Everton inflicted more damage on Liverpool by winning the Merseyside derby 2-0 to move clear of their city rivals and leave Roy Hodgson’s team in the relegation zone, dampening the enthusiasm surrounding the club’s long-awaited takeover.
Tim Cahill scored the opening goal after good work from Seamus Coleman down the right wing, the Australian finding himself free in the area, as he does so often, to slam a volley past Pepe Reina.
Just five minutes into the second half Everton extended their lead through Mikel Arteta, who struck a shot from the edge of the area after Liverpool failed to properly clear a corner.
Everton had not beaten the Reds in the league since 2006 – a run of seven games – but thoroughly deserved their victory, only the fourth David Moyes has recorded over Liverpool since taking charge of the Blues.
They pressed high up the pitch to upset the visitors and outmuscled Liverpool in midfield, despite being without key players due to injury. Cahill was excellent in midfield, Yakubu a nuisance in attack and Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka marshalled the Blues defence admirably.
After the game Hodgson said he felt it was Liverpool’s best performance
since he took over as manager, but few fans would agree given the lack
of chances his side created against a resolute Everton defence.
Fernando Torres had a chance late in the game but his finish lacked
conviction and it was the home side who seemed most likely to score
again, substitute Jermaine Beckford and Yakubu – a thorn in Liverpool’s
defence throughout the game – both missing chances to increase the
Steven Gerrard was one of the few players who could hold his head up
high, having tried his best to create for Liverpool but the side struggled
for width and Torres again offered little up front. The Spanish striker
cuts an isolated figure these days, so different to the all-action,
effervescent forward fans previously idolised.
A second consecutive win meant Everton moved up to 11th and clear of trouble but Liverpool remain firmly in the relegation zone on 19th, only remaining off the foot of the table through goal difference.
The Blues can now look to progress with renewed confidence, while Hodgson’s team need to find a performance quickly as pressure grows on the manager after Liverpool's worst start to the season for nearly 60 years.
By Chris Shaw
JMU Journalism Sport
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Tim Cahill got the opener for Everton, leaving Reds boss Roy Hodgson in deep trouble Pics © Trinity Mirror
Pic © Trinity Mirror