|Saturday 30th August 2003
Goodison Park, Liverpool
EVERTON 0-3 LIVERPOOL
|After this game: Pos 9th Pl 4 Pts 5|
|MATCH REPORT - Everton 0-3 Liverpool|
Liverpool completed their fourth successive Merseyside derby win at Goodison Park to lift the intense pressure on Gerard Houllier.
Michael Owen netted twice, to add to his goals in the two previous Liverpool wins at Everton, with Harry Kewell scoring his first for his new club.
Houllier, who has never lost a derby at Everton, has at last seen his side win a league game this term and end the embarrassment of not scoring a goal from open play.
But for all Everton's bravery, effort and a string of clear chances - most falling to Wayne Rooney - Liverpool out-played and out thought them.
Everton lost 'keeper Richard Wright before the game with a knee injury, Steve Simonsen stepping in.
But the surprise was that Houllier stuck with the same attack-minded side that were unable to break down Tottenham in midweek.
The game started as you would expect from such a showdown. A 90 second booking, the offender being Gary Naysmith for sending El-Hadji Diouf flying.
The pace of Everton's front men, expected to really bother Liverpool, was immediately obvious.
Rooney almost got a telling contact with a low Alessandro Pistone cross to the near post, and then Tomasz Radzinski was too hurried from a good position with a shot that strayed wide.
The Everton hounding continued when Rooney's neat touch sent Radzinski racing down the right to cut into the box and fire a shot just wide of the far post.
Liverpool had looked shaky and indecisive trying to contain Everton's attacks, but they finally broke out with Kewell missing two chances to put them ahead.
First, Kewell saw a 12 yard drive charged down by Steve Watson. The ball was swiftly lifted back into the box, turned on by Sami Hyypia and then hammered over the bar by Kewell.
Two minutes later Radzinski must have thought he was clear. He raced into the box, but was caught by Igor Biscan, who produced an outstanding saving tackle on the Canadian.
Then Everton had their best chance so far when Steve Finnan's misplaced pass fell to Naysmith, who drilled a 20 yard that Jerzy Dudek saved to his right.
Steve Watson was booked for a foul on Diouf on 33 minutes, a long succession of Everton fouls penalised by Mike Riley.
But Liverpool slowly got a grip on their game and on 38 minutes, after a good spell of control and possession, they took the lead - their first goal from open play this term - when Kewell's ball exposed Everton at the heart of their defence and Michael Owen was in the clip his shot home off a post.
Two minutes later Rooney jinked from midfield, found Watson and took his return to force Dudek into a fine block.
Owen and Kewell forced fine saves from Simonsen as Liverpool finished the half on top.
Everton changed things at the break, Gravesen coming on to add drive to the midfield with Naysmith dropping back to replaced David Unsworth.
And Dudek was required to make fine saves from a 25 yarder from Mark Pembridge and a close range Rooney header.
But Liverpool, and in particular Kewell, were growing in confidence.
The Aussie forced Simonsen into a fine save, managed to get himself booked and then helped set up Liverpool's second on 52 minutes.
Kewell's 60 yard pass down the left was chased by Baros who held of Joseph Yobo and moved into the box to lay the ball back for Owen to drill home his second.
Rooney should have scored when put away on the right, but his shot missed the far post.
Owen forced Simonsen into a plunging save before Rooney wasted another chance, heading wide from Tobias Linderoth's cross.
Duncan Ferguson came on for Linderoth while Emile Heskey and Danny Murphy took over from Baros and Vladimir Smicer.
Ferguson lashed a 25 yard free kick against the bar, but Liverpool finished things off on 79 minutes.
Simonsen rushed out of his box on the left, did not get the ball and Owen drilled it across the area for Kewell, arriving from the left, to fire home his first goal for the club.
All that was left was for Rooney, who had been asking for it all afternoon, to get booked for dissent, which summed up Everton's frustrating day.
Everton: Simonsen, Pistone, Yobo, Stubbs, Unsworth, Watson, Linderoth, Pembridge, Naysmith, Radzinski, Rooney. Subs: Weir, Ferguson, Gravesen, Chadwick, Turner.
Liverpool: Dudek, Finnan, Biscan, Hyypia, Carragher, Gerrard, Diouf, Smicer, Kewell, Baros, Owen. Subs: Heskey, Murphy, Diao, Riise, Kirkland.
Referee: M Riley (W Yorkshire)
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Sport 'Liverpool romp to Victory'
|Match Report filed: 30th August 2003|