Saha saves Moyes from familiar sinking feeling

Everton 5 Blackpool 3

It was Groundhog Day in North America last week and when Charlie Adam's diving header put Blackpool 3-2 up at a rain-soaked Goodison Park, it was easy to equate David Moyes with the Bill Murray character in the eponymous 1993 film – the man who must live the same day over and over again.

Moyes, by his own admission, had a familiar sinking feeling as Everton, who were good value for a 2-1 lead, conceded twice in three minutes through Jason Puncheon and Adam shortly after the hour. After all, the Merseysiders' consistent failing this season has been an inability to put teams to the sword at home – three points is their paltry return from games against West Bromwich, West Ham, Wigan and Wolves.

"When it went 3-2 I thought, 'here we go, the players have seen this numerous times, what are we going to do?'" said Moyes. The difference this time was that in Louis Saha they had a striker at the very top of his game. The 32-year-old went ten months without a league goal up to Christmas; he now has eight from six games after his four goals secured a much-needed victory for an Everton side who, prior to Saturday, were the division's third-lowest home scorers.

Pondering Saha's transformation, Moyes said: "He's one of these lads who needs to feel good in himself. Louis looks as if he is beginning to gain a bit of confidence and self-belief and if you play as well as that, it shows you are as good as there is about.

"Louis has to feel 100 per cent but maybe in modern football now you can't always be 100 per cent right because the games come thick and fast. I've seen bits of his play and thought, 'Come on, Louis, you're better than that'. But I saw bits today and thought, 'Boy, I can see why you've played alongside Zidane and all those players at Manchester United and they were accepting of you because of your ability'."

Goodison had not witnessed four goals from an Everton forward since Joe Royle's quartet against Southampton in 1971. The pity for Moyes, who admitted he has "struggled to find the right solution" to his team's failure to turn draws into wins, is Saha did not click into gear sooner. Still, the Frenchman's feat was timely after the transfer-window departure of strikers Yakubu and James Vaughan.

Saha would have had five but for referee Kevin Friend whistling a split-second before he converted a cross from the fouled Seamus Coleman. By then Ian Evatt had already equalised but when the No 8 restored the lead on the restart, Everton looked likely winners. Yet it proved just the first twist of a roller-coaster second half.

For Ian Holloway, satisfaction with his side's attacking play was offset by what unfolded in the final 14 minutes. "I went defensive to try and protect a lead but we couldn't do that. People will say we should change our philosophy but I bloody well tried," said Holloway, whose team slipped below Everton to 15th after this fifth straight loss.

Everton turned the tables through Saha's hat-trick header and Jermaine Beckford's fine volley. Saha then added the fifth to leave Moyes relieved his Groundhog Day was over.

Scorers: Everton Saha 20, 47, 76, 84, Beckford 80 Blackpool Baptiste 37, Puncheon 62, Adam 64.

Subs: Everton Cahill (Bilyaletdinov, 70), Beckford (Rodwell, 70), Jagielka (Saha, 86). Unused Mucha (gk), Hibbert, Osman, Anichebe.

Blackpool Edwards (Puncheon, 74), Southern (Campbell, 74), Harewood (Beattie, 80). Unused Kingson (gk), Phillips, Reid, Varney.

Booked: Blackpool Adam.

Man of the match Saha Match rating 9/10.

Possession Everton 48% Blackpool 52%.

Attempts on target Everton 16 Blackpool 7.

Referee K Friend (Leicestershire) Att 38,202.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleComedian launches stinging attack on PM
Life and Style
The collection displayed Versace’s softer side, with models wearing flowers and chiffon dresses in unusual colourings
fashionVersace haute couture review
Arts and Entertainment
'The Leaf'
artYes, it's a leaf, but a potentially very expensive one
News
Yoko Ono at the Royal Festival Hall for Double Fantasy Live
people'I wont let him destroy memory of John Lennon or The Beatles'
News
Could Greece leave the EU?
news
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

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'