Neville right back in the groove as he chases final chance
Everton 2 Bolton Wanderers 0
Here were two managers and two sets of supporters who could be forgiven for casting a glance towards next season, but for Everton full-back Phil Neville there is a more short-term target. Injury to Wes Brown may have opened the England door for the utility man who has been impressive in an extended run at right-back although others – not least brother Gary – are in the running to accompany incumbent Glen Johnson to South Africa.
"It's the first time I've had a sustained run at right-back in my Everton career," said Neville, who won the last of his 59 caps in October 2007. "I've been to three European Championships but always missed out on the World Cup. I'll fight tooth and nail for it."
Before injury sidelined him for the best part of 12 months, Neville's teammate Mikel Arteta was considered a good bet to make a concerted run at the Spain World Cup squad. But now, after claiming his third goal in six starts since his comeback, he is just relieved to be playing. He said: "I've got my rhythm back. I feel quicker and more confident." Arteta claimed the game's opening goal with a free-kick from the edge of the area after Alan Wiley had shown Gretar Steinsson a red card for a foul on Yakubu. A last-minute effort from Steven Pienaar completed a flattering win for a side that has recorded seven successive home wins in the League, their best run in 20 years.
So, after a season in which he has had to deal with a debilitating injury list, Everton manager David Moyes has something to look forward to. "We are starting to believe that we are a good team now," he said.
Everton (4-1-4-1): Howard; Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Heitinga; Anichebe (Bilyaletdinov 14), Cahill (Saha 62), Arteta, Pienaar; Yakubu (Osman 76). Substutites not used: Nash (gk), Hibbert, Yobo, Rodwell.
Bolton (4-4-2): Jaaskelainen; Steinsson, O'Brien, Knight, Robinson; Chung-Yong, Cohen (Davies 83), Muamba, Wilshere (Taylor 81); Elmander (Ricketts 71), K Davies. Substitutes not used: Al Habsi (gk), Cahill, Riga, Weiss.
Referee: A Wiley (Staffs)
Booked: Everton: Cahill Bolton: Chung-Yong
Sent-off: Bolton: Steinsson
Man of the match: Arteta
Latest in Sport
New day (slowly) rising – As Brasileirão gets underway, Brazilian football stumbles, rather than leaps into the future
The average Serie A crowd last year was 13,000 - comparable to Australia’s A-League.
by James Young
24 May 2013 04:31 PM
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
Why Manchester City were willing to fork out $500m on stake in MLS
Champions League final: Biggest German invasion since the fifth century as Borussia Dortmund face Bayern Munich
Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich: 50 things you should know about the Champions League final
Champions League final preview: Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund
Champions League Final: Can Jürgen Klopp and Borussia Dortmund stop the Bayern Munich machine?
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.