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v Wolfsburg

Thursday 18 September K.O. 20:05



Goodison Park | 9th May 2010 16:00

Everton v Portsmouth

Diniyar Bilyaletdinov netted a stunning injury-time winner as Everton signed off the season with a victory.

Having dominated possession throughout, it looked as though the Blues would be left to rue a host of missed chances. But, with virtually the final kick of the campaign, the Russian substitute curled a shot past goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown from 25 yards to seal all three points.

The win saw Everton go an 11th game unbeaten in the Premier League to set a new Club record.

Skipper Phil Neville was absent having undergone minor knee surgery, while Tim Cahill was rested. Jack Rodwell, Steven Pienaar and the impressive Tony Hibbert came in, with Joseph Yobo dropping to the bench.

Everton's first opportunity came after just three minutes, Saha latching on to Baines' cross but heading narrowly over the crossbar. It set the tone for a half in which the Blues would constantly carve out opportunities but fail to produce anything to truly test a keeper who was standing in for rested England man David James.

In fact, within a minute Saha turned provide for Mikel Arteta but the captain for the day scuffed his shot making it easy for the Pompey stopper to gather.

Steven Pienaar rues a missed chanceSteven Pienaar rues a missed chance

The Frenchman's next telling contribution was a delicate touch into the path of the advancing Hibbert. But as the Park End drew in an audible gasp of breath, the right back, who has never scored for the Blues, lost his footing.

Portsmouth's one and only chance of the half came when Federic Piqiuonne turned Phil Jagielka after charging into the box. Tim Howard, though, was quick off his line to block the Frenchman's shot.

Another Hibbert burst into the box had the Goodison faithful screaming 'shoot', but the 29-year-old elected to pick out Jack Rodwell, whose shot snuck inches past the post.

Before the opening 45 minutes were out, Anichebe produced a stunning turn on the edge of the box before volleying wide, while Hibbert's endeavours to break his duck were again dashed by Ashdown.

There was a brief moment of concern for Pienaar as he went down clutching his knee early in the second half. The South African was eventually able to pick himself up and almost broke the deadlock soon after. Brilliantly taking down a looping cross from the right, he fired goalwards but saw his effort blocked by a desperate lunge from Steve Finnan.

Then came the game's most contentious moment. Howard made a rare mistake in racing out of his goal and Portsmouth played it around him until Vanden Borre tapped in at the back post. The assistant referee's flag went up instantly, but replays showed the Belgian international was at least two yards onside.

Portsmouth's Marc Wilson tackles Victor AnichebePortsmouth's Marc Wilson tackles Victor Anichebe

Everton were still having the better of possession but, despite some intricate build-up play, were finding it difficult to plot a path to goal. Inevitably, chances materialised on the break for the visitors and the lively O'Hara, on as a substitute, curled one marginally wide of the upright.

Saha had a header cleared off the line late on, while Hibbert - clearly a man on a mission - saw a thunderous 25-yard volley sail within a whisker of the Portsmouth goalframe.

Then, as the game edged towards a fourth minute of injury time, Bilyaletdinov produced one of the goals of the season to tee up a jubilant lap of appreciation at the final whistle.  .



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