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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 February 2006, 16:59 GMT
Everton 1-0 Blackburn
James Beattie
Beattie celebrates his first-half header
Everton stretched their unbeaten league run to seven thanks to James Beattie's first-half header and a resolute defensive display with 10 men.

The Toffees had two Tim Cahill efforts chalked off for offside, a Beattie goal ruled out for a push and Ian Turner sent off for handling outside his area.

But an unmarked Beattie did then manage to head home Mikel Arteta's free-kick.

Blackburn piled on the pressure for much of the rest of the match, but failed to make their extra man count.

Both sides started brightly but it was the Premiership's form team Everton who created the better chances.

Cahill thought he had given Everton the lead when he steered home Beattie's flick, only for the referee's assistant to raise his flag for offside.

James McFadden then failed to find the empty Blackburn net - defender Andy Todd and goalkeeper Brad Friedel collided, but McFadden crashed his effort against the bar from the edge of the box.

Everton were reduced to 10 men five minutes later when young Turner handled Alan Stubbs' low header outside the Everton penalty area, forcing boss David Moyes to bring on fourth-choice goalkeeper John Ruddy and sacrifice McFadden.

Blackburn sought to make use of their numerical advantage and Florent Sinama Pongolle should have capitalised on poor marking in the Everton defence soon after, but he failed to convert Craig Bellamy's pinpoint cross.

Cahill then found the net again with a well-directed header, only to see his effort ruled out for offside once more.

But Everton finally took the lead on 33 minutes when Beattie rose unmarked to power home his header from Arteta's accurate free-kick.

David Bentley almost caught out Ruddy with a dipping volley just before half time and Pongolle headed over from a corner as the Toffees held the lead at the break.

Moyes then remonstrated with referee Paul Walton as the players left the pitch, with the fiery Scot voicing his displeasure at the official's first-half display.

Everton had another goal disallowed soon after the restart when Stubbs pushed Ryan Nelsen after heading down to Bellamy who forced the ball, and Friedel, into the net.

Blackburn pinned the home side in their own half for much of the second period and Ruddy did well to stop Sergio Peter's deflected long-range drive.

But despite Blackburn's intense pressure, Rovers failed to trouble Ruddy and left Goodison Park without a point.


  • Everton boss David Moyes:
    "You can say anything you like but for me it was Everton, it is what I expect from my players.  "They never gave in and they are turning a lot of things round now from the start of the season.

    "The performance today epitomised what we are about and the effort they put in was nothing short of incredible."

  • Blackburn boss Mark Hughes:
    "Going up against a side who has lost their keeper early on, down to 10 men, and with their fourth choice goalkeeper, we never really tested him.

    "We had plenty of possession but never at any point did we have a sustained spell of pressure to test them.

    "Everton were excellent, they really fought hard for everything that they got and deserved to win."


    Everton: Turner, Hibbert, Weir, Stubbs, Nuno Valente, Arteta, Neville, Cahill, McFadden (Ruddy 10), Osman (Kilbane 60), Beattie (Carsley 79).
    Subs Not Used: Naysmith, Davies.

    Sent Off: Turner (9).

    Booked: Neville, Hibbert, Nuno Valente, Kilbane.

    Goals: Beattie 33.

    Blackburn: Friedel, Neill, Todd, Nelsen, Gray, Emerton (Peter 58), Reid, Savage (Tugay 58), Bentley (Kuqi 72), Sinama Pongolle, Bellamy.
    Subs Not Used: Enckelman, Khizanishvili.

    Booked: Nelsen, Todd.

    Att: 35,615

    Ref: P Walton (Northamptonshire).




  • WATCH AND LISTEN
    Interview: Everton boss David Moyes


    Interview: Blackburn boss Mark Hughes


    Interview: Everton goalkeeping coach Chris Woods



    SEE ALSO
    Saturday's Premiership photos
    11 Feb 06 |  Photo Galleries


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