Thursday, 20 January 2011

Gone, but not forgotten. Steven Pienaar’s finest moments in an Everton shirt

Steven Pienaar was only an Everton player for three-and-a-half years, but his legacy at the club is telling. Despite failure to win any silverwear, he was integral in taking Everton to the next level; from low-lying underachievers to a club that enjoyed European football in each of the three full seasons he spent on Merseyside. Here is a look back at some of the little magician's finer moments in royal blue.

v Arsenal

Without question the South African’s finest moment in an Everton jersey. Pickling up the ball on the halfway line, he continues unaposed before delightfully clipping the ball over the onrushing Manuel Almunia.

v Aston Villa

A wonderful curled effort from 25 yards to put Everton 3-1 up in yet another Villa-Everton epic (0:26).

v Man City

Pienaar curls in a delightful freekick (1:16) to set Everton on their way to a 2-0 triumph.

v AEK Athens

Picking up the ball 30 yards out, there is only one thing in Pienaar’s mind as he drives towards goal before rifling an unstoppable drive into the corner (0:42).

v Sporting Lisbon

A neat finish into the top corner after Tim Cahill’s audacious back-heel.

v Man Utd

In a game that will forever be remembered for the two goals Everton scored in stoppage time to level at 3-3, you could be forgiven for forgetting Pienaar put the Toffees 1-0 up in the first half. This tap in sent Goodison wild (thanks to the Gremlins at the Premier League, I can't use the footage yet).

Edwin van der Sar: "Oooaaah" Pienaar: "That's the way, aha aha"

v Middlesborough

Pienaar tenaciously wins the ball back, starting and finishing a move that resulted in his first Everton goal (1:22).

v Burnley

A goal made in Africa: Yakubu’s Ronaldinho-esque pass finds Pienaar who drives into the area before curling a left-footed effort past the Beast in the Burnley goal (2:10).

v Tottenham

Is this the reason Harry signed him up? In November 2008, Pienaar struck the decisive goal as Everton triumphed 1-0 at White Hart Lane. Found by the quick-thinking Mikel Arteta, his deflected effort dumfounded a helpless Heurelho Gomes (2:10).

v AS Larissa

Ok, so he doesn’t score this one, but Pienaar’s Cruyff-esque pass into the path of Leon Osman is poetry in motion.

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