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Barclays Premier League

Goodison Park (ATT 35,155) 3rd November 2007 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Riley

Everton Everton vs Birmingham City Birmingham

Everton punish lacklustre Blues

Toffees finish in style

By Hayley Paterson.   Last Updated: 03/11/07 5:58pm

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Carsley: Audacious strike

Carsley: Audacious strike

Lee Carsley was instrumental in Everton's late show with a hand in two injury-time goals to kill off a below-par Birmingham side 3-1.

The Toffees came out blazing and Birmingham's back four struggled with the strength of Yakubu who opened the scoring after 10 minutes with a tap-in from close range.

City equalised against the run of play when Gary McSheffrey's inswinging corner found Olivier Kapo, and his soft header deflected off Phil Neville on its way into the bottom corner for 1-1.

In the dying minutes, Carsley produced the goal of the game with a superb 20-yard strike into the top corner and then his powerful header released Everton's substitute James Vaughan who coolly slotted home past Maik Taylor for the third.

Bemused

Birmingham found themselves pinned back by Everton's aerial attack from the off. Corners and free-kicks rained down on their defence, and they looked bemused by the onslaught.

Such was the disarray in the visitors' defence, Everton almost scored after eight minutes through Yakubu, and he put the Merseysiders ahead two minutes later.

The first effort came after a strong Alan Stubbs run, followed by a Leon Osman cross that saw Yakubu's effort deflected wide.

After 10 minutes, though, the big Nigerian was left embarrassingly unmarked as he strolled into the six-yard box to clip home Steven Pienaar's cross, Mikel Arteta's neat pass having opened up Birmingham's defence.

Birmingham did pull themselves together eventually, and Kapo forced his way into the box to see a low shot palmed away by Tim Howard.

Then Everton lost Stubbs after 22 minutes, the veteran defender having apparently picked up an injury, and he was replaced by Phil Jagielka in the centre of defence.

Yakubu almost struck again after an error by Fabrice Muamba almost presented him with a second on 25 minutes. The £11.25million record signing intercepted a poor pass and surged into the box, only for Maik Taylor to block his attempted chip.

Birmingham were asleep again when Arteta got to the line a minute later and presented Carsley with a 12-yard effort that Taylor gratefully held.

The chances kept coming and Yakubu chested the ball down to Tim Cahill, 30 yards out, and the Australian lashed a low drive inches wide of a post.

Yakubu continued the second half in a similar vein to the first when an Arteta free-kick into the box gave the striker the chance to send an angled drive across goal and just wide of the far post.

Cahill was next into the act, meeting a Neville cross with a firm downward header, again straight into Taylor's hands.

Precarious

Osman and Cahill both frittered away chances after a poor Taylor clearance, and regardless of how much Everton had been on top, their lead was precarious and Birmingham still had hope, even if they lacked direction in their play.

Everton paid for their wastefulness when Birmingham grabbed an equaliser with 10 minutes left. The goal came from a McSheffrey corner, met firmly by the head of Kapo, with his effort powering past Howard from six yards.

Everton's response was to send on a second striker of their own, Vaughan, for Osman before the restart. Vaughan almost grabbed a goal a minute later when his close-range effort from Pienaar's cross was deflected wide.

Two minutes into injury-time Carsley lashed the ball home from 20 yards after Birmingham failed to clear a long throw.

A minute later it was all over when Carsley's header sent Birmingham-born Vaughan clear to stab home the third.

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EvertonTeam StatisticsBirmingham City
3Goals1
11st Half Goals0
7Shots on Target5
7Shots off Target1
3Blocked Shots2
6Corners5
16Fouls24
1Offsides2
0Yellow Cards1
0Red Cards0
64.1Passing Success64.4
27Tackles16
81.5Tackles Success81.2
54.1Possession45.9
59.3Territorial Advantage40.7

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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Arsenal 0 0
2 Aston Villa 0 0
3 Burnley 0 0
4 Chelsea 0 0
5 Crystal Palace 0 0
6 Everton 0 0
7 Hull City 0 0
8 Leicester City 0 0
9 Liverpool 0 0
10 Manchester City 0 0
11 Manchester United 0 0
12 Newcastle United 0 0
13 Queens Park Rangers 0 0
14 Southampton 0 0
15 Stoke City 0 0
16 Sunderland 0 0
17 Swansea City 0 0
18 Tottenham Hotspur 0 0
19 West Bromwich Albion 0 0
20 West Ham United 0 0

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