Gerrard (34), (51), (90)
A week of milestones on Merseyside which saw David Moyes ”celebrating” ten years with Everton however, it was Steven Gerrard’s night.
It goes without saying that it was apt that he should mark his 400th Premiership appearance for his home town club with a hat trick against local rivals in front of his own fans. The victory was comfortable and, as Merseyside Derbies go, it was a rather sedate affair but nonetheless a very, very satisfying for the captain all the same?
Even before he started tonight Gerrard’s influence hung over this game. His pre match call for a response to the poor game up at Sunderland, making it three defeats in a row, must have been ringing in the players ears. He must therefore, as team captain, be just as satisfied with the side’s reaction to this as much as his hat trick? Hopefully it is something we can take forward, into Sunday against Stoke in the Cup, and beyond?
Not surprisingly Kenny made some changes from Saturday. Gerrard, Suarez and Carroll made a rare start together, Adam, Bellamy and Kuyt dropped out. Jamie Carragher came in for Coates. After just six minutes we carved out an excellent chance only to miss it. Gerrard was fed by Suarez and, after skipping around an Everton defender as if he wasn’t there, his shot was saved by Howard only for Carroll and Henderson to miss out on the rebound. Everton replied when Pienaar wastefully blasted into The Kop after good work from Baines however soon after we were at it again with Howard beating out Suarez’s shot, after a knock on from Carroll.
After we had dominated the first twenty or so minutes Everton settled and came back into it more however we were more than comfortable in dealing with their advances into the final third. All in all therefore our goal was deserved. Suarez, via Gerrard’s deflection, found Kelly bombing down the right. Howard did well to save his shot however Gerrard coolly lofted the rebound over everyone into the net. A well taken goal it would have been easy to smack it and hope?
No doubt David Moyes thought that, at 1-0, his side were still in the game so he must have been a tad peeved that whatever he said at half time was quickly undermined by another Liverpool goal. Suarez produced a mazy run along the by line after picking up Henderson’s excellent through ball, his run was eventually ended by the on coming Gerrard who thumped it into the roof of the net in typical style.
Two nil up but not necessarily game over although we were threatening to overrun Everton. Suarez produced the same run on the other side but this time Carroll smacked it just wide. Downing then fed Kelly whose sliding attempt just failed to make the contact to produce a sure fire third.
Everton had a reasonable spell just after goal which, if they had scored, might have set up a nervous run in to the final whistle. However they couldn’t make it tell and we recovered to finish in the best way possible with Gerrard completing his hat trick after a break from his own half and an exchange of passes with Suarez.
It was apt way, as if anyone needed it, to remind everyone of just how valuable he has been to us over the years. What can you say? He is simply one this club’s modern greats.
Liverpool: Reina, Jose Enrique, Carragher, Kelly, Skrtel, Gerrard, Henderson (Kuyt 72), Downing, Spearing, Suarez, Carroll Substitutes: Doni, Coates, Flanagan, Maxi, Adam, Shelvey, Kuyt
Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Coleman (Drenthe – 61), Pienaar, Fellaini, Rodwell, Stracqualursi (Osman 61), Anichebe (Jelavic 61 ) Substitutes:Mucha, Heitinga, Neville, Drenthe, Cahill, Osman, Jelavic