Everton's pretensions pricked by Kalinic

Blackburn Rovers 1 Everton 0

So much for all the hype. Everton's fans filled every available seat at Ewood Park within two hours of tickets going on sale, buoyed by the talk of their club's supposed ability to break into the top four this season.

How disappointed they will have felt after this performance and how foolish the likes of Arsène Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson look after singing the praises of David Moyes and suggesting Everton could be genuine Premier League contenders.

Nothing could be further from the truth on this evidence as Tim Howard's dreadful blunder gifted Blackburn an early goal that Everton never looked like cancelling out. He dropped the ball at the feet of Nikola Kalinic, who did the rest.

"That's probably the first mistake Tim has made maybe since he came to the club; he's been outstanding," said the Everton captain Phil Neville. "He apologised to everyone in the dressing room, but I don't think anyone is blaming him.

"We wanted a big squad, we wanted two players for every position, and with that comes expectation. Now we have it we can't go into our shell.

"We have to show our mettle and this will show whether we have what it takes to get into that top four."

Although chances were few and far between, the manner in which the likes of Gaël Givet, Phil Jones and Michel Salgado threw themselves around underlined that what Rovers lack in grace they more than make up for in commitment.

The Blackburn manager, Sam Allardyce, did not spend too much time worrying about his team's lack of inventive flair, preferring to praise Kalinic for taking the one real chance he got before suggesting he has a striker in his armoury who could become a true Premier League threat.

"Niko showed why we bought him with a great finish after a mistake by the goalkeeper," he said. "So we are very pleased that we have taken three points off a team who did the double over us last season."

Match facts

Blackburn Rovers 4-1-3-1-1: Robinson; Salgado, Samba, Nelsen, Givet; Jones; Olsson, Dunn (Nzonzi, 9), Pedersen; Kalinic (MB Diouf, 60); El Hadji Diouf. Substitutes not used Bunn, Emerton, Andrews, Hoilett, Chimbonda.

Booked Pedersen, Salgado.

Everton 4-4-2: Howard; Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Pienaar, Arteta , Cahill, Osman (Beckford, 59); Fellaini (Rodwell, 78), Saha (Bilyaletdinov, 73). Substitutes not used Mucha, Hibbert, Heitinga, Gueye.

Booked Cahill.

Man of the match Pedersen.

Referee P Dowd (Staffordshire).

Attendance 25,869

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project