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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 May 2007, 16:01 GMT 17:01 UK
Everton 3-0 Portsmouth
Joseph Yobo is mobbed after heading Everton's second goal
Joseph Yobo is mobbed after heading Everton's second goal
Everton produced a superb second-half show to beat Portsmouth and virtually seal a place in next season's Uefa Cup.

Mikel Arteta put Everton ahead from the penalty spot after 59 minutes following a foul by Glen Johnson on exciting young striker James Vaughan.

And Joseph Yobo clinched the victory three minutes later when he powered home Manuel Fernandes' corner.

Substitute Gary Naysmith headed home Arteta's corner in the dying seconds as Everton turned on the style.


Only a freak series of results - as in a possible loss by double figures at Chelsea - can stop manager David Moyes taking Everton into Europe for the second time in three seasons.

Everton striker Andrew Johnson failed a fitness test on an ankle injury, leaving Moyes to pair teenagers Vaughan and Victor Anichebe in attack.

Vaughan, who along with Anichebe signed a new four-year contract this week, wasted the best chance of a tight first half.

Anichebe headed on keeper Tim Howard's clearance to set Vaughan clear but he poked a poor finish wide.

Two more chances came in the dying seconds of the first half, with Joleon Lescott shooting straight at David James and Portsmouth's Gary O'Neil shooting wastefully wide from Benjani's pass.

Everton opened the second half with a real sense of purpose and Lee Carsley should have put them in front after 48 minutes.

Arteta's cross found Carsley at the near post but he shot wide from only eight yards.

Everton had burst out of the blocks after the break and it was no more than they deserved when they went ahead after 59 minutes.

Vaughan's persistence was the key, with him beating Linvoy Primus before he was hauled down by Johnson.

Arteta scored the kick, despite James getting a hand to the ball.

Portsmouth were under siege and Anichebe was inches away from adding a second after James blocked a Vaughan effort.

But there was no reprieve for Portsmouth, with Yobo heading Fernandes' resulting corner past James.

James was then called into action to push away a dipping 25-yard strike from Fernandes.

Spanish midfield man Arteta was orchestrating a fine second-half display from Everton and he almost got his second goal after 73 minutes when he turned a close-range effort inches wide from Anichebe's return pass.

He was involved again with another corner on the final whistle, Naysmith running on to James Beattie's flick to score with a far post header.

  • Everton manager David Moyes:
    "I think we are in Europe now but we can't say for definite and I could end up with egg on my face. However, I'll take a place on goal difference because we have earned that this season.

    "I have to pay tribute to our supporters today. They acted like supporters of a proper football club - they were nothing short of magnificent and made as much of a difference as the players.

    "We didn't play well in the first half but we were terrific after the break."

  • Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp:
    "I wouldn't have picked a winner at half-time, but we gave away a rash, blatant penalty when Glen Johnson fouled James Vaughan and conceded two goals from corners.

    "We have conceded too many goals from set-pieces this year. It has been a real problem for us.

    "But we've had a great season, played some really good stuff and could still get into Europe if we beat Arsenal at home next week."

    Everton: Howard, Neville, Yobo, Stubbs, Lescott, Osman, Carsley, Fernandes (Naysmith 90), Arteta, Vaughan (Beattie 89), Anichebe (McFadden 77).
    Subs Not Used: Turner, Hibbert.

    Booked: Fernandes, Vaughan, Yobo.

    Goals: Arteta 59 pen, Yobo 62, Naysmith 90.

    Portsmouth: James, Johnson, Primus, Pamarot, Traore, Lauren (Mvuemba 70), Davis, O'Neil, Kranjcar (LuaLua 71), Kanu (Douala 83), Mwaruwari.
    Subs Not Used: Ashdown, O'Brien.

    Booked: Pamarot, Davis, Johnson.

    Att: 39,619

    Ref: H Webb (S Yorkshire).

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