LIVERPOOL: Steven Gerrard pulled Liverpool back on track virtually single-handed with a hat-trick which secured a 3-0 win over Everton in the Mersey derby and left his own manager Kenny Dalglish lost for words.
Liverpool’s captain led the way as Liverpool ended a run of three successive Premier League defeats with the first Liverpool derby hat-trick in the league since Ian Rush hit four goals at Goodison in 1982.
Dalglish said: “I am not educated enough to add to what anybody else is saying about Steven. He has been fantastic for this football club. For a guy who left school at 15, my vocabulary is not that great. There is no way I could extol the virtues of Steven Gerrard and do him justice.
“He was fantastic tonight, but I think the three other local lads we had were as well. They didn’t do too badly. He is the first to say he wouldn’t have been there with three goals without the help of the others.”
Liverpool remain seventh in the table after only their fifth league success at Anfield this season but one which, according to Dalglish, was long overdue.
He added: “”We are delighted we have at last got reward for a great performance here. It is one of the many we have had here, but we got reward for the effort we put in tonight. It is always nice when you play really well and win. Sometimes it is even better when you are rubbish and you still get three points but that hasn’t happened to us too many times this season.
“It is a good reward for the players. It is great they maintained the belief in themselves and the philosophies we have got and the way they have been playing. I don’t think it will do them any harm but we have got a really difficult game coming up on Sunday. We will enjoy this for a couple of days and then look forward to Sunday.”
Gerrard insisted on sharing the credit with his team-mates, particularly Luis Suarez. He said: “To beat Everton is always special, so to get three goals is a little bit extra, but I have to give my team-mates a special mention, especially Luis Suarez who put two goals on a plate for me. It was a great term performance, a clean sheet. Everything we wanted from the game we got it.”
Both sides are back in action in the FA Cup quarter-finals at the weekend, with Liverpool hosting Stoke and Everton taking on Sunderland.
Everton manager David Moyes said: “We gave away three terrible goals, all instigated by ourselves. The first we were on the break to try to score ourselves, the second we gave away on the halfway line and the third as well. We led to our own downfall, but after you give it away you still have to score and Liverpool did that.”