Sunday, October 21, 2007

Plucky Liverpool Victor In Derby

Kuyt On The Double From Penalty Spot

English Premiership

Everton 1 - 2 LIVERPOOL

EVE - Hyypia (og 38)
LIV - Kuyt (54, 90)

The 206th Merseyside Derby proved to be not only a hotly contested match but also a game marred with controversial refereeing decisions, talking points and more red cards added into statistics.

Dirk Kuyt kept his cool and slot two penalties past Tim Howard as the red half of Merseyside were sent into raptures and you could just tell how much the victory meant to the players just by looking at their post match celebrations and probably 'p*ss-take' in front of the Goodison faithfuls.

It was a game won by Liverpool but one would feel that a draw would've been a fairer result as referee, Mark Clattenburg, will no doubt be the key figure in the papers in the days to come as he sent off two Everton players and awarded Liverpool with two penalties, a rarity in football.

Others argued that he failed to spot a clear-cut penalty incident just before the full time whistle when Jamie Carragher looked to have wrestled Joleon Lescott to the ground. But probably as they say in football, comes around and goes around.

Liverpool started the game well enough and nearly caught Everton out after Benayoun managed to cut the ball back for Voronin, only for the Ukrainian to scruff the shot straight at Tim Howard.

But Everton hit back and managed to take hold of the game and are exceptionally dangerous when it comes to set pieces. And that exactly was hot Everton managed to crack Liverpool's defence.

Everton's corner was half cleared by the Liverpool and Leon Osman managed to put the ball back into the danger area. Sami Hyypia inexplicably flicked the ball past Reina, in off the post and Everton got the lead.

With Gerrard shafted onto the right flank with Mascherano and Sissoko partnering in the middle, the skipper was given the license to roam. And he made good use of the freedom by rampaging down the heart of Everton and Tony Hibbert was adjudged to have tripped him.

Mark Clattenburg pointed to the spot without hesitation but the controversy on what did Gerrard said to the referee as he clearly took out his yellowcard and right after some exchanged words, he changed his mind and took out a red instead.

It was a harsh sending off, considering a penalty was already awarded. Dirk Kuyt took up the responsibility of taking the penalty in an extremely hostile environment and calmly slotted it past Howard for the equaliser.

Liverpool started to take advantage of the extra man and did decently to contain Everton while managing to string a few good moves. There were a few chances which dropped to the strike duo of Kuyt and Voronin but both squandered them.

In a mystifying move, Rafa Benitez then withdrawn skipper, Steven Gerrard, and replaced him with a newbie in Merseyside derbies, Lucas Leiva. That move was quite a surprise, even for Gerrad himself, showing it through his body language.

Considering he was playing pretty well, it was a gamble from Rafa Benitez.

But it paid off ultimately as Lucas himself had a hand on the winning goal. After a goalmouth screamble, his goal bound shot was fantastically saved on the line, albeit it being Phil Neville.

That save must've made the Everton fans proud and Paul Robinson quaking in his boots, fearing for his place as England number 1 (tongue in cheek comment).

The younger of the Neville brothers was duly sent off and Kuyt again, was given the responsibility to bulge the onion bag for Liverpool and it was a monumental moment for the Dutch striker. The outcome of a point or three lies solely in his hands...

And he puts it away, with Howard nearly stopping it. That sealed Liverpool's win and you could see the joy on Carragher and company's face, seeing how much the victory meant for the boys.

It was not without controversy and red cards but it was truly a highly entertaining game, good for the neutrals. The win could probably put Liverpool back on track with Arsenal next, visiting Anfield.

PS: Thank you Liverpool for the birthday present :)


Is this betting said...

I slightly disagree with you about it being an exciting game. Maybe it was just my state of mind but the game was hardly full of flowing football.

At the end of the day we deserved to win and Rafa's gamble of taking Gerrard off paid off - in the end.

I'm more worried now about Wednesday's game.

Elia said...

Sack Rafa!!

I don't understand how he could take Stevie off and leave Momo in.He started the match with Mascherano and Momo in midfield hardly a scoring threat coming from central midfield.I appreciate what Benitez has accomplished at Liverpool,but Liverpool will always be a cup team with him in charge.

BTW happy belated birthday dude!

Kuyt_KL said...

Cup team eh? before Rafa, we couldn't even dream to be cup winning team, so i'll live with that for another 3 years (Rafa deserves 5 years(3 gone) + 1 year for CL).

But, i must say, sissoko should have been replaced, not stevie.
Comes end of may, if there's not improvement, he should be off to Juve (GBP 10mill hopefully).
Replace Him with who exactly?

Terry complaints to ref every 5 minutes on Chelshit games(most of them did influence the MIB), but nobody said anything.. when Our captain did so, phews..

Happy Belated Birthday dude