Date:Saturday October 1 2011
The 216th Merseyside Derby was dominated by 1 man but unfortunately for both sides and Everton in particular, that man was referee Martin Atkinson who made sure that it was him and not the players on either side that will make the headlines with ludicrous decisions against Everton and one in particular when sending Rodwell off for a challenge on Suarez, more on that later.
The 1st half started with the home side in the ascendency and dominated possession from the off with Fellaini almost testing Reina in the 3rd minute but his effort from the edge of the box was deflected just wide, then Cahill headed just over on 10 mins when good work by Coleman sent the ball to the back post and his header was tipped over by Reina.
With Everton continuing to dominate, Distin almost produced a moment to live long in the memory when he skinned two Liverpool defenders with a drag back and fired just over.
Then came the moment that will be talked about for the days to come and what ruined the match as a fair contest, Rodwell slid in and made a superb challenge in the middle of the park on Suarez winning the ball, a free kick was given which in itself was harsh then 40,000 fans watched in shock and horror as the ref decided to claim the spotlight and send the Everton youngster off which was a disgrace by anyone`s standards.
After the dismissal Everton were pushed back by the numerical advantage awarded to Liverpool who now pressed hard although the home sides defence were holding strong, then on the 43rd min Mr Atkinson decided to push himself forward again into the spotlight by awarding a contentious penalty against Jagielka, again it was the unstable on his feet Uruguayan, Suarez who 'won` the penalty. It was a harsh decision but in truth it was a clumsy tackle and silly decision from the Everton defender giving the ref and the Liverpool forward a chance to get a decision.
Thankfully for Everton Howard saved the resulting spot kick from Kuyt.
Half time 0-0
The 2nd half started with both teams sticking to the same 11 (or 10 in Everton`s case) as Liverpool continued to push forward and Everton resolutely defending well with Hibbert and Distin particularly impressing and two efforts from Carroll going over the bar on both occasions, it wasn`t until the introduction of both Bellamy and Gerrard on 67 mins that Liverpool finally had some more urgency in attack and it paid dividends almost instantly when Bellamy sped down the left and released Enrique whose 1st time ball found Carroll to net his 1st goal of the season.
Cahill almost replied instantly with an effort from 25yds but his shot was well saved by Reina.
On 80 mins the game was ended as a contest when Distin`s clearance was charged down by Suarez and his 1st time effort found the bottom corner to give Liverpool the victory they scarcely deserved.
Full Time Everton 0 Liverpool 2
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Date:Saturday October 1 2011
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