10 man Liverpool put Everton to the sword to win the 213th Merseyside derby and ensure Everton’s wait for a victory at Anfield stretches to 11 years.
A pre-match interview with Alberto Aquilani highlighted the player’s continuing injury struggles, as he admitted he is still suffering with pain.
It was no surprise to see Lucas and Mascherano start in what was sure to be a ferocious Merseyside derby. Maxi Rodriguez took the left wing berth from Albert Riera, with Daniel Agger also returning to the line up – replacing Martin Skrtel who moved to the bench.
The first half was filled with fouls and little football, however both sides had chances to break the deadlock.
Steven Pienaar was exceptionally lucky to stay on the pitch after a disgraceful over the ball tackle on Mascherano.
Fellaini also appeared to aim a kick at Dirk Kuyt’s head after the player had been felled.
But in the 35th minute the reds were reduced to 10 men. Kyrgiakos and Fellaini had been battling all game and the reds greek defender went in for a tackle sliding with both feet. Fellaini jumped and appeared to stamp on Kyrgiakos in the challenge.
Kyrgiakos was sent off and went down the tunnel to receive some stitches in his leg. Fellaini was eventually replaced by Arteta before being given the all clear.
But with the reds down to ten men, they only looked stronger.
Many fans would have been concerned but Liverpool dominated the second half and the pressure told when the reds went 1-0 up.
Gerrard taking the corner in front of the rabid Evertonians fired in the cross, Kuyt beat both Tim Howard and Phil Neville to head the ball in to the net.
The reds continued to search for a second, and Babel was wrongly given offside when he was clear. It could have been the chance.
Everton struggled to muster any decent chance on target despite their one man advantage and eventually, in injury time, Steven Pienaar finally saw red when he got his second yellow card.
Liverpool now have 17 points out of the last 21. We have two exceptionally difficult games coming up at Arsenal and Man City both away, but the fight shown today with 10 men will ensure Liverpool fans maintain the Merseyside bragging rights for a while.
Dirk Kuyt, 1-0
Post Match Comments
“Derbies are all about passion, commitment and fight, and we’ve beaten a good Everton side here with 10 men, so we should be proud and enjoy this.
Our attitude prevailed, we stuck together and then took our chance when it came. I don’t think the challenges crossed the line – we’re not complaining and I don’t think Everton will either. Like I say, this is what derbies are about.”