Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier praised the attitude of his players after their derby win over Liverpool at Goodison Park.
Houllier was delighted with the result
A first-half strike from Michael Owen and a stunning winner from Danny Murphy after David Unsworth's equaliser from the penalty spot, saw Liverpool leapfrog Everton in the table.
And with Chelsea losing it means the Reds are just two points behind Claudio Ranieri's team as they pursue the fourth and final Champions League spot.
"This derby was a challenge for us and a real opportunity to please the fans
at the right time," said Houllier.
"I told the players before the game that they had the chance to please the
fans, to show their intent and to grow as a team.
"We knew it would be a battle and a fight.
"We were missing our two first choice centre-backs, lost Igor Biscan early on and almost our 'keeper, but Jerzy Dudek showed great bravery to stay on - he epitomised the character of the team.
"We were pleased to have beaten a great side, you can see from their effort
why they are where they are, but this was a massive win for our club.
We didn't deserve to lose, I felt we dominated the game
"Games like that are always heated, you have to win the battle and be brave
enough to get the ball down, play it on the floor and show composure. We did
Everton manager David Moyes, who could only watch as David Weir
and Gary Naysmith were dismissed during the game, was unhappy with the result.
"We didn't deserve to lose that, they
didn't have too many chances although Danny Murphy's winner was a fabulous
finish," said Moyes.
"I wasn't disappointed with the overall performance, but our best players
didn't perform to their best level.
"I felt we dominated the game, showed what it meant to us, but lacked the
craft and ability at the crucial time to open them up.
"I didn't really think that it was a 10 yellow-card game, but I'd have to
look at everyone again to see whether I felt they were really deserved.
"We certainly didn't deserve to be behind at the break, and we kept going in
the second half until we got the penalty scored by David Unsworth just before
"And at that point if any side was going to go on and win, I felt it would be
us, but it didn't quite happen."