Saturday, October 01, 2011

Live Thoughts: Everton vs Liverpool (Premier League)

O hollo. O'm Woll Smoth. Hor or mo lov thoghts os Lovopol tok on Ovoton.

Today, we take on our local rivals Everton in the first of two Liverpool derbies this season (unless we face them in the FA or Carling Cup). Everton haven't had the best of seasons so far but they are often slow to start their campaigns so it doesn't matter, we're away from home and it's a derby. This isn't an easy game. But... we can get three points today and it should be the target today. Especially as we have lost both our last two PL away games.

Here are the teams:

Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Cahill, Osman, Coleman, Fellaini, Rodwell, Saha. Subs: Mucha, Bilyaletdinov, Drenthe, Stracqualursi, Neville, Barkley, Vellios

It's a strong line up. Saha is always a threat when fully fit, and Fellaini and Cahill always cause problems. Seamus Coleman is one of the brightest young football players in the Premier League at the moment, he's a quality player. I have a lot of respect for Everton, despite naturally hating them due to the rivalry. Let's hope we can beat them, it's definitely possible, but it won't be easy.

Liverpool: Reina, Kelly, Enrique, Carragher, Skrtel, Kuyt, Downing, Lucas, Adam, Carroll, Suarez. Subs: Doni, Coates, Gerrard, Henderson, Bellamy, Flanagan, Spearing.

And Gerrard starts from the bench again. Some people are getting annoyed
with Dalglish for doing this but I think it's the right decision. He was out for six months. He can slowly get his fitness back up. Not only that, but it's not like Adam, Lucas or Suarez have been playing badly for him to take their place. He needs to earn it, I don't care if he's our captain, he has to start from scratch. But it's a debate that I'm sure many Liverpool fans will disagree with me on and that's fine. Kuyt starting is a good move as well, as I think he offers more than Henderson at the moment, and Henderson didn't have the best of games last week.

2' - Corner for Everton, sloppily given. Everton take it and Pepe Reina claims it with ease.

5' - Everton taking control for the moment without any real effort. There's some nice tackling going on as always in this match. Personally I love these derbies, although not everyone does.

8' - Suarez header! Straight at the keeper. A deep cross from Kuyt gets to Suarez but it wasn't a good header.

8' - Cahill! Nice save from Reina. Everton corner. That was some great attacking football from both sides then!

10' - Distin! Over the bar. Everton piling on the pressure at the moment.

13' - Possession is 66%/34% to Liverpool at the moment, it doesn't feel like it. The match has calmed down for the moment.

14' - Louis Saha has a decent low effort at goal that's a few inches away from Reina's bottom right post.

17' - Not too much to report at the moment, it's died down a bit.

20' - An Everton freekick from around 35 yards to the left is easily headed away by Liverpool.

22' - RED CARD! Jack Rodwell clumsily tackles Suarez with a double footed challenge. He got the player AND the ball, but it was dangerous and worthy of a red card.

25' - The Everton faithful aren't happy naturally and are very noisy at the moment. But it was the right decision based on it being a double footed challenge.

26' - They just showed replays of Rodwell storming off. I'm sure Phil Neville tapped him on the back of the head!

27' - Yellow card for Tim Cahill.

30' - Deep cross by Kuyt and Tim Howard claims it. We're naturally more dominant now. As for the tackle, to be fair to Everton, Rodwell didn't have his studs up when going into the challenge. There is a claim of unjustice for the Blues, although I just think for the potential danger, it was the right decision.

33' - Another replay of the incident, once again, more justice for the red is that his knees connected with Suarez's leg. It's a real debating point for some, as I said I stand by my opinion that it was the right decision.

36' - Free kick for Liverpool in a dangerous area, centrally on the pitch about 20 yards out. Fellaini brought Lucas down.

37' - It leads nowhere and Everton try to counter attack without success.

40' - Charlie Adam brings down Leon Osman and no card is shown. The Everton fans are almost begging the ref to give it out. Osman is down to be fair.

42' - PENALTY! Phil Jagielka brought down Suarez on the cusp of the penalty box! It did feel like Suarez did his best to be tackled just in the box and he got his way.

43' - SAVED! Dirk Kuyt takes his shot to Howards left and it was beautifully saved by the American stopper! What a shame!

45' - Three minutes of added time. Absolutely gutted. It was a decent penalty, but Howard met that very well.

45+2' - ADAM! Crossbar and out! What a shot that was! Deserving of a goal!

45+3' - Half time.

My first half analysis is that we've had fortune go in our favour in this match and we haven't capitalised. That's not to say it wasn't a red card or it wasn't a penalty, they were, but we haven't made the most of what was going in our favour. We barely broke their defence down, despite being one man up. Kuyt's penalty was fine, he did nothing wrong, it was Howard's excellent save that made the scores level. Adam deserved a goal at the end for his fantastic shot, but you have to earn your goals in this league. It's 0-0 at the break, and it's probably a good time for Dalglish to work some tactical magic now.

48' - Well so far we're on top of the game which is good, but we haven't done much as of yet.

49' - Yellow card for Lucas.

51' - Saha scuffs a shot wide to Reina's left post.

52' - A Liverpool corner and Carroll heads the ball on target but an Everton player gets to it and it's a break for Everton, that comes to nothing.

53' - Another Carroll effort that Howard pushes wide.

55' - A 50/50 challenge goes in our favour and Everton really think they're being penalised today. Even David Moyes puts his head in his hands.

57' - Lucas takes a shot from distance and its over the bar and wide. Royston Drenthe is about to come on for The Toffees. He's a great player when his attitude is under control.

58' - Everton Sub: Royston Drenthe comes on for Seamus Coleman.

60' - Saha takes his third long range shot of the match and once again it goes wide, this time to Reina's right.

64' - Fellaini has gone down with cramp. Not good for just over an hour of football. It might be worse than that mind, although there was no tackle or anything that caused this.

64' - The commentators are saying that they don't think the Rodwell challenge should have been a red card. Maybe I'm being biased, although I don't feel I am. Who knows?

66' - The boos are reeling in why? Liverpool Subs: Steven Gerrard and Craig Bellamy come on for Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing. Finally, Gerrard and Suarez on the pitch at the same time!

68' - Everton Sub: Leon Osman goes off and Phil Neville takes his place.

70' - GOAL! Carroll! Yes! A lovely run from Bellamy down the left flank finds Enrique who cuts it into the penalty box and Carroll clips it in! Great Liverpool goal!

71' - Replays of Reina celebrating. I absolutely love our Spanish keeper, he has so much love for this club, always celebrating like he scored himself!

73' - Finally, a goal. We haven't been very productive in front of goal, despite having one man more than Everton for 50 minutes now. But that goal has finally put us in front. We can defend better now we have that one man advantage, as we finally have something to defend.

76' - We're pressing them more now which is fine. A second goal would put the game to bed. I just hope we don't prioritise that over defending our clean sheet. We can wear them out with a one man advantage and we aren't really doing that at the moment, going for a second goal instead.

78' - Everton Sub: Tony Hibbert is off and replaced by Apostolos Vellios. Vellios has scored before this season so he can be a threat. He's only 19. That's Everton's last substitution.

81' - GOAL! Suarez! He has the ball in the box and the Everton defenders deal with him, but he somehow gets the ball back off them and slots it past Howard, to the keepers right! That should clench the game!

82' - Everton press and the ball is crossed from the left to Saha who controls the ball, but shoots it just over. He's tried very hard today Saha and kudos to him for that.

83' - My assessment on Suarez's performance today is that he's been dealt with for the most part by the Everton defence. He's been a little menace, but a controlled menace. That was, until the 82nd minute of the game.

85' - Jordan Henderson is getting ready to come on. I wonder who will come off, Kuyt or Suarez?

87' - A Liverpool corner. Carroll does a Suarez and becomes a difficulty in the Everton box and Howard pushes the ball out for a corner.

87' - Liverpool Sub: Jordan Henderson comes on for Lucas. Haha, I got it wrong both ways. I'm presuming Henderson is going to play in the middle, his preferred position when he was with Sunderland.

90' - Three minutes again of added time.

90' - Drenthe takes a decent effort at goal and Reina saves. It had a bit of pace on that shot.

90+1' - A Liverpool corner, no one is in the box but Kuyt, Suarez takes it and Kuyt somehow hits the post before Everton clear it.

90+2' - Everton penalty claim and the referee ignores it. I thought that was a penalty although I didn't see it clearly live.

90+3' - Full time, and the Everton fans boo.

Full time analysis, we did enough today. Everton had a red card that some are arguing wasn't the right decision. I think it was, but it doesn't matter, it's what the referee thinks that matters. A penalty just before half time was saved wonderfully by Howard. Our second half performance, although better than the first, was adequate. We did enough. We got our two goals with enough grit and the first goal was some great movement from Bellamy and Carroll was in the right place to slot it in. But the performance can be described with two woods. Did enough.

That's it from me today, have a good day and I'll be back here tomorrow with my review of the year 1997 in music! Take care!

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