Blackburn Rovers Logo Blackburn Rovers 3 - 2 Everton 
Half-time: 1 - 1
Everton Logo
FA Carling Premiership 97/98 - Game 13
Saturday 8 November 1997
Ewood Park, Blackburn
Att: 25,357
Southampton_(h) Ref: P E Alcock Aston Villa (a)
1997-98 Fixtures & Results League Position: 17th Premiership Results & Table
Blackburn Rovers: Gallacher (37) Duff (81) Sherwood (84)
EVERTON: Speed (7) Ferguson (55)
  LINEUPS Subs Not Used
Blackburn Rovers: Flowers, Kenna, Sherwood, Pedersen, Ripley, Gallacher, Sutton, Flitcroft (Duff, 73), McKinlay, Croft (Wilcox, 79), Henchoz. Bohinen, Broomes, Fettis.
EVERTON: Southall, Barrett, Hinchcliffe, Williamson (Farrelly, 76), Phelan, Stuart (Branch, 84), Ferguson, Speed, Short, Bilic, Cadamarteri (Oster, 45).
Unavailable: Missing: Parkinson, Grant, McCann, Barmby, Gerrard, Allen (Injured); Thomas (recovering?)
Watson, O'Toole.
  Yellow Cards Red Cards
Blackburn Rovers: Wilcox. --
EVERTON: Bilic, Phelan. --

Guy McEvoy Utter gut-wrenching despair
Peter Griffiths The problems we face
Ian Holbrock Back to the drawing board
THE SUNDAY TIMES Everton sunk by super sub Duff
by Louise Taylor
THE TIMES Evergreen Southall left defenceless
by Nick Szczepanik
ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH Southall's heroics made redundant by Sherwood
by Derick Allsop
SOCCERNET Link to SoccerNet Match Report
CARLINGNET Link to CarlingNet Match Report

Utter gut-wrenching despair
Guy McEvoy
The close proximity of Blackburn to Liverpool coupled with the fact that they have no cap on the number of away fans means that Everton always take a tremendous support across the Lancashire fells.  Somewhere between four to five thousand of us made the journey this time on a dreary, overcast day.  The away contingent was in excellent voice, unlike the Rovers fans, leaving Everton seeming to almost have home advantage.

This year I was again plonked in the lower Darwin end, on the second row near a corner flag. My seat level seemed to be below that of the pitch, a periscope would've come in handy.  All of which means that the following is the account of one who had a less-than-perfect view.

Oster and Watson fell on the sword of Kendal's Southampton match analysis, making way for Phelan in the midfield and the return of Bilic at centre-back.  Blackburn announced they were without Hendry which added to our hope.

First Half

We simply could not have wished for a better start.  The game hadn't settled, Stuart whipped in a cross, Ferguson headed down, Cadamarteri played it back and Speed drilled it in.  It all looks so simple when it comes together.  I somehow got thumped in the head by the bloke next to me during the celebration (and have the scar to prove it) but somehow the pain didn't register at the time.  Get in there!

The supporters stepped up a gear.  'Grand old team to play for', 'Run, Run, whoever you may be' and various rhythms of the word 'Everton' were all sung with gusto.  The goal had lifted the supporters but did it lift the team?

It would appear not.  Rather than seize the advantage, lift our game, hit them whilst they were down, we appeared to try to just settle down and toddle along.  Call me an overly harsh critic but I simply don't think our defence is good enough to sit on a single goal lead from the sixth minute, yet this is what it looked like we were trying to do.  Throughout the rest of the half Everton only managed one more convincing attempt on goal.  Admittedly, it was a masterpiece of counter-attacking with the quick throw from Nev to Cadamarteri, holding the ball up to release a rampaging Ferguson and only the narrowness of the angle prevented a better effort from the Scott.  This apart, it was Blackburn who were doing all the testing.  Our defence had coped well enough but the weight of pressure was bound to tell eventually.  Cruelly the goal came just after Nev had made an outstanding save.  It was the kind of leap and fingertip that give you flashbacks to the mid-eighties.  I was still applauding the save when the resulting corner led to a loose ball which was struck through the gaps for the equaliser.  Harsh on Nev, fair for Blackburn.

Somewhere in between all this there was the worst case of linesmanship I've ever seen.  Blackburn hit us on the break, the linesman waved his flag for offside, all the Everton players reacted to the flag, the referee waved play-on apparently thinking the flag was for a foul that hadn't happened and not for offside.  The linesman just stick his flag down, play continued the Everton defence was caught out and someone had to make a crunching tackle to halt the advance on the edge of the box for which they picked up a card.  We could have been punished even more had Blackburn made more of the free-kick.  Despite, being mobbed by Branch and Adrian Heath, the linesman bottled it when consulting the referee about the incident.  I was close enough to the goal line that every time after that the linesman came back for a corner I was able to let him know in no uncertain terms what I thought about that effort.  Spineless git.

Second Half

Half time saw a curious tactical substitution by Kendal.  Cadamarteri made way for Oster.  Throughout the half I was unable to pin down where Oster was meant to be playing, it was quickly apparent that he wasn't partnering Ferguson as an out-and-out striker but my best guess is that he'd been given a 'free' role just behind him.  After a couple of misplaced passes by the youngster when he started to pick up some criticism from the less patient fans, things thankfully started to click.  Everton found some width, Phelan got himself into the game, and Blackburn were back on the back-foot.  Oster was put through by Hinchcliffe, he did well to reach the ball, whipped the ball in low (yes, low) cross and Ferguson was there (even though it was low) to competently beat his man and side-foot the pass in.  Cue another chance for the away fans to go barmy.

With Everton away, you can write the script.  For perhaps two or three minutes we did look inspired, Ferguson even managed to get himself into another one-on-one, but quickly it was back to more of the same. Sit on the lead, backs to the wall, soak it up.  Obviously we hadn't improved our ability to do that over the space of the preceding forty-five minutes.

Again the Blackburn equaliser cruelly followed an absolutely outstanding save by Southall.  A Rovers player was first to react to the rebound.  Then just as we were coming to terms with having dropped two points we made it the full three when we couldn't properly mark out a corner.

I cannot describe the utter despair that was felt by those watching.  It was gut wrenching.  To compound things my head was now aching from the fist I picked up celebrating the first goal.  It started raining too.  I was not a happy bunny.  So close, so far.  The away win remains elusive.

It is difficult to get a handle on the best way to look at this game.  On the plus side I can't think of a single player in our team who I would say had a bad game (O.K. possibly Williamson).  Sure, I would say that only Southall had a 'good' game, but no individual in particular let themselves down.  This is positive in that it shows the players have lifted themselves since Southampton.  On the down side, despite playing well we were still soundly beaten.  Make no mistake, despite Everton being competent, Blackburn were in honesty the better team and deserved the points.  That we took the lead twice flattered us, without Southall it would have been much more clear cut.

Individual Performances

  • I'm too depressed to do a player by player appraisal.

The Team 7, (that may be a bit generous to Williamson), except Southall who gets an 8.  Tactically I think we score less.  Will and hunger to win: less still!

The problems we face
Peter Griffiths
Blackburn is difficult town to drive into on a match Saturday but the place is friendly and they too have learn some philosophy over the last few years. The only criticism of either Howard or our chairman I heard all day was a group of lads chanting 'Johnson out' on the way in. I guess we were all exhausted by the end as was the team.

I missed the Southampton debacle and so this was my first game since Coventry away. Dave Watson and John Oster were 'rested' with Terry Phelan and Slavan returning. This was a very different display from the one against Coventry. Gone was the passing football through mid-field.

Our Defence

The system seemed to me to be a cross between 4-4-2 and 5-3-2. The back 4 were playing as a back 4 but the outside players of the mid-field, Stuart and Phelan, seemed to have a brief to get back and play as wingbacks outside the back 4 if there was an attack. This resulted in plenty of players getting back but quite often they got in each other's way. On MOTD, dear old Alan Hansen pointed out that we did not win the ball in the air, that we did not mark in the centre of the penalty area and that Graham Stuart has not got the instincts of a defender.

Billic is no where near the player that came to us and he and Craig Short quite often went for the same ball and confused each other. Even when playing well, Slavan is not the best of headers in the world. Did we miss Dave Watson organising things? I know Dave is running out of speed but he is still our most influencial defender. We will have to do without him eventually but someone else must take over his organisational management.

Graham Stuart will play anywhere so that I suspect he would have had to go in goal if Neville was not playing. Graham always tries his best but is not a defender and although in midfield on Saturday, it was a defensive mid-field role. I thought Andy Hinchcliffe had his worst game that I have seen since his injury. He and Phelan did not work well together at all and Andy hardly attacked at all. His dead ball performance is nowhere near as reliable as it was.


There are a few racists in our crowd but I suspect any club has them. Both Terry Phelan and the squid are crowd favourites but poor old Earl has to play at the top of his form not to get constantly derided. Earl will never be brilliant distributing but he can be quite reasonable going forward at the top of his game. Ask yourself who you would like to tackle to save your life between Earl and Terry Phelan. (Yes I know, the answer is probably Sol Cambell.) Much of Earl's good defensive work is just not noticed and thus appreciated.

Terry Phelan is very fast and looks impressive charging forward and thus excites us. He rarely gets a cross in and once he is any where near the goal, he cuts in at 45 degrees and usually loses the ball or shoots wide. This is not a get at Terry as he always gives a hundred and ten percent but some of his defensive lapses yesterday were embarrassing. What I am trying to say is that Earl will always be criticised as the main reason to play him is not appreciated. Once they start to get at him the easiest insult to fall back on to the limited mind is racism. I remember hearing some drongo amused himself by shouting 'Chalky' at Derby County last season. (He was told to shut up!)

The mid-field

I was tempted to leave a space here as that is what we had most of the time against Blackburn. I think the use of the ultra-defensive system described above resulted in a lack of mid-field. Most of the people around me were screaming for the team to tackle in mid-field and not to give their players so much room. I think you have to defend a bit deeper away from home but yesterday we gave them far too much space. This coupled with confusion at the back was eventually disasterous.

Gary Speed is not at the top of his form at the moment but in my opinion, does not deserve a lot of the recent criticism here. He will always end up with a dark shirt. However, Danny Williamson must play well distributing to compensate for his woeful defending and he is not at the moment. Faced with making a challenge he often half sits down, sticks his foot out and then watches the opponent disappear.

Duncan, Duncan Ferguson

I think he is now working harder than he did but Dunc is still one of our main problems. We have all had instructions to be optimistic on this list but you have to be a real dreamer to think that all of a sudden Duncan will start knocking them in and get 25 a season. He does get back and do his fair share of defending of corners etc. However, in much better times, Joe Royle described him as 'not a natural athlete' and as 'having become a legend before a player at Everton.' Joe also said he would not score a lot of goals till he starts 'knocking them in with his bum.'

Duncan found the distance yesterday and I am not trying to just take the mickey. How often does he get into the centre to score when we break as Barmby used to? The build up to that goal on Saturday was slow and protracted and he got there for an easy goal. We broke well on Saturday and looked more dangerous on the break than at any time since KanKan was playing well. I would agree that Dunc gets rotten service most of the time and that is another problem. I would agree that he quite often plays very well in the centre circle getting the ball and distributing and getting things going but then he does not power forward. He does get offside, but then he ambles back slowly from broken attacks and he rarely has the killer instinct to storm into the shooting position and to put a lot of effort into doing that.

This is not meant just to sound critical as I like Dunc. I contend he will not improve his strike rate until someone sorts him out on when to put in a lot of effort into running into position and he needs to be fitter to do that. He is also short of confidence and both his chances on Saturday were very scorable by the top man we want him to be.


Blackburn now come back in the afternoons and have a much more rigorous diet and fitness regime. I know things feel worse when you leak goals but we need more endurance when we are not playing Liverpool.

Danny chants heard yesterday

Danny, Danny Ca-dar-ma-ter-ee to 'Yellow Submarine'

Dan--Dan--Ca-dar-ma-ter-ee to 'Another One Bites The Dust.'

Mood of the faithful

Highly supportive and euphoric when we got ahead twice. Lots of 'We don't care what the red kites say etc.' At the end extremely critical and several idiots near me spent their last few minutes in Ewood Park screaming obscenities at the players. Generally at the end I think most people thought we had been about to 'nick' a game, probably against the run of play, however we got caught.


If you take our last 38 games in the League, by my calculation and Marko's website, we have scored 36 points. (12 from 13 this season, 24 from 25 at the end of last.) Now that would have put us a couple of points above Forest last season but we would have been 3 below the relegated 'boro. On last year's start of season form, we had 20 points by now and would be 8th at the moment. Just a reflection on the problem we now face for the rest of the season.

Back top the drawing board
Ian Holbrock
A cold and miserable day at Ewood Park was the welcome for the thousands of faithful travelling Evertonians who were hoping to witness the first away victory since Nick Barmby grabbed the winner at Derby County in December of last year.

Everton hopes were raised when Colin Hendry failed a fitness test and was replaced at the centre of the defence by Per Pedersen.  Damien Duff was relegated to the substitute bench and the more combative Gary Flitcroft took his place in the starting line up.  The Everton team showed two changes from the 11 the start against Southampton.  Slaven Bilic returned to the side after suspension and International duty to replace Dave Watson and Terry Phelan was preferred in midfield to John Oster after the young wingers disappointing performance against Southampton.

Everton got off to a lively start and in the second minute Graham Stuart won the ball by the corner flag to cross into the area to Danny Cadamarteri but he was just beaten to the ball by Gary Croft who cleared for a corner.

Blackburn were soon on the attack though and Sutton was played in behind Short only to waste the opportunity in trying to nutmeg the big defender on the byline and running it out of play.

Early Blackburn pressure didn't prevent some quick counter attacking by the blues and in the sixth minute Stuart crossed from deep and found Ferguson totally unmarked and the big man headed down to Cadamarteri who didn't control the ball first time but with his back to goal laid it off to his skipper.  Speed hammered a low left footed shot from the edge of the box and it beat Tim Flowers and hit the back of the net to the delight of the away fans. This was just the lift Everton needed in their search for Premiership points.

In the tenth minute Kevin Gallacher cut inside the defence a fired a low shot towards the Everton goal but it failed to trouble the veteran Neville Southall, making his 800th senior appearance.  A couple of minutes later Gallacher again had a chance, picking up the ball in acres of space and attempting to chip Southall from 25 yards only to see his effort sail over the bar.  Blackburn continued to dominate the play and had the Everton defence under enormous pressure, one cross from Ripley going right across the face of the goal with Pedersen lunging for it. At this stage Blackburn were starting to pepper the Everton goal with shots but Southall was a match for all of them, saving well from a low but firmly struck Billy McKinley shot.

In the 25th minute Danny Williamson gave the ball away in midfield and Blackburn broke quickly, the linesman appeared to raise his flag for offside and then put it down again and Gallacher ran at the defence only for Bilic to up end him on the edge of the box and was show the yellow card by Mr Alcock.  The Everton players were furious and surrounded the referee before turning their attention to the linesman but to no avail as the free kick was eventually awarded.  Fortunately, Sutton was high and wide with the kick.

A quick counter attack on the half hour allowed Danny Cadamarteri to run at a depleted Blackburn defence and feed Ferguson on the right of the box. He ran on unchallenged into the box before shooting and Tim Flowers palmed his effort away.   The big man really should have done better with only the goalkeeper to beat.

In the 37th minute a cross from Ripley was met by Gallacher and his flying header was superbly tipped over the bar by Southall.  From the corner that followed, the ball eluded everyone in the box and ran to Gary Croft the young full back who struck it straight back in to the danger area where Gallacher managed to get a touch on it and diverted past the blameless Southall.

Half Time

The second half saw John Oster replace Danny Cadamarteri from the off and he seemed to take up a central attacking position alongside Ferguson.

Blackburn quickly picked up were they had left off by pinning Everton back in their own half. Stuart Ripley was the main tormentor, whipping in crosses which Short and Bilic seemed to get on the end of one way or another.  In the 53rd minute Gary Flitcroft hit a crashing drive from the edge of the box which beat Southall but hit the bar and went over.

Everton started to play better football with Oster having a calming influence in midfield and slowing the play down. In the 55th minute Gary Speed chipped a lovely ball over the full back for Oster to run on to and cross into the area where Duncan Ferguson beat the centre half to it at the near post and side footed past Flowers from 6 yards out.

Blackburn came at Everton with a vengeance and created numerous chances, one of which needed a Short clearance off the line.  They continued to pressurise and it looked to be only a matter of time before they found the equaliser.  In the 72nd minute Damien Duff the young Irish star came on for Gary Flitcroft and was instantly on the ball tormenting Barrett and crossing into the box.   However, it was a cross from the other side by Ripley in the 81st minute which Sutton won at the far post and his header seemed to be going in until Southall made an acrobatic one handed save.  Unfortunately for the blues the ball fell to Damien Duff who rifled a shot past Southall from a narrow angle for the equaliser.

The Everton defence were now being dragged all over the show and Blackburn were going all out for the winner.   And it wasn't long in coming, the 84th minute saw yet another cross from the right and Sherwood beat the Everton defence to the ball and the header beat both Southall and Barrett on the line to end up in the back of the net.

The last few minutes saw frantic Everton attempts to salvage something from the game. On the balance of play Blackburn deserved their victory and it's back to the drawing board or chequebook for Howard Kendall.

Everton sunk by super sub Duff
by Louise Taylor, The Sunday Times
WINGERS remain unfashionable in certain circles, but Blackburn's wide men proved largely responsible yesterday for elevating Roy Hodgson's ensemble to second place in the Premier League.

Ironically, Blackburn's manager had started cautiously, with only Stuart Ripley pushed wide against an Everton side that has not won an away League fixture since last December.  While Ripley ran down the right, Garry Flitcroft was nominally deployed on the left, his principal brief presumably being to stem Merseyside advances.  Indeed, things did not truly start going Blackburn's way until deep in the second half, when young Damien Duff stepped off the bench and instantly added much needed left-wing balance.

Duff, a deceptively fragile looking product of Kenny Dalglish's youth policy, not only helped to camouflage his colleagues' defensive vulnerabilities, but capped a satisfying cameo by claiming his first senior goal.

Duff had, however, started the afternoon in despondent mode, having watched Everton edge ahead as early as the fifth minute; Gary Speed shooting low beyond Tim Flowers after Graham Stuart's cross, Duncan Ferguson's downward header and Danny Cadamarteri's touch.

Had Colin Hendry been fit to assume his customary central station in the Blackburn rearguard Ferguson might not have been permitted so much space, but Cadamarteri deserves credit for sensing that Speed was just behind him and unselfishly jumping out of his way.

It was a promising beginning to Howard Kendall's return to a club he has both played for and managed, but despite ordering Andy Hinchcliffe and Terry Phelan to double-mark Ripley when necessary, his counter-attacking policy did not quite pay off.

It was Ripley's ball from deep that precipitated the first half's best home move, subsequently involving Tim Sherwood and Kevin Gallacher.  When Gallacher, who looked offside – the referee overruled a linesman's flag – was brought down, the referee awarded a free kick.  Slaven Bilic appeared slightly fortunate to escape with a booking after seemingly shoving Mr Alcock.  As recently as Friday Bilic pledged to stop offending referees.

Blackburn's defence must have felt similarly relieved to be reprieved as Tim Flowers saved courageously from the unmarked, on-rushing Ferguson at the end of a typically opportunistic visiting counter-attack.  That said, Rovers generally passed intelligently and deservedly equalised when Gallacher deflected Gary Croft's effort past Neville Southall, who was making his 800th club appearance while nursing a foot injury.  Seconds earlier he had performed wonders to repel Flitcroft's header.

Suitably spurred, Blackburn upped the tempo.  Ewood regulars were treated to the comic sight of the diminutive Billy McKinlay squaring up to Ferguson while Ripley – who saw a rare header cleared off the line by Hinchcliffe – began getting the measure of his minders.

Blackburn aficionados were collectively willing Chris Sutton to celebrate his England summons with a goal but, although that was not to be, he held the ball up impeccably, notably when, with back to goal, he swivelled and flicked on for Flitcroft to strike the woodwork.

Within seconds Ferguson evaded his marker and fired Everton back in front from John Oster's low cross. Oster, a half-time replacement for Cadamarteri, persistently ruffled Rovers with his insidious running and capacity to wrong-foot defenders.  He played a significant part in most visiting breaks.

One such counter-attack concluded with only Ferguson's suspect first touch preventing another goal and this near miss possibly presaged Hodgson's decision to involve Duff.  He had not been on long when Southall defied both age and gravity to somehow parry an apparently unstoppable Sutton header. Duff was ideally placed to direct the rebound across the line from an unpromising angle.

With Jason Wilcox belatedly joining the fray the wingers' union was gathering strength and, perhaps appropriately, Ripley's corner preceded Tim Sherwood's winning header.

Report Times Newspapers Ltd

Evergreen Southall left defenceless
by Nick Szczepanik, The Times
SO HOW, exactly, does the victorious manager console the loser, especially when his side, trailing for most of the match, has snatched the points, however deservedly, in the final few minutes?

"I never try," Roy Hodgson, the Blackburn Rovers manager, said after two late goals had lifted his team to second place in the FA Carling Premiership and deprived Howard Kendall of his first away win since returning to Goodison in the summer, and Everton's first since December. "What is there to say? He must be shattered at seeing his team do well yet come away with zero points and, of course, we're delighted; and it's a very dangerous moment to start talking about the fine points of the game.

"All I could say to Howard was: 'Bad luck, you did well, keep going because you've got a good side and you'll get a lot of points.' "

"It's not bad luck if you concede three goals the way we did," Kendall said, although Neville Southall, the Everton goalkeeper, might beg to differ. He had made at least three outstanding saves and, on each occasion, Blackburn scored anyway. Why, he must have wondered, had he bothered?

"He did fantastically well," Hodgson said. "He showed, at approaching 40 years of age, that he's not lost anything of his talent. He did everything right." This despite a foot injury aggravated by the insistence of his team-mates on passing back to him, forcing him to kick clear. He was left limping and has withdrawn from the Wales squad to face Brazil this week. "Small things like that disappoint you," Kendall said.

Larger things too: his team's failure to defend leads, for instance, the first given them after only five minutes when Gary Speed's shot from 18 yards was deflected past Flowers. Ferguson could have doubled the advantage before Southall saved Flitcroft's 35th-minute header at full stretch; from the resulting corner, Gallacher touched in Croft's shot.

Ferguson restored Everton's lead from Oster's cross, but Blackburn refused to panic; instead, it was Everton who lost their nerve.

"We didn't keep the ball long enough; we invited pressure," Kendall said. "We talked about the quality crosses they are capable of putting in; we didn't stop that."

From one of those crosses, Sutton's header brought a save from Southall that defied belief: the ball seemed past him when he clawed it away and he deserved better than to see the rebound fall to Damien Duff, who rammed home his first league goal.

Everton's misery was complete when Southall's double save led to Ripley's corner, headed in unchallenged by Sherwood. "We got the result we deserved," Hodgson said. "It was the result of a very good afternoon's work against a very dogged and determined Everton side, who will consider themselves unlucky. I would have been very satisfied with our performance even had we not won."

Easy to say when you have won, of course, although his praise for Everton drew only a faint echo from Kendall. "There is some improvement, believe it or not," Kendall said. "The lads wanted to win for Everton football club." But are there other players, currently in other dressing rooms, who could actually deliver the goods?

Report Times Newspapers Ltd

Southall's heroics made redundant by Sherwood
Derick Allsop, Electronic Telegraph
TWO goals in a frenzied final seven minutes lifted Blackburn Rovers to second place in the Premiership. A maiden goal by substitute Damien Duff and a header from captain Tim Sherwood ultimately defied the heroics of Everton's veteran goalkeeper, Neville Southall.  Although victorious in the end, Blackburn's championship aspirations confronted unlikely resistance from an Everton team preoccupied merely with the task of survival in the top division.

Indeed, Everton were a goal up in six minutes through their captain, Gary Speed, and displayed a brand of fluid football which belied their lowly status. Gradually, however, Blackburn's control and power, rendered all the more potent by the front-line partnership of Chris Sutton and Kevin Gallagher, forced Howard Kendall's side to retreat deeper into their own territory.

Blackburn were without their stalward Scottish stopper, Colin Hendry, and paired Stephane Henchoz and Tore Pedersen at the heart of their defence.

Everton, too, were without a familiar and influential figure at the back, but Dave Watson's demotion to the substitutes' bench was not enforced.  Kendall preferred Craig Short and Slaven Bilic in front of Southall, who was making his 800th club appearance.

The movement of Everton's players appeared to catch Blackburn unawares and when, for the first time, Duncan Ferguson escaped the attentions of Pedersen, the home side were chasing a lost cause.  The Scot headed down for Danny Cadamarteri, who played the ball back for Speed, stationed on the edge of the area, to score with a low drive.

Sutton, whose goals have earned him an England call-up, demonstrated the range of his game by setting up an opportunity for Gallagher.  His chip, however, was not quite delicate or accurate enough to register an equaliser.  Stuart Ripley was closer with a corner which whipped across the face of Everton's goal and somehow beyond.

Billy McKinlay's long-range shot then shaved the bar, with Southall's magnificent save defying Garry Flitcroft, but Blackburn finally drew level in the 37th minute.  Gary Croft's low shot pierced the congestion of bodies in the area and Gallagher wheeled away in celebration of the decisive touch.

After the break Blackburn picked up where they left off with Flitcroft hitting the bar but, against the run of play, it was Everton who restored their lead after 54 minutes. John Oster, substituting for Cadamarteri, crossed low for Ferguson to turn in.

Southall made another superb save, from Sutton, but could not keep out Duff's equaliser. With Everton punch drunk, Sherwood headed the winner.

Report The Electronic Telegraph

RESULTS  (Game 14)
Monday 10 September 1997

Sunday 9 November 1997
ARSENAL                 3-2    MANCHESTER UNITED         38,205
Anelka(8) Vieira(27) Platt(83) Sheringham(33,41)
CHELSEA                 2-1    WEST HAM UNITED           34,382
Ferdinand(og:57) Zola(83)      Hartson(pen:85)

Saturday 8 November 1997
BLACKBURN ROVERS        3-2    EVERTON                   25,397
Gallacher(37) Duff(81)         Speed(7) Ferguson(55)
COVENTRY CITY           2-2    NEWCASTLE UNITED          22,679
Dublin(4,82)                   Barnes(31) Lee(87)
CRYSTAL PALACE          1-1    ASTON VILLA               21,097
Shipperley(42)                 Joachim(86)
LEEDS UNITED            4-3    DERBY COUNTY              33,572
Wallace(37) Kewell(40)         Sturridge(4,11) Asanovic(pen:33)
Hasselbaink(pen:82) Bowyer(90)
LIVERPOOL               4-0    TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR         38,006
McManaman(48) Leonhardsen(50)
Redknapp(65) Owen(86)
Di Canio(20) Whittingham(26)
SOUTHAMPTON             4-1    BARNSLEY                  15,018
Le Tissier(pen 3) Palmer(5)    Bosancic(pen 37)
Davies(35) Hirst(54)

LEAGUE TABLE (after 9 November 1997 )
Club                          P    W    D    L   GF   GA   GD   Pts
Manchester United            14    8    4    2   31   10   21   28
Arsenal                      14    7    6    1   30   15   15   27
Blackburn Rovers             14    7    6    1   26   13   13   27
Chelsea                      13    8    1    4   29   16   13   25
Leeds United                 14    7    2    5   20   16    4   23
Liverpool                    13    6    4    3   25   13   12   22
Leicester City               13    6    4    3   19   13    6   22
Derby County                 13    6    2    5   25   19    6   20
Newcastle United             11    5    3    3   14   15   -1   18
Coventry City                14    3    8    3   12   16   -4   17
Wimbledon                    13    4    4    5   15   15    0   16
Crystal Palace               13    4    4    5   13   15   -2   16
West Ham United              13    5    1    7   17   21   -4   16
Southampton                  14    5    1    8   17   21   -4   16
Aston Villa                  14    4    3    7   13   20   -7   15
Tottenham Hotspur            14    3    4    7   11   21  -10   13
Everton                      13    3    3    7   15   21   -6   12
Bolton Wanderers             13    2    6    5   10   21  -11   12
Sheffield Wednesday          14    3    3    8   23   35  -12   12
Barnsley                     14    3    1   10   11   40  -29   10

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Michael Kenrick 1997
Last updated: 8 Nov 97