Everton v Blackburn reaction

Everton v Blackburn reaction

Published Jan. 21, 2012 7:15 p.m. ET

The Toffees went ahead after 24 minutes when Tim Cahill ended a run of 13 months without a goal, but the visitors pushed hard and deservedly made it 1-1 through David Goodwillie's bundled effort.

Everton boss Moyes said: "I think we were fortunate to get a point. Blackburn had the better of the first half and we were certainly fortunate to go in 1-0 up but I hoped that once we got it, even though it wasn't one of our better days, we could have hung on to it."

Cahill has been one of Everton's most reliable sources of goals since joining the club in 2004 but he failed to find the net in the whole of 2011.

The Australian finally found the target here, though, and Moyes said: "I think he's looked more likely to score in recent weeks. He's been playing better and coming into a little bit of form."


Both sides looked dangerous in an open first half and Blackburn almost went ahead through Scott Dann's header, but Leighton Baines did superbly to head off the line with a little bit of help from the woodwork.

And Everton took full advantage by opening the scoring in the 24th minute, albeit in controversial fashion as Marouane Fellaini appeared to handle the ball in setting up Cahill for a tap-in.

Rovers were unlucky again as David Dunn shot against a post with Tim Howard beaten but they did not give up and finally got their reward 18 minutes from time.

It was a strange goal, with Howard missing a lofted ball from Morten Gamst Pedersen and Cahill slamming his attempted clearance against Goodwillie and it rebounding into the net.

The visitors deserved to be level but they rode their luck in the closing stages, with Shane Duffy heading against the bar and Rovers somehow surviving a stoppage-time goalmouth scramble.

Both managers had complaints about the goals they conceded, with Blackburn boss Steve Kean feeling referee Mark Halsey's positioning was the reason he did not see Fellaini handle.

The Scot said: "If we look back on the game we'll be disappointed because we felt that Everton scored against the run of play.

"I've looked at the goal again and I think it was hard for the ref because he's not in a great position. We saw it on the bench. It came off his chest first and then the ball's been moved off line with his arm."

Moyes conceded Everton got lucky there but felt Halsey missed two offences in the build-up to the equaliser, arguing Steven Nzonzi was offside and that he fouled Howard.

"I've seen a replay and I think our goal was handball but their goal was definitely offside and it's a foul as well," said Moyes.

Kean, who chose to leave out captain Chris Samba after he submitted a transfer request this week, was always confident his side would manage to get back in the game.

He added: "I said to the lads at half-time we didn't really need to change too much because I felt we were dictating the play, minimising the threat of Cahill pushing on and we just had to try to get the ball wide a little bit earlier to (Junior) Hoilett, especially, and get (Martin) Olsson doubling up on Phil Neville, and I thought we did that much better second half."