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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 September 2006, 13:52 GMT 14:52 UK
Everton 3-0 Liverpool
By Phil McNulty

Everton's Andrew Johnson confirms the Mersey derby scoreline
Everton's Andrew Johnson confirms the Mersey derby scoreline
Everton's great start to the season continued with a crushing Merseyside derby win against Liverpool.

Tim Cahill gave Everton the lead with a close-range finish after 23 minutes.

Andrew Johnson added Everton's second 12 minutes later, coolly taking advantage of Jamie Carragher's mistake as Liverpool's defence struggled.

Liverpool wasted a succession of chances before keeper Pepe Reina fumbled Lee Carsley's shot for Johnson to head home in injury time.

Everton were rightly ecstatic, showing a ruthless edge in front of goal and great organisation in the face of Liverpool's second-half revival to record their biggest derby win for 42 years.

Liverpool suffered a further blow when substitute John Arne Riise was stretchered off with a serious ankle injury in the closing stages.

The visitors had an opportunity inside the first 10 seconds when Robbie Fowler was presented with a shooting chance, but Everton keeper Tim Howard saved.

Johnson's pace had already exposed the Liverpool rearguard, but it was Cahill who stole in to give Everton the lead after 23 minutes.

Mikel Arteta's pass was headed on by Carsley, and when Leon Osman won a physical battle with Steve Finnan, the ball ran loose for Cahill to slide a finish past Pepe Reina.

Steven Gerrard had been quiet, but he started to exert his influence as Liverpool got a foothold in the game, shooting narrowly wide from 20 yards.

And he turned the ball on to the outside of an upright after Howard had saved well from Luis Garcia.

But more catastrophic defensive work from Liverpool let the in-form Johnson in to double Everton's advantage 10 minutes before half-time.

Carragher completely missed Carsley's through ball, allowing Johnson to run clear and beat Reina in composed fashion.

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Liverpool made a change after 52 minutes, sending on Dirk Kuyt for Peter Crouch, who looked jaded after his successful exertions with England.

Finnan almost put Liverpool back in contention just after the hour when he picked up a corner that was only half-cleared by Everton and was only inches wide from 20 yards.

Rafael Benitez made his second change after 63 minutes, sending on Riise for Fowler, who had been a very subdued figure.

Liverpool continued to dominate possession, and Howard was forced to produce another fine save from substitute Kuyt.

Everton were hanging on, and Gerrard was again the victim of cruel luck with 14 minutes left, striking the inside of a post from Sami Hyypia's pass.

Liverpool appealed for a penalty when Tony Hibbert appeared to handle the rebound from Kuyt, but referee Graham Poll waved away their appeals.

Benitez suffered another blow when Riise fouled Arteta, but appeared to suffer a serious ankle injury in the process and was stretchered off.

Gary Naysmith wasted a chance to put Everton out of sight when he shot over the top with Reina out of position with five minutes left.

Everton had re-established control in the closing stages, and the outstanding Johnson was on hand to head a third after Liverpool keeper Reina first fumbled Carsley's shot and then virtually put the ball in front of the striker to head in.


  • Everton boss David Moyes:
    "Andrew Johnson is an unbelievable striker and is going to get goals.

    "He fought hard and showed character and now he knows what it means to be a blue.

    "We always said Andrew would score goals but for his second he said 'I'm going to gamble here'. We are pleased to have him."

  • Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez:
    "We made a lot of mistakes, and in football you pay for them. In the second half we went forward and created chances but couldn't score."

    Benitez defended his decision to pick Jamie Carragher, who had only recently returned from injury.

    "I think he was okay, but it's not just one player to blame in the defence."


    Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Yobo, Lescott, Naysmith, Osman (Beattie 83), Neville, Carsley, Arteta (Nuno Valente 90), Cahill, Johnson.
    Subs Not Used: Wright, Weir, Van der Meyde.

    Booked: Yobo.

    Goals: Cahill 24, Johnson 36, 90.

    Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Aurelio, Gerrard, Alonso, Sissoko (Pennant 78), Luis Garcia, Fowler (Riise 64), Crouch (Kuyt 53).
    Subs Not Used: Dudek, Agger.

    Booked: Sissoko, Riise, Hyypia.

    Att: 40,004

    Ref: G Poll (Hertfordshire).



    SEE ALSO
    Premiership photos
    09 Sep 06 |  Football


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