Tottenham 09/04/2004 20:00
Everton virtually assured Premiership safety for another season by cruising to a 3-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park, a win that lifts them to 12th in the table.
The Blues began brightly and twice during the opening minutes, the intelligence of Steve Watson provided openings for Tomasz Radzinski.
The first effort was wide and the second was saved by Casey Keller.
The chances served notice of Everton's intent and the Blues' approach play was slick and purposeful with Spurs having little answer.
Indeed, Nigel Martyn's first meaningful save was a safe gather from a deflected shot by Robbie Keane after a quarter of an hour.
The first-half floodgates were prized open on 17 minutes when Unsworth repeated his feat of 12 years ago on his Blues debut - volleying a goal past Tottenham Hotspur!
Seven minutes later it was 2-0.
Everton were awarded a free-kick 20-yards from goal on 24 minutes and as Goodison waited for Thomas Gravesen to fire the ball goalwards, Gary Naysmith stepped forward and curled a super shot over the wall and into the net.
It was a fitting way for the Scot to celebrate his 100th start in an Everton shirt.
The Blues were rampant and it was all one-way traffic, drawing fond comparisons with the 4-1 FA Cup Semi-Final win exactly nine years ago to the day.
The lively James McFadden pulled a low drive off target and then forced Keller to save with another effort from distance and Kevin Kilbane headed over from a Gravesen corner but the third goal wasn't long coming.
Four minutes before the break Everton once again won a free-kick in a position identical to that of Naysmith's goal and the same two players stood menacingly over the ball.
This time it was Gravesen who rifled the ball through the wall and when Keller found it too hot to handle, Joseph Yobo pounced for his second goal in six days.
David Pleat introduced Freddie Kanoute for the second period but it couldn't quell the Blue tide with McFadden and Radzinski again stretching the over-worked Spurs rearguard with entertaining regularity.
The crowd were lapping it up and the chants of 'Thierry Henry' were as much to taunt the travelling Spurs fans as the Liverpool supporters watching on television!
The second period was an altogether more scrappy affair with neither goalkeeper really tested until the visitors set nerves fluttering slightly with 15 minutes to go when Stephen Carr ran onto a through pass from Rohan Rickets to slide home a rare goal.
The Irishman's joy was cut dramatically short 30 seconds
later when he felled McFadden and was sent-off for a second yellow
McFadden was replaced shortly after by Francis Jeffers and fully deserved the standing ovation he was afforded as he trotted off the field.
A Gravesen error allowed Michael Brown a run on goal in the 85th minute and it needed a good save from Martyn to keep out the well-struck shot.
At the other end, Keller was similarly well-placed to smother a low shot by Kilbane, who had been teed up by Jeffers and with the last action of the evening Robbie Keane curled a free-kick just past the Everton post.