Yakubu secures deserved draw
Everton had to be content with a share of the spoils after a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 16/11/08 4:46pm
Everton had to be content with a share of the spoils after a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough at Goodison Park.
The Toffees dominated possession yet saw Gary O'Neil claim an eighth-minute opener before former Boro striker Yakubu claimed a deserved equaliser in the 65th minute.
The hosts did not do enough to warrant a winner, though, meaning both sides are now unbeaten in five Premier League games.
Boro were dangerous on the break throughout and took an early lead on the counter-attack.
Stewart Downing sparked the break and got the ball back in the middle before squaring to O'Neil, who was left in enough time and space on the right to take one touch before coolly slotting the ball inside Tim Howard's left-hand post.
Everton had a good chance to draw level just five minutes later when Boro goalkeeper Ross Turnbull made a smart block after Yakubu had latched onto Louis Saha's flick-on, before Didier Digard sent a low strike wide for Boro.
Turnbull was a relieved man in the 22nd minute as Joleon Lescott's left-wing cross drifted over his head and came back off the far post, with Emanuel Pogatetz blocking Marouane Fellaini's effort from the rebound.
Turnbull breathed another sigh of relief after appearing to bring down Yakubu inside the box, and Everton kept the pressure on with Joseph Yobo heading over after Mikel Arteta played a short corner to Phil Neville on the right.
Downing fired high and wide after Digard led another Boro break, while Tim Cahill sent a trademark header wide from Arteta's left-wing corner just before the break.
Boro lost defender Chris Riggott to injury just after the restart and went close when Julio Arca curled a 20-yard effort over.
Leon Osman then sent a tame effort straight at Turnbull and Saha headed wide from Neville's right-wing cross as Everton continued to press for an equaliser.
And it finally came midway through the second half as Arteta hit a free-kick into the six-yard box from deep on the left and Yakubu turned the ball past Turnbull with an attempted back-header which actually came off his back.
Everton boss David Moyes was spurring on his side on the touchline as the celebrations died down, yet Boro almost regained the lead moments later when Howard turned Digard's 20-yard strike onto a post.
Everton worked a great opening in the 77th minute when Saha's nod-down fell right into Yakubu's path but the Nigerian striker dragged his shot wide of the far post.
Everton scored five late goals in their previous three games and Moyes bolstered his attack with the introduction of Victor Anichebe and James Vaughan late on.
But Boro went closest to snatching the winner as Tuncay Sanli failed to take advantage of a promising counter-attack at the death.
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