FA Cup 4th Round
The second Merseyside derby in a week ended with exactly the same scoreline as the first, this time with the reds scoring the equaliser in a game that Liverpool, once again, should have won.
Everton scored from a set-piece in probably their only chance of the game, a game in which Liverpool dominated more than many games this season. The reds skipper combined well with Torres and scored his second derby goal within a week to ensure that a 211th Merseyside derby will be on the cards very shortly – with a Goodison replay up soon.
Rafa Benitez left out Robbie Keane from the entire squad, in the pre-match interview stating that Keane missed out because he couldn’t pick 19 players for his squad. It appears Keane paid for his poor performance in Monday night’s game, and the reds reverted to the line up with Gerrard supporting Torres.
Liverpool put in a far more impressive performance than on Monday night but despite constant posession couldn’t find a breakthrough. Tim Cahill once again was the scourge of Liverpool’s defence. When Everton managed to get in Liverpool’s half they won themselves a corner which Cahill headed, only for Lescott to get his head on it to send it in to the net.
The reds pressured for the rest of the half but Liverpool couldn’t quite punch a hole in a well organised Everton defence.
Second half, the reds were even more dominant and eventually a moment of brilliance from Torres and Gerrard unlocked Everton’s defence. Gerrard’s header found Torres, and Torres backflip unleashed Gerrard to fire in a shot from out wide that put the reds back in the game.
Liverpool continued to attack, Kuyt had a great chance to finish the tie, and Torres was also unlucky not to put the reds ahead. Even Dossena had a crack from distance to test Tim Howard.
As it was, the minutes ticked down and Everton’s defence hung on. Improved performance from the reds, but the killer punch is still missing. Liverpool will travel to Goodison for the replay, although all eyes will be on what team Benitez plays as the reds face a fixture pile-up.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Skrtel, Carragher, Dossena, Kuyt, Alonso, Mascherano, Babel (Riera 75), Gerrard, Torres.
Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Hyypia, Aurelio, Benayoun, Leiva Lucas, Ngog.
Booked: Alonso, Carragher.
Goals: Gerrard 54.
Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines, Anichebe (Gosling 71), Castillo (Rodwell 76), Neville, Osman, Pienaar, Cahill.
Subs Not Used: Nash, Yobo, Van der Meyde, Jacobsen, Jutkiewicz.
Booked: Cahill, Pienaar.
Goals: Lescott 27.
Ref: Steve Bennett (Kent).