Everton: A recent history of comebacks

Everton manager David Moyes
Moyes… Jolly (Image: Jason Gulledge)

Last-gasp strikes from Steven Pienaar and Nikica Jelavić brought Everton all three points against Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park last weekend, overturning Clint Dempsey’s second-half opener for Spurs in the process. Such a fightback has not been uncommon during David Moyes’s ten-year reign as Toffees boss; why, here’s a list of ’em…


2-1 v Middlesbrough (h) – Massimo Maccarone gave the visitors a half-time lead before Kevin Campbell turned the game on its head with a second half brace

2-1 v Arsenal (h) – Freddie Ljungberg scored for the Gunners inside the opening ten minutes, only to be equalised by Tomasz Radzinski on 22 minutes, setting the stage for 16-year-old substitute Wayne Rooney to score a sensational last minute winner (you know the one…)

2-1 v Blackburn Rovers (h) – Andy Cole gave Rovers an early lead which was overturned by half time thanks to goals from Lee Carsley and Rooney

2-1 v Sunderland (h) – Toffee-to-be Kevin Kilbane gave the Mackems a half time lead before the on-loan Brian McBride notched a second half brace

2-1 v Southampton (h) – Toffee-to-be James Beattie gave the Saints a half time lead (yeah, yeah) only for Radzinski to bag two in the dying stages, his rasping winner virtually the last kick of the game

2-1 v West Bromwich Albion (a) – Igor Balis’s 18th minute penalty gave the Baggies the lead, but strikes from David Weir and Campbell secured the points by half time

2-1 v Aston Villa (h) – Marcus Allbäck put the visitors in front early in the second half, with Campbell hittingbäck ten minutes later and Rooney driving home a stoppage time winner


2-1 v Portsmouth (a) – Jason Roberts put Pompey ahead on 16 minutes, a lead which Carsley and Rooney has overturned by half time

3-2 v Leicester City (h) – Carsley opened the scoring for Everton, with Les Ferdinand and James Scowcroft putting the visitors 2-1 up before late strikes from Rooney and Radzinski


3-1 v Crystal Palace (a) – Mark Hudson put the Eagles in front inside ten minutes, but two Thomas Gravesen goals and a late Marcus Bent strike put the Toffees on course for a top four finish

3-2 v Bolton Wanderers (h) – Kevin Davies scored either side of a Duncan Ferguson equaliser, with a Gravesen free-kick and a Radhi Jaïdi own goal turning the game on its head inside the last twenty minutes


4-1 v Fulham (h) – Everton fell behind to a Carlos Bocanegra header before fighting back through Carsley, Alan Stubbs, James Vaughan and Victor Anichebe


3-2 v Metalist Kharkiv (a) – The Ukrainians led twice, with Joleon Lescott notching in between, but late goals from James McFadden and Anichebe sent the Toffees through to the next round of the UEFA Cup

2-1 v West Ham United (a) – Carlton Cole put the Hammers ahead on 13 minutes, with Leon Osman and a late Yakubu winner sending the visitors through to the League Cup semi-finals


3-1 v West Ham United (a) – Jack Collison gave the home side a second half lead, but Lescott and a Louis Saha brace all inside the last ten minutes snatched an unlikely victory

2-1 v Middlesbrough (h) – David Wheater put Boro ahead on the stroke of half time before Marouane Fellaini and Saha sent the Toffees through to the FA Cup semi-finals

3-1 v West Ham United (h) – Everton fought back against the Hammers once again as Robert Kovac’s opener was overturned by another Saha brace and a rare Joseph Yobo goal


2-1 v Wigan Athletic (h) – Paul Scharner’s 57th minute goal was equalised by Saha five minutes later, before Leighton Baines put his former club to the sword with a last-gasp penalty

2-1 v Bate Borisov (a) – Second half strikes from Fellaini and Tim Cahill overturned the home side’s half time lead in this UEFA Cup tie in Minsk

2-1 v Chelsea (h) – Florent Malouda put Chelsea ahead in the first half, but Saha’s second half brace won it for the home side

3-1 v Manchester United (h) – Dimitar Berbatov’s smart finish put United ahead inside ten minutes, but Diniyar Bilyaletdinov’s stunning equaliser set up another great win through late Dan Gosling and Jack Rodwell strikes

2-1 v Fulham (h) – Erik Nevland gave an under-strength Cottagers side a first half lead, only to be overturned by a Chris Smalling own goal and a 94th minute Mikel Arteta penalty


5-3 v Blackpool (h) – Ian Holloway’s men led 3-2 at one stage, but four goals from Saha and a sensational Jermaine Beckford volley saw Everton through

2-1 v Newcastle United (a) – Leon Best put the Magpies ahead on 23 minutes, but Osman and Phil Jagielka goals within five minutes had the Toffees in front by half time

2-1 v Manchester City (h) – Yaya Toure’s first half goal was overturned in the second period by former player Sylvain Distin and a remarkable Osman header


3-1 v Sheffield United (h) – Richard Cresswell put the visitors ahead before equalising himself with an own goal just three minutes later, with further first half goals from Anichebe and Arteta sending Everton through to the next round of the League Cup

3-1 v Wigan Athletic (h) – Franco Di Santo’s deflected effort gave the Latics the lead on 31 minutes with Jagielka levelling just two minutes later, before late goals from substitute Apostolos Vellios and Royston Drenthe sealed the win

2-1 v West Bromwich Albion (h) – Another League Cup tie, Chris Brunt put the Baggies ahead before Fellaini’s late equaliser set up an extra time winner courtesy of a lovely finish from Phil Neville

2-1 v Wolverhampton Wanderers (h) – Stephen Hunt’s 37th minute penalty gave Wolves the lead, but Jagielka equalised on the stroke of half time before Baines won it with a late penalty

2-1 v Fulham (h) – Danny Murphy’s 13th minute penalty put the visitors ahead in this FA Cup 4th round clash, but Denis Stracqualursi and Fellaini saw the Toffees progress


3-1 v Southampton (h) – Gaston Ramirez opened the scoring on six minutes, but Osman’s equaliser set up a Jelavić brace before half time

2-1 v Sunderland (h) – Adam Johnson gave the Black Cats the lead in first half stoppage time, but two goals in three second half minutes from Fellaini and Jelavić gave the home side all three points

2-1 v Tottenham Hotspur (h) – See intro

Other noteworthy comebacks

Everton fought back from two goals down to snatch a point off Liverpool at Goodison Park earlier this season, while they’ve repeatedly hit back against Manchester United during Moyes’s tenure: the Toffees cancelled out a three-goal deficit at Goodison Park in 2003-04 only to lose out to a late Ruud van Nistelrooy winner, while they’ve snatched a point from two goals down twice in the last two seasons (3-3 at Goodison Park in 2010-11, Cahill and Arteta scoring goals apiece in stoppage time, and of course that momentous 4-4 draw in April)

Trailing 2-0 from the away leg, Everton levelled proceedings against Fiorentina in the 2007-08 UEFA Cup only to lose out on penalties