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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 December, 2003, 16:59 GMT
Rooney inspires Everton win
Everton 3-2 Leicester

Wayne Rooney came off the bench to inspire Everton to a dramatic victory against Leicester at Gooodison Park.

Rooney - who got the winner at Portsmouth - was on the mark again after Leicester threatened a shock.

Les Ferdinand and Jamie Scowcroft put Leicester in front after Steve Howey's own goal gave Everton the advantage.

But Rooney struck an equaliser, before another Everton substitute Duncan Ferguson set up Tomasz Radzinski to clinch the points with 12 minutes left.

Everton boss David Moyes' decision to leave Rooney out did not stop his side dominating the opening stages, with Billy McKinlay clearing off the line from Alan Stubbs and Alessandro Pistone firing narrowly wide.

And as Everton pressed, Thomas Gravesen twice came close with a deflected drive and then a half-volley that flashed just off target.

KEY MOMENTS
32 mins: Steve Howey's own goal puts Everton ahead
45 mins: Les Ferdinand puts Leicester level
58 mins: Jamie Scowcroft gives Leicester the lead
70 mins: Wayne Rooney strikes the equaliser for Everton
78 mins: Tomasz Radzinski restores Everton's advantage

Everton were forced to replace Pistone with Tony Hibbert after 28 minutes when the Italian suffered a leg injury, but the blow was eased when they took the lead five minutes later.

Nigel Martyn's clearance caused confusion in the Leicester defence, and when Lee Carsley's flick was blocked by Ian Walker, the Foxes keeper was unlucky to see his save rebound off Steve Howey into the net.

Everton had dominated, but were stunned on the stroke half-time when Leicester grabbed an equaliser.

Referee Phil Dowd booked Alan Stubbs for a foul, and then penalised him for dissent by moving the ball forward 10 yards.

Muzzy Izzet touched the ball off to Les Ferdinand, who thrashed the ball home from 19 yards, his 16th goal against the Merseysiders in his long top-flight career.

And Leicester then turned the game on its head after 58 minutes when Riccardo Scimeca played in Jordan Stewart down the left, and his cross was headed home by a stooping Scowcroft.

It was then that Moyes made the move that turned the game, sending on Rooney for James McFadden.

Rooney immediately began to terrorise the Leicester defence, and it came as no surprise when he put Everton level after 70 minutes.

The youngster was lurking on the edge of the area after good work by Kevin Campbell to drive powerfully past Walker.

And eight minutes later it was Everton who were back in front when Radzinski ran on to a flick from substitute Duncan Ferguson to beat Walker.

Leicester still threatened to snatch a point, and it needed a magnificent save from Martyn to deny Muzzy Izzet an equaliser.


Everton: Martyn, Pistone (Hibbert 28), Stubbs, Unsworth, Naysmith, McFadden (Rooney 60), Carsley, Gravesen, Kilbane, Radzinski, Campbell (Ferguson 78).
Subs Not Used: Li Tie, Simonsen.

Booked: Stubbs, Ferguson.

Leicester: Walker, Impey, Howey (Elliott 51), Scimeca, Thatcher, Scowcroft, Izzet, McKinlay (Dickov 85), Stewart (Davidson 76), Ferdinand, Bent.
Subs Not Used: Hignett, Coyne.

Booked: Scimeca, Thatcher, Bent. Attendance: 37,007.

Referee: P Dowd (Staffordshire).




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Five Live's Peter Slater
"Everton deserved it, especially their manager David Moyes"


Everton boss David Moyes
"The substitutions we made worked a treat for us"




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