English Premiership

Saha's fab four ends Blackpool

2011-02-05 22:12
Fab four: Louis Saha. (Gallo)

Liverpool - Louis Saha netted an incredible four-goal haul, as Everton came from behind to beat Blackpool 5-3 in a breathtaking clash at Goodison Park on Saturday.

David Moyes' side trailed 3-2 with less than half an hour to play, but France striker Saha, who had already scored twice by then, hit the equaliser and struck again to seal the win after Jermaine Beckford put Everton ahead.

Alex Baptiste had scored Blackpool's first equaliser, and goals from Jason Puncheon and captain Charlie Adam briefly had the Seasiders in front.

However, Saha's remarkable heroics lifted Everton above Blackpool, and left Ian Holloway's side dangerously close to the relegation zone after their seventh defeat in eight league games.

Everton deservedly took the lead after 20 minutes as Diniyar Bilyaletdinov weaved his way into the area and picked out Saha, who confidently swept home from seven yards.

In the 37th-minute, Adam picked out Ian Evatt at the near post, and his shot may have crossed the line after striking the woodwork before Baptiste followed up to make certain.

Everton thought they had reclaimed the lead two minutes later, when Saha touched the ball past Paul Rachubka from a Seamus Coleman pass.

However, referee Kevin Friend had already blown his whistle for a foul on Coleman just outside the area.

Everton and Saha removed that sense of injustice within two minutes of the restart, as the former Manchester United striker finished off a slick move to restore the lead.

Jack Rodwell fed Leighton Baines down the left, and the full-back found Saha with a perfect ball into the area which was turned in at the near post with a first-time shot.

Then Blackpool turned the game on its head with two goals in the space of three minutes.

The second equaliser came in the 61st minute, when former Everton striker James Beattie cut inside to cross for Puncheon to sidefoot home his first goal for the club.

Before Everton had time to recover, Blackpool broke from deep to set up DJ Campbell on the edge of the area.

Campbell's shot was tipped onto the bar by Tim Howard, but Adam followed up to dive forward and head home the rebound.

Everton levelled 14 minutes from time when Saha completed his hat-trick from a corner when he headed home from close range after a Sylvain Distin flick-on.

Substitute Beckford put Everton ahead in the 80th minute when he raced onto another superb Baines cross and hit a fine left-foot volley past Rachubka.

And in the 84th minute Saha beat Adam on a race to goal and slid in his fourth to put the result beyond doubt at last.

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