Liverpool 3-0 Everton 13th March 2012
Steven Gerrard scored a hat-trick in a 3-0 Merseyside derby victory over Everton at Anfield. Gerrard was making his 400th Premier League appearance for Liverpool and at times he was unstoppable. It leaves Liverpool fans wondering if they could have turned those draws into wins, had Gerrard not been injured for large periods of the season. The win ended Liverpool’s 3 match losing run.
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Everton on the other hand were in much better form and had been hoping to celebrate David Moyes’ 10 year anniversary as manager with victory. Everton had not won at Anfield during Moyes’ Everton tenure, their last victory at Anfield was in 1999. Everton have beaten Liverpool just 3 times in the EPL under David Moyes. The red half of Merseyside are celebrating another League double over their rivals – their 3rd in 5 seasons. You have to go back over 20 years to find the last time Everton did the double over Liverpool.
David Moyes looked to have one eye on this weekend’s FA Cup quarter-final against Sunderland – as he made six changes to his starting line-up from the team which beat Tottenham at Goodison at the weekend. It was Liverpool who started the brightest, in a frantic first half an hour of the match.
Interplay between Jose Enrique and Luis Suarez put Gerrard through, only for Tim Howard to dive low into the bottom corner to parry it, Jack Rodwell blocked Jordan Henderson’s follow-up shot.
It was Everton’s turn next, Steven Pienaar wasted a good opportunity – firing over after Leighton Baines made a good run past Martin Kelly and Henderson. It was a rare attack from Everton as Liverpool controlled the game – especially in the first half. Suarez had a decent shot saved by Howard after a good flick-on by Carroll, who himself earlier had a weaker header saved.
The first goal was scored in the 34th minute when Kelly was put through by Luis Suarez only for Tim Howard to parry his shot, Distin then tried to clear the rebound but it fell to Gerrard who chipped it into the net with his left foot to send Anfield wild.
Gerrard will get the accolades for his goals but Luis Suarez had a hand in all 3 of them, Martin Kelly had an excellent game at right back with some excellent forward runs into the box – he had one shot saved (which led to the opener for Liverpool), another shot went just past the post and he was inches away from connecting with a Downing cross to score himself. Jay Spearing kept things simple in the centre of midfield.
Tim Howard at times kept Everton in it with several excellent saves, Steven Pienaar was the other stand-out player for Everton.