
Southampton's dominant defender Ken Monkou had a shot cleared off the line by Andy Hinchcliffe after an hour while Dave Watson cleared another effort from Jason Dodd with Southall beaten. Saints keeper Dave Beasant made several crucial saves, twice denying Kanchelskis and turning away another effort from Stuart. But once Magilton had equalised, either side could have snatched the winner.
Beasant made a fine save from Kanchelskis and in the dying seconds the wrong-footed Southall somehow managed to get back to clutch a firm header from Neil Shipperley. Everton had defender Craig Short and winger Limpar booked for fouls with Limpar being replaced by another ex-Saint, Paul Rideout, for the last 20 minutes.
Southampton manager Dave Merrington jumped to the defence of Matthew Le Tissier tonight after the England international had another disappointing game in the 2-2 home draw with Everton.
"I believe Le Tissier is finding the spark again, but I don't know why," Merrington said.
"He did some things out there which excited me. He's a match-winner and you have to be patient with him. I was asked yesterday if I had ever considered dropping him and it is a question I did not like being asked, because he is so important to us.
"I believe we must be positive in our approach and make the breakthrough from drawing matches like this to winning them."
Merrington admitted that Saints' defence had experienced a hard time coping with Everton striker Duncan Ferguson, even though he did not score. "Duncan was a handful for us," he said. "He gave our defenders a tough afternoon and I admire that."
Everton manager Joe Royle was more concerned with how his side managed to score two goals away from home, yet failed to take the points.
"We're going through one of those spells when nothing goes quite right," he said. "But we are still a difficult side to score against and I believe we are going in the right direction.
"Even so, it is disappointing to score two goals away from home and not win.
"When we were leading 2-1, I decided to make a change by taking Anders Limpar off and be slightly more defensive, but it did not work.
"We played much better after half-time, but so did Southampton and I can only think it was something Dave Merrington and I said to our teams."
Daily Mail SoccerNet: Saints manager Dave Merrington believes Matthew Le Tissier is on the way back to his best form.
Merrington saw his Southampton side deservedly grab a point in what turned out to be an entertaining and lively match at The Dell. Le Tissier's form has dipped dramatically in recent months and he has hit the back of the net on only four occasions in the League this season.
But Merrington insisted: 'That was probably as bright as he's been all season. He's coming back and looks as if he's beginning to enjoy it again. At a club like ours he's a potential match-winner and I think you have to be patient with players like him.
'He's finding the spark and did some things today that excited me. The players are very positive at the moment and now we have to try and make the breakthrough by turning some draws into wins.'
Southampton have won only one of their last 10 League games and remain in the Premiership dog-fight, six places off the bottom. Le Tissier certainly looked livelier and more involved than he has of late, and had it not been for the woodwork he might have opened the score in the second minute when he side-footed a Barry Venison cross on to Everton's bar.
That incident apart, there was little else to offer as a spectacle in the first period, with both sides struggling to gain any cohesion. But things changed dramatically after 15 seconds of the re-start, with Gordon Watson giving the home side the lead.
Le Tissier was instrumental in the move, feeding Watson with a neatly-timed pass and the former Sheffield Wednesday striker managed to open the scoring despite Neville Southall's vain attempt to stop it with a despairing hand.
But the goal seemed to inspire Everton more than it did Southampton and it was Joe Royle's side who were sparked into action. After they had got over the initial shock of conceding the goal Everton worked themselves back into the match and then hit two goals in the space of three minutes.
Both owed much to the skill and pace of winger Andrei Kanchelskis. The former Manchester United player teased and tormented Southampton and it was his shot which seemed to be going into the net, before Graham Stuart made sure with a touch just before it crossed the line in the 52nd minute.
Three minutes later Kanchelskis laid the ball back to former Southampton midfielder Barry Horne who hit a rasping 20-yard effort past goalkeeper Dave Beasant.
But Saints never let their heads drop and Merrington was clearly delighted with the way his side responded to the setback. With 13 minutes to go Jim Magilton turned and hit a magnificent 20-yard volley with his left foot, giving Southall no chance.
Everton manager Joe Royle was more concerned with how his side managed to score two goals away from home, yet failed to take the points. 'We're going through one of those spells when nothing goes quite right,' he said. 'But we are still a difficult side to score against and I believe we are going in the right direction.
'Even so, it is disappointing to score two goals away from home and not win. When we were leading 2-1, I decided to make a change by taking Anders Limpar off and be slightly more defensive but it did not work. We played much better after half-time but so did Southampton and I can only think it was something Dave Merrington and I said to our teams.'