Steven Gerrard followed up on his public rallying cry to Liverpool Football Club by dismantling Everton with a superb hat-trick Tuesday evening. The Liverpool captain chipped Tim Howard in the first half and linked up brilliantly with Luis Suarez in the second half to complete the first Merseyside derby hat-trick since Ian Rush scored four in 1982.
Liverpool’s entered the derby underdogs on form following two losses on the trot. In a derby, however, form can be thrown out the window. Anfield was filled to capacity with Liverpudlians and Evertonians voicing their love for their clubs. While both clubs have vital FA Cup clashes this weekend, Kenny Dalglish prioritised the league, naming a strong side that included Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll all in the starting lineup. David Moyes’ priority looked to be on the weekend with Leon Osman, Royston Drenthe and Nikica Jelavic on the bench.
Liverpool opened up the match in flying fashion with Gerrard and Luis Suarez going close off the gun, only to be defied by Tim Howard. Martin Kelly found vast freedom on the right, and nearly added himself to the score-sheet twice in the first half. It was Gerrard who would open up the scoring for the Reds, following a scramble in front of goal. The Liverpool skipper received the ball on the outside of the box and was left with no choice but a first time chip which found the corner of the net.
The second half would provide more Gerrard brilliance with midfielder linking up near telepathically with Suarez. The Uruguayan played a stunning 90 minutes for the Reds alongside Carroll. Liverpool’s No. 7 supplied Gerrard’s two goals, leaving Gerrard full of praise for the Liverpool striker.
“To beat Everton is always special, so to get three goals is that little bit extra,” Gerrard told liverpoolfc.tv, “But I have to give my teammates a special mention, especially Luis Suarez – he put two on a plate for me.”
The Reds will look to build on their derby victory this weekend when the Reds host Stoke City in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on Sunday.