Everton snatch victory at Blackburn with last-minute winner

Blackburn 2 Everton 3

Everton striker Ayegbeni Yakubu had a major impact in a 12-minute substitute appearance, scoring one and setting up a last-minute winner in the 3-2 victory over Blackburn at Ewood Park.

Mikel Arteta's fourth-minute penalty had been cancelled out by Rovers midfielder Steven Nzonzi's 30-yard drive midway through the second half before the introduction of the Nigeria international.

With his first touch seconds after coming on he put his side 2-1 up and although Jason Roberts lashed home an equaliser two minutes later Tim Cahill converted Yakubu's cross from close range late on.

It kept alive Everton's late bid for a European place, moving them to within two points of sixth-placed Liverpool, who play West Ham on Monday.

Aside from the goals Blackburn would argue Arteta should have been sent off after just 20 minutes when he poked Morten Gamst Pedersen in the eye after being angered by the Norwegian's challenge.

Referee Andre Marriner presumably did not see the incident as he booked both players, much to Pedersen's astonishment.

Even by that stage Blackburn had regained the initiative lost by a start which would have infuriated manager Sam Allardyce, whose defence seemed half-asleep when Arteta picked up the ball on the right of the area.

The Spaniard turned Gael Givet and was in the process of doing the same to Ryan Nelsen when the Rovers captain dived in and brought him down with his trailing leg.

Arteta converted from the spot to become the first person to beat Paul Robinson since Birmingham forward James McFadden's goal on March 24, ending an unblemished record of more than five hours.

Rovers' response was encouraging though and they gradually built momentum to the point where Everton were pleased to hear the half-time whistle.

Had David Dunn and Nikola Kalinic not got in each other's way trying to get on the end of Nelsen's header in the six-yard area Tim Cahill's goalline clearance could have been much trickier than it was.

Set-pieces were causing problems for Everton with goalkeeper Tim Howard looking particularly troubled by Rovers' tactic of standing Dunn directly in front of him.

It obviously started to get to him as he gave the midfielder an almighty shove in an attempt to clear some space for one corner but, bizarrely, it was Dunn who earned the talking to from Marriner.

The referee's performance was in danger of overshadowing the game taking place around him as Cahill's late challenge on Dunn warranted only a warning.

In spite of the official, Blackburn carved out a few half-chances, with Martin Olsson's goalbound left-foot volley unluckily blocked by Dunn, who himself was then denied by Phil Jagielka's block.

Just before the break Keith Andrews' drive was saved at the second attempt by Howard, who would have been pleased to find respite in the dressing room.

The interval benefited Everton as they re-asserted their authority and twice could have extended their advantage.

Cahill's last 11 league goals have all been with his head so when Hibbert lofted a 57th-minute cross to the far post and the Australian got in front of his marker it was a major surprise when he failed to hit the target.

Then Leighton Baines' thunderous 25-yard strike cannoned off the outside of Robinson's right-hand post with the goalkeeper motionless.

But where the Everton left-back failed, Steven Nzonzi succeeded in the 68th minute.

There appeared to be little danger when Dunn played the ball back to him but he side-stepped Arteta, advanced and blasted a swerving 30-yard shot past Howard.

The goal was just the confidence boost Rovers needed and Everton looked rattled as Nelsen headed Dunn's free-kick on to the top of the net.

But having tested their opponents all afternoon with set-pieces Blackburn fell victim to one themselves.

Baines' 78th-minute long-throw was flicked on by substitute Victor Anichebe and Yakubu bundled the ball home with his first touch just 22 seconds after his introduction.

Rovers' response was instant as less than two minutes later Kalinic helped the ball forward for Roberts to thrash a 20-yard shot past Howard.

The feeling was there was still another goal left in the game and it went to Everton in the 90th minute.

Yakubu somehow found space on the left of the area and rolled a pass into the six-yard box where Cahill tapped home to deny Blackburn a point.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz