Moyes has met Boro sixteen times in his managerial career, although the last of those was seven and a half years ago. Of those sixteen games, Moyes has won eight, drawn five and lost three, averaging 1.81 points per game.
Games between Moyes’ Everton and Middlesbrough have not been high scoring affairs. In those sixteen games, Everton scored only seventeen goals. On the other hand, Boro were only able to score ten times against a Moyes led Everton side which recorded seven clean sheets in their meetings.
Moyes’ first win against Boro came in his very first encounter with the Smoggies – a 2-1 win in September 2002. Everton had won only one of their first five games and were sat in 17th, while Boro had lost just one of their first five. The victory was the catalyst for a change in Everton’s fortunes, winning seven of their next ten league games to climb to 5th in the table, ultimately finishing in 7th.
His first loss against Boro came a year later, losing 1-0 at the Riverside. Everton, who were in 16th at the time, finished a wretched season one place lower, while 19th placed Boro went on to enjoy a successful campaign, finishing 11th and winning the League Cup with a 2-1 win over Bolton.
Highlight: FA Cup: Everton 2:1 Middlesbrough (8/3/2009)
Without an FA Cup semi-final appearance since they won the trophy in 1995, Everton headed into their home quarter-final against Middlesbrough knowing that they had a great chance to break the streak. Everton were riding high in 6th place in the Premier League, chasing a spot in Europe. Boro, on the other hand, were languishing in 19th, having scored just 20 goals in 28 games – the lowest in all of England’s top four leagues.
Against the form-book though, Boro took the lead through David Wheater, who rose highest to head past Tim Howard. Moyes acted at half time, introducing Louis Saha in place of Jack Rodwell, and the change was an inspired one. Marouane Fellaini headed the Toffees level five minutes after the break before Saha nodded past Brad Jones to send Everton to a Wembley semi-final against Manchester United.
Lowlight: Premier League: Middlesbrough 2:1 Everton (14/10/2006)
Everton had opened the season with a seven game unbeaten run, sitting in 5th place on 13 points. Boro had started the season slowly, winning only one of their first seven games. Despite dominating possession, Everton’s lack of penetration came back to haunt them when Yakubu opened the scoring from the penalty spot 30 minutes in – the Nigerian having been brought down by Tim Howard.
After penalty appeals of their own were waved away by Mark Halsey, Everton conceded a second of the afternoon after Joleon Lescott was judged to have handled in the box. This time however, Yakubu was unable to beat Howard. Despite the setback, Mark Viduka extended Boro’s lead in the 71st minute. Tim Cahill pulled one back for Moyes’ men with just over ten minutes to go, but Everton were unable to avoid their first defeat of the season, even with eight minutes of time added on.
Last Five (4 wins, 1 draw)
FA Cup: Everton 2-1 Middlesbrough (8/3/2009)
Premier League: Middlesbrough 0-1 Everton (26/12/2008)
Premier League: Everton 1-1 Middlesbrough (16/11/2008)
Premier League: Middlesbrough 0-2 Everton (1/1/2008)
Premier League: Everton 2-0 Middlesbrough (30/9/2007)