Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Liverpool thrash Everton 4-0 in derby thriller

Sports - Football - Premier League - Liverpool 4:0 Everton

Liverpool enjoyed their biggest Merseyside derby win since 1982, thrashing their local rivals Everton 4-0 in an enthralling encounter at Anfield.

Steven Gerrard celebrates

The hosts came out all guns blazing from kick-off, countering any chances or flow of play by the Toffees with breath-taking speed and lethal combinations.

Skipper Steven Gerrard opened the scoring in the 21st minute, heading in a Luis Suarez corner in to the left corner of the net, a fine goal after a fine start in his 28th derby.

Any resistance by the Toffees was killed off when Romelu Lukaku was forced off injured, to be replaced by Steven Naismith, after just 25 minutes, before a Daniel Sturridge double, two goals in two minutes, sealed the three-point deal for the Reds. England striker first clipped one in past Tim Howard after a perfect slide-through ball by Philippe Coutinho, followed by a high loft over the forward running American keeper to make it 3-0 after 35 minutes.

Roberto Martinez's men created some chances but struggled to cope with the Reds' front line, their speed and power especially on the counter, and saw three bookings for their frustration.

Suarez added to the visitors' misery five minutes after the break, netting Liverpool's fourth of the day and the Uruguayan's 23rd of the season for the club, after a fine counter.

And it could have been worse for the Toffees, when Howard brought down Raheem Sterling in the box to give Sturridge the chance for a hat-trick from the spot, which the 24-year-old blew cringingly over the bar.

The win keeps Brendan Rodgers' men on track for the top four, on 46 points, three ahead of Tottenham in fifth and four behind Chelsea in third.

Liverpool goals: 1.: 21st min Steven Gerrard (8), 2. & 3.: 33rd & 35th min Daniel Sturridge (15), 4.: 50th min Luis Suarez (7).

Liverpool team: 22 Mignolet; 20 Cissokho, 37 Skrtel, 4 Toure, 38 Flanagan (34 Kelly- 73rd min); 10 Coutinho (6 Luis Alberto- 79th min), 14 Henderson, 8 Gerrard, 31 Sterling; 15 Sturridge (12 Moses- 71st min), 7 Suarez. 4-4-2 Subs not used: 1 Jones, 9 Aspas, 33 Ibe, 44 Smith.

Everton team: 24 Howard; 3 Baines, 6 Jagielka, 32 Alcaraz, 26 Stones; 18 Barry (booked 48th min), 16 McCarthy; 22 Pienaar (booked 38th min) (21 Osman- HT), 20 Barkley (7 McGeady- 76th min), 11 Mirallas (booked 51st min); 17 Lukaku (14 Naismith- 25th min). 4-2-3-1 Subs not used: 1 Joel, 2 Hibbert, 19 Gueye, 29 Garbutt.

Match stats 1st & 2nd half: Liverpool-Everton Attempts: 11-5 & 6-5
On target: 8-1 & 1-3
Offsides: 1-0 & 0-0
Corners: 2-4 & 3-4
Free kicks: 7-4 & 5-6
Possession: 41.6%-58.4% & 39.4%-60.6%
Passing success rate: 80%-84.8% & 78%-84.85%

Referee: Martin Atkinson
Attendance: 44,450
Man of the match: Daniel Sturridge