x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Super sub Yakubu

In a 12-minute substitute appearance, he scored one against Blackburn and set up the last-minute winner to keep Everton's Europa League hopes alive.

Everton players fight for the ball yesterday.
Everton players fight for the ball yesterday.

BLACKBURN // In a 12-minute substitute appearance at Ewood Park yesterday, Yakubu scored one against Blackburn and set up Tim Cahill's last-minute winner to keep Everton's Europa League hopes alive. Mikel Arteta's fourth-minute penalty had been cancelled out by Steven Nzonzi's spectacular 30-yard drive midway through the second half before the introduction of the Nigeria international. He put his side 2-1 up with his first touch seconds after coming on and although Jason Roberts lashed home an equaliser two minutes later Cahill converted Yakubu's cross from close range late on.

It kept Everton in with a chance of a late bid for a European place, moving them to within two points of sixth-placed Liverpool, who play West Ham on Monday. Aside from the goals, Blackburn would argue Arteta should have been sent off after just 20 minutes when he poked Morten Gamst Pedersen in the eye after being angered by the Norwegian's challenge. Andre Marriner, the referee, presumably did not see the incident as he booked both players, much to Pedersen's astonishment.

Even by that stage Blackburn had regained the initiative lost by a start which would have infuriated Sam Allardyce, their manager, whose defence seemed half-asleep when Arteta picked up the ball on the right of the area and was brought down by Ryan Nelsen, the Rovers captain. Arteta converted from the spot to become the first person to beat Paul Robinson since Birmingham forward James McFadden's goal on March 24, an unbeaten run of more than five hours.

Blackburn equalised on 69 minutes. There appeared to be little danger when David Dunn played the ball back to Nzonzi but he blasted a swerving 30-yard shot past Tim Howard. Yakubu and Roberts then traded strikes to make it 2-2 before Cahill struck with 90 minutes up. * PA Sport