Premier League - Blackburn hold scrappy Everton

Sat, 21 Jan 17:02:00 2012

Tim Cahill and David Goodwillie traded scrappy goals as Everton and Blackburn drew 1-1 in the Premier League at Goodison Park.

Everton 1 Blackburn 1

Cahill ended a 13-month goal drought with a close-range finish on 24 minutes, though Marouane Fellaini committed a clear handball in the build-up.

Goodwillie levelled after 72 minutes, but had Tim Howard and Cahill to thank. Howard missed a simple punch, before Cahill thumped an intended clearance into the striker and the ball rebounded in.

The goals befitted a low-quality encounter. Everton have won just three of 12 home games this season, and Blackburn will be the happier with the result - however questionable Everton's goal.

Rovers flew out of the traps, with David Dunn particularly influential. The veteran midfielder had an early shot from Junior Hoilett's pull-back, but saw Howard save with his feet. Seconds later, Dunn saw a second effort deflected over for a corner.

Later in the first half, a Goodwillie shot ricocheted into his path and his instinctive left-foot volley came back off the base of the left-hand post. Dunn also had a goal correctly disallowed for offside.

Rovers also went close through Scott Dann on nine minutes. The defender's goalbound header was cleared off the line by a combination of Leighton Baines and Dann's team-mate Goodwillie, who was trying to force it in.

Everton finally gained a foothold in the game and started to dominate. Loan signing Landon Donovan has already found sparky form, and he set up a resoundingly controversial opening goal.

Donovan chipped a ball towards Fellaini, who helped it goalwards with a combination of chest and arm, and the ball came back off goalkeeper Paul Robinson.

The midfielder then clearly used his arm a second time to divert the ball into the path of Cahill, who finished from close range.

Blackburn protested vigorously, but referee Mark Halsey saw no infringement.

It was Cahill's first goal in 33 matches, since scoring in Everton's 2-1 win at Manchester City in December 2010.

The Australian has not thought up a new celebration in the last 13 months, but his relief was plain as he threw punches at the corner flag.

The second period brought plenty of perspiration but little inspiration from either side.

Apart from a Radosav Petrovic shot that skidded just wide, Rovers had barely had a sight of goal when the equaliser came.

Morten Gamst Pedersen lofted a free-kick into the box that Howard missed completely.

Cahill was back on the line to stop the ball, but he walloped the ball into the onrushing Goodwillie and it trickled over the line.

Both sides could have won it at the death - substitute Mauro Formica shot just wide from the edge of the Everton box.

Robinson saved from Fellaini before Blackburn somehow survived an almighty goalmouth scramble; Fellaini's header was cleared off the line by Formica, then Robinson saved from Denis Stracqualursi.

Alex Chick - Twitter @alexchick81 / Eurosport

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