Birmingham 2 Everton 2: Jagielka admits Europe might be step too far

14 March 2010 10:57
[LNB]Dampener: Jagielka says Everton must be realistic[LNB]Phil Jagielka insisted thattalk of Everton reachingEurope is far-fetched afterthey blew a two-goal leadagainst fellow top-sevenhopefuls Birmingham. [LNB]Jagielka's return frominjury was eagerlyanticipated but it has comeat the end of Everton'seye-catching run. [LNB]Manchester United andChelsea had been defeatedback-to-back by Evertonbefore Jagielka's leaguereturn against Tottenham afortnight ago. [LNB]Everton lost3-1 at White Hart Lane andlet themselves down againon Saturday. [LNB]Jagielka couldnot prevent the ball fromgoing through his legswhen Cameron Jeromescored Birmingham's first. [LNB]'Maybe, realistically, wewere never going to bepushing for the Europeanplaces,' said Jagielka. [LNB]'Theboys had some fantasticresults which catapulted usback up the league and putthose sorts of ideas back inpeople's heads.' [LNB]Yet much of Everton'smidfield build-up play wasswift and subtle, with Mikel Arteta and Steven Pienaarcausing problems.Everton were 2-0 up within22 minutes. [LNB]Tussle: Cameron Jerome put Birmingham on the road to recovery[LNB]Victor Anichebeturned cleverly to evadeLiam Ridgewell and struckpowerfully beyondotherwise impressive JoeHart. Arteta suppliedPienaar, three minuteslater, and the SouthAfrican's lobbed passallowed Yakubu to head inEverton's second. [LNB]MATCH STATS BIRMINGHAM CITY (4-4-2): Hart 7;Carr 6, Johnson 6, Dann 6, Ridgewell 5;Gardner 7 (Larsson 58min, 6),Ferguson 8, Bowyer 6, Fahey 7;Jerome 7, Benitez 6 (McFadden 72, 6).Booked: Bowyer.[LNB]EVERTON (4-4-2): Howard 6; Neville 7,Jagielka 5, Distin 6, Baines 7; Cahill 7(Rodwell 75), Heitinga 6, Arteta 8,Pienaar 8; Anichebe 7 (Gosling 79),Yakubu 7 (Donovan 67, 6).[LNB]Booked: Yakubu.Man of the match: Mikel Arteta.Referee: Lee Probert.[LNB]But Keith Fahey's cross wastouched in by Jerome tostart Birmingham'sfightback in the 26thminute. AndJerome wasinvolved again,flicking on along kick byHart, to allow Craig Gardner to make it 2-2 in the 52ndminute. [LNB]It was not the defensiveeffort desired by Evertonmanager David Moyes, whoagain left out Joseph Yobo.Jack Rodwell and DanGosling, who both came onas substitutes, have beenlinked with ManchesterUnited. [LNB]But Moyes claims hissquad is too small to befurther depleted in thesummer. [LNB]He took thepositives out of this setback,saying: 'The way we areplaying at the moment is asgood as anybody else.' [LNB]But Jagielka admitted: 'It isa missed opportunity. Weneeded to lay down amarker and hope resultswould go our way.' [LNB]Birmingham's tough run-inmeans a Europa Leaguespot is probably beyondthem too.[LNB]  Birmingham 2 Everton 2: Craig Gardner on hand to save Alex McLeish's record David Moyes fighting to the end to keep Landon Donovan at Everton EXCLUSIVE: How Everton's Leighton Baines earned his seat at the top table  

Source: Daily_Mail