A bizarre team selection from David Moyes combined with an absolutely woeful performance from every Everton player who made an appearance has resultant in the easiest Merseyside Derby 3-0 win for Liverpool at Anfield.
A Steven Gerrard hat-trick on his 400th appearance was enough to humiliate Everton, as fans will look at David Moyes for an explanation for this defeat, with the players on show lacking balance, tenacity and any type of form.
Despite the Toffees coming off the back of an extended unbeaten run and an impressive battling 1-0 win against high-flying Tottenham, Moyes – celebrating his 10 year anniversary at the club – decided to make six changes to his line-up.
Bafflingly, he changed his proven centre-half partnership, dropping John Heitinga for Phil Jagielka, returning from injury. He dropped Nikica Jelavic, a striker who scored in his full debut last time out, for Denis Stracqualursi. Jack Rodwell came into midfield for his first start since a return from injury, replacing Leon Osman, who made a fantastic assist against Spurs. Victor Anichebe, who has not been used much since January, replaced Tim Cahill, and started in an unfamiliar left wing role, whilst Steven Pienaar – impressive on the left wing since his return to Goodison Park – moved into the middle.
The results, unfortunately, were predictable…
Liverpool dominated the entire game, barring a small ten minute spell in the first half, and will never have an easier win in the Merseyside Derby. The irony is that this was a Liverpool side bereft of confidence, out of the running for a Champions League place and plagued by problems both on and off the pitch.
But Everton made them look like world beating title challengers. Steven Gerrard, constantly not tracked throughout the game, took advantage with a hat-trick of goals, two of which came in the second half, whilst Everton were limited to barely a sniff of goal, with the only one of note coming from the head of Stracqualursi late in the first half.
“Disappointing” doesnÂ´t quite cover it. Whilst some will suggest Moyes was resting key players for the FA Cup Quarter Final against Sunderland, in my eyes the Merseyside Derby is a far more important game.
Unfortunately, after ten years at the club, we have a manager who obviously feels he can afford to field a team of reserves against our local rivals, and get away with it.
Evertonians will be understandably upset by this performance, and Moyes has suddenly made the game against Sunderland more than just the bonus to the season – heÂ´s made it a must win, because without a trip to Wembley, Moyes will mark his tenth year at Goodison with the enduring memory being the most embarrassing defeat in recent memory against our local rivals.