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Barclays Premier League, Tuesday 13th March 2012, Anfield, 20:00pm

Liverpool FC 3-0 Everton

Referee: Phil Dowd   H-T: 1-0   Att:  44,921

Match Report

A comeback hat-trick from Steven Gerrard returned Liverpool to winning ways as they beat neighbours Everton 3-0 at Anfield.

The skipper opened the scoring in the first half before a brace in the second period saw the Reds record a fifth Premier League double over the Blues.

Three straight league defeats for Liverpool meant Everton could have overtaken their Merseyside rivals with victory at Anfield, but they were deservedly beaten as the hosts narrowed the gap to fourth spot to 10 points with as many fixtures remaining.

Kenny Dalglish fielded seven Englishman for the 217th Mersey rumble, including fit again Gerrard, who became only the 14th player to have made 400 top-flight appearances for Liverpool.

Immediately the Reds sought to impose themselves, Andy Carroll sprinting to contest a header with Marouane Fellaini. He won. The Kop roared.

Moments later it was finesse rather than bluster that created the first opening, Suarez flicking into the stride of Gerrard, whose superb touch left him with just Tim Howard to navigate. The goalkeeper stretched low for a fine save, while Jordan Henderson's attempt to follow through was thwarted by the sliding thigh of Jack Rodwell.

David Moyes, celebrating 10 years of derbies, had surprised some by naming Phil Neville, Tim Cahill and new signing Nikica Jelavic among his substitutes. Those he did select to start were second best in the opening exchanges.

Steven Pienaar smashed into the Kop but it was Liverpool who dictated the early tempo, Suarez a pest that refused to be swotted. The Uruguay international struck a left-foot volley towards the net following a header from Carroll, but again Howard was smart to it.

Friendly fury reverberated inside Anfield as Everton began to enjoy some possession. Liverpool had to defend a run of corner kicks but Martin Skrtel usually rose highest, while Jamie Carragher was there with a trademark interception when required.

Any Everton surge was halted on 34 minutes when Gerrard - now a veteran of 26 derbies - used all his experience to give Liverpool the advantage. Neat play had stretched the visiting defence by the time Martin Kelly forced Howard to his knees once more. The ball then fell loose to the edge of the area, and while others might have opted to blast, Gerrard evaded the mess of bodies with a kited shot which could not be intercepted.

Minutes later Kelly powered wide, while Everton's Denis Stracqualursi occupied Pepe Reina with a headed attempt, but 1-0 was a fair reflection after 45 minutes of entertaining football.

The second half began with equal brio and the Red majority were soon on their feet again to celebrate another goal for the captain. There were 51 minutes on Anfield clock when Henderson prodded the ball between two defenders towards Suarez, who danced past Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka before allowing Gerrard to intervene with a whack into the ceiling of the net.

It was his seventh derby goal and how the Anfield faithful loved it.

Everton looked beaten and could have slipped further behind had Carroll been more accurate with a Kop end drive, or had Kelly been able to stretch for Stewart Downing's teasing cross.

A Jose Enrique intervention was required to stop Rodwell putting Everton back in the game - a prospect which for the most part did not look likely.

Suarez might have added a gloss finish after being played one-on-one by the superb Carroll. Instead his shot hit the hoardings.

But the scoring was not over as Gerrard completed his first ever derby hat-trick after an unselfish pass in the penalty area from Suarez in injury time.

The result means Liverpool lead the derby scores by 86 wins to 66.

Team Line-Up's
Liverpool Everton
Pepe Reina Tim Howard
Martin Kelly Tony Hibbert
Martin Skrtel Yellow - Leighton Baines
Jamie Carragher Sylvain Distin
Jose Enrique Phil Jagielka
Jordan Henderson Yellow - Steven Pienaar
Steven Gerrard - Goal, Goal, Goal Denis Stracqualursi
Jay Spearing Seamus Coleman
Stewart Downing Jack Rodwell
Luis Suarez Marouane Fellaini
Andy Carroll Victor Anichebe
Substitutes Substitutes
Alexander Doni Jan Mucha
Sebastian Coates Johnny Heitinga
Maxi Rodriguez Phil Neville
Jonjo Shelvey Royston Drenthe
Dirk Kuyt Tim Cahill
Charlie Adam Leon Osman
John Flanagan Nikica Jelavic
Substitutions
Royston Drenthe for Seamus Coleman 61'
Leon Osman for Denis Stracqualursi 61'
Nikica Jelavic for Victor Anichibe 61'
Dirk Kuyt for Jordan Henderson 73'
Goals
Steven Gerrard 34'
Steven Gerrard 51'
Steven Gerrard 94'
Yellow Cards
Steven Pienaar 55'
Leighton Baines 79'
Royston Drenthe 84'
Tony Hibbert 91'
Red Cards
Referee
Phil Dowd
Attendance
44,921
LFC Player Ratings
Pepe Reina
7/10
Martin Kelly
8/10
Martin Skrtel
8/10
Jamie Carragher
7/10
Jose Enrique
7/10
Jordan Henderson
7/10
Steven Gerrard
9/10
Jay Spearing
7/10
Stewart Downing
7/10
Luis Suarez
8/10
Andy Carroll
7/10
Substitutes
Alexander Doni
DNP
Sebastian Coates
DNP
Maxi Rodriguez
DNP
Jonjo Shelvey
DNP
Charlie Adam
DNP
Dirk Kuyt
6/10
John Flanagan
DNP
Referee
Phil Dowd
7/10

Match Stats

Liverpool   Everton
53% Possession 47%
15 Shots On 5
10 Shots Off 3
4 Corners 4
6 Fouls 7
0 Yellow 4
0 Red 0


Head to Head - Everton