With both teams coming of recent victories, Rovers in the League and Everton in Europa, a pulsating affair was in place. Rovers persisted with the 4-5-1 formation, with Jacobsen, expecting a child, making way for Salgado at Right Back. Roberts led the front line, with David Dunn once again given the free role in front of the midfield.
Everton started the game on fire. Osman, Saha and Pienaar all had early chances for the Toffee’s, however all misdirected their shots. Rovers however, almost caught them out on the counter. A free kick found Samba in the box, who’s misdirected shot stunned Diouf in the forehead. From 3 yards out, Dioufy hit the crossbar, a tough chance, but a chance it was.
Everton made Rovers pay, scoring in the 22nd minute. A Baines free kick from the left flank found Saha, who touched the ball on past Robinson. Salgado and Andrews both stood looking at each other at the near post.
Rovers upped the tempo, getting the ball wide to Diouf and Gamst, as well as some darting play from Dunn. However, Grella and Andrews were ineffectual. A scramble in the box created an opportunity for Dunn, however his shot went straight to Howard in goals.
The half fizzed away, a few clumsy challenges, couple of yellow’s, 1-0 half time.
Rovers came out the stronger in the second, however, couldnt make do with their chances. Andrews missed a brace from yards out, whilst Diouf looked threatening out on the flank. Nelsen came on for Givet, whilst Gamst made way for Hoillet.
Once again, Everton made Rovers pay, and put the game out of reach, in the 60th minute….Saha rose from a set piece, and buried his header into the bottom left corner….2-0 Everton. Everton almost went 3 up immediately, with a Leon Osman drive brillianty saved by Robinson. However, Everton didnt have to wait much longer, another set piece, sloppy defending from Nelsen, allowing Yobo to blast in from yards…3-0 Everton
Hoillet was looking a threat on the flank, whilst Dioufy continued to threaten, but that really was it from Rovers. Kalinic came on to add some extra fire power, to little avail….
Everton 3 Rovers 0
Some top class saves as Robinson looks to impress to reclaim the England Number 1 Jersey
Poor Effort from the back 4. Salgado bombed out, whilst Samba, Givet and Chimbonda weren’t anywhere near their best. THe guys looked unsure, and didnt stick to the normal, safe rather then sorry game plan. At set pieces, everybody was concerned with marking Cahill, leaving Saha free twice….
Grella and Andrews really failed. Quiet games from both, need to take control in the midfield. Dunny tried hard, with little opportunities, Dioufy was the shining light
Up front on his own, not going to do much when the ball is lumped to him all game….