Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
---------------
---------------
CHOOSE A SPORT
RELATED BBC SITES
Last Updated: Saturday, 10 February 2007, 17:00 GMT
Everton 1-0 Blackburn
Andrew Johnson volleys Everton in front against Blackburn
Andrew Johnson volleys Everton in front against Blackburn
Andrew Johnson's early strike maintained Everton's push for a European place against Blackburn.

Johnson celebrated his 26th birthday by volleying home Mikel Arteta's header from close range after 10 minutes to clinch a deserved win.

He missed two more clear chances, while Everton's new midfield man Manuel Fernandes was denied by Brad Friedel.

Blackburn rallied, but Everton keeper Tim Howard saved well from Zurab Khizanishvili and Paul Gallagher.

Everton gave a debut to Portugal Under-21 star Fernandes - and he shone in a first 45 minutes completely dominated by the home side.

Johnson gave Everton the lead after 10 minutes, turning on Arteta's header to volley high past Brad Friedel.

606 DEBATE: Share your thoughts on the match here

Blackburn boss Mark Hughes was furious that the goal was given, clearly feeling Johnson was offside - but replays proved the decision was correct.

Hughes suffered another blow shortly after Johnson's goal when new signing David Dunn, returning to the club after an injury-ravaged spell at Birmingham, limped off with an injury sustained when he fouled Phil Neville.

Johnson then set up Andy van der Meyde for a far post volley, but he mis-hit his effort well wide.

Joleon Lescott's surging left-flank run created an opportunity for Johnson, but his goal-bound shot was blocked by Blackburn debut boy Bruno Berner.

Johnson was a central figure as Everton poured forward, and he set Fernandes clear only for the Portuguese youngster to be denied by Friedel before firing the rebound into the side-netting.

Blackburn finally responded with a long-range effort from Zurab Khizanishvili on the stroke of half-time which was turned over in acrobatic fashion by Tim Howard.

Howard was in action again seconds after half-time, doing brilliantly to turn away a drive from Paul Gallagher that bounced wickedly right in front of the keeper.

Johnson wasted a great chance to double Everton's lead after 54 minutes when he failed to turn home the outstanding Arteta's cross from only eight yards.

Blackburn pushed forward in search on an equaliser, but substitute James Beattie was within inches of doubling Everton's advantage with two minutes left.

He just failed to get on the end of Tim Cahill's header from Arteta's free-kick.


  • Everton manager David Moyes:
    "It was a very pleasing win. We have struggled all season to build runs of results, but we have beaten Wigan, drawn at Liverpool and beaten Blackburn.

    "It is a vital time of the season to grind results out and that is what we have done. I thought we played very well, especially in the first half.

    "Andy Johnson took his goals very well. It was his birthday today and I told him beforehand I expected a brace from him and he might have got it.

    "He had three or four goal attempts, so he could have had more.

    "I thought Manuel Fernandes played well. He was important to us, especially in the first half."

  • Blackburn manager Mark Hughes:
    "We were slow coming out of the blocks in the first half, maybe as a result of players travelling to international games.

    "We gave a much better performance in the second half, but Everton were really solid defensively. They were very difficult to break down.

    "We tried to get a foothold in the game early on, but we couldn't do it after the break, even though we asked more questions."


    Everton: Howard, Neville, Yobo, Stubbs, Lescott, Van der Meyde (Beattie 55), Carsley, Fernandes, Arteta, Cahill, Johnson.
    Subs Not Used: Wright, Naysmith, Vaughan, De Silva.

    Booked: Cahill, Fernandes.

    Goals: Johnson 10.

    Blackburn: Friedel, Khizanishvili (Todd 83), Samba, Nelsen, Berner, Emerton, Dunn (Roberts 15), Kerimoglu, Bentley, Gallagher (Jeffers 66), McCarthy.
    Subs Not Used: Brown, Henchoz.

    Booked: Todd.

    Att: 35,593

    Ref: R Styles (Hampshire).



    SEE ALSO
    Saturday's football photos
    10 Feb 07 |  Football


    RELATED BBC LINKS:

    RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

    BBC PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
    Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
    Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

    Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us