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AEK Athens   0 - 1   Everton

Everton midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov
Bilyaletdinov's emphatic finish proved enough to see Everton past AEK Athens

By Sam Lyon

Diniyar Bilyaletdinov proved the match-winner as Everton overcame a host of injury problems and a sodden pitch to reach the last 32 of the Europa League.

Heavy rain ensured awful conditions, which played their part in injuries to Dan Gosling, Sylvain Distin and Jo.

But the Toffees pressed on, aided by Bilyaletdinov's emphatic early finish after being set up by Jo's lay-off.

And that proved enough, despite Youssef Hersi clipping the post in a late AEK flurry, to see the Toffees through.

The Merseysiders now sit on nine points in Group I, one behind leaders Benfica, who beat BATE 2-1, and four ahead of third-placed BATE with one match - against the Belarussian side - left to play in the group stages.

And while Everton have had their fair share of struggles in the Premier League this season, they have certainly impressed in Europe - and their victory at the Olympic Stadium was no different.

Starved of a host of first-teamers before kick-off, manager David Moyes will surely have been further cursing his luck when Gosling and Distin limped off before the half-hour mark, while Jo was carried off with a knee problem on 73 minutes.

But 17-year-old substitutes Jose Baxter and Shane Duffy, as well as Seamus Coleman, showed experience and quality beyond their years to play their part in a clinical away performance.

And the win was the perfect way for Tony Hibbert to mark his record-equalling 19th European appearance in an Everton shirt.

The Toffees were aided by the fact that Athens kicked off with star players Ismael Blanco, Nacho Scocco and Gustavo Manduca on the bench amid rumours of a pay dispute at the Greek side.

However, conditions alone dictated it would be a tough night's work, and Everton coped admirably.

It was kick-started by Bilyaletdinov's goal, the Russian striding on to Jo's lay-off, taking a touch, and then lashing into the roof of the net on the angle.

And with Jo excellent up front and Tim Cahill, Bilyaletdinov and Steven Pienaar controlling the midfield, Everton looked more than comfortable for the opening hour.

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With the ball sticking in the grass and one side of the pitch boasting puddles of surface water, quality football was always going to be at a premium, but Baxter and Jo both had half decent efforts from range, while Cahill headed over.

Tim Howard was a virtual passenger early on, though he did push a speculative 30-yarder from Panagiotis Tachtsidis wide, and only when the hosts introduced Manduca, Scocco and Blanco did they provide any consternation to the visitors.

Hersi came closest to what would have been a barely deserved equaliser, the midfielder clipping the outside of the post with a drilled effort from the edge of the box, while Baxter produced an excellent clearance off the line to prevent a Manduca shot creeping in late on.

But those came either side of a superb save from Sebastian Saja at the other end, the keeper finger-tipping Jo's snap-shot inches past the post, and few could argue Everton did not deserve to come away from Greece with victory and Europa League qualification.

Only those injuries to Gosling, Distin and Jo will take the shine off the night for Moyes, whose side host high-flying Tottenham on Sunday as they bid to replicate their European form on the domestic stage.

Live text and stats

 

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Europa League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
AEK Athens 0-1 Everton FT
(HT 0-1)
    • Bilyaletdinov 6

    AEK Athens

    • 23 Sebastian Saja
    • 04 Geraldo yellow card
    • 05 Majstorovic
    • 07 Juanfran
    • 31 Georgeas
    • 34 Taxtsidis
    • 01 Kafes
    • 03 Hersi
    • 09 Leonardo (Scocco 46)
    • 14 Makos (Manduca 30)
    • 21 Pavlis (Blanco 60)

    Substitutes

    • 22 Arampatzis,
    • 02 Araujo,
    • 15 Karabelas,
    • 90 Gentsoglou,
    • 11 Manduca,
    • 18 Blanco,
    • 32 Scocco

    Everton

    Substitutes

    Ref: CirchettaAtt: 15,000
    AEK ATHENS
    EVERTON

    Possession

    • AEK Athens 63%
    • Everton 37%

    Attempts on target

    • AEK Athens 4
    • Everton 2

    Attempts off target

    • AEK Athens 8
    • Everton 4

    Corners

    • AEK Athens 7
    • Everton 2

    Fouls

    • AEK Athens 11
    • Everton 12
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+3:03 The referee signals the end of the game.
    • 90:00+1:12 Panagiotis Taxtsidis takes a long range shot harmlessly clearing the crossbar.
    • 90:00+0:26 Marouane Fellaini gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alves Geraldo. Alves Geraldo takes the free kick.
    • 89:11 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Pantelis Kafes by Steven Pienaar. Pantelis Kafes takes the direct free kick.
    • 88:12 Garcia Juanfran delivers the ball, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov manages to make a clearance.
    • 86:58 Booking Jose Baxter goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
    • 86:43 The referee blows for offside against Jose Baxter. Diego Sebastian Saja takes the free kick.
    • 84:57 Panagiotis Taxtsidis takes a shot from just outside the penalty area clears the crossbar.
    • 82:56 Corner taken left-footed by Gustavo Manduca from the right by-line, Marouane Fellaini makes a clearance.
    • 80:40 Foul by Steven Pienaar on Nikos Georgeas, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed left-footed by Gustavo Manduca from left channel, save made by Tim Howard.
    • 79:27 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Gustavo Manduca from the left by-line, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov manages to make a clearance.
    • 78:34 Marouane Fellaini produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the target.
    • 78:01 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Gustavo Manduca.
    • 77:15 Diniyar Bilyaletdinov takes the outswinging corner, Marouane Fellaini takes a shot. Save by Diego Sebastian Saja.
    • 75:52 Effort from 20 yards by Ignacio Scocco. Save made by Tim Howard.
    • 74:51 Corner taken left-footed by Gustavo Manduca.
    • 74:36 Gustavo Manduca takes a shot. Leighton Baines gets a block in.
    • 74:08 Booking Alves Geraldo shown a yellow card.
    • 73:54 Unfair challenge on Ayegbeni Yakubu by Alves Geraldo results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Leighton Baines.
    • 73:32 The ball is delivered by Ignacio Scocco, clearance by Shane Duffy.
    • 73:00 Substitution Ayegbeni Yakubu replaces Joao Alves Jo.
    • 69:48 Panagiotis Taxtsidis has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide left of the goal.
    • 66:58 Direct free kick taken by Nikos Georgeas.
    • 66:58 Booking Diniyar Bilyaletdinov is cautioned.
    • 66:47 Free kick awarded for a foul by Diniyar Bilyaletdinov on Nikos Georgeas.
    • 59:59 Substitution Michalis Pavlis goes off and Ismael Blanco comes on.
    • 59:54 Joao Alves Jo produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the target.
    • 59:26 The ball is delivered by Nikos Georgeas, Tony Hibbert makes a clearance.
    • 57:58 Youssouf Hersi takes a shot from outside the penalty area and hits the post.
    • 57:01 Foul by Pereira Leonardo on Steven Pienaar, free kick awarded. Leighton Baines takes the direct free kick.
    • 55:32 Booking Tim Howard goes into the book for time wasting.
    • 53:34 Foul by Daniel Majstorovic on Joao Alves Jo, free kick awarded. Joao Alves Jo shoots direct from the free kick.
    • 49:49 Gustavo Manduca delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, save made by Tim Howard.
    • 49:49 Booking Tim Cahill booked for unsporting behaviour.
    • 49:43 Handball by Tim Cahill.
    • 49:04 Corner taken by Gustavo Manduca.
    • 46:23 Youssouf Hersi concedes a free kick for a foul on Leighton Baines. Free kick crossed left-footed by Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, comfortable save by Diego Sebastian Saja.
    • 46:00 Substitution (AEK Athens) makes a substitution, with Ignacio Scocco coming on for Pereira Leonardo.
    • 45:01 The second half has started.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+3:05 The match has reached half-time.
    • 45:00+2:07 Pereira Leonardo is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Tim Howard.
    • 45:00+0:49 Panagiotis Taxtsidis concedes a free kick for a foul on Seamus Coleman. Tim Howard restarts play with the free kick.
    • 43:37 Leighton Baines fouled by Nikos Georgeas, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Leighton Baines.
    • 42:05 Unfair challenge on Joao Alves Jo by Alves Geraldo results in a free kick. Leighton Baines takes the free kick.
    • 40:51 Pereira Leonardo fouled by Seamus Coleman, the ref awards a free kick. Pereira Leonardo has an effort direct from the free kick.
    • 39:54 Pereira Leonardo takes a shot. Save made by Tim Howard.
    • 39:17 Panagiotis Taxtsidis takes a shot. Save made by Tim Howard.
    • 38:51 Unfair challenge on Michalis Pavlis by Steven Pienaar results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Garcia Juanfran.
    • 36:17 Corner taken left-footed by Gustavo Manduca from the right by-line, Foul by Alves Geraldo on Joao Alves Jo, free kick awarded. Tim Howard takes the free kick.
    • 35:27 Diniyar Bilyaletdinov is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Diego Sebastian Saja takes the indirect free kick.
    • 33:50 Seamus Coleman gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Pereira Leonardo. Free kick taken by Pereira Leonardo.
    • 32:12 Foul by Daniel Majstorovic on Tim Cahill, free kick awarded. Leighton Baines takes the direct free kick.
    • 31:41 Panagiotis Taxtsidis takes a shot. Tim Howard makes a save.
    • 30:44 Jose Baxter takes a shot. Diego Sebastian Saja makes a comfortable save.
    • 28:58 Substitution Gustavo Manduca is brought on as a substitute for Grigoris Makos.
    • 28:58 The official flags Tim Cahill offside. Indirect free kick taken by Diego Sebastian Saja.
    • 21:46 A cross is delivered by Seamus Coleman, Alves Geraldo manages to make a clearance.
    • 19:42 Seamus Coleman challenges Pereira Leonardo unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Garcia Juanfran.
    • 18:30 Header from deep inside the area by Pantelis Kafes goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
    • 17:52 Pereira Leonardo restarts play with the free kick.
    • 17:52 Booking Booking for Tony Hibbert for unsporting behaviour.
    • 17:26 Tony Hibbert challenges Panagiotis Taxtsidis unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 17:26 Substitution Shane Duffy joins the action as a substitute, replacing Sylvain Distin.
    • 16:58 Youssouf Hersi crosses the ball, save by Tim Howard.
    • 15:07 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Diego Sebastian Saja makes a clearance.
    • 13:47 Corner from the right by-line taken by Panagiotis Taxtsidis, clearance made by Joao Alves Jo.
    • 13:06 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Youssouf Hersi by Leighton Baines. Nikos Georgeas crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance by Sylvain Distin.
    • 12:41 Sylvain Distin challenges Panagiotis Taxtsidis unfairly and gives away a free kick. Panagiotis Taxtsidis restarts play with the free kick.
    • 11:48 The ball is sent over by Joao Alves Jo.
    • 9:47 Substitution Jose Baxter replaces Dan Gosling.
    • 9:24 Unfair challenge on Tim Cahill by Garcia Juanfran results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Seamus Coleman.
    • 5:55 The assist for the goal came from Joao Alves Jo.
    • 5:55 GOAL - Diniyar BilyaletdinovAEK Athens 0 - 1 Everton Diniyar Bilyaletdinov fires in a goal from inside the penalty area to the top left corner of the goal. AEK Athens 0-1 Everton.
    • 5:27 The ball is crossed by Nikos Georgeas, Tim Howard makes a comfortable save.
    • 2:56 Unfair challenge on Joao Alves Jo by Pantelis Kafes results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Dan Gosling.
    • 2:25 Panagiotis Taxtsidis takes a shot. Comfortable save by Tim Howard.
    • 1:45 Foul by Steven Pienaar on Pantelis Kafes, free kick awarded. Pantelis Kafes restarts play with the free kick.
    • 0:00 The match begins.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Europa League results

    2 Dec 2009 23:59 UK

    • AEK Athens0-1EvertonR
    • Anderlecht0-1Dinamo Zagreb
      R
    • BATE1-2Benfica
      R
    • Celtic2-0Hapoel Tel-AvivR
    • Tiraspol1-1S. Bucharest
      R
    • FC Twente0-1Fenerbahce
      R
    • Hamburg2-0Rapid Vienna
      R
    • Levski Sofia0-2Villarreal
      R
    • Timisoara1-2Ajax
      R
    • Slavia Prague0-0Genoa
      R
    • SV Salzburg2-1Lazio
      R
    • Valencia3-1Lille
      R

    see also
    Injuries temper Everton victory
    02 Dec 09 |  Europe
    Wednesday football as it happened
    02 Dec 09 |  Football
    Wednesday's football photos
    02 Dec 09 |  Football
    Everton 0-2 Benfica
    05 Nov 09 |  Europe
    Benfica 5-0 Everton
    22 Oct 09 |  Europe
    BATE 1-2 Everton
    01 Oct 09 |  Europe
    Everton 4-0 AEK Athens
    17 Sep 09 |  Europe
    Sigma Olomouc 1-1 Everton (1-5)
    27 Aug 09 |  Europe
    Everton 4-0 Sigma Olomouc
    20 Aug 09 |  Europe


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