OBY’s dugout: Liverpool 1-1 Everton.
Well well well, derby day arrives and Merseyside divides. Red Vs Blue, Anfield Vs Goodison, Kopites Vs Toffees. Yes it only comes twice a season, but we will be lucky and get 3 this season. What a day derby day is. It divides friends, families and communities alike.
So then, the teams. A very attacking side fielded by Rafa, playing both Keane and Torres upfront is a move we haven’t seen much of this season, but I personally am glad when we do. Only moaning point about the team this week was the lack of Mascherano. I would have liked to have seen him on the bench rather then Lucas but otherwise a great team.
The first half was a typical Merseyside derby. Tackles flying in and end to end play. A very entertaining first half in which I feel was 50/50 between the two Merseyside clubs. Two great chances went to Everton; the very aerodynamic Tim Cahill saw his header saved by Reina who pulled off two spectacular saves to deny the blue half of Merseyside. The best opportunity however went to Liverpool. Sami Hyypia with an uncharacteristic yet impressive long ball down field which Fernando Torres latched onto and completely outpaced the Everton defence. Unfortunately for all red hearts watching the ball struck the post and went out for a goal kick. In my opinion El Nino should have taken the shot earlier than he did but it is also conceivable to why he waited.
The final part of the first half worthy of recognition is when El Nino took on several Everton players and got all the way to the edge of their box, unfortunately the move lead to nothing as the shot eventually went wide.
So to the second half and unfortunately a fairly subdued crowd inside Anfield therefore losing a bit of the great atmosphere established in the first half. First then, the goals and what a strike from Gerrard to put Liverpool ahead. As the Everton defence withdrew from the Liverpool skipper he fired a hell of a rocket which stormed past Tim Howard.
As for Everton’s equaliser, Kopites can claim that Lescott obstructed Carragher, and as much as that statement is true, if you consider the set piece from a purely tactical point of view, I feel that the zonal marking system Liverpool employ allowed Cahill the opportunity to be left alone in the 6 yard box. Firstly Skrtel was in his zone alone, just one body that could have prevented the goal, however, restricted to his zone the only man who could get to Cahill was Carragher and he was blocked by Lescott.
In conclusion, it was a fairly eventful match; personally I felt the ref was far to keen to use his whistle but otherwise had a good game.