Everton FC captain Phil Neville talks of memorable night against Chelsea

12 February 2010 06:50
Phil Neville talks of memorable night against Chelsea

EVERTONIANS would be forgiven if they revelled in Wednesday night's win over Chelsea to the extreme.

A fabulous performance set against the backdrop of a incendiary Goodison Park has left the Blue half of Liverpool in a mild state of euphoria ever since.

Getting swept up in Everton's feel-good factor will of course be derided by outsiders who would argue it just gave David Moyes' men a rare moment of triumph over one of those regularly fighting for the major honours.

But speaking to captain Phil Neville and you cast off the comments of the naysayers and begin to believe the elation was very much justified.

Everton's captain is no stranger to football's grand occasions.

The Everton skipper can boast of experiencing FA Cup and European Cup finals as well as representing his country at European Championships.

So when the 33-year-old describes the 2-1 triumph over Carlo Ancelotti's men as a once in a season calibre of night, you know you witnessed something rather special.

Neville is aware nights like Wednesday have to be celebrated; moments of joy against Chelsea have been few and far between in recent years.

'You get evenings like that once or twice in a season,' said Neville.

'I look back at games we have played like against Fiorentina in the UEFA Cup and games like that when the crowd has been amazing and the team has risen to the challenge - it was like that on Wednesday night.'

The skipper admits such an outcome was hard to envisage in the early exchanges on Wednesday night.

Chelsea dominated the play and by Neville's own admission, Everton were wracked with nerves following on from the heartbreak of the 213th Merseyside derby.

But Florent Malouda's 16th-minute strike lifted the weight from the home side's shoulders and, for Neville, provided the catalyst for a famous night at Goodison.

'We went a goal behind but that seemed to get rid of all the tension and nervousness in a way because it galvanised the crowd; Louis Saha scored the goal at just the right time and from then on I thought there was only ever going to be one winner. It was a fantastic occasion and nice that we have beat a so called top four side.

'It was a disappointment which carried over from Saturday's game with Liverpool and in that first 15 minutes of everybody probably feeling sorry for themselves, because losing a derby does affect you, but after that we got the kick up the backside we needed when they scored but from then on it was a tremendous occasion and we thoroughly deserved our win by playing some good football.'

Source: Liverpool_Echo