PAST PROVIDES HOPE
Everton will attempt to haul back a 5-1 deficit against Dinamo Bucharest in the UEFA Cup at Goodison Park knowing history is against them.
A victory by four goals to nil against Dinamo Bucharest tonight would be enough to secure a dramatic aggregate success for David Moyes' side.
The European history books reveal it is a feat that has only been achieved four times before in continental competition.
But while the odds are against the Blues turning around the tie after their 5-1 first-leg defeat in Bucharest, Moyes' men can take heart from the fact a 4-0 win over Dinamo Bucharest has been achieved before by the Toffees.
The sides previously met on June 7, 1961 when Everton won 4-0 in the American based International Soccer League.
The goals during that game in New York came from, with Bobby Collins, Billy Bingham (2) and Jimmy Fell in what proved to be a hotly contested game.
Both Collins and Bucharest's Ivan Dimitru were red carded in a match marred by fisticuffs between the two sets of players.
Reports of the game described it as 'a very brutal affair'. Much of the balme was laid at the feet of the Romanian side, who reportedly shoved the referee for allowing a Bingham goal.
Bingham proved the star of the show for the Blues. The game was 1-0 at half-time courtesy of Collins' strike. Bingham led a late rally that provided the 4-0 victory.
Everton boss Harry Catterick said afterwards: "The standard of refereeing here has to be seen to be believed."
A repeat scoreline would be welcomed tonight, although history is against the Toffees.
Only four teams in 49 years of European competition have managed to survive after such a heavy first-leg loss.
But if Everton need any incentive, the last side to overturn a four-goal margin were Real Madrid in the UEFA Cup and they went on to win the tournament!
· 1961-62 (Cup Winners' Cup 1st round): Leixoes (Portugal) beat Chaux de Fonds (Luxembourg) 7-6 on agg (lost 2-6a, won 5-0h).
· 1962-63 (Fairs Cup 2nd round): Valencia (Spain) beat Dunfermline in play-off in Lisbon after 6-6 agg (Valencia won 4-0h, lost 6-2a).
· 1984-85 (UEFA Cup 2nd round): Partizan Belgrade beat QPR on away goals (lost 6-2a, at Highbury, won 4-0h).
· 1985-86 (UEFA Cup 3rd round): Real Madrid beat Borussia Moenchengladbach on away goals (lost 1-5a, won 4-0h) and went on to win the competition.