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March 13, 2012
• Anfield, Liverpool
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 44921
S. Gerrard 34', 51', 90'+
So the gap on Merseyside is still in Liverpool's favour as they go five points clear of Moyes' men ruining his 10th year anniversary. The plaudits go to Carroll, Suarez and of course Gerrard after sterling displays. Cheers for joining us and goodbye!
90' + 5'
FULL-TIME!! And there goes the whistle! A perfect 400th Liverpool appearance for Gerrard as he takes home the match ball, his wonderful hat-trick seeing off the Red's bitter rivals Everton and stopping Dalglish's men from losing a fourth league game in a row.
90' + 3'
Assist Luis Suárez
90' + 3'
Goal Steven Gerrard
GGGOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLL!!!! HAT-TRICK FOR GERRARD!! 3-0!! A lot of credit has to go to Suarez who receives the ball from the captain before taking it on and then cutting it back to the England international who finishes off another flowing move.
90' + 2'
Yellow Card José Enrique
90' + 2'
Four minutes of added time by the way, we've had two.
90' + 1'
Yellow Card Tony Hibbert
90' + 1'
Bit of a goal-mouth scramble involving Fellaini and a few others,, it falls to Rodwell on the edge but his miss-fires and it goes way over.
The visitors push forward again but the Liverpool defence are still not budged. Hibbert then kicks the ball at Enrique out of frustration after his cross was blocked by the Reds' left-back before rebounding onto the Toffee's man's face. He gets a booking for his efforts.
More good play from Carroll, who has done well tonight, he's calm on the ball as it falls to him outside the box before sliding it forward to Gerrard. He then spreads it wide but Everton get back to extinguish the danger.
Enrique hits a low shot from 20 yards out but Howard saves well.
Everton toss a couple of balls into the box but Carroll is back to head each one away, then Gerrard makes a fantastic sliding tackle to push the visitors back.
Yellow Card Royston Drenthe
Distin heads Enrique's cross away, meanwhile Royston Drenthe gets booked for an off the ball clash with Downing.
It's all getting a bit derby-ish now as Baines kicks the ball out, which Dalglish doesn't look pleased about. Play is now back underway, however fouls are breaking up the flow.
Gerrard leads with his elbow while challenging Pienaar in the air, no card given though.
Greg Stobart from Anfield: "Everton are trying to work their way back into the game but the visitors are not playing with any belief that they can stag a comeback here. That David Moyes has retreated to the dugout for the first time tonight suggests the Scot has given up as he watches his side struggle to create chances against Liverpool's well-organised defence. Liverpool, for their part, are sensing more goals on the counter-attack in the final 10 minutes and are being roared forward by the Kop."
Downing's effort is blocked by the Everton wall.
Yellow Card Leighton Baines
Fantastic defending from Enrique as he gets a foot in on Coleman as the midfielder looks to be in on the right, he then kicks off a counter attack which ends with Baines fouling Suarez just outside the area. Free-kick in a dangerous area.
Suarez looks to lift the ball over the defence and into Carroll however the big man looks more intent on barging Hibbert out of the way instead of controlling the ball. Free-kick to Everton.
Free-kick taken by Gerrard from the far side but he puts too much on it and sails out for a goal-kick.
Everton force a corner on the left, Pienaar takes it but Reina catches with ease. What a waste.
Suarez is in down the right-hand-side of the box, his effort beats Howard but rolls past the wrong side of the post.
What a cross field ball from Carroll to Downing, who then brings it down for Suarez who tries to find Gerrard through the middle but over-hits the pass.
Downing whips in a free kick from the right but Jelavic heads away. Suarez then goes down a little easily under pressure from Distin.
ANICHEBE GOES CLOSE! Fellaini is played in down the left then finds the forward in the middle but his effort is just wide of the post. In fact the Belgian midfielder who played the ball across the box has been flagged offside.
And look to the bench is exactly what Moyes has done as Nikica Jelavic, the goalscorer at the weekend against Tottenham, is one of three substitutes to come on for the visitors in a bid to get something from this game.
Let's hear from Greg Stobart as we pass the hour-mark: "Kenny Dalglish was all smiles on the touchline after Steven Gerrard's second goal of the night, turning to the directors' box in delight and pumping his fists. Liverpool look in complete control now and David Moyes must be thinking about how he is going to react, with firepower on the bench in the likes of Nikica Jelavic and Tim Cahill."
GOAL-LINE CLEARANCE BY ENRIQUE! Baines pulls it back to Rodwell inside the Liverpool box, he is beating Reina but doesn't have enough power to evade the Reds' left-back who makes the block.
Gerrard's ball in is headed clear as far away as Jay Spearing who lashes a volley high, wide and not at all handsome.
Another good flick on from Carroll towards Kelly, the right-back loses out initially but wins it back and gains a corner-kick.
The ball breaks to Suarez inside the Everton area but the striker slips as he hits it in midair and the shot is collected with ease by Howard.
Yellow Card Steven Pienaar
KELLY IS AN INCH AWAY FROM NUMBER THREE! Downing crosses from the left and if the right-back was a shoe size higher he may just have reached the ball as he slid for it just outside the six-yard-box.
More great work from Suarez to keep the ball in and then find Carroll however the forward drags his shot wide. Dalglish's men want a third.
Assist Luis Suárez
Goal Steven Gerrard
GGGGOOOOOAAAAAALLLLL! Number two for Liverpool and Gerrard!!! Suarez does brilliantly to beat Distin inside the opponents' box and then to hold the big Everton defender off before finding the Reds' captain who smashes it into the back of the net.
Sloppy start to the second period by both sides as possession changes hands numerous times.
Baines delivers a free-kick from the left for Everton but Gerrard heads it away.
Everton get the second-half underway.
45' + 1'
HALF-TIME!! Liverpool go into the break a goal to the good, they flew out of the blocks with Howard forced into a number of good saves. However, he could do nothing about Gerrard's terrific opener and so far in his career when the England man has scored in the Merseyside derby he has never lost the game. Will that continue tonight? Stay with us to find out.
One minute of added time announced.
Important block by Martin Skrtel as the Toffees look to find a way through the Liverpool defence, but it's holding firm so far.
Jay Spearing plays it forward to Henderson but as the midfielder looks to let it run for a team-mate Everton get an interception. The visitors then win a free-kick in their own half but Howard's hoof comes to nothing.
With five minutes until the break here's Greg Stobart's take on the game so far: "Anfield rocks to the sound of the Kop singing Steven Gerrard's name after that opener from the Liverpool captain. The home supporters were just seeming to get a little restless but Gerrard produced a superb finish to ease some of the tension here. Everton would have felt they were just starting to take the upper hand in the game but their priority now will be to get to half-time without conceding another goal."
Suarez is played in through the middle but Distin shows pace and desire to beat the forward to the ball, he then tries to shove the Everton man off it. Great defending.
Baines puts the ball in from the left for Everton but Denis Stracqualursi's header goes straight at Reina.
Liverpool search for a second as Kelly goes close! Henderson plays the right-back in but his shot across the goal goes inches wide. The Reds looking strong on the attack.
Assist Martin Kelly
Goal Steven Gerrard
GGGOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLL!!! 1-0 to Liverpool and it's captain fantastico Gerrard!!! Howard makes a good save from Martin Kelly after Suarez plays him in, but as the ball comes out to the England midfielder places it over the keeper's head and into the goal. Great finish.
Ball in from the right for Everton, Anichebe brings it down expertly with his back turned to goal but as he tries to turn and shoot Gerrard gets a challenge in.
Enrique plays a deep cross into the Everton box but Howard just about gathers it and keeps it in.
SUAREZ IS IN! But Jagielka gets back to make a fantastic tackle, the linesman's flag then goes up.
The visitors enjoying a good spell now, Rodwell finds Seamus Coleman with a good ball out wide, however Downing tracks the run brilliantly and clears for a corner.
Pienaar crosses from the left, Reina rushed to punch but it's not the best effort but the Spaniard deals with the second ball well. Rodwell break forward again but Enrique sees him out.
Corner won by Baines for Everton but the set-piece comes to nothing.
The Toffees have a rare attack after some great footwork from Pienaar but the cross from Tony Hibbert is headed clear. Just seeing replays of an earlier incident where Carroll appeared to raise his arm while challenging Baines, which has caused some arguments, but doesn't look to be anything too serious.
Our man Greg Stobart from Anfield: "The Kop has been in full voice in the first quarter of the game here and Liverpool has responded with some good link-up play, forcing Everton goalkeeper into two important saves. In a fixture famed for red cards, it's a been a reasonably low key start from both sides in terms of the physical contest, although Marouane Fellaini has swatted aside a few red-shirted players. On the touchline, David Moyes is urging his players to show more aggression in putting pressure on the Liverpool midfield."
Gerrard takes it but it's headed clear. The Reds retain possession though and look comfortable with it.
Lovely little ball from Enrique which is matched by Suarez's clever movement. The striker wins a corner for the hosts...
Suarez tries a very ambitious ball over the top, which is supposed to be towards Carroll but bounces into Howard's arms. Not quite such good interplay that time.
Everton come forward but just can't find the final ball to cut open Liverpool's back-four. Pienaar chooses the wrong option by going inside when he has Victor Anichebe through on goal to his left, then Marouane Fellaini fails to get the ball under control. The passage all came from Henderson giving it away.
Carroll and Suarez linking up very well thus far, the Englishman is winning everything in the air with the hosts looking the better team just now.
ANOTHER GOOD SAVE FROM HOWARD! Jose Reina pumps the ball up the pitch before Carroll wins his umpteenth header of the game, he flicks it on to Suarez who forces the Everton keeper to react well to keep the scores level.
Enrique crosses for Carroll but the Liverpool forward can't generate enough power with the header and Howard saves with ease.
Leighton Baines superbly beats two men on the left-flank, putting the ball through the legs on one, he then finds Pienaar with the cut-back but the South-African's shot flies over the bar from inside the box. Sloppy at the back from the hosts.
Liverpool press again with Stewart Downing who puts a dangerous ball in from the left but the visitors' defence get it clear before Carroll can pounce on it.
SAVE BY HOWARD!! Gerrard pings a fantastic cross field ball to start the move, Jose Enrique plays it to Suarez who finds the Liverpool captain but his shot is saved brilliantly by the Everton keeper. Jack Rodwell then throws himself in front of Henderson's follow-up. Bright start by the hosts.
Suarez lets the ball run through his legs towards Carroll but the big man isn't quite on the same wave length as Distin beats him to it and plays the ball back to Tim Howard.
Sylvain Distin climbs on Suarez to concede a free-kick just inside the Everton half, Liverpool waste the initial ball but regain possession.
Suarez plays Carroll in but Phil Jagielka gets back to clear, Jordan Henderson then miss-fires with his cross. Goal-kick.
Last match fact for you before we begin, Moyes has won three out of 19 Merseyside derbies, none of which came at Anfield. Will that change tonight? Let's find out...
We're minutes away from kick-off this evening, but just before we get underway here are some thoughts from Greg Stobart, our man at Anfield: "There is always a special atmosphere in the Merseyside derby but it will be even more ferocious than normal under the lights here at Anfield tonight. Speaking to Liverpool supporters in the main stand before kick-off, it is fair to say they are disgruntled with the Reds' recent form but David Moyes' has given the home fans cause for optimism. The Everton boss is clearly priotising the FA Cup this season and he has shown it by leaving a number of key players on the bench tonight. I'm not sure how happy the Everton fans will be – but after 10 years at Goodison Park the Scot has earned their trust."
Gerrard is making his 400th Premier League appearance tonight. He is only the fifth to achieve all at one single club, after Ryan Giggs (592), Jamie Carragher (476), Paul Scholes (474) and Gary Neville (400).
In the 39 Premier League meetings between the two sides there has been a total of 20 players sent off in. Gerrard and Phil Neville have both received two reds.
This evening's clash is the 217th Merseyside derby, of the previous ones tonight's hosts have won 86, the visitors were victorious 66 times, with 64 draws.
As I mentioned earlier, a Liverpool loss would be their fourth in a row in the league, the last time that happened was ten years ago.
So, David Moyes is looking to mark his 10th year in charge of the club with a win at Anfield and starts with two men up-front. Confidence is surely high in the Everton camp after defeating Tottenham at the weekend and Chelsea last month, a win tonight will see them jump above Kenny Dalglish's men.
Liverpool starting line-up: Reina; Kelly, Enrique, Skrtel, Carragher, Enrique; Henderson, Spearing, Gerrard, Downing; Suarez, Carroll. Subs: Doni, Shelvey, Maxi, Flanagan, Kuyt, Adam, Coates. Everton starting line-up: Howard; Hibbert, Distin, Jagielka, Baines; Coleman, Fellaini, Rodwell, Pienaar; Stracqualursi, Anichebe. Subs: Mucha, Heitinga, Jelavic, Drenthe, Cahill, Neville, Osman.
Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll all start for the first time in the Premier League with the Toffees dropping Nikica Jelavic to the bench but with Steven Pienaar back in the side. Full line-ups to follow...
Hello and welcome Goal.com's LIVE! coverage of tonight's Merseyside derby! Passion levels should be running high this evening with Everton in with a shout of condemning Liverpool to their fourth straight Premier League defeat.
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