Sometimes you just don't get the rub of the green.
Let me get a few things out of the way first. The defeat on Saturday was hard to take. We were beaten by our closest neighbours who managed to get to the top of the league. And to top things off, Riise was taken off injured....again. But on another day we would have won this encounter 3-0 instead of losing by that margin. I'm not saying we played really well, and I'm not saying that we deserved to win, but at least we didn't deserve to lose.
Just when I was beginning to think that Graham Poll might have been ousted from the top spot of the most hated referee in my list, he goes and has another ridiculous game. I don't really know what game he was watching, but he was certainly paid by the blue half of the city. To be fair, Everton were pressing hard and they showed a lot of grit and determination, but let's analyse their goals. The first one had a debatable foul on Finnan which somedays might have been given. In this case it wasn't and of the three, this is the one I would give to them. Ok, no foul on Finnan, but where were our defence? How did two of the best defenders in the league last season, Hyypia and Carra get sucked over to that left hand side leaving no-one in the middle. Ok, so 1-0 down, but then the worst happened with Tim Cahill (who I now officially hate with a passion) literally wrestled Xabi Alonso to the ground. Replays showed Cahill had Alonso in a headlock and was literally choking the life out of him. It was like watching UFC and Matt Hughes. How Graham Poll couldn't see the foul is beyond me, he was looking straight at it and even Evertonian's Andy Gray and Peter Reid said it was a foul. Still, you'd have thought the usually unflappable Carra would clear the ball and not have it bounce off him and into the path of Johnson. 999 times out of 1000 he clears it, this was the one time he didn't. Good finish by Johnson though.
We did start to press and hit the post twice, Luis was being as annoying as ever (why didn't he square the ball to Kuyt instead of shoot) and had two blatant penalties not given. Yobo is akin to Makelele in that he gets away with a LOT, but tugging Sami's shirt like that should have been a penalty. After all, Chelsea get them. And then the handball in the area was as clear as day, preventing a goal scoring opportunity. Again, Gray and Reid agreed. But it wasn't to be, we didn't take our chances and then a goal keeping blunder of almost Dudek proportions showed why Westerveld was let go. Pure comedy.
But Kuyt looked brilliant, and now that the defeat is over with, we got a solid point at PSV tonight. I would have liked us to score, but Agger looked class again and Sissoko was as amazing as ever. Still player of the season for me. Zenden huffed and puffed with no end product, but Rafa clearly had Chelsea on his mind. The only ones showing drive were Bellamy and Kuyt, who again looked amazing. How he hasn't scored by now with his energy and effort I don't know. And he has a cracker of a shot on him! Pennant faded and I was surprised when Gerrard came on for Bellamy instead of Pennant, but he almost nicked the winner with that volley. Typical Gerrard stuff. Biggest plus for me was that the defence looked solid again and hopefully we can take this forward to the weekend as we have a LOT of games coming up and we can't have Pepe Reina doing this again.....