Toffees triumph at last
Everton have registered their first win of the season, as well as ending Birmingham's unbeaten home record.
By Elliot Ball
Last Updated: 02/10/10 5:33pm
Everton have registered their first win of the season, as well as claiming Birmingham City's 12-month unbeaten home record, after Saturday's 2-0 triumph at St Andrews.
Both teams had been struggling for goals entering the Premier League fixture and there was more than a hint of irony as Roger Johnson turned the ball into his own net to give the Toffees the lead in the 54th minute.
That was David Moyes' side's first goal on their travels and they had Leon Osman to thank, who was easily the best player on the park, as it was his cross which put the Blues defence into all kinds of trouble.
Blues, who had gone just over a year without defeat on their home patch heading into the fixture, huffed and puffed for an equaliser with the likes of Nikola Zigic and Matt Derbyshire introduced by manager Alex McLeish.
But it was the visitors who sealed victory from a last-ditch goal as Tim Cahill headed home from Leighton Baines' fizzed cross to lift Everton out of the drop zone into 17th, while Birmingham - who have now won only two of their last 17 league games - slip to 15th.
Everton made a promising start and knocked the ball around in confident style despite their current precarious position.
Cahill got on the end of a deep cross from Baines, after he had been found in plenty of space by Marouane Fellaini, but his downward header was collected by Ben Foster.
Everton were finding plenty of space on their left flank and a cross from Ayegbeni Yakubu picked out the run of Seamus Coleman, but his header back across goal was cut out by Foster.
Yakubu dragged a low shot across the face of goal as City were pinned back in their own half and Cahill could not hide his frustration when heading wide from a Baines centre.
Birmingham did not threaten until the 26th minute but Cameron Jerome could have put them ahead.
Sylvain Distin could only back-head a chip from Barry Ferguson into the path of Jerome and the former England Under-21 striker took the ball in his stride but poked his shot well wide.
Everton were soon back on the offensive and a slip by Johnson left Yakubu with a clear run at goal.
But Foster managed to get a hand onto his cross-shot and Liam Ridgewell was behind him to complete the clearance.
Everton were playing with great fluency and a run by Yakubu carved out another chance for Osman. But after turning inside the area, he wasted another decent opportunity by curling his shot over Foster's crossbar.
Everton were soon back on the offensive after the interval and Johnson threw himself forward in typical fashion to block a shot from Osman.
The Blues fans tried to rally their team but after 54 minutes Everton went ahead through an own goal by Johnson.
Osman sent a low first-time cross to the near post which looked to be covered by Foster but Johnson got to the ball ahead of him and could only deflect it into his own net.
It was Everton's first away league goal of the campaign and no more than they deserved given their dominance.
City tried to retaliate and appealed in vain for a penalty when Carr was challenged by Baines.
McLeish made his first change after 70 minutes with Zigic replacing Keith Fahey as City reverted to a 4-4-2 formation.
Bowyer had a good chance after Scott Dann headed back across goal but the veteran midfield went for the spectacular finish when he had more time at his disposal and volleyed over the bar.
Moyes brought on John Heitinga for Yakubu as Everton tried to protect their lead, while Jerome made way for Derbyshire.Then in the last minute of injury time, Cahill made it 2-0 when he headed in a centre from Baines.
|Birmingham City||Team Statistics||Everton|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|0||Shots on Target||3|
|3||Shots off Target||5|