Pride Of Merseyside

Liverpool were met with success yesterday after putting two past a lively Everton side and also managing to keep a clean sheet for the first time away from home this season.

Liverpool started a strong side although Fernando Torres was still not available after his late fitness test. Aurelio, Riera and Benayoun were all options after the 'horse placenta' continued to prove it's worth. Nabil El Zhar was also on the bench back from injury and of course Aquilani.

It only took 12 minutes for Liverpool to capitalize after Javier Mascherano opted for a punt from outside the area, after the shot took a deflection from Everton's Yobo it headed past a beaten Howard and the lads were 1-0 up. Mascherano was absolutely ecstatic judging by his celebration, it's just a shame that the "dubious goals committee" appear to have awarded it to Jospeh Yobo nevertheless the passion from Mascherano was clear to see.

For the rest of the first half there were many points to highlight. Everton appeared to be applying most of the pressure and even had the ball in the net ... twice. Both goals however were deemed disallowed as they were both offside, two great decisions from Alan Wiley who had a good game refereeing the derby, he managed to make sure that it wasn't one of those "stop-start" games.

Another moment within the first half that had a lot of fans certain Liverpool had scored again was when a brilliant cross from Glen Johnson came in to a pouncing Insua, a superb header was met with a superb save after Howard's reactions prevented the home side from being 2-0 down by half time.

So Liverpool were ahead but far from comfortable. After constant pushing from Everton in the first half the defence appeared quite shaky and to feel confident at 1-0 up was never a good idea. Pienaar was an attacking threat and if Everton's Bilyaletdinov hadn't of missed a sitter during the first 45minutes it could have been a very different story. We needed a second goal.

It took until the clock read 80 minutes but Liverpool after maintaining their clean sheet managed to score again via a Dirk Kuyt tap in. Albert Riera who had been on the pitch for less than two minutes made immediate impact after his speculative shot/cross found it's way into the path of Kuyt.

Liverpool were 2 nil up in the Merseyside derby and now was the time to relax. On a 2 goal cushion with 10 minutes to go you wouldn't feel too worried about Liverpool throwing away the lead but the lads wanted more than that.

Liverpool needed to hold on to that clean sheet to walk away from Goodison Park with full bragging rights. Reina moments before the second Liverpool goal had made a phenomenal double save to deny Everton the equalizer and it was only right that the scoreline reflected his efforts, not just our ego.

Match over and all 3 points were collected, it was scrappy, nervy, shaky and many other descriptive words that end in y and imply "bad performance" but for now it is the points that matter, not the play. We still have time to work on our performance providing we can start to bring in the results.

So with Blackburn next away in the league again we are in a position where we should start the push and capitalize on the confidence of a win but will it be a replay of the hope after the Manchester United game? Or when we felt the international break would breathe new life into the season and we would come back on top? I sincerely hope Liverpool go to Blackburn and do bring back three points because if they don't in all honesty it wouldn't be unrealistic to start actually 'worrying' about securing that 4th spot. At the moment it is still obviously do-able but constant inconsistency will do nothing in a league now littered with "top four wannabes".

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