Result: Everton 0 Liverpool 2

Premier League, September 27th 2008, Result

Everton 0 Liverpool 2 (Torres 59, 62)

Liverpool moved to the top of the table again, even if only for a couple of hours, by taking control of the latest Merseyside derby and ending it as deserved winners.

Fernando Torres ended a short spell without a goal by getting his name on the score-sheet twice – and thought he had a hat-trick until referee Mike Riley pointed out he’d just blown for a foul by Kuyt.

His strike partner Robbie Keane still hasn’t opened his account for the Reds – but if he plays like he did today, in particular in the move for the opening goal, Rafa won’t have any issues with him at all. Just short of the hour mark Torres had got himself unmarked, in the box, and Keane’s vision and delivery were perfect. Torres made no mistake; Liverpool were ahead.

Just three minutes later Dirk Kuyt was causing Everton trouble, until Phil Jagielka put in what he must have thought was an important tackle, stopping Kuyt in his tracks. It would have been important, had Torres not been on hand to pick up the loose ball, smashing it into the roof of the net from just yards out.

His third “goal” came just two minutes later, and Riley’s decision to rule it out might have been controversial, had it not got to the point where the result was already looking academic. After the game Torres was asked if he was disappointed to see it ruled out – he wasn’t disappointed at all, he was delighted to score, but above all else delighted for Liverpool’s three points. And he was also thinking about the next match already: “It has been a difficult start for me this season after a busy summer. Six games is too many times for a Liverpool striker. Now I want to keep going in the Champions League, scoring almost every game like last season and maybe improving on the 33 I managed then.”

Before his goals he’d been clearly growing more and more frustrated, particularly at the bruising treatment he once again found himself getting from opposition defenders. In the end his frustration grew to the point where he got himself booked, and it seemed like it wasn’t going to be his day. It was.

It certainly wasn’t Everton’s day, and that applied in particular to Tim Cahill. The game was already over in terms of Everton getting anything out of it, when the Australian went in studs-showing on Xabi Alonso – who had continued with the great form he’s shown this season. Everton may grumble that it wasn’t a red card offence, but perhaps he was punished more for intent than the actual outcome of his lunge.

It was no surprise to see the familiar site of Everton boss David Moyes grumbling about the referee after the match: “It was not the worst foul of the day and I felt it was only a yellow,” he said. “We will be asking the referee to have a look at the decision and hope he will rescind the card.”

But Liverpool’s boss Rafa Benítez said Alonso viewed it differently, the suggestion being Cahill might have caused him some damage had he connected:”As for the red card, Xabi told me it could have been a lot worse,” he said. “He felt it was justified.”

Everton may have felt pre-match they had something of an advantage, with Liverpool missing Argentinean midfielder Javier Mascherano through injury, and Everton’s Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta fit to play following a virus, but it didn’t turn out that way. Their record signing, Marouane Fellaini, got himself booked after only nine minutes, and perhaps came closest to scoring a goal for Everton when he had a shot blocked on the line by Jamie Carragher – but Riley had already blown by then for Fellaini’s foul on Reina. Arteta had been waving an imaginary yellow card at Riley during the game, and eventually got his wish when his compatriot Alonso was booked for blocking his run.

The most needless yellow card went to Yakubu, who was booked after deciding to try his luck at diving rather than shooting, embarrassingly throwing himself to the ground after Skrtel had decided not to risk a tackle in the box.

After the match Rafa Benitez said of the Torres brace: “It was important for him and also for us; to score two goals in a derby is a massive boost.” And told Torres had spoken of getting 33 goals again: “I would settle for 32 from him! If he does that I will be happy.”

He felt they’d deserved the win: “From the start of the game we were passing and were well organized. We are playing with confidence and controlled the game.We didn’t change anything at half-time. We just wanted to keep playing and we knew we would score. We are top, probably for only a while, but we want to make sure we are at the top for a long time.”

League table 27-09-08Chelsea went above Liverpool later in the day, on goal difference, after beating Stoke 2-0, but Arsenal missed their chance to take top spot back with an unexpected defeat at home to Hull.

Everton: 24 Tim Howard, 2 Tony Hibbert (Saha 63), 4 Joseph Yobo, 6 Phil Jagielka, 5 Joleon Lescott, 10 Mikel Arteta, 18 Phil Neville, 25 Marouane Fellaini, 21 Leon Osman, 17 Tim Cahill, 22 Ayegbeni Yakubu
Subs: 1 Carlo Nash, 3 Leighton Baines, 8 Segundo Castillo, 9 Louis Saha (63), 14 James Vaughan, 19 Jorge Nuno Valente, 26 Jack Rodwell
Booked: Fellaini 9, Yakubu 48, Neville 64
Sent off: Cahill 80

Liverpool: 25 Jose Reina, 17 Alvaro Arbeloa, 23 Jamie Carragher, 37 Martin Skrtel, 2 Andrea Dossena, 18 Dirk Kuyt, 14 Xabi Alonso (Lucas 86), 8 Steven Gerrard, 11 Albert Riera (Aurelio 67), 9 Fernando Torres, 7 Robbie Keane (Pennant 86)
Subs: 1 Diego Cavalieri, 4 Sami Hyypia, 5 Daniel Agger, 12 Fabio Aurelio (67), 16 Jermaine Pennant (86), 19 Ryan Babel, 21 Leiva Lucas (86)
Booked: Alonso 39, Torres 50, Arbeloa 77

Stats: (Everton – Liverpool)
Possession: 46% – 54%
Shots On: 2 – 6
Shots Off: 2 – 5
Fouls: 17 – 20
Corners: 7 – 4

8 thoughts on “Result: Everton 0 Liverpool 2”

  1. Made my week. Thank you redmen.

    A decent result against PSV and Manchester City will see us as real contenders for both competitions.

    The Premiership……BELIEVE.

  2. Fantastic!! We are starting to dominate teams, home and away. Thought Gerrard and Alonso done a great job in the middle. They kept the ball moving and controlled the tempo of the game. A bit more service from the wings and we could be the real deal. Expect to see Mascherano, Babel, Benayoun, Agger and Aurellio against PSV. The squad looks very strong and we seem to be replacing quality with quality. Three points on Wednesday, would set us up nicely in the group.

  3. Great result against PSV Eindhoven and not a bad performance either.

    I know Stevie G and Keano have grabbed the headlines but both Torres and especially Kuyt were outstanding.

    Kuyt, for all is critics – and yes a lack of premership goals – , scored the first and was absolutely instrumental in the 2nd goal. His run/dribble to release Torres was fantastic. I loved that he stayed on the pitch after the game to applaud both sets of fans after the game. I hope Kuyt finally starts getting the credit he deserves beyond being just a work-horse – which probably won’t happen until we/he’s won the PL for some.

    One thing that does worry me is the position of Agger. I don’t like the rumours about him trying or positioning to leave. The Club stood by him through his injury and Rafa was clear that his absence cost us points last year. This will not buy a players loyalty but it should at least tell him that he’s instrumental to our plans. All – and it’s easy for me to say – he has to do is be patient as one or both defenders will fall victim to injury/form and then he’ll get the games to establish himself again – like he did against Crewe (but not quite so convincingly against Standard Liege).

    Oh – one other thing – I’m loving Alonso’s form at the moment. It seems Rafa’s psychological games has worked :-)

    We’ve now got so much flexibility in the squad that we can play 4-4-2, 4-3-3 and 4-5-1 whenever Rafa chooses. I just hope we don’t start berrating Kuyt (too much) should we start experiencing a little difficulty.

    PS It’s great not focussing on the ownership issue. But it’s still the elephant in the room. Fingers-crossed it gets dealt with – and soon.

  4. “But it’s still the elephant in the room. Fingers-crossed it gets dealt with – and soon”

    I wish, but I think this story has some way to run. The good news is that I think this is the best squad Liverpool has had for a good many years.

    Why no report from Jim on the PSV game ? Could it be that his heart’s not in it anymore ? Could this be anything to do with Thomas O Hicks ??

  5. midlands,
    I’ve always been a fan of Kuyt, and I hate the patronising ‘workhorse’ thing like you do, cos I think he has a real intelligence in his game.

    I have no worries about Agger though cos, as I’ve said many times before, I think he’s going to captain us one day. It’s a nice problem for Rafa to have. It’s a long season and his chance will come. Currently it just makes no sense to change things. Once again my respect goes to Sami Hyypia for his patience. At this rate he could turn out to be my favourite player of all time.

    One point I’d like to make is that, Evertons result against Standard Liege puts our result against them in perspective.

    My worry is that unless expectations are managed, the title momentum could peak way too early. We’ve had a good start, but there’s plenty of ups and downs to come!

  6. Here, here Edward and Jofrad.

    All this talk about title this and title that is complete loss. One loss/draw or two puts us right back in the pack again.

    Yes, it’s our best start for many seasons but that means nothing unless the gap between us and the rest is huge – and that can only happen if our run is sustained and long ie in May 2009!

    On Everton/Standard Liege and us – I accept the point you raise (as i was thinking the same as I watched last night). Luckily for Everton, Fellani (?) is with them now as SL would have seriously turned them over. Would be interesting for us to play SL now that we appear to be hitting a good vein of form.

    If our run is not long and sustained – or god-forbid Stevie G or Torress get injured – then for sure we’ll be returning to the ownership issue with some gusto.

    I have to be honest and say for a fleeting moment I wondered whether Jim was not posting due to the ownership issue BUT within moments I thought better of it. If it were true, Jim has never bottled having that discussion with us over the ‘net. So why would he now?! Hicks will believe he still has arguable lines/arguments and (if Jim were his ‘net messenger) would want his PR machine to test them out.

    Man City on Sunday will be an interesting game. Us against the money that we hoped to have ourselves. Us against Robinho costing £30m +, the kinda money Hicks and Gillett promised we could spend on Snoogy Doogy if Rafa wanted to. I look forward to Jim one day answering my burning question: of the money the club spent this summer on transfers, how much of that transfer budget actually came from H&G and how much came from Rafa’s dealings in the transfer market and success in EPL and Champions league?

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