Nothing quite like the action there is in the Merseyside Derby, and both Liverpool and Everton came attacking the moment the whistle blew. A key adjustment for Liverpool was starting Dirk Kuyt over Jordan Henderson—with Steven Gerrard starting on the bench, we’d need some mettle coming into this testy match. Perhaps what changed the complexion of the game (and I mean this is in a way the made the energy level dipped), was when Jack Rodwell was given a red card for a tackle on Luis Suarez (rather questionable call, though, to be objective about it). The first half also saw Liverpool conceding a lot of corners, thankfully Everton had not been able to capitalize. Set pieces remain to be our waterloo.
Liverpool had a perfect opportunity to score toward the end of the first half, when Charlie Adam was brought down, but Dirk Kuyt’s shot was saved by Tim Howard. The matched reached half-time with neither side scoring.
The second half did not start with the same energy, but it was encouraging to see Andy Carroll being alive in this match. The inspired substitution came at about the 60-minute mark, with Steven Gerrard and Craig Bellamy coming on for Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing, respectively (Downing was a non-factor in this match). Shortly thereafter, we get a goal from the big fella, Sweet Andy Carroll–his first goal for Liverpool this season after playing for an accumulated time of over 11 hours. Luis Suarez went from being vilified to being the Kop’s hero once again, as he beat Everton’s defense to score Liverpool’s second goal—securing the much-needed three points.
It wasn’t the best of games, and it did get testy at times. I’m just glad we were able to capitalize on the fact that Everton had 10 men and left wide open spaces in the defense. That said, the man of the match would definitely be Jose Enrique, who had a solid game all around (especially in view of how most of the players had on-off switches throughout the duration of the match). Now, Andy Carroll, if you ever set foot in the Philippines, note that the KOPinoys will treat you to cases of San Miguel beer and lambanog—that for beating Tim Howard’s camouflage.
Camouflage, you ask? I have no idea what the thought behind Howard’s kit was. To confuse strikers? To convince them to believe there’s no goalkeeper in front of goal?
I have no words for this. Xabi Alonso, bless his flawless fashion sense, does however:
One more reason why I love this man.