Monday, March 31, 2008

Football News; Liverpool 1-0 Everton

Liverpool 1-0 Everton: Liverpool tighten their grip on fourth place

Liverpool ultimately edged past Everton, thanks to Fernando Torres, in a Merseyside Derby that perfectly encapsulated why these teams lie fourth and fifth.

Liverpool with aspirations of the title, showed why their title challenge petered out long ago. A bright opening, some excellent football and a great goal petered out, into what was at times a nervy finish, as for the umpteenth time this season they failed to finish off opponents they had dominated.

Everton meanwhile, after being overrun for the first half, hung in there, and clawed their way back into the game. In the second half they at least held their own with Liverpool, and arguably looked the better side, without looking likely to score.

Torres, and Gerrard were again prominent for Liverpool, with Torres scoring the opening goal after only six minutes. Alonso dispossessed Everton's Yakubu at the second attempt in the 18 yard box, Kuyt helped the ball on, and Torres took two touches to dispatch it past Tim Howards right hand post, to put Everton behind. Goal number 28 for him, and Liverpool again can only be grateful their much maligned owners funded Torres purchase.

Ryan Babel also caught the eye, but too often failed to deliver when in good positions. More than once his final ball was wanting and he is fast becoming a frustration. Liverpool are hoping he can be a modern day John Barnes in his pomp, all power and pace, but his crosses and choice of pass/ shot at the crucial moment are woeful at times. That said he seems to be one goal, and a lot of confidence away from exploding into life.

For Everton, their main attacking threat came from Yakubu (more Lenny Henry, than Theirry Henry as one wag has put it) and Arteta. Missing Cahill, and with Anichebe on the bench, Everton struggled to really unsettle Liverpool's backline.

Overall, Liverpool vs Everton was a good but not great game. Liverpool deserved their win, but showed why they are still way off the pace in the Premier League title race. Everton, showed last season was no fluke, and can be satisfied with their progression this year. Liverpool now look odds on to gain that coveted Premier League fourth position again and maybe Rafa Benitez can continue his reign!


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