Dream return for Cahill
Tim Cahill made a dream return for Everton as he inspired David Moyes' side to victory over Larissa.
By Rob Parrish
Last Updated: 26/10/07 10:22am
Tim Cahill made a dream return for Everton as he inspired David Moyes' side to victory over Larissa in their Uefa Cup Group A clash.
Australia international Cahill was starting his first game since March after suffering a broken metatarsal against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane before sustaining a recurrence of the injury in the pre-season clash with Werder Bremen.
The midfielder opened the scoring in the 14th minute and had a hand in Leon Osman's breathtaking second before departing 25 minutes from time after Larissa, who saw off Blackburn in the previous round, dragged themselves back into the match.
The home side went ahead from their first real attack when Mikel Arteta and Osman exchanged passes from a corner with Osman drilling a low cross for Cahill to bullet a header beyond Stefanos Kotsolis.
Cahill then turned creator, collecting Steven Pienaar's pass and threading the ball into the feet of James McFadden at the near post, but his shot was straight at the goalkeeper.
The gifted midfielder simply could not be kept out of the action, collecting McFadden's flick outside the box and drilling a superb half-volley towards the bottom corner which Kotsolis did well to turn behind for a corner.
McFadden then had a superb chance to make it 2-0 at the start of the second half as he was played in behind the Larissa defence by Joleon Lescott's splendid through-ball, but Kotsolis was again equal to the challenge, saving with his feet.
But the home side did double their advantage in the 50th minute, and it was a goal of the very highest quality.
Cahill claimed possession in his own half and cut out two Larissa defenders as he played in Baines down the left flank.
The full-back looked up and played the ball in to Pienaar on the edge of the area, who produced an extravagant flick perfectly into the path of Osman, who sized up the chance before driving a delightful swerving effort from 25 yards beyond a static Kotsolis.
But Larissa were gifted a way back into the match when Lescott showed far too much of the ball to Silva Cleyton on the edge of his own box and the striker beat a furious Tim Howard with a low drive.
The Greek side, who had former Goodison misfit Ibrahima Bakayoko up front, pressed for an equaliser but Everton held firm and grabbed a third five minutes from time thanks to Victor Anichebe's powerful run and cool finish.
|Everton||Team Statistics||Larissa FC|
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|8||Shots on Target||5|
|1||Shots off Target||4|