Southampton 0-0 Everton
That was a pretty good game for a 0-0. Southampton were much the better side in the first half, Everton a fair bit better in the second. Everyone will go home fairly happy. Thanks for your emails; night.
90 min There will be four additional minutes' discussion of Gary Lineker's accident.
88 min "Everything you write about Jason Puncheon now sounds like a euphemism," says Peter Harmer. "I'm having trouble with 'Puncheon clips a deep right-wing corner beyond the far post' but I think I've managed to conjure an image. Eurgh, yeah, there it is."
It's okay, he's gone off now.
Ah, I see what you mean.
87 min Southampton make their last substitution, with Steve De Ridder replacing Jason Puncheon.
85 min Thing is, though, Lineker got on with the game and cleaned up at half-time or full-time. These days, with the state of masculinity, the match would probably be abandoned on humanitarian grounds.
84 min Here is that Lineker video. You can thank Dennis Mumby for sending it in.
83 min Puncheon clips a deep right-wing corner beyond the far post to Lambert, who clambers all over Distin and heads onto the roof of the net from a very narrow angle/
82 min "Didn't Gary Lineker accidentally do NUMBER 2 on the pitch during a World Cup game in 1990?" says Dennis Mumby. "There's actually a video of the occurrence on YouTube somewhere!" He did, against Ireland. It could legitimately have been a dirty protest against the quality of that game. No Football Please, We're British, and all that.
80 min Southampton get a corner on the right wing. Puncheon swings it in and Anichebe heads clear at the near post. Not sure why I bothered typing all that, really.
78 min It's all Everton now. This has certainly been a game of two distinct 45-minute segments.
77 min "Has anyone ever relieved themselves on the pitch (I don't mean a number two obviously)?" asks Ian Copestake.
When Barry Fry was Birmingham manager he relieved himself in all four corners of St Andrew's in an attempt to lift a gypsy curse and get them out of what is now the Championship. It worked: they were relegated.
76 min "Arsenal no better than Everton?" says Stephen Bush. "They can offer him a whole 180 minutes of Champions League football!"
75 min "If Puncheon went to answer his call of nature on Nicola Cortese's desk," says Sam Blanning, "can I be the first to propose erecting a statue?"
74 min Another great chance for Everton. The impressive Anichebe clipped in a good first-time cross from the left towards Mirallas. His first touch took him smartly away from Yoshida, but then he shanked a left-footed half-volley wide from 14 yards.
71 min Southampton make another substitution, with Steven Davis replacing the dangerous Gaston Ramirez. In fact they are bringing two players on, because here comes the new, relieved Jason Puncheon. The crowd are chanting "Jason Puncheon, he went for a sh1t."
Insert your own Gary Lineker joke here.
70 min Southampton are down for 10 men – because Jason Puncheon has gone to the dressing-room for a piss! That's remarkable, which is why I remarked on it.
68 min This is a superb save from Artur Boruc. Fellaini, still influential in his new midfield role, slipped a pass through to Anichebe on the left side of the box, and although Boruc instinctively moved to his left in the expectation of a cross shot, he was agile enough to stretch out his right hand and palm the ball wide when Anichebe crunched a shot towards the near post. That was a seriously good save because Boruc's not inconsiderable weight was going the wrong way.
68 min Southampton break three on three, but Lambert's final pass to Puncheon is hopeless in its conception and execution.
67 min Everton bring on Kevin Mirallas for the out-of-form Nikica Jelavic.
66 min I wish I'd been in the Everton dressing-room at half-time. Their second-half performance suggests a serious rollocking.
65 min "'52 min: Leon Osman is booked for something or other'," says Jamie Ayres. "Do you remember when you lost your passion for this work?"
The day they gave me a contract.
64 min "Nothing middle class about Bake-Off," says Sean Moore. "It's just cake porn. Did I tell you my missus has put me on a diet?"
The wife? What's 'Er Indoors done now?
63 min Jay Rodriguez replaces Do Prado for Southampton.
62 min Jelavic makes a comedic hash of a pretty simple chance. Baines put Anichebe down the left with a fine pass; he squared it perfectly for Jelavic, beyond the last defender 15 yards from goal, but he Serginhod farcically with his left foot.
61 min "There was a lot of confident journo noises made about Fellaini being as good as out the door once the window opened (if you see what I mean)," says Ian Copestake. "Is all peace and love now between him and the Toffee upper echelons?"
You've mistaken me for a proper journalist. Fellaini is an interesting and sometimes unplayable footballer, but where does he go? United and City have 97 forwards already, he's not the player Chelsea need ahead of Mata, Oscar and Hazard, and the rest are no better than Everton.
59 min Yoshida heads Baines's dangerous inswinging corner to the edge of the box, where Osman hits a sizzling half-volley back whence it came. I'm not sure if it was going in or not, but Yoshida headed it over his own bar anyway.
57 min "Ronnie is one of the nicest chaps you could ever meet," says Russell Brady. "A player before his time. Fantastic player for Der Quakes and more than happy to turn out for our Sunday League team after he retired here in San Jose. Quite simply the best footballer I have ever played with. I mean.... I can say I played on the same team as a guy who played for Barca. Does that me Xavi's brother or something...."
56 min Seamus Coleman is limping off after injuring himself in a challenge, with Victor Anichebe coming on to replace him. That will precipitate a reshuffle, with Fellaini moving into midfield and the great Phil Neville, 36 today, to right back.
54 min "I know it's cliched and obvious to bring up the thorny issues of class and the average Guardian reader, but, avoiding plot spoilers on the Great British Bake Off?" says Matt Dony. "Really? The only way to make this more middle-class is to shift said program to BBC4."
52 min Leon Osman is booked for something or other.
51 min Everton's first decent chance, with Fellaini rifling a loose ball against the legs of Boruc from the left of the six-yard box. The ball goes wide for a corner, from which Fellaini heads straight at the keeper from six yards. He should probably have done better, as he'd lost his marker Hooiveld.
48 min "I'm not 100% about this (and am currently in the pub so have better things to be thinking about) but I'm fairly sure Le Tiss is quoted as saying that Ekelund was his favourite player to play alongside," says Nick Read. "I seem to remember him playing in the great man's testimonial, presumably pushing Chris Marsden out of the reckoning."
They did seem to have a genuine bromance going in the winter of 1994-95. It must have been weird for Le Tissier to play with someone almost as talented and intelligent as him. Sorry Francis. hat's not meant disrespectfully; you know what I mean.
47 min "Shocking first days at work?" says Mike Gibbons. "Imagine being hired, ringing in sick for the first 13 months and then when you finally make it through the doors you do this."
46 min Everton begin the second half, almost certainly with dry hair.
Whatever happened to Ronnie Ekelund?
"Ronnie returned to Denmark after leaving Soton and had unsuccessful spells at Lyngby and Odense (they were relegated)," says Crispin Lake. "He moved to France Ligue 2 and had a season at Toulouse, before returning to England to play for Bolton and Walsall... In 2001 he moved to the States and was instrumental in San Jose Earthquakes winning the MLS Cup in 2001 and 2003. An unfulfilled talent if you ask me..."
"I'm sure I'm not the only one who went straight to Wikipedia on your prompting," says Rob Lowery. "I was initially a little sad to read of a young talent who went from Barcelona to a Will Ferrell-esque indoor soccer franchise in California. Then I noted he founded a company called 'Hooter Hiders' with his wife. Wikipedia hoax I thought, turns out not!"
Half time: Southampton 0-0 Everton
Southampton have been excellent; Everton haven't. But the book says 0-0, and the book knows what's what. See you in 10 minutes.
44 min "In addition to erasing Adkins from the programme tonight there are some other Stalinist touches," says Niall Mullen. "For example check out some of the questions from the the 'Saints Quiz'.
Q1. Who is our beloved Chairman?
A. Nicola Cortese
Q7. Who invented the helicopter?
A. Nicola Cortese
Q10. Who controls thunder?
A. Nicola Cortese."
43 min Lambert could have had four by now. This time a fine cross from Puncheon on the left finds him by the penalty spot; he rises majestically and plants a firm header this far wide of the near post. I suppose that goes down as a bad miss but it was a fraction away from being a superb goal.
41 min A lot of teams would have sulked after the build-up to this match; Southampton have been excellent so far. A credit to their former manager, I suppose you might argue.
40 min Schneiderlin, tricked by a smart piece of skill from Naismith, is booked by the increasingly popular referee Neil Swarbrick. Why would anyone want to do that job? I mean, really.
38 min What a brilliant save from Howard! Ramirez's deep inswinging corner found Lambert six yards from goal, absurdly unmarked, and his firm header was superbly saved by the left hand of Howard, with Baines heading the loose ball off the line as it bounced up. The ball wasn't cleared properly, and Hooiveld's follow-up was also beaten away by Howard. That was a more straightforward save, with the ball straight at him, but the first was a wonderful reaction stop.
37 min A nice slalom run from Ramirez ends with a crisp shot from the right of the box that is pushed wide of the near post by the diving Howard.
36 min The Southampton fans have a new hate figure: the referee. They scream again for a penalty when Lambert falls over after a bit of a wrestle with Coleman at the far post. I thought Lambert fouled Coleman actually, although Coleman did then leave a book dangling dangerously.
35 min "A personal appeal to Simon McMahon," says Sean Moore. "Please don't tell us what happens in the Great British Bake – Off. I'm recording it."
I love plotspoiling! It was Professor Plum, with the gingerbread, in the study.
34 min "The very worst thing about Adkins' sacking is that both the new manager and new signing have had the lack of dignity to announce that they have known about this for several weeks already and that details have emerged to show that Adkins only major fault (this summer's lopsided transfer dealings) were in actual fact very little to do with him," says Lee James. "I'd pretty much given up on the Premier League before Saints rejoined it and now I'm pretty close to giving up on the whole thing altogether."
It's an appalling business, isn't it. They should STOP FOOTBALL(TM) for a year just so that everybody can take stock and realise what a horrible mess they have made of things.
33 min Southampton appeal for a penalty when Distin puts hands on Yoshida's chest as they challenge for a long, angled free-kick. It was a stupid challenge, especially as the ball was drifting out of play, but I don't know that there was sufficient contact for a penalty.
31 min Everton haven't imposed themselves on the game as you would expect of a side challenging for Champions League football. Then again Manchester United were outplayed here for the best part of an hour, so it's all nonsense really. But sometimes you do think that Everton's players don't realise quite how good they are, or could be.
30 min "Satellite signal is back but in protest I've decided to watch the Great Comic Relief Bake-Off instead," says Simon McMahon. "Who needs Sky anyway when you can watch Jo Brand, Stephen K Amos and comedy duo Watson and Oliver (?) baking bread and cakes for a good cause under the watchful eye of Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood whilst following the MBM?"
Baking is so 2011. Why bake when you cane get an expert to bake for you?
27 min Howard makes a good save from Lambert. The chance came from a Southampton counter-attack, led by Ramirez. He played a reverse pass into the box for Lambert, who duped Jagielka beautifully by feigning to shoot and then, from the right side of the area, curled a left-footed shot that was beaten away by the right hand of Howard. It was a good rather than a brilliant save; Lambert probably put it a bit too close to him.
24 min "Has Jason Puncheon shown enough yet to be considered worthy (if that's the word?) of an England call-up?" says Harry Tuttle. "He's got a spark. Such a pleasure to watch his high-speed shimmies." Tonight? No. I think he's had a kick.
23 min Hooiveld is booked for a foul on Fellaini.
22 min Naismith's well-struck half volley from the edge of the box, through a crowd of bodies, is pushed away by Boruc and claimed at the second attempt. It was straight at him but very well hit.
20 min Lambert hits the post with a stunning free-kick. It was 25 yards out, to the left of centre, and Lambert curled a beautiful effort high over the wall and off the top of the near post as Howard leapt desperately to his right. I don't know whether he had it covered or not.
18 min Everton get the first corner, down the left-hand side. It's clipped flat towards Distin, running away from goal 15 yards out, and his header drifts gently wide.
14 min A deflected long-range shot from Ramirez is palmed wide by Howard, although it was going wide anyway. The corner is curled onto the roof of the net by Ramirez again; I think he was going for goal.
13 min "Heating packed in over the weekend so the office was freezing cold," says Sean Moore. "Internet went down so I couldn't sneakily keep my eye on the Guardian website. And, worst of all, the wife has put us both on a diet so I couldn't even partake of the vast chocolate cake to celebrate a colleagues birthday at lunchtime. Infamy, infamy!"
12 min A long, clipped free-kick from Distin finds Fellaini in the box. He muscles Cork aside to head it across the face of goal, and Jelavic's flicked header drifts wide of the far post. It wasn't much of a chance.
10 min Do Prado puts Phil Jagielka up in the air with a poor challenge on the halfway line. He should probably have been booked for that; I think Jagielka did him a favour by springing straight to his feet.
9 min For those who give one about such things, Southampton have had 72 per cent of the possession thus far.
"I was just thinking our season was back on track and Cortese does this," says Rachel Clifton. "I was at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday – what had Adkins done wrong?"
Er, hello? He failed to win away to the European champions. With a newly promoted side. From 2-0 down. He was lucky to last until Friday.
7 min This has been an excellent start from Southampton. Puncheon uses Clyne by not using it, coming infield from the right to hit a low left-footed shot that deflects just wide of the near post for a corner.
5 min "I hired a PA once who called the morning of what was supposed to be her first day to say her dog was having puppies, she'd be a bit late," says Marie Meyer. "I never heard from her again."
4 min Phil Jagielka comes perilously close to scoring an own goal. Southampton broke quickly down the right, from where Cork put in a dangerous low cross. Jagielka, facing his own goal, had to play it because he had Do Prado right behind him, and he slid it fractionally wide of the near post. A fair few fans thought it was in.
3 min Southampton have started pretty early, passing the ball around patiently in front of Everton.
2 min "No personal first-day-at-work anecdotes, but, footballing-wise, it's surely hard to beat Bosnich at Man U!" says Ryan Dunne. "I can't imagine Roy Keane working in an office."
1 min Southampton kick off from right to left. They are in red with white pinstripes, the coolest kit in the Premier League; Everton are in blue.
It's not always easy to tell on TV, but it doesn't seem there was any booing of Mauricio Pochettino when he emerged from the tunnel. A lusty chant of "One Nigel Adkins" can be heard, as you'd expect.
The high hat
"Is there anything better in life than giving someone the high hat?" says Simon Thomas. "Not that I know what it means, mind. Other than it’s about ethics (or a lack of them)."
I thought it was about condescension? Either way, it is pretty much the best thing that has ever happened to anyone, ever.
Any of you had a shocking first day at work? Lie down on the couch, loosen your
trouse tie and tell us everything.
"Oh, that's just marvellous," says Simon McMahon. "No satellite signal here at the moment due to snow. I'm paying a fortune to Sky to keep Premiership footballers in fast cars and champagne and a little bit of snow means I can forget about watching the game. Thank goodness for the MBM (and it's free too)." Which pretty much invalidates that Luther Vandross/Janet Jackson song at a stroke.
Team news lifted absent-mindedly from the wires
New Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino recalled skipper Rickie Lambert to the Saints' starting line-up for the visit of Everton in the Barclays Premier League.
The Argentinian, who has replaced Nigel Adkins at St Mary's, also named club-record signing Gaston Ramirez in his team, with Steven Davis missing out.
Everton made one change with Steven Naismith replacing Victor Anichebe for the Toffees.
Southampton (4-2-3-1): Boruc; Clyne, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Shaw; Cork, Schneiderlin; Puncheon, Ramirez, Do Prado; Lambert.
Subs: K Davis, S Davis, Rodriguez, Fox, Richardson, Chaplow,
Everton (4-4-2): Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Naismith, Neville, Osman, Pienaar; Jelavic, Fellaini.
Subs: Mucha, Heitinga, Oviedo, Mirallas, Hitzlsperger, Anichebe, Duffy.
"Thoughtful of Sky to schedule this match on a Monday night in January," writes Gary Naylor. "Always an opportune time for a 500-mile round trip."
Insert your own David Moyes/Proclaimers joke here.
Apparently there isn't a single mention of Nigel Adkins in the match programme tonight. If true, that is desperate.
Previously in this fixture
What did happen to Ronnie Ekelund? For a few weeks in 1994 he and Matthew Le Tissier were the talk of English football.
Good evening. When you start a new job, you want a quiet, uneventful first day, in which to ease a couple of toes under the table and maybe, just maybe, make eye contact with one of your colleagues. What you don't want is a big group of people giving you a combination of the bird, the high hat and the rigid V-sign, and telling you that your predecessor was much better than you. Oh and you've got B.O, pal.
That's essentially what will happen to Mauricio Pochettino tonight, with the possible exception of the B.O bit. The sacking of Nigel Adkins was, to appraise it conservatively, an egregious disgrace, another manifestation of modern football's confused fusion of ambition, entitlement and inhumanity, but the main villain is the chairman Nicola Cortese. Poor Pochettino, without really doing anything wrong, could become the most unpopular Southampton manager since the autumn of 1993, when Ian Branfoot decided picked a front two of Paul Moody and Iain Dowie and dumped Matthew Le Tissier on the bench.
The players' reaction will be interesting, and could invert the traditional meaning of New Manager Syndrome. Southampton have lost only two of their last 12 league games and were looking increasingly secure, but it would surprise few people if they went into freefall now. Everton, who are still right in the Champions League race despite drawing too many games, will move to within a point of fourth place
when if they win tonight.
Kick off is at 8pm.