Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Damp squib

Everton 3 - 1 Newcastle Utd

Results elsewhere meant that even if we'd won this game 20-0 it wouldn't have changed the fact that we finished fifth in the league.

As it was, we didn't win 20-0, but rather were undone by a side resurgent since the January transfer window provided them with a goalscoring threat.

Despite a bright start in which HBA came close to opening the scoring, we faded once Steven Pienaar had seen his long-range shot deflect off Mike Williamson and loop out of reach of Tim Krul to give the home side the lead. With Spurs already ahead and Arsenal also scoring early (albeit being subsequently pegged back by West Brom) things looked pretty bleak and Nikica Jelavic added a second eleven minutes later, beating Sideshow Bob to the ball and reacting quickest to Krul's parry to stab home a second.

With hopes fading rapidly Jonny Heitinga's header from a corner with our entire defence seemingly napping just put a further nail in the coffin of our Champions League hopes.

While we were able to claw one back when Tony Hibbert nodded past Timmy Tourettes under pressure from Cisse, we couldn't manage a second which would have lead to a possible grandstand finish (albeit probably not one to rival Man City's).

The only further point of interest was substitute Tim Cahill managing to pick up a red card for grabbing Dreamboat around the throat as the match ended.

Other notable occurances saw the Silver Fox replace both full-backs at half time, with Santon and Perchinho making way for Raylor and the returning Sylvain Marveaux, albeit to little net effect.

It's a mark of how far we've come that this defeat felt like a blow when the reality is that this has been a fantastic season which has seen our manager recognised by his peers for a fantastic achievement and our captain voted into the PFA Premiership Team of the Season, and even if we'd produced the win we all craved, results elsewhere meant that it would all have been in vain anyway.

Other reports: BBC, Guardian

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