Belfast Telegraph

Gerrard hat-trick seals derby win

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard hit a memorable hat-trick to sink Everton 3-0 in the 217th Merseyside derby.

The Reds' inspiration, back in the starting line-up after injury, completed his treble in stoppage-time as Kenny Dalglish's men ended a run of three successive Barclays Premier League defeats.

It was a victory which a re-energised Liverpool side deserved and left Everton boss David Moyes, celebrating the 10th anniversary of his appointment this week, still without a win at Anfield.

The result may have come too late to rescue Liverpool's chances of a top-four finish as they are still 10 points behind Arsenal but it provided an important confidence boost ahead of Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final at home to Stoke.

Gerrard's was maybe not in the classic all-action mould of years gone by but, with his 32nd birthday approaching in May, Gerrard has shown experience brings out various qualities and he was able to do just as much damage in a more controlled role.

The breakthrough came in the 34th minute when Martin Kelly's shot was half-stopped by Tim Howard and Sylvain Distin could only clear as far as Gerrard, who curled an inch-perfect first-time left-footed shot over the heads of defenders and goalkeeper and into the net.

Everton's brighter start to the second half was extinguished just six minutes after the restart when Gerrard struck again.

Luis Suarez chased Jordan Henderson's pass into the corner, cut past Distin along the right byline and shepherded the ball towards the onrushing captain who blasted home.

The closest Everton came to scoring was when a Jack Rodwell shot was cleared by Jose Enrique a couple of yards out.

In added time, Gerrard put the seal on another impressive personal display by starting and finishing the move, exchanging passes with Suarez, to knock in his third.


From Belfast Telegraph