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Gerrard hails crucial derby win

Lee Carsley and Steven Gerrard battle it out during Liverpool's 1-0 win over Everton
Gerrard (right) was delighted with Liverpool's hard-fought victory

Steven Gerrard believes Liverpool's 1-0 win over Everton could be crucial in the race for fourth place in the Premier League.

Fernando Torres bagged his 28th goal of the season to give Liverpool all three points and put the Reds five points clear of their Merseyside rivals.

"It was a big win and we knew how important this game would be for us," said Gerrard.

"Hopefully we can continue to pick up wins and grab that fourth spot."

He added: "Credit to Everton they came back strongly in the second half - we couldn't quite get that second goal which made it harder."

Reds manager Rafa Benitez is still wary of the threat Everton pose in the race for the final Champions League spot and was frustrated by his team's inability to kill the game off.

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"To do the double over Everton is really good for us, but I think that in the first half we had chances to score and finish the game," he said.

"When you are winning just 1-0, a free-kick, a corner or a throw-in can be dangerous, so we were hard-working in defence and played on the counter-attack and I felt we had a lot of chances.

"We need to keep winning, but at least when you have five points more than the other team it makes things a little bit easier."

Benitez also hailed the impact that Torres has made since arriving at Anfield in the summer and believes his new formation of employing Gerrard behind the Spaniard is paying dividends.

"To score 28 goals, 21 in the league, in your first season is not easy for anyone especially for a player coming to a different country" he added.

"I think the understanding between Gerrard and Torres is good so we tried to use these two key players.

"You can also see Babel and Kuyt are working hard and creating problems for the other team's so it's a formation that is good for the team."

We're not running out of steam - it's more a case of not having enough bodies.

Everton manager David Moyes

Everton manager David Moyes had no complaints with the result, but pinpointed Everton's lack of attacking options after strikers Andrew Johnson, Victor Anichebe and James Vaughan were all ruled out.

Moyes will also have to do without midfielder Tim Cahill for the rest of the season but is not giving up hope of overtaking their Merseyside rivals.

"We lacked penetration when we got into good positions around the penalty area but we handed Liverpool an early advantage," he said.

"Unfortunately we've had a few injuries at the business end of the season. We're not running out of steam - it's more a case of not having enough bodies.

"There are still games to be played so it doesn't change things for us. We're still positive about the rest of the season. Five points is a big gap but we won't be giving up."

Barclays Premier League Table
01 February 2010 22:00
    P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 23 38 54
2 Man Utd 24 36 53
3 Arsenal 24 32 49
4 Tottenham 24 20 42

5 Liverpool 24 16 41

6 Man City 22 14 41
7 Aston Villa 23 13 40
8 Birmingham 23 -1 34
9 Everton 23 -1 32
10 Blackburn 24 -15 28
11 Fulham 23 -2 27
12 Stoke 22 -7 26
13 Sunderland 23 -10 24
14 Wigan 22 -23 22
15 West Ham 23 -9 21
16 Bolton 22 -15 21
17 Wolverhampton 23 -21 21

18 Burnley 23 -23 20
19 Hull 23 -26 20
20 Portsmouth 22 -16 15



see also
Liverpool 1-0 Everton
30 Mar 08 |  Premier League
Sunday's football photos
30 Mar 08 |  Football
Premier League as it happened
30 Mar 08 |  Premier League


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