Next Match:

Ticket Info

v Crystal Palace

Sunday 21 September K.O. 16:00



20th August 2009 20:00

Everton v Sigma Olomouc

In the past few days everybody concerned with Everton Football Club, it seemed, had called for a response.

They got one.

David Moyes' men are now firm favourites to secure a place in the group stages of the inaugural Europa League, thanks largely to two goals - one of true quality - from teenage midfielder Jack Rodwell.

People will inevitably question the quality of the opposition, but an 8-1 aggregate thrashing of Aberdeen in the last round suggests Zdenek Psotka's side are no fools.

Louis Saha also helped himself to a brace as Everton gave themselves a comfortable cushion to take to the Andruv Stadion in seven days time - all but eradicating memories of Saturday's 6-1 defeat to Arsenal in the process.

Louis Saha scores against Sigma OlomoucLouis Saha opens the scoring against Sigma Olomouc

Moyes made two inspired changes to the side shot down by the Gunners. Saha, scorer of Everton's consolation on that occasion, came in for Jo, while 18-year-old Rodwell replaced Joleon Lescott.

The opening moments were always going to be about Everton finding their feet again following Saturday's afternoon to forget.

Sigma didn't make it easy. The Czechs charged out of the blocks, causing the Blues a few unwelcome moments early on.

In fact, the Gwladys Street must have feared the worst when Michal Hubnik tore through to go one-on-one with Tim Howard, only to take a dive and earn himself a yellow card.

Everton's first opening fell the way of Leon Osman but the midfielder could only head wide from a difficult angle.

Saha did likewise soon after but the Czech visitors continued to look threatening and a 20-yard first-time shot from Michal Ordoz pulled a fine save from Howard.

At the other end, the lively Osman went close from a similar range, his effort taking a deflection and almost catching out Petr Drobisz, who recovered well to tip over the crossbar.

While the momentum was slowly turning Everton's way, lone striker Saha was still finding space at a premium. That was until Fellaini drove in a low cross from the right and the Frenchman manoeuvered away from his marker to turn the ball inside Drobisz's near post.

Jack RodwellJack Rodwell celebrates the first of his double

The belief was back. Eight minutes later Leighton Baines crashed a freekick into the wall but when the rebound fell for Rodwell, the teenager adjusted brilliantly to drill a first-time shot, left-footed, through a crowd dense enough to deceive - and beat - Drobisz.

That he thundered a greater effort in off the crossbar seven minutes after the break says a lot about the youngster's mindset. Confidence was certainly not lacking on his part. Further out, this one found the top corner, giving Drobisz no chance. It was Everton's 8000th goal in all competitions.

Rodwell's name rang round Goodison Park but the crowd was soon shuddered to silence as the man of the moment went down clutching his knee. Fortunately, he was okay to go in search of a hat-trick - a feat Saha, too, would soon be chasing.

The turn and deadly accurate finish into the bottom left-hand corner on 73 minutes evoked memories of the Frenchman's goal against West Bromwich Albion in February.

Jack Rodwell scores his secondRodwell fires his second past Petr Drobisz

Neither player would go on to collect the match ball however - Moyes instead opting to hand them standing ovations as they made way for Dan Gosling and Jo.

But Everton could have had more. Osman capitalised on a mistake by Ladislav Onofrej to force another save, while Baines had earlier seen a half-hearted penalty claim turned away.

Few seemed fussed - Everton are up and running.

By Adam Clark



Everton Season Ticket holders can list their seat for any Barclays Premier League game that they can’t attend on StubHub, the Official Ticket Marketplace

Find out more
Match Highlights Archive

Match Highlights Archive

Watch highlights from classic and recent Everton games on evertontv.

Find out more
2014/15 Season Tickets

2014/15 Season Tickets

All the information you could need about securing your seat at Goodison.

Find out more

This site uses cookies. Click here to learn more.