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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 September, 2003, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Everton rout sad Leeds
Everton players celebrate

Everton 4-0 Leeds Utd

Steve Watson's treble piled on the agony for Leeds United as Everton ran riot at Goodison Park.

Everton made Leeds pay the price for woeful defending to deliver a thrashing that could have been even more emphatic for Peter Reid's strugglers.

Scotland youngster James McFadden delivered an electrifying performance for Everton, who were three up before the interval as Watson struck twice and Duncan Ferguson added another.

Watson completed a hat-trick shortly after the interval - and Leeds were left to conduct a desperate exercise in damage limitation until they were put out of their misery by the final whistle.

It is crisis time for Reid after Leeds' second successive four-goal beating on their Premiership travels, sandwiched by a home defeat against Birmingham.

But Everton turned in their best display of the season to delight manager David Moyes.

Everton relegated Wayne Rooney to the substitutes' bench, with Ferguson making his first league start of the season and new signing McFadden being handed his full debut.

And McFadden set Goodison alight in the first half as Everton tore a miserable Leeds defence to shreds.

26 mins: Watson puts Everton ahead
37 mins: Watson adds Everton's second
39 mins: Ferguson adds Everton
52 mins: Watson completes his hat-trick for Everton's fourth

Ferguson was also a central figure, giving Brazil World Cup winner Roque Junior another torrid Premiership afternoon.

Everton dominated from the start and the only surprise was that it took 26 minutes before they took the lead.

Tomasz Radzinski harrassed Roque Junior into an awful error and the ball fell for Watson to exchange passes with Ferguson before lashing home a powerful finish.

Everton were threatening every time they attacked and they doubled their advantage eight minutes before the interval.

McFadden, who was having a scintillating first half, sent Radzinski away again.

And even though Paul Robinson raced from his area to kick clear he only found Watson, who lobbed into an empty net from 35 yards.

Leeds were in total disarray and Everton added a deserved third two minutes later.

Tony Hibbert's cross found Ferguson unmarked and he powered a header past the exposed Robinson from six yards.

Reid's response was to haul off Seth Johnson, Jermaine Pennant and Lamine Sakho, replacing them with Michael Bridges, Salomon Olembe and Aaron Lennon.

It made no difference and Everton were soon on the attack again, Watson completing his hat-trick after 52 minutes.

McFadden released David Unsworth, whose cross flicked off Roque Junior's head before reaching Watson at the far post, who lobbed home.

Former Leeds keeper Nigel Martyn was virtually unemployed, but he was finally in action in the 54th minute, saving well from Mark Viduka.

McFadden continued to impress, and he was replaced shortly before the final whistle to a deserved standing ovation.

Everton: Martyn, Hibbert, Yobo, Stubbs, Unsworth, Watson (Rooney 76), Gravesen, Carsley, McFadden (Linderoth 86), Radzinski (Kilbane 76), Ferguson.
Subs Not Used: Weir, Turner.

Leeds: Robinson, Kelly, Camara, Roque Junior, Matteo, Pennant (Bridges 45), Morris, Seth Johnson (Lennon 45), Sakho (Olembe 45), Smith, Viduka.
Subs Not Used: Harte, Carson.

Booked: Camara, Bridges.

Attendance: 39,151

Referee: P Durkin (Dorset).

BBC Five Live's Dave Woods
"Everton could have had several more goals"

Everton boss David Moyes
"Goals change games and we needed the goals"

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