ON A BUSY night of Premier League football, we’re focusing on the 22nd Merseyside derby.
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Liverpool 4-0 Everton
19.37 – Good evening and welcome along. Fourth-placed Liverpool meet their local rivals Everton, just a point behind them in sixth, for the 22nd time in our feature game tonight but we’ll be keeping you up-to-date on all the other action.
At Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskhjaer returns as manager of Cardiff but Juan Mata is the name on every United’s fans lips. The Spaniard starts for his debut with Robin van Persie also named in the team and Wayne Rooney on the bench.
Elsewhere, table-toppers Arsenal are away to Southampton, Chris Hughton’s Norwich face his former side Newcastle, Swansea take on Fulham and Crystal Palace entertain Hull.
So let’s get your predictions on the Merseyside derby and all the rest of tonight’s matches…
19.40 – Here are the teams:
Liverpool: Mignolet, Flanagan, Toure, Skrtel, Cissokho, Sterling, Gerrard, Henderson, Coutinho, Suarez, Sturridge. Subs: Jones, Alberto, Aspas, Moses, Ibe, Kelly, Smith.
Everton: Howard, Stones, Alcaraz, Jagielka, Baines, McCarthy, Barry, Mirallas, Barkley, Pienaar, Lukaku. Subs: Robles, Hibbert, McGeady, Naismith, Gueye, Osman, Garbutt.
Liverpool name a strong side with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge up front while Ross Barkley is in for the Toffees behind Romelu Lukaku. Ireland’s Seamus Coleman misses out due to a hamstring injury but compatriot James McCarthy will marshal the midfield with Gareth Barry.
19.50 – Four of the six games are five minutes in having kicked off at 7.45pm. It’s currently:
- Man United 0-0 Cardiff
- Norwich 0-0 Newcastle
- Southampton 0-0 Arsenal
- Swansea 0-0 Fulham
And here’s our Score Centre
19.53 – At Selhurst Park, Ireland international Shane Long makes his debut for Hull having made a £6m switch from West Brom. Paul McShane and David Meyler are also in the Tigers’ line-up.
19.54 – GOAL! At Old Trafford, Robin van Persie has handed Manchester United a 1-0 lead after 6 minutes. Antonio Valencia had header Ashley Young’s cross onto the crossbar and the Dutchman followed up from close range.
20.00 – The teams are out and we’re about to begin.
20.02 – Early change for the away side and it’s Ross Barkley who isn’t far away. The young midfielder comes inside and lets fly from 25 yards with his left foot but the strike sails just over the bar.
20.06 – Down the other end, Jordan Henderson volleys a shot on target but the ball is batted away by Tim Howard — who pushes out to his left.
20.08 – Steven Pienaar is holding his head on the ground after Henderson clashed into him while challenging for a header. The South African will leave the pitch temporarily having received treatment.
20.09 – Luis Suarez has got his first sniff after good work from Raheem Sterling to create the chance by hassling the Toffees defence.
Suarez hits it first time but Howard makes a routine save. The resulting corner sees Henderson shoot into Row Z.
20.13 – For those interested, click here for Robin van Persie’s opener. It’s still 1-0 to Man United but Ashley Young missed a good chance after Juan Mata’s cross to the back post.
20.16 – Sturridge runs at a couple of defenders but the ball drops loose to Suarez and he attempts to curl a shot in. Once again, Howard is there to smother comfortably.
20.17 – Next to have a pop is Reds captain Steven Gerrard. He can’t keep his long distance effort down, however.
20.20 – Liverpool are getting some great chances here. Sterling is put through by Sturridge and beats Antonio Alcaraz for pace before shooting at the leg of Howard. The ball bounces back and goes out of the Liverpool player.
That’s 7-1 to Liverpool in chances so far.
20.21 – GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Everton (Steven Gerrard)
Liverpool are ahead! Suarez whips in a corner and the Reds captain gets up brilliantly to head past James McCarthy on the line. It was coming.
20.24 – Doesn’t he look happy…
20.25 – More bad news for Everton. Their top scorer Lukaku has picked up an injury and is being replaced by Steven Naismith.
20.27 – In the meantime, Southampton have gone ahead against Arsenal thanks to Jose Fonte while Jason Puncheon has put Palace 1-0 up at home to Hull.
20.31 – Here’s the goal that separates them:
YouTube credit: Leo Ben
20.33 – Everton could’ve got themselves back in it there. Kevin Mirallas dribbles past a couple of challenges, and is brought down before Jagielka strikes at goal. Simon Mignolet makes a good save, then Barry shoots over.
20.34 – GOAL! Liverpool 2-0 (Daniel Sturridge)
That’s two. Coutinho threads a ball through to Sturridge and he scores his 15th of the season with a clinical finish past Howard.
20.36 – GOAL! Liverpool 3-0 Everton (Daniel Sturridge)
Oh dear, where have the Everton defence gone to…? A long ball down field finds Sturridge on his own and he lofts the ball over the head of the stranded Howard to make it 3-0.
Roberto Martinez’s face says it all.
20.41 – Kevin Mirallas wriggles his way past a few challenges and shoots at fellow Belgian Mignolet, who pushes around the post.
20.44 – Goal number two:
YouTube credit: alkon g
20.48 – Gareth Barry has picked up a yellow card after bringing down Sterling. James McCarthy can count himself lucky that he has avoided one so far after a couple of clumsy tackles.
20.55 – Half-time: Liverpool 3-0 Everton
Is there any way back for the Toffees? Not if they defend as badly they did in the first half after the break…
21.04 – Here we go for the second half. It’s a big 20 minutes for Everton, who badly need a goal.
21.08 – GOAL! Liverpool 4-0 Everton (Luis Suarez)
Everton have started the second half well but shoot themselves in the foot with more poor defending. Jagielka plays the ball straight to the Uruguayan on the halfway line and he runs through before finding the back of the net.
21.12 – PENALTY TO LIVERPOOL…
21.13 – Unbelievable. On a hat-trick, Sturridge skies over the bar. That was after Tim Howard came flying out to take down Sterling in the box.
Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images
21.19 – Alcaraz takes out Sturridge and Liverpool win a corner from the resulting free-kick. When Coutinho picks up possession, he attempts to squeeze a shot in at the near post but it whistles just wide.
21.24 – Everton win a free-kick in a dangerous area and Ross Barkley stands over it. He can’t get it over the wall though.
21.31 – McCarthy drives forward and shoots but Mignolet saves.
Liverpool then catch Everton on the break with Coutinho finding Sturridge. He opts to cut back and wasted the opportunity, which leads Suarez to give him an ear-bashing.
And that is the last we’ll see of Sturridge as he is being replaced by Victor Moses.
21.33 – Brendan Rodgers will give Martin Kelly a run and the full-back takes Jon Flanagan’s place.
21.34 – Aiden McGeady is about to get his first taste of a Merseyside derby. The Irish winger is getting ready to be introduced.
And it’s Barkley who makes way for the January signing from Spartak Moscow.
21.37 – Super play by Mirallas in the corner, who holds up play and pass to Osman. His flick finds McCarthy and the midfield shows great feet to make a yard for himself but drags his shot wide. If there’s one part of his game that is lacking, it’s goals.
21.38 – Luis Alberto is on for Coutinho.
21.39 – That Suarez goal:
YouTube credit: GLOBAL CHANNEL: VIDEO GOAL IN TEMPO REALE & ALTRO
21.41 – Ten minutes to play here but it has gone full-time in the following:
- Man United 2-0 Cardiff
- Norwich 0-0 Newcastle
- Swansea 2-0 Fulham
- Southampton 2-2 Arsenal
21.46 – That’s greedy from Moses, who shoots into the sidenetting when he has team-mates in better positions.
21.51 – Three minutes of added time to play and Everton will be put out of their misery.
21.53 – Full-time: Liverpool 4-0 Everton
21.58 – A miserable night if your a Toffee but a great one for Liverpool supporters, who earn their biggest Merseyside derby win since 1982. That sees them move close in on the top three with 46 points, while Everton remain in sixth but Manchester United are just two points behind.
The one final result was Crystal Palace’s 1-0 win over Hull with Shane Long unable to make enough of an impact on his Tigers debut.
That’s my lot… we’ll have coverage of the remaining four games tomorrow night when it’s:
- Aston Villa v West Brom
- Chelsea v West Ham
- Spurs v Man City
- Sunder v Stoke