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Thursday 14 March 2013

On this day: Moyes makes a winning start

In series on Premier League's history, we look at the new manager's opening win at Everton

  • David Moyes is welcomed by the Goodison Park crowd before kick-off

  • Moyes instructs Alan Stubbs during the pre-match warm-up

  • David Unsworth gives Everton the perfect start with a goal after 30 seconds

  • Everton's Scot Gemmill and Fulham's Louis Saha battle for the ball rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

On this day: 16 March 2002: Everton 2-1 Fulham

It was the perfect start to a long and successful reign as David Moyes celebrated his first match in charge with a dramatic victory over Fulham.

The former Preston North End manager was appointed as Walter Smith's replacement less than 48 hours before kick-off and with only nine matches remaining and the club separated from the relegation zone on goal difference, Moyes knew he had to hit the ground running.

And that's exactly what his side did, with defender David Unsworth giving Everton the lead after only 30 seconds who fired home with his left foot.

The home crowd, who had given Moyes a rapturous welcome before the start of the match, were then sent into delirium when skipper Duncan Ferguson had a simple finish when Fulham goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar produced a weak clearance.

It was not all plain sailing, however, as Everton had to play most of the match with 10 men after Thomas Gravesen was dismissed for picking up a second yellow card.

Fulham piled on the pressure in the second half and Steed Malbranque pulled a goal back seven minutes after the break set up a grandstand finish.

The visitors hit the bar late on, striker Louis Saha heading against the woodwork, but it was not to be as Moyes's Everton career got off to the perfect start.

Everton recorded three wins from Moyes’s first four matches in charge and went on to finish in 14th place, seven points above the drop  zone.

Eleven years later, Moyes is still plying his trade at Goodison Park and has become the third longest serving manager in the Barclays Premier League, behind Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsenal's Arsene Wenger.

Moyes has turned the Toffees into perennial top-10 finishers in the League and since 2006, they have not finished outside the top eight.

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Key Points

  • looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A piece of action from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember David Moyes's first match at Everton