Sunday, 16 January 2011

Merseyside derby ends all evens at Anfield

Sports - Football - Premier League - Liverpool 2:2 Everton

Honours ended up all even at Merseyside after Dirk Kuyt's penalty earned King Kenny's men a draw in the derby with Everton, leaving both sides on 26 points, only four points clear of the relegation zone in 13th and 12th place respectively.

Portuguese midfielder Raul Meireles took the lead for Liverpool on 29, driving the ball from 18 yards after Kuyt pulled a double save out of Tim Howard.

It was a deserved lead as Liverpool enjoyed most possession and chances, Dalglish coule be a happy man at half time onhis return to Anfield for the 215th Merseyside derby.

All the optimism changed for the Reds with the kick-off of the second half: Within 43 seconds Sylvain Distin headed in Mikel Arteta's corner at the back post, over Martin Skrtel and past Pepe Reina to make it 1-1.

Just over five minutes later, Jermaine Bedford completed the turnaround, smashing in Leon Osman's pass from close range and making Kuyt's and Fernando Torres' earlier close chances, including a crash against the post, count for nothing and seem meeningless as they weree to the scoreboard.

The guests looked well on top after that, Liverpool's play looking less organised and confident, more disrupted, making David Moyes the much happier since half time.

However, there was another twist in the tale: After all his saves, Howard turned from hero to villain when he clipped the legs of Maxi Rodriguez to bring the Argentine down and concede the penalty which Kuyt converted with cool composure to make the last 20-ish minutes the more interesting, tense and gripping.

Both sides pushed on, sharing chances, shouts and pressure, the result reföecting this fair and square.

Liverpool: Reina (booked 53); Kelly, Skrtel, Agger (Kyrgiakos 46), Johnson; Meireles (scored 28:24, Shelvey 81), Spearing, Lucas, Kuyt (booked 89) (scored penalty 67:21); Torres (booked 63), Maxi.
Subs not used: Gulacsi, Aurelio, Cole, Pacheco, Babel.

Everton: Howard; Neville, Heitinga, Distin (scored 45:38), Baines; Coleman, Fellaini, Arteta, Osman (Rodwell 78); Beckford (scored 51:34, Vaughan 74), Anichebe (Bilyaletdinov 82).
Subs not used: Mucha, Hibbert, Gueye, Baxter.

1st half stats:
Attempts: 10-4
On target: 6-1
Offsides: 1-0
Corners: 6-4
Free kicks: 7-9
65%-35% (20-30 min)
53%-47% (HT)

2nd half stats:
Attempts: 3-2
On target: 2-2
Offsides: 3-0
Corners: 4-2
Free kicks: 9-9
51%-49% (FT)

Sky Sports Stats:
Passing Success: 77.5%-73.4%
Tackles/Success: 20/90%-25/72%
Territorial Advantage: 48%-52%

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)
Man of the match: Fernando Torres

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