Gascoigne's new dawn shrouded in familiar red mist

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The Independent Football

Paul Gascoigne played only the first 45 minutes on his Everton debut at Tannadice last night, won 2-1 by Dundee United in Maurice Malpas' testimonial game, as his manager, Walter Smith, attempted to give as many members of the squad a run-out as possible.

Paul Gascoigne played only the first 45 minutes on his Everton debut at Tannadice last night, won 2-1 by Dundee United in Maurice Malpas' testimonial game, as his manager, Walter Smith, attempted to give as many members of the squad a run-out as possible.

Jamie Milligan was then handed Gascoigne's role in central midfield, and there were six other changes, including an opportunity for Steve Simonsen to impress in goal in place of Paul Gerrard.

Gascoigne made a controversial start when he clashed with the Dundee United trialist Joachim Fernandez after only 20 minutes. The 27-year-old French midfielder, who has previously played forUdinese and Bordeaux, was sent tumbling to the ground by a trip.

After treatment, Fernandez rose to confront Gascoigne who, to his credit, did not react, allowing David Unsworth to state his case and hold back the irate Frenchman. But still Fernandez attempted to reprimand Gascoigne and the referee, Gary Marshall, was eventually forced to ask for him to be removed from the field. Jamie Buchan replaced the infuriated player andGascoigne continued despite the jeers of the home crowd.

David Weir gave Everton the lead after 37 minutes. The Scottish international rose above the United defence and scored with a header into the top-right corner of the net. New Everton signing Thomas Gravesen then clipped the crossbar twominutes before the break.

As early as the fourth minute Gascoigne, signed on a free transfer from Middlesbrough last week, began to display his brand of trickery with a neat pass, but he inadvertently denied Gravesen a possible opener after 35 minutes when he got in the way of a drive from the Dane. Even so, the Everton supporters continued to lavish plaudits on the midfielder with chants of "Gascoigne is better than Barmby".

Danny Cadamarteri almost grabbed a second for Everton after 51 minutes when he connected with a low Unsworth cross. However, the mass change had a negative effect on the Blues and after 12 minutes of the second period, a Dave Watson back-pass fell short allowing Steven Thompson to round Simonsen and slot the ball in.

Four minutes later, United took the lead when Alex Mathie connected with Craig Easton's superb cross to drill past Simonsen.

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