Premier League Reviews Round Ten: Everton v Liverpool

21 October 2007

I am back tonight with the first of what will be plenty of match reviews from the weekend's fixtures. The basis of the format is a bit of a ninety minute commentary, but with more time dealing with the key moment, with more analysis on the bigger moments during the game. I will be using this format for all games as 1) It's easier on me to write and 2) It's easier for others to read. Enjoy this look at the Merseyside Derby from Goodison Park.

Everton Starting 11: 24 Tim Howard, 2 Tony Hibbert, 5 Joleon Lescott, 18 Phil Neville, 15 Alan Stubbs, 4 Joseph Yobo, 6 Mikel Arteta, 16 Phil Jagielka, 21 Leon Osman, 28 Victor Anichebe, 22 Ayegbeni Yakubu. Bench: 33 Stefan Wessels, 3 Leighton Baines, 26 Lee Carsley, 20 Steven Pienaar, 11 James McFadden.
Liverpool Starting 11: 25 Jose Reina, 23 Jamie Carragher, 3 Steve Finnan, 4 Sami Hyypia, 11 Yossi Benayoun, 8 Steven Gerrard, 20 Javier Mascherano, 6 John Arne Riise, 22 Mohamed Sissoko, 18 Dirk Kuyt, 10 Andriy Voronin. Bench: 30 Charles Itandie, 21 Leiva Lucas, 16 Jermaine Pennant, 19 Ryan Babel, 15 Peter Crouch.

First Half:
Minute 1: Everton kick off and both teams trade the ball.
Minute 3: Steven Gerrard gets the ball in a good position from Yossi Benayoun, however his touch fails him and it goes out for a goal kick. Should have done better with that pass as had he controlled, would have had an excellent chance at goal.
Minute 5: Yossi Benayoun gets behind Hibbert and sets up for goal. His angle isn't the best in the world and finds Voronin rushing towards goal and passes back for the one timer. Voronin's shot on the edge of the penalty area isn't cleanly taken by Tim Howard, but collects before Dirk Kiyt can clean up.
Minute 6: Free kick for Liverpool in a good position. We enjoy the 'kind' words of some Everton fan before the microphone on the pitch he obviously was screaming into was shut off. Gerrard's free kick is in a good position and chested for Voronin, but his shot is poor and Everton get the goal kick.
Minute 9: Phil Neville gives up a free kick around 30 from goal. It's in Steven Gerrard territory but the indirect free kick is played short...fooling everyone on the pitch. It had the look of what Liverpool did against Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final last season, without the proper execution.
Minute 12: Mikel Arteta gets a generous free kick decision for Everton in a favorable position. Everton end up with a corner in the end that is taken short. Voronin deflects Osman's shot out for corner number 2...Another short corner that ends up all the way across the park and then out for a Liverpool goal kick. Wasted chances from Everton there, you have to do better and there are no excuses about it.
Minute 17: John Arne Riise finds Dirk Kuyt...but the linesman judges him offside. How the official saw offside in a level position I'll never know.
Minute 19: Mikel Arteta tries and fails to earn Everton a free kick 20 yards from goal. I think the verbiage is hands in the ruck...or in this instance going to ground where a dive could have been called and then hand ball.
Minute 21: Alan Stubbs with good defending to prevent Dirk Kuyt from getting a good shot on goal. He then starts to cry about the fact he felt Gerrard was offside (memo to Stubbs he wasn't) and only gets a talking to from the referee. Gerrard's corner is wasted when Phil Jagielka is fouled by Jamie Carragher.
Minute 24: Jose Raina does well to prevent Leon Osman's cross from finding the net. Everton in the end get a corner kick that ends up in a game of head tennis...and Osman and Sissoko with a little clash. Osman looked cheekily up before realizing he'd be getting a little treatment.
Minute 28: Joleon Lescott does well to force Steve Finnan into conceding the corner. Mikel Arteta takes, and the good cross in is wasted by Victor Anichebe when he realizes that someone is actually marking him...Jamie Carragher.
Minute 30: I give Leon Osman credit for trying the volley...until I see he hits it off his leg and not his boot and it looks Gaelic Football point than Premier League goal.
Minute 33: The man in the middle makes Arteta take the free kick from the right position...and then finds Anichebe again in the right spot. This time Anichebe just can't get the ball down. The balance of the game is slowly starting to turn.
Minute 35: Had John Arne Risse's indirect free kick not been deflected out by Phil Neville, it's 1-0 to Liverpool. Anyway Benayoun's corner can't get past the first defender...ironically Neville. The second corner was just cleared.
Minute 38: GOAL EVERTON! Steve Finnan gives Everton yet another corner kick. Mikel Arteta takes and after a bit of frantic play in the area where Stubbs tries to play the ball back into Lescott, Sami Hyypia goes to kick it out for another corner...and ends up putting the ball in off the ninety in the near post and in for an own goal. A defender who's been around as long as he has ought to know better and he simply blew it. Everton had shifted the balance of play and have the goal to show for it. Everton 1 Liverpool 0.
Minute 42: Leon Osman should have done better with the cross in from Lescott. Sure the ball was played in for Yakubu, but still he was in position to finish that off.
Everton started off slowly, but finished with a flurry. They made the runs Liverpool weren't making, forced Liverpool's defense into making mistakes and found better scoring chances. Their shape stayed firm and they countered well. Liverpool looked flat in this first half. They had a couple of chances that required a on rushing attacker, but on those instances they failed to do anything about them. They were beaten down the wings almost with relative ease and did too much rash clearing. It's going to be interested to see the kinda changes they make to personnel and shape.

Second Half:
Minute 46: Liverpool kick off.
Minute 51: Mikel Arteta does well to get Everton possession in the final third, however he spends way too much time with the ball. Joleon Lescott ends up forcing Liverpool into conceding a corner...that is quickly wasted...
Minute 52: Red Card Everton...Penalty Liverpool. Off the corner kick, Liverpool break Steven Gerrard goes on the solo run and Tony Hibbert is the last man and starts holding outside the penalty area...and keeps holding once they get inside. Hibbert is rightfully sent off for being the last defender. Dirk Kuyt is the man to take. Howard goes left...Kuyt goes right. Perfectly placed and Liverpool have leveled. Everton 1 Liverpool 1.
Minute 57: How does Liverpool get away with holding in the area? Off a corner kick, the ball is eventually played into Joleon Lescott and while posting up on Steve Finnan, is tugged off the ball from his shirt. It should have been a penalty despite what the TWI commentators feel.
Minute 57: Off the counter...Kuyt goes for Riise instead of Voronin on the centering ball...and Riise obliges by firing over the crossbar. Bad decision there.
Minute 61: Off a Liverpool corner, Voronin has his effort parried out by Howard...right to Dirk Kuyt who heads over the crossbar. Again chances that Liverpool must do better from. You get the ball in a golden position to score and yet your not.
Minute 63: Yellow Card: Dirk Kuyt. Phil Jagielka dispossess Kuyt and then it's Kuyt who went in with dangerous intent on Phil Neville. Don't know if the yellow was the right call, I can see why the yellow was shown as Kuyt lunged after Neville.
Minute 66: Yakubu with a real good chance from 30 yards and in all honesty had the time to set. No excuse that ball goes wide of the near post.
Minute 69: Yossi Benayoun off, Ryan Babel on. Benayoun had done zilch in the second half and better to bring the man with pace on...and the man who can create the better scoring chances.
Minute 71: Steven Gerrard off, Leiva Lucas on? Boy this has to be Rafa Benetiz's craziest substitution he's ever made in his lifetime.
Minute 77: Andriy Voronin with the miss of all misses. After he gets Alan Stubbs to ground, he stops, moves in, sets and misses well wide of the near post. What makes this more shocking is he was practically one on one with Tim Howard.
Minute 78: Ayegbeni Yakubu off, James McFadden on. Just simply can't explain this one. Like for like in this instance? At this point being a man down wouldn't you be happy with a nil draw?
Minute 84: Victor Anichebe off, Leighton Baines on. Took them long enough to get defensive...but at what cost?
Minute 85: Jamie Carragher goes over the back of James McFadden and Everton get a free kick. Carragher looks like he did nothing wrong, but he knew he did. Arteta sets the indirect free kick and Stubbs misses by miles.
Minute 87: James McFadden forces Liverpool into conceding a corner. Arteta to take and he gets the ball again and his second cross forces Reina to parry out. Reina ends up with the ball in the end and Everton waste the half chance.
Minute 88: Mohamed Sissoko off, Jermaine Pennant on. Time wasting?
Minute 89: Yellow Cards Jamie Carragher and James McFadden. The two collide and the referee has seen enough of their bickering like little school children and books them both.
Minute 90+1: Red Card Everton, Penalty Liverpool. Boy this was a crazy sequence. Try and follow along. Mascherano finds Finnan on the second attempt. Finnan finds Pennant who crosses the ball in. The ball finds Voronin before Pennant shoots, Howard saves and then Leiva Lucas finds an open goal mouth...with one exception. Phil Neville was there and used his hand to stop the ball from going in. Phil Neville has no choice but to be sent off. Dirk Kuyt takes and goes left. Tim Howard also goes left and in all honest should have stopped it as the ball goes right under Howard's arms and in. Liverpool at the death get the great escape. Everton 1 Liverpool 2.
Minute 90+4: Again Everton are robbed of a penalty in practically the exact same spot as the first one was denied from. The ball is played into Joleon Lescott and it's Jamie Carragher who pretty much gives Lescott a belly to back suplex. How a penalty is not called here I'll never know. That was more blatant and more obvious than the first one and it's an absolute joke that call wasn't given. That was almost Rob Styles esque but for the exact opposite reason as the stupid penalty decision Chelsea were given.

Final Analysis: Everton blew this game with two fatal mistakes. First off it's very difficult to win a game when you have two red cards against you...both deserved. The second mistake they made was Tim Howard going over the ball on the second penalty that he should have saved. That said, Everton also have every right to feel robbed. The first penalty shout in the 57th I could possibly see why it wasn't given, but the one at the end of second half stoppage time is just inexcusable. I know once you get to the edge of the six yard box there is going to be a little contact, but to make it so matter of fact your taking him down was just shocking. Everton also made a fatal mistake in not playing more conservatively after going a man down...they were out of shape when Liverpool got the second penalty and it was what cost them in the end. Liverpool for that matter didn't play that much better in the second half, but when your getting gifts, you can't complain one bit. They did enough to cause Everton to lose shape and were smart to get Gerrard back in central midfield. I still question the Gerrard substitution, but Babel and Pennant were the smart choices. Liverpool are doing just enough to win right now...may not be pretty but highly effective.

Tomorrow I should be back with another batch of reviews. Until then, any and all feedback is welcomed and appreciated. May the debate begin!


col January 23, 2008 at 6:36 AM  

Wow! Arsenal got killed last night! Anybody see it?
The fans must have been furious! 5 – 1, I mean Tottenham played very well but Arsenal fielded barely any first team players, what were they thinking!? The Fans have every right to be annoyed! When you travel to see your team play you expect them to at least try! Whoever did a little football spread betting on Arsenal losing will be laughing all the way to work this morning! Maybe I Should start spread betting and see if I can win a few bets! I want to laugh on the way to work!

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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