The Home of Legends - Goodison Park

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Goodison Park
It was a Wednesday night and I had made the short trip from Manchester to Liverpool.  I was pretty hyped as I had got tickets to watch the love of my life versus Fiorentina in the UEFA cup quarter final.  We were 2-0 down from the first leg and so we should have been dead a burried, but not us Blues boys!  No, no!  We are fighters!

Well, I've been to Liverpool so many times in the past but I've never written much about the city.  It's a very cool and modern city and has had heaps of money invested into it recently, thanks to being awarded the European Capital of Culture for 2008.
Duncan Ferguson - our hero! He's retired now, but is always going to be a legend.
  I'll write a lot more about this city in the future; but for now, this night was a heart-breaking experience.

I just remember it being a cold and windy night and I had such a low expectation after a dismal first leg.  Everton had failed to show up then, and I kind of expected Fiorentina to roll us over.  That was not to be the case!  A 38,000 crowd had turned up to cheer on Everton and we all erupted to the sound of Z-Cars as the players ran out onto the pitch:

(1) Tim Howard - GK
(2) Phil Neville (c) - RB
(3) Jolean Lescott - LB
(4) Joseph Yobo - CB
(5) Phil Jageilka - CB
(6) Lee Carsley - DM
(7) Mikel Arteta (God) - RM
(8) Leon Osman - AM
(9) Andrew Johnson - CF
(10) Yakubu - S
(11) Steven Pienaar - LM

Subs:  Tony Hibbert (Shite), Leighton Baines, Victor Anichebe, Tomas Graveson, Steven Wessels, but no Tim Cahill???  Arrrggghhh - that was the first disappointment of the night.
  He'd been having disagreements with Moyes over the previous week.

Fiorentina lined up with the likes of Christian Vieri and although he is a bit of a has been, he is still a hand full for any defender.

The first 15 minutes and Everton were soaring out of the blocks with early chances.  We looked like we were there to give it a go.  Just then, Steven Pienaar produced some great work down the left flank and put in a tantilising cross to be shuffled home by Andy Johnson.  Get in!  It's game on now.  That's the way it stayed until the half-time interval despite the play all being Everton's with chance after chance falling to the likes of Arteta, Jageilka, Osman, Yakubu and, the best of all, Johnson.  Sebastian Frey had kept Fiorentina in the game.

The second half saw no EFC changes, but Fiorentina had switched to a 4-4-2 (from 4-3-3) and substituted Vieri.
Tim Cahill
  The second-half began in much the same fashion as the first with Everton dominating and immediately on the offensive.  It took just 20 minutes for Arteta to show his quality and bag an absolute beauty with a cross goal, right-foot shot from 16 yards.  It was now 2-2 on aggregate and the tie is wide open again.  The crowd were as vocal as I've ever witnessed and this spurred the players on.  More chances followed without reward and a totally one sided game entered extra time.  The additional 15 minutes each way proved fruitless for both sides as by now fatigue was starting to show through; the tie had to be decided on penalties.  Despite Graveson and Arteta scoring their penalties, the costly misses from Yakubu and Jagielka were to decide the result.  Fiorentina took four very profession penalties and scored all of them.
  It was totally deflating after such a performance, but I went back to Manchester a very proud fan.  We had showed that not only can we compete, but we can utterly dominate at that level.  With season on season improvements under Moyes's management, Everton have converted a European pipe dream into a distinct possibilty.  I'll watch this space with anticipation for the coming seasons.

As a side note:  We had played and beated the eventual cup winners, Zenit St Petersburg, in the group stages.  That trophy could have been ours with just a little more luck.

matthew says:
We need more global Everton fans haha
Posted on: Mar 15, 2009
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Goodison Park
Goodison Park
Duncan Ferguson - our hero!  Hes …
Duncan Ferguson - our hero! He's…
Tim Cahill
Tim Cahill
Leon Osman
Leon Osman
Tim Cahill
Tim Cahill
photo by: monkeymia79