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Wigan 0, Everton FC 1: Late Tim Cahill strike puts Blues on course for Euro battle
Published : 01 Feb 2010 05:00:00Rss feed
IT IS a rare and magical ability which is almost as hard to explain as it is satisfying for Everton supporters. At just 5'9, Timothy Joel Cahill has no right to make such gravity-defying leaps and dominate such physically superior centre halves. Yet the Australian does it, time and time again. And somehow, despite his reputation for potency in the box, some defenders still leave him unattended. The Blue Kangaroo rarely needs a second invitation. Once again, the 30-year-old capitalised on being inexplicably left alone in Wigan's penalty area to steal all three points for Everton, from a low quality but absorbing clash at the DW stadium. By his own admission, Cahill has not yet had the individual impact on this season that he has in previous campaigns. The operative word though is 'yet', because Cahill has turned a corner with two goals and an assist in two games. His work-rate has never once dipped, not an iota, and that is the key to his appeal. Just watching him graft for an opening during a game is heartening. The midfielder turned auxiliary striker goes to the well time and time again. Every Everton corner sees him become nuisance personified for opposition defenders. All buzzing energy, elbows, stop-start runs, twists and leaps. Nine times out of ten his threat may be snuffed out, but the one time it is not - he strikes. It was such a strike that kept the Blues hopes of a top six finish alive, ahead of a definitive month in their season. Everton were perhaps fortunate to have not conceded three themselves in the first half. Although they created the initial opening against Roberto Martinez's men. Phil Neville and Landon Donovan conspired to carve open Wigan's defence with an ease which hinted at a far more comfortable afternoon, and Leon Osman burst past Caldwell but scuffed his shot into the grateful arms of Stojkovic. Everton's only change from the side which beat Sunderland comfortably saw new-boy Philippe Senderos replacing the injured Sylvain Distin.