On a day that began with England vs Scotland in the Rugby Union World Cup to signal the way for a weekend full of rivalry matches (Juventus vs AC Milan on Sunday), Liverpool made the most of their 10-man rivals, beating Everton at Goodison Park with goals from Luis Suarez and finally, finally, Andrew Carroll.
It was the fourth Liverpool win at Goodison Park since 2006, losing only once in a league derby, last season, 2-0. Everton haven’t won a match at Anfiled since September, 1999, but that’s a story for a different time. Everton, coming into this match from the 11th place with boardroom turmoil, something that has plagued Liverpool in recent years. No more. Despite the 4-0 crashing against Spurs, Kenny Dalglish’s men came in confident and organized.
Still, it was Everton who piled on what pressure they could early on. Their striking force is limited – Saha is far from decent form and Tim Cahill is at his best coming from behind. The midfield, as good as it can be, doesn’t produce goal too often for the Toffees. The customary red card came very early on, as Jack Rodwell slid into Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan striker did what any good South American player does, making the most of the situation. Martin Atkinson sent off the Everton youngster for something that deserved a yellow.
Liverpool didn’t seem to keen on using their advantage, taking their time as Everton went into 0-0 mode. Suarez made the most of a Phil Jageilka foul at the edge of the box, giving the Reds a deserved penalty. Dirk Kuyt, who has scored 5 Merseyside derby goals in his Liverpool career, kicked a poor ball, well saved by Tim Howard.
Things went better for Liverpool, showing much more intent early on in the second half. Kenny Dalglish’s substitutions, sending in Craig Bellamy and to the delight of every Reds fan and probably Fabio Capello, Steven Gerrard. The 4-2-4 formation was too much for Everton, who broke down and conceded the goal that was hanging in the air, with Andrew Carroll finally scoring an easy sitter, with Jose Enrique and Dirk Kuyt doing well in the build up.
It was pretty much over from there, but Luis Suarez’ persistence continued to haunt the Everton defenders. A terrible mistake by Distin enabled Suarez his fourth goal of the season, making sure the Merseyside derby remains a fixture mostly dominated by Liverpool.
For David Moyes, there wasn’t much he could have done. The Scotsman is doing miracles for years while getting his best players shipped off and using his limited resources very well. Once Rodwell was sent off, any chance of getting something more than one point was scarce. Liverpool, like in the Arsenal match over a month ago, build up their pressure slowly. They seem to shift gears in second halves, while their opponents are left staggering and unable to retaliate.