Liverpool Vs. Everton, 2012 Premier League: Reds Win With Gerrard Hat Trick

Steven Gerrard struck thrice for Liverpool in their Merseyside Derby win over Everton.

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Liverpool Vs. Everton, 2012 Premier League: Full Time, Gerrard Hattrick Wins Derby

David Moyes made 6 changes before tonight's Merseyside Derby, and Liverpool took full advantage, with Steven Gerrard getting a hattrick as Liverpool ended a run of 3 losses. David Moyes will be disappointed with the performance, and the result, but quite frankly, the FA Cup quarter final against Sunderland on Saturday is more important than the Merseyside Derby; neither Liverpool nor Everton will challenge for the Champions League, and the FA Cup offers silverware and an easier chance into Europe than the Premier League for Everton.

Liverpool could've won by more; Tim Howard made a brilliant save from Steven Gerrard after the Liverpool captain burst into the area, and Martin Kelly had a hattick of chances to score, but as he did against Arsenal, he failed to find the back of the net. The goal was a brilliant finish from Gerrard, after neat Liverpool play. Suarez set Kelly into the penalty area, and when Howard spilled his tame shot, Gerrard collected Distin's weak clearance and chipped 5 Everton players with his left foot.

Minutes later, it should've been two; Suarez played in Kelly, but his shot went wide of Howard's left post. Everton responded with Baines and Pienaar, but Stracqualursi's header was easily saved by Pepe Reina. Everton had bright spots, with Baines and Pienaar creating good chances from cut backs, but, even after bringing on Leon Osman, Nikcia Jelavic and Royston Drenthe, they couldn't sustain periods of pressure or finish their chances.

Liverpool still had problems finishing, with Suarez, Kelly and Carroll all missing good chances, but Gerrard showed them how to. His second came after more poor defending from Distin; he was sold too easily by Suarez's jinks on the goal line, and as he cut back to shoot, Gerrard whacked the ball into the top of Tim Howard's net. Suarez and Gerrard combined for the skipper's hattrick in stoppage time; the Uruguayan was sent behind the Everton defence, and, seeing Gerrard coming up, jinked a bit before cutting back for Gerrard to again smash into the top of Howard's net.

Kenny Dalglish will be very pleased with the performance, and will hope it'll translate into a victory in the FA Cup against Stoke City on Saturday. David Moyes will be disappointed, but the simple fact of the matter is that the Merseyside Derby doesn't have the big influence on the Premier League that it once did, with both sides being lower-top half teams. Everton will hope they rebound against Sunderland in the Cup go on to win it.

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Liverpool Vs. Everton, 2012 Premier League: Halftime, Liverpool Lead Through Gerrard

Liverpool have had the better of the first half and got the lead they deserved when Steven Gerrard scored after 33 minutes with a wonderful left-footed chip from the edge of the box that beat five Everton players. The chance came after very good interplay between Gerrard and Luis Suarez, before the latter played in Martin Kelly on the right. His shot was tame, but was spilled by Tim Howard, with the resulting rebound from Sylvain Distin falling to Gerrard.

Everton, though, haven't been dominated, and were coming into the game when Liverpool had scored. Their best chance came after their classic combination on the left between Steven Pienaar and Leighton Baines set the Everton left back free. He sent in a very good, flat cross that was met by the head of Denis Stracqualursi. His header, though, was easily saved by Pepe Reina.

Liverpool have had two other clear chances, with Gerrard's shot after seven minutes being palmed away by Howard, before Jack Rodwell brilliantly blocked Jordan Henderson's follow-up. They could've doubled their lead minutes after scoring when Kelly was played in by Henderson, but his shot went wide of Howard's left post. Kelly's overlaps have been very dangerous for Liverpool, with neither Pienaar nor Victor Anichebe tracking his runs. If Everton want to stop Liverpool, they may want to stop Kelly's runs, as long as bringing on someone like Leon Osman to add more creativity. Rodwell and Marouane Fellaini give them a solid platform, but not much creativity.

For Liverpool, they need to do more of the same. Gerrard and Suarez are linking up very well, and Kelly is playing well, but they will want to get more out of Henderson, Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll, who, again, have failed to live up to expectations. Liverpool, though, at least, have scored a goal at home in the Premier League, with Gerrard becoming the first Liverpool player to do so in 2012.

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