Moyes fearful as Everton fail to drive home superiority

Everton 1 Birmingham City 1

These are strange times at Goodison for David Moyes' injury-ravaged squad. Respectable performances such as this one are not bringing their just deserts and after Sebastian Larsson impressively cancelled out Diniyar Bilyaletdinov's goal, they are just two points above the relegation zone.

A statistic of two wins from nine league games at Goodison lies at the root of Everton's problems and, while the pending return of injured players and a potential run in the Europa League point to brighter times in the new year, draws are not worth much in current Premier League currency.

"I am concerned because we are at the wrong end of the table but I've been concerned for a couple of months," said Moyes. "We can't be waiting for people to come back, we need to win games now."

Everton might have cemented victory in the opening 20 minutes, during which Bilyaletdinov put his team in front after ghosting around three defenders to collect Louis Saha's touch and finishing confidently. Minutes later Saha had a goal ruled out for offside despite television replays showing him to have been well onside when he collected Tim Cahill's pass.

It only appeared a matter of time before the home side put the game beyond Birmingham's reach, but the confidence and resilience City have gathered during a five-match winning run was evident and, on their first attack of note, Larsson and Christian Benitez were allowed the space to exchange passes before the former finished expertly from inside the area.

Birmingham were required to defend manfully in the second half although their manager, Alex McLeish, was honest enough to admit that not only was Saha's goal onside but that Carr also handled with Saha threatening late in the game.

Still, McLeish could not disguise his satisfaction at seeing his team play below recent par but record a ninth consecutive unbeaten game. "We were hoping to keep our unbeaten run intact and that's a great way to enter Christmas," he said.

"Our primary target is to keep our Premier League status and, once we can achieve that – and we certainly can achieve that – then we will look at anything else as a bonus."

Everton (4-1-3-1-1): Howard; Hibbert, Neill, Heitinga, Baines; Fellaini; Bilyaletdinov (Yakubu 70), Osman (Vaughan 90), Pienaar; Cahill; Saha. Substitues not used: Nash, Coleman, Duffy, Agard, Baxter.

Birmingham (4-4-2): Hart; Carr, R Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell; Larsson, Bowyer, Ferguson, McFadden (Fahey 69); Benitez (Vignal 82), Jerome. Substitues not used: Taylor, Phillips, McSheffrey, D Johnson, Carsley.

Referee: S Attwell

Booked: Birmingham: Larsson, Hart.

Man of match: R Johnson

Attendance: 33,660

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
people
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Sport
football
News
i100
News
Perry says: 'Psychiatrists give help because they need help. You would not be working in mental health if you didn't have a curiosity about how the mind works.'
people
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

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?