Friday, February 22, 2008

Yakubu & AJ feast on Brann

What a pitifully awful headline...apologies but I couldn't resist.

Everton 6 - 1 SK Brann

So going into last night I admit I felt nervous. In the first leg Brann looked nowhere near as rusty as we thought they would and although they looked fairly tame going forward they were busy and dilligent pressing and closing down. I know that sounds like damning with faint praise but there was definitely a job still to do last night.

Wouldn't say I was looking forward to the game but I was anxious to get out of work and get moving fortunately one of my bosses at Hit Search is a blue and so after an afternoon of search engine optimisation ( ;) ) I got off sharpish, drove home, wolfed down a pizza and made the train with 1 minute to spare.

Evertonians are a superstitious, nervous bunch and I was pretty unhappy that people were outside Goodison handing out flyers for flights to either Rosenbourg or Florence for the next round, if anything was going to tempt the fates it's that I thought...met up with my brother outside the church and then headed into the Gwladys Street. The ground was pretty full most notably the away section which much have had 2 or 3 thousand people in it. Plane-loads of Red shirted Norwegian football fans arriving at John Lennon Airport, I'm sure that's almost unprecedented ;) :P )

Another potential bad omen was that for some reason the teams emerged to total z-cars (apart from a few people playing it on their mobiles purely tradition's sake). Superstitions aside Everton just looked more at the races than Brann. Again they pressed a harried well enough but the first half hour seen a few half chances for them and a shedload of posession for us, ultimatley you just knew that was going to tell in the end.

Yakubu & Andy Johnson

Andy Johnson

It turned into one of those night when everything went in...four great goals and two lucky ones. Johnson and Yakubu both tipped in with two superb strikes apiece (Johnson's second being the pick of the bunch coming in the 90th minute after a lot of people had already hit the road). Arteta got a wicked deflection for his and Yakubu could barely miss to round off his hatrick. His middle goal where his feint sent two defenders sprawling before he calmly passed it just inside the post was brilliant.

Pienaar was back and looking brilliant, on this form he is putting Fernandes in the shade (You hope Fernandes get's up to speed soon becasue on current form he isn't looking worth the money Valancia will want for him). Stevie P did everything but score as did Anichebe who was so desperate to get on the scoresheet (He looks really eager to get the two goals he needs to become the club's all-time leading scorer in Europe). 6-1 to Everton, their goal coming on 60 minutes when a daisy-cutting free-kick somehow evaded Tim Howard.


Everything went right for the blues but this didn't bother the SK Brann fans. They really were brilliant. They sung and danced all night and got an ovation for all sides of the ground as we trooped to the exit.

Everton take on Fiorentina in the next round...the real business end of the tournament now. It'll be very tough but this is what we want. COYB!

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