Saturday 20th October 2007 (12:45pm) @ Goodison Park
Dirk Kuyt’s injury time penalty narrowly escaped the clutches of Tim Howard, to ensure that Liverpool won the 206th Merseyside derby, and got revenge on last years defeat at Goodison Park.
Lucas Leiva was all set to be the Liverpool hero until Phil Neville saved the ball on the goal-line. His resultant red card was a fitting punishment, but more important was that the penalty was converted.
To add an extra thrill to the occasion, Everton saw their cries for a penalty in the dying seconds of the game turned down. The Everton manager, bench, players and supporters were in uproar. Queue the final whistle – and the victory was made even more sweeter.
Liverpool should have had three points against Chelsea but a penalty decision took a victory away from us. While Everton’s claim did have some validity it was by no means clear cut, but to be fair if it had been the other way round, we would have been furious.
But it wasn’t – and we weren’t.
Match Report from BBC Sport
Benitez’s side started better and should have taken the lead in the fourth minute when Andriy Voronin shot straight at Everton keeper Tim Howard after Hibbert’s hesitation let in Yossi Benayoun.
Everton, however, quickly came to terms with Liverpool’s system and Lescott was a constant threat down the left flank.
John Arne Riise had a long-range free-kick deflected just wide, but Liverpool were in danger of losing their early momentum.
Victor Anichebe had two headers off target before Everton took the lead with a freak goal eight minutes before the interval.
Alan Stubbs retrieved a corner and crossed into the area, where Hyypia inexplicably lashed the ball past his own keeper Pepe Reina with his left foot.
Liverpool needed a break to get back into the game and they got it via a penalty and a red card for Everton’s Hibbert.
Gerrard led a Liverpool break with a surge into the area where he was hauled down by Hibbert.
Referee Clattenburg pointed the spot and sent Hibbert off before Kuyt sent Howard the wrong way from the spot for his first league goal of the season.
Liverpool then attempted to make their most of their numerical advantage, with Riise shooting wildly over when unmarked and then Voronin having a shot blocked by Howard from close range.
Yakubu, who had been having a quiet afternoon, almost restored Everton’s lead with a stunning 30-yard drive that whistled inched wide with Reina beaten.
Benitez then sprung a surprise with 20 minutes left, sending on Brazilian youngster Lucas for Gerrard – who looked stunned to be called off.
As the game went into injury-time, Liverpool grabbed a lifeline when Neville dived to palm away Lucas’ shot.
Kuyt scored, but Everton were enraged when Carragher fouled Lescott in front of referee Clattenburg, who waved away their appeals.
“People talk about a penalty they could have had. But last season we lost here 3-0, two of their goals were fouls and nobody complained then.
“I always feel that in England, players should not be rewarded with penalties for diving.
“I felt both penalty decisions were right. And I also agree with the yellow card for Kuyt and not a red.”
“Decisions happen, that’s football. But in the last seconds there’s the chance for it to be corrected and it would’ve been a result we deserved.
“We deserved that penalty and if the other penalties were more blatant than that, then I am in the wrong game.
“I seem to see football differently. If the ref doesn’t see that you ask why.”
Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Riise, Gerrard (Lucas 71), Mascherano, Sissoko (Pennant 88), Benayoun (Babel 68), Voronin, Kuyt.
Subs Not Used: Itandje, Crouch.
Booked: Kuyt, Carragher.
Goals: Kuyt 54 pen, 90 pen.
Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Yobo, Stubbs, Lescott, Arteta, Jagielka, Neville, Osman, Yakubu (McFadden 77), Anichebe (Baines 84).
Subs Not Used: Wessels, Pienaar, Carsley.
Sent Off: Hibbert (53), Neville (90).
Goals: Hyypia 38 og.
Ref: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).
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