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BBC Five Live's Peter Slater
reports from Goodison Park.
 real 14k

Ipswich boss, George Burley
"It was a fine win."
 real 14k

Saturday, 30 September, 2000, 17:00 GMT 18:00 UK
Ipswich crush Everton
John McGreal
John McGreal returned to Merseyside with a goal
Everton 0-3 Ipswich Town

Ipswich Town left struggling Everton close to crisis as they comfortably outclassed Walter Smith's side at Goodison Park.

Everton - looking to bounce back after the humiliating Worthington Cup exit at the hands of second division Bristol Rovers - were never in serious contention against George Burley's buoyant side.

Former Tranmere Rovers defender John McGreal started the slide for woeful Everton with only the second goal of his career early on.

And 2.5m signing Marcus Stewart followed up with goals either side of half time to leave the Goodison Park crowd in angry mood.

It was no more than Ipswich deserved as they continue to acquit themselves well on their return to the top flight.

Everton may have a lengthy injury list, including the loss of teenage top scorer Francis Jeffers, but there was no excuse for their inept performance.

Marcus Stewart
Marcus Stewart punished Everton
Ipswich were in almost total control throughout, and were helped by suicidal defending from Everton, with Steve Watson and David Unsworth responsible for giving goals away.

Everton started with a new-look back three, with Ghanaian Alex Nyarko as the sweeper with David Weir and Watson on either side of him.

You can't give goals away like we did at any level of football and expect to win matches. I take no positives from this
  Everton manager Walter Smith
It was experimental and uncertain, handing Ipswich the early initiative.

They were swift to take advantage, and almost went ahead when Jermaine Wright narrowly failed to profit from mass confusion in the Everton penalty area.

Everton failed to heed the warning, and after Richard Naylor headed narrowly over, Ipswich deservedly took the lead after 19 minutes.

And it was a sweet moment for McGreal, returning to Merseyside after starting his career at Tranmere, who rose above Everton's defence to head powerfully past Paul Gerrard.

Everton had to improve, but chances were only fleeting in a frustrating first half for the home side.

Niclas Alexandersson should have scored in the first half when he made space inside the Ipswich penalty area, but his close range shot was blocked by Richard Wright.

Paul Gascoigne
Paul Gascoigne struggled to make an impact
And on the stroke of half time, Kevin Campbell almost got on the end of Paul Gascoigne's pass, but goalkeeper Wright plunged bravely at his feet.

Everton's hopes of mounting a second half recovery suffered a bitter setback only four minutes after the interval when Ipswich Town increased their lead.

Steve Watson was Everton's villain, carelessly presenting Naylor with the ball in the danger area, and his well delivered cross was swept home from close range by Stewart.

Everton's conintuing defensive woes gifted Ipswich a third on the hour, with Stewart adding his second.

This time David Unsworth was the guilty party, his back pass falling well short of Gerrard. Stewart stepped in and scored at the second attempt despite David Weir's goal-line cleraance.

I think if you ask Arsenal, Manchester United and Leeds what they think, they will tell you we are a decent side. We have proved it again
  Ipswich Town manager George Burley
The rest of the game was no more than an exercise in damage limitation for Everton, as a season that started with optimism goes into decline.

Ipswich, in contrast, proved they are more than capable of beating this standard of opposition.

Everton: Gerrard, S. Watson, Weir, Unsworth, Alexandersson, Nyarko, Gravesen, Gascoigne, Gemmill, Campbell, Moore. Subs: S. Hughes, Simonsen, M. Hughes, McLeod, Clarke.

Ipswich: R. Wright, Wilnis, Clapham, McGreal, Magilton, Holland, Stewart, Naylor, J. Wright, Bramble, Hreidarsson. Subs: Venus, Johnson, Scowcroft, Salmon, Reuser.

Referee: J. Winter (Stockton-on-Tees)

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