Liverpool 3-0 Everton – Gerrard’s Masterclass

By Jonathan Carroll

Heading into Tuesdays Merseyside derby at Anfield, Everton were showing signs of being a tough to beat team who now possessed a new-found threat up top through new signing Nikica Jelavic. Liverpool having struggled all season to finish off teams in games where they had dominated were seen as “there for the taking” by the blue half of Liverpool. In step Steven Gerrard.

Little question remains as to where Gerrard stands in the top ten of Liverpool’s best players. Undoubtedly number one given his influence in games of high importance, examples that spring to mind include Olympiakos in the Champions League, West Ham in the FA Cup and AC Milan on that infamous night in Istanbul. Whereas this latest derby didn’t hold as much importance given what was at stake, a defeat here and Liverpool would have found themselves on a four game losing streak.

Dalglish dropped Charlie Adam, favoring Stewart Downing, Jay Spearing, Jordan Henderson and the afore-mentioned Gerrard across the middle. Luis Suarez partnered Andy Carroll up top. At the back Jamie Carragher replaced Sebastian Coates beside Martin Skrtel and Martin Kelly and Jose Enrique occupied the outside back positions. Liverpool showed promising signs early on with Carroll and Suarez linking up well. Steven Pienaar blazed over after good work by Leighton Baines at the Kop end. Everton for the most part offered little in the final third. Not a surprising statement given that David Moyes left Jelavic, Tim Cahill and Royston Drenthe on the bench. Preferring instead to pack the midfield and hit on the counter.

Gerrard’s masterclass began in the first half with a delightful left footed chip after Tim Howard had saved well from Martin Kelly. The much maligned Henderson played a good ball for Suarez to take on Distin in the buildup for the second. Suarez got to the six yard box at which point the captain took over and smashed home into the roof of the net. The hat-trick came in injury time after exchanging passes with Suarez and Gerrard once again finished emphatically.

Job done for Kenny Dalglish. Slide halted and now on to the FA Cup on Sunday versus Stoke City at Anfield. Liverpool do not have the hardest run in to end the league season with only Chelsea at home of note out of the top teams struggling for fourth position. A perfect finish to the season is needed to have even a chance to finish the season in the top four. Many questions remain over this current Liverpool team though and another cup triumph would simply paper over the fault-lines that exist.

Liverpool

  • 25 Reina – 7
  • 03 Jose Enrique – 7 (Booked)
  • 23 Carragher – 7
  • 34 Kelly – 8
  • 37 Skrtel – 7
  • 08 Gerrard – 9
  • 14 Henderson – 6 (Kuyt – 72′ )
  • 19 Downing – 6
  • 20 Spearing – 8
  • 07 Suarez – 7
  • 09 Carroll – 7

Substitutes

  • 32 Doni
  • 16 Coates
  • 38 Flanagan
  • 11 Maxi
  • 26 Adam
  • 33 Shelvey
  • 18 Kuyt

Everton

  • 24 Howard
  • 02 Hibbert (Booked)
  • 03 Baines (Booked)
  • 06 Jagielka
  • 15 Distin
  • 23 Coleman (Drenthe – 61′ Booked )
  • 22 Pienaar (Booked)
  • 25 Fellaini
  • 26 Rodwell
  • 11 Stracqualursi (Osman – 61′ )
  • 28 Anichebe (Jelavic – 61′ )

Substitutes

  • 01 Mucha
  • 05 Heitinga
  • 18 Neville
  • 10 Drenthe
  • 17 Cahill
  • 21 Osman
  • 07 Jelavic
Referee:  Phil Dowd
Attendance: 44,921
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One thought on “Liverpool 3-0 Everton – Gerrard’s Masterclass

  1. Pingback: Liverpool heads to London for must-win against QPR | The Red Letter

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