Date:Sunday December 28 2008
Attendance: Full House
A sell out crowd at Goodison Park witnessed Everton cruise past a lacklustre Sunderland side, eventually winning 3-0. It continued Evertons impressive run of form since all 4 of our strikers got injured. Away wins at City and Boro, a home draw with Chelsea and today's win, makes it 10 points from 12 without a recognised striker. In no small part due to 4 consecutive clean sheets in that time.
Sunderland like Everton had picked up 7 points from their last 3 games, and what was expected to be a tough game for the Blues, turned into a total mismatch. With Sunderland fans left surely wondering why their side lacked the required effort, to match an Everton side willing to fight for every ball.
Everton took the lead inside the first 10 minutes, Osman was fouled by Richardson just outside the area, Mikel Arteta stepped up to take the kick. And whilst it was a decent enough effort, Fulop in goal would of hoped to do better.
Arteta, with renewed confidence and having finally been allowed to play in his preferred central role after 3 years at the club, was running the show. Evidently a class above anything Sunderland could muster up.
Arteta again made it 2-0 15 minutes later, another free kick hit the wall, before the creative Spaniard volleyed in the rebound.
Tim Cahill really should of made it 3 before half time, but his near post header went narrowly wide. Whilst Fellaini took too long over a chance to slot home into an empty net.
Evertons second half performance was a bit flat, the game was already won and both players and fans were well aware Sunderland weren't nearly good enough to mount a serious comeback.
Everton kicked back into life however, when Dan Gosling came on for Osman with 20 minutes to go. His renewed effort and running caused a tiring Sunderland back line no end of problems, and he was rewarded with a goal 5 minutes from time. After more great work from Arteta, Lescott's square ball was confidently prodded home, and Gosling celebrated his first goal for the club on only his second appearance.
Young Lukas Jutkiewicz also made a late debut, making it a total of 4 youngsters offered league debuts this year. Jack Rodwell, Jose Baxter, Dan Gosling and Jutkiewicz all coming through well. Provididing pivotal cover for a small squad, the coaching staff at Goodison working wonders.
3 wins and a draw from 4 games without strikers, we'll take that thank you! A great end to 2008 for the blues.
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Date:Sunday December 28 2008
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