Liverpool’s strike force of Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez both grabbed a goal to ensure the reds left Goodison Park in far better mood than last years dismal effort.
On one of the hottest October days Merseyside has ever seen, the game was the early Saturday kick off and the temperature inside the ground suggested it would live up to the classic guts and all derby.
Both teams started fairly positively though – the reds went close with Luis Suarez before Tim Cahill forced Reina to tip over the crossbar at the other end.
In the 23rd minute, one of Everton’s few decent players left at the club – Jack Rodwell was shown an unjust red card. The player initially went in to the challenge sliding with two feet, but did bring his feet back in before the challenge, and won the ball, before sliding in to Luis Suarez.
Some Evertonian’s would have you believe that Suarez play acted to earn the red card, but replays show that the referee went straight for the red card – the incident taking place right under his nose. When I watched the incident live I initially thought it was a red card, but with the benefit of slowed down TV replays it was obvious that Rodwell was given a harsh red card.
Liverpool had Steven Gerrard sent off in the 18th minute of the 2006 Merseyside derby, but still went on to pummel the blues 3-1.
This time, Everton did not have the ability or determination to make a game of it and as time passed by the reds dominated more and more. Liverpool’s main problem was with the final ball, plenty of possession but Downing’s crosses or Kuyt’s through balls were not finding their target.
Even after the injustice of Everton’s red card, it didn’t seem to have any effect on Everton’s tackling. Cahill went high on Adam’s knee, Fellaini went in for Lucas, and Tony Hibbert’s tackle – the worst of the game on Charlie Adam – didn’t even count as a foul. Inconsistent refereeing.
Luis Suarez turn fooled Phil Jagielka at the end of the first half but Dirk Kuyt’s penalty lacked any power and Tim Howard stretched well to save. Then Charlie Adam should have added his name to the list of Scots to score for the reds in Merseyside derbies – his thunderbolt smashing against the crossbar.
The reds wore Everton down in the second half, and when Gerrard and Bellamy are options to come off the bench for the reds it wasn’t long before some Bellamy and Enrique trickery down the left found Carroll to smash in the reds opener.
In the final ten minutes, some calamitous defending saw Distin give Luis Suarez the ball back at the edge of the 6 yard box. Foolish from any footballer. The Uruguayan scores his fourth of the season.
There were ugly scenes towards the end of the game. Bottles were thrown as LFC scored both goals, and at Craig Bellamy during a corner. Luis Suarez also was the target of coins being thrown from the Gwladys Street end.
Liverpool continue their bright points haul to the season, while Everton have done themselves no favours as the club tries to find a new buyer.