Friday, December 26, 2008

Toffees climb to sixth in table!

Everton climbed to sixth in the Premier League table with a 1-0 victory against Middlesbrough. The victory continues the Toffees bewildering form on the road which has them as the second best club in the league when away from home. With Louis Saha, Victor Anichebe joined on the sidelines by Leon Osman and Joseph Yobo, David Moyes was forced to make some tough tactical choices including giving eighteen year-old Dan Gosling a starting berth in the midfield. The choice worked to perfection as the England U-19 created a number of opportunities and came close to adding his name to the score-sheet on a number of occasions. The winning strike came six minutes after the break when Timmy Cahill latched onto Mikel Arteta corner and sent it into the net.

From the start of the match, Everton looked comfortable and displayed a miserly approach, rarely allowing a noteworthy effort upon Tim Howard. The Toffees looked to have taken the lead nine minutes in with Steven Pienaar scoring but it was erased as a foul by Joleon Lescott in the box. After a number of opportunities by Everton that feel short, 'Boro came alive fifteen minutes before the break with Gary O'Neill's strike being pushed wide by Tim Howard. Finally after a scoreless first forty-five, Everton found the back of the net as Mikel Arteta's corner was headed on by Timmy Cahill but after a series of saves of his and Joleon Lescott's attempt, the Aussie international found the magic touch to take the 1-0 lead. Minutes later Dan Gosling had a perfect opportunity to increase the margin but his effort drifted sadly wide. While Everton dictated much of the play, they were unable to seal the game off and with only a few minutes remaining Middlesbrough came close as Mido's slick pass to Afonso Alves was chipped off the mark. However without another opportunity to level, Everton took the 1-0 victory and the important three points.