Everton's only complaint is Koeman's tackle

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The Independent Online
Feyenoord 1 Everton 0 (Feyenoord win 1-0 on agg)

Regi Blinker, a target for Blackburn Rovers, dealt English football another devastating blow in rain-swept Rotterdam last night. His first- half goal sent Everton out from the European Cup-Winners' Cup at the end of a harrowing week for English clubs.

Everton joined Leeds, Nottingham Forest, Liverpool and Blackburn in failing to record even a single goal in European combat this week.

Their challenge ended in disgrace when Craig Short ruined an excellent display by flicking out an arm in retaliation towards Ronald Koeman and was immediately shown the red card by the Italian referee.

Joe Royle, the Everton manager, was furious that Koeman did not receive even a booking for the challenge that caused Short to retaliate. "Craig has six inches of bruising and scarring down his shin," Royle said. "It was one of the worst tackles I have seen this season.

"We desperately needed a break but the nearest we came to it was when Craig nearly got his leg broken."

Short said: "It was a dreadful tackle. I could have got my leg broken. I suppose if you raise your arms you can't really complain about being sent off. But I was so upset at the tackle."

Koeman had a different interpretation. "I can understand why Everton are angry. It is because of the result and that is natural," he said.

The Merseysiders, with only one win in their previous 10 matches, played above themselves but were always short of enough class, relying mainly on long-range efforts.

Royle may have had cause for complaint over the 40th-minute goal. Tomek Iwan looked offside but the flag stayed down as he crossed. Mike Obiku shot against a post but when John Ebbrell picked up the rebound he was caught in possession by Blinker who ran on to beat Southall.

Daniel Amokachi's pace troubled Feyenoord but he could not provide the decisive pass while Paul Rideout created a couple of openings for himself when the service failed to come from midfield.

Feyenoord: De Goey; Van Gobbel, Boateng, Koeman, Heus, Bosz, Iwan, Trustfull (Zwijnenberg, 71), Larsson (Taument, 61), Obiku, Blinker (Witschge, 84).

Everton: Southall; Jackson, Hinchcliffe, Short, Watson, Ablett (Barlow, 67), Stuart, Ebbrell (Grant, 64), Rideout, Horne, Amokachi.

Referee: M Nicchi (Italy).