Everton manager David Moyes could not hide his delight after ending AZ Alkmaar's proud unbeaten home record in European competition stretching back over 32 games.
James Vaughan came off the bench to score the winner with eleven minutes remaining and the victory meant Everton finished the UEFA Cup group stage with four wins from four games along with FC Girondins de Bordeaux. And after seeing his team extend their unbeaten run to 13 games in all competitions, Moyes said: "I am really pleased to come here and get a positive result.
"I did not tell the players about AZ's record. They didn't need to hear it. But they were very pleased after the game to find out what they had achieved in difficult circumstances. It was very cold out there and a number of players were cramping up. While I was disappointed that we gave away a couple of cheap goals, we have to look on the positive side."
Although Everton had already qualified as Group A winners, Moyes still felt it important to put out a strong side: "We gave a number of senior players a run-out which was important given the number of games we have coming up. They all did well and so did the youngsters like Vaughan and [Victor] Anichebe. We are all enjoying the experience and looking forward to the draw."
Moyes also gave a debut to 16-year-old defender Jack Rodwell, who became the youngest Everton player to appear in a European match when he replaced Thomas Gravesen with ten minutes remaining. "We give young players like Jack a chance at Everton," he said. "He has a bright future. Jack is just out of school but we think highly of him."
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