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Match Report


Posted Sun 20 Sep 09 at 16:55 PM

Report: Everton 3 Rovers 0

A below par Rovers slipped to a disappointing defeat at the hands of Everton.

The momentum built up after last weekend's win over Wolves quickly evapourated in the Goodison sunshine as defensive lapses were Rovers' undoing.

Louis Saha's 22nd minute strike was the difference between the two sides in a closely contested first half in which El-Hadji Diouf headed against the bar for Rovers.

Then at the start of the second half Keith Andrews' drove straight at Howard from close-range, and they were rue that missed chance as two goals in four second half minutes saw the home side grab all three points.

Saha added his second from Fellaini's centre, then Joseph Yobo reacted quickest to a lose ball in the area to add a third.

Hoilett and Diouf saw shots saved by Howard, but it was Paul Robinson who was the busier of the two 'keepers, pulling off a series of stunning saves to stop Everton adding further strikes on an unhappy say for Sam Allardyce's side.

Watch the match highlights on Rovers Player

The early arrival of a new member of the Jacobsen family meant that Sam Allardyce had to change the starting eleven that had defeated Wolves comprehensively last weekend. With the Danish defender missing out on a return against his former club, it meant a first start in Rovers colours for former Real Madrid man Michel Salgado.

The home side enjoyed the better of the early exchanges, a Steven Pienaar centre from the left saw Leon Osman strike at goal, the ball deflecting off the heel of Samba and just past Robinson's far post. Moments later Tim Cahill looked to turn in the area but Givet made a timely challenge.

But Rovers first real chance of the game very nearly lead to the opening goal of the game. Morten Gamst Pedersen sent over a free-kick that Chris Samba poked across the area, El-Hadji Diouf rose at the back post to head goalwards but the ball cannoned off the crossbar.

They were to rue that missed opportunity as just three minutes later Everton had the lead from a free-kick conceded by Salgado. Leighton Baines delivered the ball into the area, Saha evaded Salgado to latch onto the ball and divert it home.

South African Pienaar forced Paul Robinson into making a smart save, a right-footed effort to the near post having to be pushed aside. Whilst at the other end Sylvain Distin diverted a low Pedersen cross behind from inside his own six yard box.

Rovers were dealt a blow at the restart with the non-appearance of defender Gael Givet, the Frenchman unable to continue after a first half knee injury. Ryan Nelsen on to replace.

Sam Allardyce then had to make a second change with Morten Gamst Pedersen labouring to the touchline. Junior Hoilett coming on for his second league appearance.

Rovers should have got back on level terms moments after the restart when a Vince Grella ball picked out El-Hadji Diouf on the right, he got round the back of Baines to drill into the area, David Dunn couldn't shoot himself but fed Keith Andrews but he drove straight at Tim Howard.

Like in the first half when Everton scored almost immediately after Rovers had hit the bar, it was David Moyes' side who took full advantage with two goals in quick succession.

Poor marking from the back line allowed a Marouane Fellaini centre from the right to land a pin-point cross right onto the head of Louis Saha who was criminally free to power the ball past a helpless Robinson for a 54th minute goal.

Four minutes later and more damage was inflicted on Rovers. Paul Robinson had pulled off a stunning save to deny Leon Osman, but from the resulting corner, Nelsen could only block the ball in the area and Everton captain Joseph Yobo was on hand to force the ball home.

That prompted a third and final change from Allardyce. Nikola Kalinic coming on to replace MIchel Salgado, as Rovers switched to a 4-4-2 with Andrews operating at right back. The Irishman doing his defensive duty to head off the line from a Distin header.

With the game effectively wrapped up Rovers did have the greater share of the play and chances. Junior Hoilett and El-Hadji Diouf both forcing fine saves from Tim Howard, but it was Paul Robinson who was kept the busier of the two 'keepers, stunning saves to deny Osman and Pienaar saw the scoreline kept to just three.

So an afternoon to forget for Rovers, but they are quickly back in action when they face Nottingham Forest in the Carling Cup on Tuesday evening.

EVERTON: Howard, Baines, Yobo (c), Heitinga, Saha (sub Jo 74 mins), Distin, Cahill (sub Hibbert 77 mins), Pienaar, Osman (sub Gosling 82 mins), Fellaini, Rodwell.

Subs not used: Nash (GK), Yakubu, Agard, Wallace.

ROVERS: Robinson (c), Salgado (sub Kalinic 62 mins), Samba, Givet (sub Nelsen 46 mins), Chimbonda, Grella, Andrews, Diouf, Pedersen (sub Hoilett 52 mins), Dunn, Roberts.

Subs not used: Brown (GK), Emerton, McCarthy, Nzonzi.

Booked: Heitinga (Everton), Dunn, Diouf (Rovers)

Attendance: 35,546

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