The match statistics — 67 percent possession for Liverpool and a 21-13 shots advantage for the Reds — simply don't remotely tell the story in this one.
Everton saw complete matches from nearly all of their players, particularly Yakubu, Cahill and Baines. Yakubu and Cahill pressured forward very effectively in the first half, and both Baines and Seamus Coleman pushed up from the back to create opportunities. Yakubu's physical presence repeatedly troubled Liverpool at the back, as he was able to bring down long balls and distribute to Arteta throughout the match. On defense, Everton looked solid. While Liverpool was given possession for the latter part of the match as a result of Evertons' 2-0 lead, they created few dangerous goal opportunities and Distin and Jagielka were tidy.
Liverpool's problem was a familiar one. They were far too conservative in their lines, and chose to hold the ball in their own half far too frequently. Raul Meireles was particularly poor while this strategy was in use, but he became one of the side's better players when the team was desperately pushing forward. Joe Cole delivered ineffective cross after ineffective cross, but he can only be blamed so much — only Torres was in the area to get on the end of the delivery. Maxi Rodriguez had little presence in the match, nor did Torres for the significant portion. Gerrard played relatively admirably, but even he was caught too far in his own side for much of the tie.
While the circumstances dictated the run of play for the last 20 minutes of the match, Liverpool looked menacing when they did choose to push forward, and they were able to effectively hold possession in the final third.
Hodgson would be well served to have his side play as such throughout going forward. Something has to change. The Reds are in 19th in the league table, having claimed just six out of 24 possible points through eight matches
90+4', 2-0 Everton: Whistle blows. Everton controlled the run of play for the first 70 minutes, and the scoreline reflected such. Liverpool eventually moved forward and Gerrard was able to create offensive rhythm for his side, but it was too little too late, and the Reds never truly generated a goal chance.
90+3', Everton 2-0: Everton continues to clear Liverpool's pushes forward. Babel takes a nice shot from distance, which is parried by Howard before Gerrard threads a ball to Ngog, which is covered by Distin on a near-penalty. Nothing comes of the corner, but Liverpool wins another corner — Carragher taking. It's a great delivery and Torres' volley is blocked. Meireles shoots off target thereafter.
90+1', Everton 2-0: Liverpool now forward in a frenzy, but nothing coming. Everton forces throws on both sides of the field. Gerrard has been able to pull the strings in the second half to some extent, but theere have been no second passes. Everton has a counter chance, but Beckford shoots over the bar from the top of the box.
89', Everton 2-0: Liverpool actually has eight shots on target to Everton's six, but it can't be said that the Reds have had any clear chances on goal. Skyrtel called for a foul in midfield. Everton now taking its time, and simply send the ball into the corner for a Liverpool throw. Four extra minutes at least.
87', Everton 2-0: Liverpool again looks to build from the back. Gerrard threads a nice ball to Torres, who finds Ngog, but Jagielka intervenes in the nick of time. Gerrard again gets the ball to Torres in the area, who shoots from the side of the area, but Howard saves. Gerrard has made a string of strong deliveries of late. Torres is given a yellow thereafter for a challenge.
84', Everton 2-0: Gerrard delivers a nice ball to the far post which Howard can't field cleanly, but nobody can quite get on the end of it. Corner results in nothing, but Rodriguez wins a corner to the right of the box. Kyrgiakos and Jagielka collide, but both get up eventually. Jovanovic comes on for Maxi Rodriguez, meaning all of Liverpool's forwards are now on.
82', Everton 2-0: Baines has done very well today both at the back and going forward. He again puts pressure on the Reds' defense before a clearance. Babel sends a nice ball to the center for Gerrard, who tries to connect to Torres to no avail. Everton clears but Liverpool keep possession, until Carragher gives it away. They get the ball back shortly thereafter and continue to pressure.
80', Everton 2-0: Jagielka has a chance at the corner but nothing comes of it. Beckford taken down in the box shortly thereafter, and the Everton fans boo the non-penalty. Upon further review, Beckford was diving. Ryan Babel on for Joe Cole, who delivered a ton of poor crosses.
77', Everton 2-0: Liverpool controls the ball in the Everton area before conceding a brief counterattack with Yakubu and Beckford, who makes a poor tackle on Skyrtel and receives a yellow right after coming on. Everton takes a spell of possession with Baines winning a corner coming forward.
74', Everton 2-0: Heitinga's injury is a calf strain. Liverpool build from the back, but nothing comes of it after Ngog's first touch. Arteta is now limping, and he is replaced by Beckford — a striker. Moyes is banking on Liverpool leaving their defense exposed — trying to win a counter goal. Everton is out of subs.
70' Everton 2-0: David Ngog to come on for Lucas. Liverpool hold an attack with no chances until Distin counters, but Liverpool's defense closes down well. Konchesky delivers the ball at the top of the box to Torres, but possession is lost. Heitinga appears injured, and Hibbert was set to come on for Arteta, but now Heitinga will exit instead. Obviously, Ngog for Lucas is a positive substitution — a necessary gamble.
68', Everton 2-0: Everton now countering with a spell of possession of their own, before Reds get the ball and Gerrard feeds Cole, who sends a chance from the top of the box over the bar. Moyes is poised to make a substitution to bolster the defense.
65', Everton 2-0: Liverpool now having the better part of possession. Reds have two buildups. Meireles takes a shot from distance which Howard saves. Cole takes a shot but it is blocked at the corner of the area. Lukas and Gerrard maintain possession. Cole crosses in but it is again cleared to Gerrard. Jagielka clears and Liverpool keeps the ball — a lot of possession for the Reds.
60' Everton 2-0: Liverpool wins possession and brings the ball forward with some menace. Carragher wins a corner. Terrible corner by Gerrard, but throw to Liverpool off the clearance.Torres wins a corner off the throw. Good delivery, but the ball is eventually cleared to Konchesky. Meireles delivers a long ball in. Possession goes back to Everton.
57', Everton 2-0: Bilyaletdinov delivers cross to Yakubu, but the big man can't get his foot to it. Cahill gets another talking to from Webb — maybe he will be sent off soon and give Liverpool the man advantage. Reds build from the back, now with more players in forward positions, but they concede a counter to Arteta. Skyrtel givesa a throw to Bilyaletdinov.
54', Everton 2-0: Liverpool doesn't particularly appear to be doing anything differently after the goal. Everton again is holding possession comfortably in the Liverpool half. Coleman makes a run in space but can't pick out Yakubu.
Class goal by Arteta — well placed from the top of the box under the pressure of the Liverpool defenders closing off the line after the corner. Liverpool has time, but they surely must gamble now. Carragher and Arteta exchange words.
50', Everton 2-0: Torres called for foul by referees assistant. Yakubu again wins the ball in forward area, gets the ball to Bilyaletdinov, who wins a corner. Yakubu is dominating the match thus far. Corner finds its way to Arteta who scores from the top of the box. GOAL! 2-0 Everton.
47' 1-0 Everton: No tactical changes for Liverpool, but Maxi Rodriguez has an immediate chance from the top of the box. On target, but saved by Howard. Gerrard again brings the ball up and begins to set the offense. Cole crosses in ineffectively, but Reds keep the ball. Everton finally wins the ball without conceding a chance. Liverpool looks better.
Half, Everton 1-0: Liverpool, clearly, must take a more positive approach in the second half. Mereiles has looked negative and has not played particularly well. Perhaps, he should be replaced with Babel or Ngog. We'll see what changes Hodgson makes. Bilyaletdinov on for the injured Osman.
45+2' 1-0 Everton: Gerrard delivers nice longball to Torres, and Liverpool wins a throw, before conceding possession back on a poor Meireles touch. Everton possesses, looking content to go into half time until Osman gets the ball in space and delivers a shot from distance on target. Easy work for Reina. Ball is traded thereafter until Gerrard delivers to Konchesky in the corner. Cross is to no avail. Liverpool again keeps possession, and Gerrard delivers a cross to nobody. Everton wins a throw, but Phil Neville can't find a ball. Half time.
43', Everton 1-0: Free kick won by Torres in midfield — taken quickly by Meireles. Konchesky delivers a cross but only Torres is in the area. The ball is eventually ceded to Everton for a goal kick. Liverpool wins possession back. Joe Cole delivers two poor crosses, and Howard again has the ball.
40', Everton 1-0: Osman has been taken off the field before Arteta takes a third corner, cleared by Liverpool. Osman comes back on minutes later. Reds finally control possession, but again linger in the back. Cahill and Yakubu checking way forward, but Liverpool get the ball up via Konchesky. Meireles is playing deeper than he is. Great cross by Konchesky but Torres can't quite get a foot on it.
38', Everton 1-0: Everton wins another corner, but it is cleared by Gerrard. Arteta makes a second attempt, which is cleared again, but for a throw, and then another corner.
The Cahill goal makes him the leading scorer in Everton's post-war Derby history. His finish was cooly taken, into the top of the net beyond Reina's reach — nothing he could do. Great run by Coleman, but the pass was deflected before going to Cahill. Liverpool will have to take a more positive style now.
34', Everton 1-0: Action stops for a bit as Webb talks to the players. Reina goal kick results in teams trading longballs before Maxi Rodriguez wins ball in Everton's third. Lucas throws away the opportunity with a poor delivery. Coleman makes a nice run run for Everton, delivering to Cahill who finishes. GOAL!
30' 0-0: Cahill given a yellow for repeated offenses on Gerrard. Gerrard, Lukas and Cole look good when they have gone forward, but they have had little opportunity to do so. Meireles has been rarely involved. Liverpool again on the attack, as they seem to be doing more now. Torres wins a corner via Baines. Gerrard takes corner well. Meireles foul blocked, and the counter begins. Meireles fouls Yakubu and receives a yellow.
29' 0-0: Possession immediately conceded off of free kick. Counter through Lucas. Joe Cole's cross comes to no end, but Reds defenders press forward and maintain possession. Yakubu counters with Cahill. Yakubu makes a nice effort in the bottom corner, but Reina saves.
26' 0-0: Everton again in possession, holding in their half until Baines brings it forward. Coleman and Arteta passing back and forth. Liverpool maintaining defensive shape well. Reds finally win the ball without conceding a chance, and Rodriguez wins a free kick.
24' 0-0: Liverpool finally enjoy possession on the Everton third. Baines eventually clears, but Liverpool keeps possession. Defenders finally come forward for an attack. Gerrard gets working before Cole delivers a nice ball into Torres, who heads it high onto the goal and Howard saves easily. Corner won, but not used well. Reds maintain possession until Lucas airmails a shot.
22' 0-0: Another throw to Neville in the corner. Kyrgiakos looks to concede a corner but a goal kick is given, despite Yakubu's protests.
20' 0-0: Maxi Rodriguez finally gets a touch with a poor challenge on Baines. We have our first yellow card. Cahill wins a header in the box and delivers to Yakubu, but the ball is cleared. Throw to Everton delivered in. Ball stays in Liverpool area precariously for a while until Liverpool wins a free kick.
17' 0-0: Free kick to Everton on the edge of the offensive third. Cahill wins header in box but foul on Everton is called. Liverpool continue to concede the better part of the possession to Everton due to forward pressure.
15' 0-0: Distin receives a ball from Yakubu, makes a great turn in the center of the area and delivers the ball over the bar on a clear chance. Result is a corner which is possessed by Liverpool, but won back by Everton. Cleared by Liverpool, but two near penalties won for Everton — Cahill and Yakubu.
13' 0-0: Everton pressuring forward on Liverpool's possession in its own half. Toffees win a throw, but immediately give it back to Liverpool through Konchesky. Hodgson is adjusting his socks. Howard Webb gives Phil Neville a talking to, but awards him a free kick.
11' 0-0: Skyrtel forced to foul Yakubu after a nice turn. Free kick on edge of the box. Arteta drives the ball into the wall. Baines wins possession and delivers a center. Jagielka airs the ball over the bar.
9' 0-0: Kyrgiakos attempts another longball to Torres after Everton enjoys a minor spell of possession in Liverpool's half. Joe Cole wins a free kick on a Heitinga challenge – the first foul on Heitinga given by Howard Webb since he sent him off in the World Cup Final.
7' 0-0: Liverpool again holding possession in their defensive half. Maxi Rodriguez is still without a touch. Longball to Torres finally attempted but missed.
5' 0-0: Meireles concedes corner after free kick delivered on the ground into the box. Poor corner by Arteta, but Everton maintains possession. Somewhat nervy moment for Reina, but Liverpool clears through Kyrgiakos. Lukas wins a free kick.
4' 0-0: Liverpool's defense holding the ball on the ground. Throw to Carragher after an Osman challenge. Carragher and Torres exchange words over miscommunication. Free kick to Everton conceded by Carragher on Yakubu on the edge of the offensive third.
2' 0-0: Howard Webb blows the whistle and we're off. Immediate whistle on Yakubu for minor late challenge. Both teams beginning match with long balls. Liverpool establishes possession for the first time.
8:25 a.m.: Just minutes to kickoff. Players entering the field. NESV ownership on hand. Liverpool have won eight of 10 at Goodison Park. Glen Johnson injured. Christian Poulsen out with family issues.
8 a.m.: Lineups have been announced, and Everton appears to have Phil Jagielka back from injury, but not to have Louis Saha available at all.
As for Liverpool, the lineup is pretty much what you'd expect given the injuries to Daniel Agger and Dirk Kuyt.
Kickoff in fewer than 30 minutes.
Tim Howard (24), goalkeeper
Sylvain Distin (15), center-left defender
Phil Jagielka (6), center-right defender
Leighton Baines (3), left back
Seamus Coleman (23), right back
Phil Neville (18), center-left midfielder
John Heitinga (5), center-right midfielder
Tim Cahill (17), attacking midfielder
Mikel Arteta (10), left midfielder
Leon Osman (21), right midfielder
Yakubu Aiyegbeni (22), striker
Tony Hibbert (2)
Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (7)
Jose Baxter (37)
Magaye Gueye (19)
Jan Mucha (1)
Shkodran Mustafi (30)
Jermaine Beckford (16)
Pepe Reina (25), goalkeeper
Martin Skrtel (37), center-left defender
Sotirios Kyrgiakos (16), center-right defender
Paul Konchesky (3), left back
Jamie Carragher (23), right back
Raul Meireles (4), center-left midfielder
Lucas (21), center-right midfielder
Steven Gerrard (8), attacking midfielder
Joe Cole (10), left midfielder
Maxi Rodríguez (17), right midfielder
Fernando Torres (9), striker
Fabio Aurelio (6)
Ryan Babel (19)
Brad Jones (1)
David Ngog (24)
Jay Spearing (26)
Martin Kelly (34)
Milan Jovanovic (14)
7:30 a.m.: A new era begins for Liverpool F.C. on Sunday afternoon, and there could be no more fitting way for such to occur than on the pitch against the Reds' arch rivals since 1894, Everton.
The two sides, however, meet under far more peculiar circumstances than simply with a new Liverpool ownership group. They sit in 18th and 17th in the Premier League table, desperately needing to begin their ascent up the standings in the race for European qualification. Still, while the two clubs sit at six points each, they are just eight points adrift of second place in the league.
Liverpool will be without normal fixtures winger Dirk Kuyt and defender Daniel Agger, but Everton actually features more dire injury woes: missing Marouane Fellaini, Phil Jagielka, Jack Rodwell, Steven Pienaar and likely Louis Saha.
The 214th edition of the Merseyside Derby will commence at 8:30 a.m. ET at Goodison Park, with the Reds, who won the last matchup 1-0 at Anfield, looking to add to their 85 to 65 advantage in series victories.