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Premier League

  • 21 January 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • Goodison Park, Liverpool
  • Referee: M. Halsey
  • • Attendance: 32464

Everton 1-1 Blackburn Rovers: Bizarre David Goodwillie equaliser denies hosts after Tim Cahill opener

Everton 1-1 Blackburn Rovers: Bizarre David Goodwillie equaliser denies hosts after Tim Cahill opener

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Steve Kean's men continue their good run of form at Goodison Park, after falling behind to a controversial opening goal with Fellaini handballing in the build-up

Blackburn Rovers came from behind to grab a spirited 1-1 draw with Everton at Goodison Park.

Tim Cahill scored his first goal in over a year to give the Toffees the lead in controversial circumstances before David Goodwillie bundled home an unusual equaliser in the second half.

The Toffees made just one change to their side, bringing Victor Anichebe in for Royston Drenthe, while at the back Shane Duffy continued to deputise for the injured Sylvain Distin.

Steve Kean was able to bring Scott Dann back into the Blackburn defence and was forced to bring Goodwillie in for the suspended Yakubu after the Nigerian striker's recent red card against Fulham.

The home side had a good chance to take an early lead as Phil Neville, on his 35th birthday, sent Landon Donovan away down the right flank and the American crossed for Victor Anichebe but the burly striker could only scuff an effort wide.

Rovers looked to impose themselves on the game with Junior Hoilett impressing as he skinned Fellaini down the left and cut the ball into the box where David Dunn was waiting but the midfielder was denied by a great Howard save.

Dunn again brought a save out of the American, after a lovely touch from Morten Gamst Pedersen, from the resulting corner, Pedersen's deep ball found Scott Dann whose looping header beat Howard but was deflected onto the bar by Leighton Baines and cleared.

The Goodison Park crowd were infuriated as Radosav Petrovic looked to catch Louis Saha in the throat with an elbow, nothing was given by referee Mark Halsey. However, after a tricky start to the game, the home fans soon had better things to shout about.

Rovers failed to clear a corner and the ball was worked back to Donovan, the American's chipped ball was headed goalwards by Fellaini and after Howard's save the Belgian blatantly handled the ball into Cahill's path and the Australian slammed home his first goal since a strike against Manchester City in December 2010.

Everton were spurred on by the goal, Neville found Cahill down the right and the Australian's delightful reverse ball found Donovan in the box but the LA Galaxy loanee could only screw his shot wide.

Rovers hit back and came close to an equaliser as Goodwillie's shot was blocked into the path of Dunn, who slotted the ball past Howard but could only look on in agony as his effort hit the post and was cleared.

Anichebe's power and Donovan's pace were dangerous on the counter for the Toffees and Petrovic picked up a booking for fouling the American as he looked to burst clear, Baines sending the resulting free-kick curling wide.

Both sides continued to work hard in the driving rain at Goodison Park but lacked the cutting edge to create clear-cut chances and went in for the half with Everton in a controversial lead.

Honours even | Donovan & Olsson battle for possession

A scrappy start to the second half saw both teams struggle to create many chances, Cahill's high and wide 25-yard effort summing up play. David Moyes also made a change to his side, bringing Royston Drenthe on for the anonymous Saha with barely 10 minutes gone in the second period.

The game continued at a stop-start pace with Goodwillie being too isolated to make a difference for Rovers, who replaced Dunn with Mauro Formica on the hour.

Petrovic then flashed a 30-yard effort wide of Tim Howard's far post before Pedersen hit an atrocious effort into the stands from a similar distance following a good run by Hoilett.

Drenthe was worrying the Blackburn backline with his pace and did magnificently to take on Martin Olsson down the right and flash a ball across the face of goal with no Everton team-mates well placed to turn it home.

Blackburn were looking to their own fleet-of-foot wideman Hoilett to inspire their comeback, the Candian drawing a foul out of Darron Gibson which saw the former Manchester United midfielder booked.

The resulting free-kick was drifted into the box and poorly missed by Tim Howard. Cahill was well placed on the line but he could only hit his clearance straight at Goodwillie, deflecting the ball home for a bizarre Rovers equaliser.

With time drawing to a close and both sides remaining unable to unlock each other's defences, Moyes sent on Apostolos Vellios for Anichebe, hoping the Greek forward would be able to add to his three goals scored from substitute appearances this season.

Everton did go close soon after, Baines' superb set-piece delivery was met by Shane Duffy who thundered his header against the crossbar.

Denis Stracqualursi replaced Gibson with just three minutes remaining as the hosts pushed hard for a late winner.

Fellaini saw his header well saved by Paul Robinson and from the resulting corner, Jason Lowe did excellently to clear off the line from Cahill's effort to preserve a point for Kean's men.

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