After The Match 


Liverpool-Everton 1-1 (0-0)         19.1.09                           PL
Goals: Gerrard (68)          Cahill (88)
Team: Reina, Carragher, Hyypia, Skrtel, Aurelio, Kuyt, Gerrard, Alonso, Riera, Keane, Torres
Subs: Benayoun (Keane 67) Lucas (Torres 85) Babel (Riera 89)
Not used: Cavalieri, Dossena, Arbeloa, Mascherano
Yellow: Pienaar (27), Arteta (51)
Red: None
Referee: Howard Webb
Attendance: 43.554
Shots on target: 2-6
Shots off target: 5-1
Blocked shots: 2-0
Fouls conceded: 20-17
Corners: 4-4
Offsides: 2-1
Possession: 53.8-46.2
Yellow: 0-2
Red: 0-0
a tough game and both
sides were fighting for everything..."
Fabio Aurelio
2101: Liverpool paid price for holding back
2001: Moyes: We know how to stop Reds
2001: Scratchy home form worrying Rafa
2001: Riera rues Liverpool's 'bad luck'
2001: No excuse as Keane
          goes missing in action

2001: Aurelio: We must learn from our mistakes
2001: Kuyt disappointed with draw  
2001: Liverpool losing focus when
          it comes to bigger picture

1901: Benitez staying positive
1901: Reds denied by late Cahill header

Liverpool paid price
for holding back

Comment by Ian Rush - Liverpool Echo

The single most important reason why Liverpool failed to win Monday night’s derby was that they failed to take the game to Everton as much as they should have.

When I saw the team sheet I really fancied Liverpool’s chances because Rafa Benitez had selected an attacking looking line-up with two up front and Steven Gerrard reverting to central midfield.

In theory it was a positive set-up that should have suited Liverpool well, but in practice it just didn’t work out that way.

You have to give Everton a lot of credit because their work rate on the night was second to none.

They knew that given time and space on the ball Liverpool could do some real damage so they set up with a system designed to stop them from getting that and it worked.

But as well as Everton did in this respect the tactic would not have worked anywhere near as well had Liverpool not held off them as much as they did.

For me, the Reds back line had to move itself ten yards higher up the pitch, pushing the midfield and forwards further on as a result.

The big problem was that without Daniel Agger there was no one to push out from central defence and act as an extra midfielder.

If you look at the way Everton lined up, Tim Cahill was expected to do a lot of work on his own up front with Victor Anichebe supporting from the right whenever he could.

They didn’t have two out and out forwards on the pitch so Liverpool should have been looking to push on a lot more than they did.

It wasn’t as if Everton had the kind of players who were going to run in behind Liverpool’s defence and cause them problems in that respect.

But Liverpool didn’t grasp the mettle like they should have done and this allowed Everton to stay in the game even after they had gone a goal behind.

In the end the Reds paid the price.

Everton’s biggest hope of getting a goal was always going to be someone making the most of delivery into the box from a set piece and so it proved.

Liverpool will be disappointed because they knew beforehand that Tim Cahill is always a threat in these kind of situations so to allow him to go unmarked in the six yard box with just a few minutes remaining was asking for trouble.

The main positive for me is that Liverpool now know exactly what they will be up against in Sunday’s FA Cup tie because Everton don’t really have the personnel to make too many changes to the way they approach the game.

I just hope they learn from their mistakes and take the game to Everton more – if they do then I’m confident they will go through.

Rafa has Keane key
Robbie Keane didn’t have the best of games against Everton and I’m sure he will know that himself because he has always been an honest player.

He didn’t get any chances, didn’t create anything of note and by and large struggled to impose himself on the game.

It could have all been so different had Fernando Torres played the ball square to Keane for a tap-in when through on goal but you wouldn’t get too many centre forwards doing that in that position so Torres can’t be criticised for taking a shot.

But other than that it’s hard to think of another moment when Keane looked like a chance was about to come his way.

If he is going to get back to the level we all know he can reach then Rafa Benitez is going to have to take Keane to one side and tell him he will be in his starting line up for the next four or five games.

* When the draw for the FA Cup was first made I’m sure most Liverpool fans saw the league game as the most important of the two matches against Everton.

But now the league game has come and gone and Liverpool did not get the win they were looking for I’m sure everyone at Anfield will know just how important the cup game has become.

Getting through to the next round of the cup would be great, especially if it comes at the expense of your local rivals.

But for me the most important thing is to use the game as a springboard for the rest of the season.

Moyes: We know how to stop Reds

By Ben Blackmore - Setanta Sports

David Moyes believes his Everton side have worked out how to stop Liverpool, and he plans to do it again in The FA Cup this weekend.

Everton grabbed a late share of the spoils at Anfield on Monday, Tim Cahill popping up late to make sure The Toffees went home with no less than they deserved.

Now the Merseyside neighbours prepare to meet for a second time in six days, again at Anfield, for a place in the fifth round of The FA Cup.

Moyes’ men played their part in making Monday’s game a stop-start affair, and he admits that is key to stopping Liverpool again.

"We achieved things we wanted to achieve,” explained Moyes. “We disrupted Liverpool's rhythm, they have a lot of mechanical, organised, moves and set-ups in their play.

"They are a very good team, that is why they are going for the Premier League title. For us to give them a good game says more about Everton than them.

"Exactly what Liverpool side we will be facing then, I don't know. But he (Benitez) has the players to change things, I do not.

"He has the squad and the numbers to change things around, I don't. You won't see much difference from us, we will just be doing the same things."

Scratchy home form worrying Rafa


Rafael Benitez admits the priceless points his Liverpool troops are losing at home are starting to worry him - but is trying to stay positive.

The Reds boss has tried to find the positives from what, as far as Anfield fans were concerned, was a bitterly disappointing 1-1 draw with Merseyside rivals Everton on Monday.

That was the fifth time this season that Liverpool have been held at home in the Premier League, and the Spanish boss was frustrated yet again at seeing the total of home points squandered rise to 10 in their battle to grab the title from Manchester United.

Previously Hull, Fulham, West Ham and Stoke have drawn at Anfield, but the point Everton deservedly claimed has done severe damage at a time when Manchester United are running into title-winning form.

United now lead the league on goal difference from Liverpool and their league records over the last 10 games make interesting reading.

United have won eight of their last 10 games, incredibly without conceding a goal in that run, dropping just four points from 30.

Liverpool have stuttered badly just as the race has heated up, winning just four of their last 10 and taking only 18 points compared to United's 26.

Benitez said: "We are disappointed and frustrated at the amount of points we have dropped at home this season.

"Generally this season we are much better in terms of points won, and especially away from home we are very strong. But at home we are facing games that will eventually be a massive difference for us.

"I have tried to be positive with the players. I told them that back in August when we started, everyone was asking where we would be come January.

"And now we find ourselves level on points with Manchester United at the top of the table now that January is here.

"We have to be positive. This is a good position. But we are disappointed because we are losing some home points we could win.

"But in England you say the bottle is half-full or half-empty. We feel it is half-full."

Now Liverpool face an FA Cup fourth-round home tie with Everton on Sunday, knowing the Toffees cannot wait to inflict more damage on their neighbours' season.

Benitez expects to change his side from the one held, with Alvaro Arbeloa, Javier Mascherano and Daniel Agger all in contention.

He said: "We may have to play with different players for the cup tie on Sunday, because afterwards we have two important games the following week at Wigan and then at home to Chelsea.

"We have players coming back from injury and it is important that they get the chance to play matches like the cup tie.

"But we expect Everton to play in a similar way, they do it well and they have been successful here.

"But we have had the likes of Martin Skrtel, Fernando Torres and Alvaro Arbeloa all returning from injuries and they are all much closer to their best now."

Benitez was criticised for taking off Torres and Robbie Keane in the later stages when a second goal was crucial.

But he said: "Torres was tired after being out for so long. And what good would it have been to have him on the pitch when we were defending a free-kick in those final minutes?

"We were better in the second half with more possession and chances. But it is still disappointing that we have lost another two points at home.

"But Everton played well, once we had scored they became more direct with balls up to their front players and we had to defend such situations.

"We were defending deep at times, but you can only defend against long balls by being deeper. You try to push out, but if they play another long ball then you end up dropping back again.

"It meant we were deeper and it was harder to break out when we had tired players (Torres).

"The positive is that we are still fighting to win three competitions.

"Torres had a great chance when he was through in the first half, and you must take those chances. Everything changes then and if you do not take a clear chance, the game becomes very close."

Riera rues Liverpool's 'bad luck'


Liverpool winger Albert Riera feels the Reds are simply suffering a run of 'bad luck' at the wrong time in the Premier League title race.

But he maintains their quest to claim the crown from champions Manchester United is not over just yet.

The £8.5million signing from Espanyol is confident Liverpool will get it right in the end as they chase their first league title since 1990.

Liverpool had to sit and watch at the weekend as both Manchester United and Chelsea rescued wins with goals in the dying seconds of their matches.

And Riera blamed a lack of fortune as Liverpool squandered a winning position by conceding a late equaliser to Everton on Monday night.

He said: "For Liverpool, a draw is always disappointing. But we have to keep going and there are a lot of games to play from now until the end of the season, we just keep going right to the finish.

"We felt we were unlucky, though. We were very confident when we got to a 1-0 lead, and we have not been conceding goals from free-kicks, like the one that Everton scored.

"We have been defending well from set-pieces, and we do not usually let in goals so close to 90 minutes.

"Now we find our rivals are scoring goals on 90 minutes to save points, and we find ourselves conceding a goal late on. That is very bad luck from our point of view.

"I do not like to talk about luck in football, but Manchester United seem to score so often around 90 minutes, and then it happens against us."

He added: "But we are on the same points as United, and we will be fighting for every point, we can promise that.

"We have to be positive. You either say we lost two points, or you say we have won a point in a difficult race.

"We have to be happy with one point in such circumstances because it is never easy against Everton.

"We now have games soon against our direct rivals (for the title) so we have to continue (the fight) because it is not yet finished. We are confident we can do that."

Riera was playing in his second Merseyside derby, and knows his third - Sunday's FA Cup fourth round tie against Everton at Anfield - will be equally as tough.

He said: "Everton did play well against us, they know how we play and that we like to have possession all the time. They try to do things that we are not comfortable with on the pitch, that was how it was in the first half.

"But after the break we were much better, we had other opportunities before we scored. But when we did get our goal, maybe we should have gone harder for the second, that was how we felt in the dressing room afterwards.

"But that is normal for us after a match when we have drawn, we have players with a winning mentality and we want to win every match.

"It is the cup tie next, another derby, and a very important match for us.

"It will not be like a Premier League game, but the style will be the same. Everton will do the same things, but we will want to progress in the FA Cup, we want to win that as well."

Riera also concedes another home draw has been very costly for his side.

He said: "We know it was another home draw, but this was not like the other ones against Hull, West Ham, Stoke and Fulham. In those matches our rivals were defending and we couldn't score.

"The Everton game was different, we were both attacking and it was very close. But I was still surprised that we conceded like that at the end after we had taken the lead.

"We had many more opportunities than in those other home draws, and we felt we had played much better than in those other matches."

No excuse as Keane
goes missing in action

Comment by David Prentice - Liverpool Echo

Derby day on Merseyside is an unforgiving arena – an occasion when a reputation can be made, or broken.

Just ask Glenn Keeley, Bjorn Tore Kvarme and Sandy Brown – the victims of this historic event – or David Fairclough, Graeme Sharp and Ian Rush – heroes who still dine out today on their derby exploits.

Last night added a couple more names to its roster of villains and victors.

Leighton Baines produced his most accomplished display in a Royal Blue jersey to date, while to say Robbie Keane went missing in action would be to suggest that he was actually involved in some form of meaningful activity during the 66 minutes he toiled.

The £20m man is fast running out of excuses for his below par performances. Last night he was given the perfect platform – Torres ahead of him, Gerrard behind, the 4-4-2 formation he craves.

He flopped. Again.

His threat was snuffed out utterly by the excellent Jagielka and Lescott, but neither of that colossal duo were even Everton’s best performers.

Baines has waited almost 18 months for a consistent run of appearances.

If he starts on Sunday – and after last night’s monumental display only injury or David Moyes taking leave of his senses can see him left out – it will be the first time in his Everton career that he has put together six successive starts.

He’ll have to go some to top last night’s performance.

The popular thinking around Baines’ many absences from the Blues first team is that his lack of inches leads to a fear of Everton getting caught out at their far post.

So it was heartening that his two best moments came in that very area of the pitch – a truly heroic block to thwart Dirk Kuyt and another to prevent Sami Hyypia becoming an unlikely matchwinner.

But while the ability to make and break reputations was a familiar characteristic of last night’s derby – so much else was different.

For a start, we witnessed plenty of football.

Everton were excellent in the first 45 minutes, when Liverpool’s returning big guns looked ring rusty. Then, after the break Liverpool enjoyed a stirring 20-minute spell, capped by a classic Steven Gerrard strike.

The fans largely responded to the police appeal for respectful chanting – “Rafa’s cracking up!” fell on the tolerable side of the divide – and the punches swung in the Lower Centenary and the half-wit who tossed insults at Bill Kenwright on the final whistle were isolated incidents.

In many respects it was a derby to enjoy – and it hasn’t been often we’ve been able to say that in recent years. And the credit for that has to be given to the players who shaped it.

The derby matches of the 1980s were so compelling because we were watching the best two teams in the country.

Last night was the closest we’ve come to achieving that parity. Liverpool have led the league table for long chunks of the campaign, but Everton did not look out of place.

They had no record signing, no top scorer, no back-up strikers to call on – and precious little experience on their subs bench. But they produced a performance full of vim and vigour.

Tim Howard produced a wonderfully telling phrase to describe team-mate Tim Cahill last season – “he’s like a particularly annoying gnat,” he drawled.

Last night Cahill buzzed, flitted and tormented the Reds rearguard before he eventually stung them. Goals on three successive appearances at Anfield is a reputation-making achievement.

Which brings us back to derby day making or breaking reputations.

The fact that so many men in Blue enhanced theirs will underline who was happier about last night’s result. Across the park, fewer players will be satisfied with their performance.

Torres did all that could be expected of a player making his first start for two months – short of steering a 27th minute shot inside the post rather than against it – while Gerrard’s 67th minute strike was worthy of winning a derby.

That it didn’t was a fair reflection on the night.

Whether the draw has changed the dynamics of Sunday’s repeat performance we’ll have to wait and see. Rafa Benitez will undoubtedly change his starting line-up – perhaps with justification – David Moyes will be unable to.

But it is Rafa’s men who will have to raise their game if they’re not to endure further frustration.

Aurelio: We must learn
from our mistakes

By Tony Barrett - Liverpool Echo

Fabio Aurelio has admitted Liverpool must learn from the mistakes which cost them victory against Everton if they are to win the second instalment of the derby double header.

Rafa Benitez's side were just three minutes away from returning to the top of the league when some shoddy defending from a free-kick allowed Tim Cahill to cancel out Steven Gerrard's opener.

With the Mersey giants set to meet again in the FA Cup on Sunday, a bitterly disappointed Aurelio has called on Liverpool to bounce back from their late setback and show their mettle in the fourth round tie.

"It was a tough game and both sides were fighting for everything," said Aurelio.

"I don't think it was a very good game in terms of the football that was played, but both teams put all of their effort into it.

"Of course, we are really disappointed because after taking the lead we expected to go on and win the game.

"We know that they have been scoring a lot of goals from set pieces and the fact that they were able to do so again so late in the game meant that we lost two points.

"But now the game is done we have to forget about it and look forward.

"There is nothing we can do to change it now so all we can do is focus on our next game which is again against Everton.

"That will give us the opportunity to show more than we did last night and hopefully we will go through to the next round of the cup.

"But we have to learn from our mistakes – that is always important, especially when you have conceded a late goal.

"It is always difficult to defend those kind of free kicks, particularly when the opposition has a very good taker and good headers of the ball.

"But I think we can improve and this is what we will be working hard to do in the days to come."

Aurelio was full of praise for Gerrard after the Reds skipper had given his team the lead with a trademark 25-yard strike.

"It was a fantastic goal by Steven," he added.

"Everyone knows what he is capable of when he gets the ball in these positions and it was a really good strike.

"It was a goal good enough to win the game, but unfortunately it did not turn out that way."

Kuyt disappointed with draw

By Al Campbell - LFC Online

Dirk Kuyt admitted everyone was disappointed with yesterday's draw.

An 86th minute equaliser from Tim Cahill gave the Bitters a draw at Anfield last night. Dirk Kuyt admitted the result was a blow but insists the Reds still have it all to play for this season.

"We are very disappointed at the moment. We controlled the game, had some good chances and scored a great goal through Stevie, so it's difficult to accept this kind of result when you concede so late in the game," said the Dutchman.

"I think we deserved to win. They had two good chances but overall we were the better team. We created a lot of chances, and are really disappointed that we didn't win.

"But we have to keep going and keep looking forward. Obviously there is still a long way to go and a lot of games to play. We dropped two points but now we just have to look towards the next game.

"We wanted to beat them and thought we could win, but now we want put things right on Sunday. We will learn from the mistakes we made against them, and we will be ready for them in the Cup game."

Liverpool losing focus when
it comes to bigger picture

Comment by Nick Smith - Liverpool Daily Post

The good news for Liverpool – they’re still level on points with the Premier League leaders.

The bad news? In terms of the title race that’s about the only similarity between those two teams at the moment.

Manchester United lead the way on goal difference, not due to the awesome attacking power that has underpinned most of their surges to the top of the table, but thanks to a non-negotiable refusal to concede goals.

They’re on a run of 10 clean sheets in the Premier League. Over at Anfield, Liverpool are leaving Tim Cahill unmarked three yards from goal on a free-kick.

But it’s not just about the small moments that change the course of a game or perhaps a season in the blink of an eye. Anyone can be caught out on a set-piece and there isn’t a manager in the world who has devised the masterplan that can prevent Cahill causing catastrophe in his six-yard box.

It’s not about the snapshots, it’s about the bigger picture when titles are there to be won. And Liverpool are in real danger of being blurred out of it.

And it will be as a result of them doing something derby rivals Everton could never be accused of – failing to make the most of a situation.

David Moyes was hit by the absence of the suspended Marouane Fellaini but it probably worked in his favour in the end. It was his own team-mate Phil Jagielka who conceded that the Belgian ‘isn’t the type of player to go four or five games without picking up a yellow card’. In the Merseyside derby, make that four or five minutes.

Far too perilous for a player whose tackles are as dodgy as his barnet, and sometimes almost as high. Better Moyes be without him and still have 11 out there on the battlefield than leave his troops outnumbered.

It was fragmented, frantic and the foul count ensured that Fellaini really was there in spirit. Just the way Everton like it and just the right setting for them to continue their impressive stride into the top six.

All of which left Rafael Benitez having to hang on to the inescapable fact that his team are “still in a very good position.” And he deserves every credit for that.

But it’s not as good a position as they should be in when you take into account the dropped points that are so galling for a side that has still only lost one game.

And as a result, they are now not even in as good a position as they were on Saturday morning.

Which is worrying, because at this stage of the season when the pressure really starts to crank up, it’s all about looking like champions, carrying that invincible aura.

A bit like United are doing, certainly in defence, as they stalk out a third successive title win. For Benitez’s side, even winning three games in a row seems beyond them.

Does anyone honestly believe that if they, as United had last week, been given three games in seven days which they had to take maximum points from to capitalise on the leaders’ inactivity and go top of the table, they would have done it?

A five-game winning run which started with the last Merseyside derby at Goodison is the best they have been on so far. Hardly ominous.

It’s no wonder that last night was, by his own admission, the biggest derby of Benitez’s career.

This is an obvious statement of course, simply because in terms of where they fall in the calendar they’re usually either too early to be definitive or too late to mean anything in terms of Liverpool challenging for the title.

Not so last night. It was a must-win, a do-or-die, a cup final. And there’s 16 more of them to come.

This is the real test of what a team has to be if they are serious championship challengers. Not blowing away the opposition with four or five-goal hammerings – which is just as well given that Liverpool would fail miserably on that count.

Now it’s just about winning. No matter how laborious the start, no matter how scrappy the game, or difficult the opposition. Just find a way of getting the three points. Just like Manchester United and Chelsea did on a Saturday afternoon that would have had Liverpool cowering behind the sofa. They will have winced as Chelsea fought back to revive their season against Stoke before celebrating as if last May had all been a bad dream and John Terry’s penalty did go in to give them the Champions League victory after all.

They will have watched through their fingers as Dimitar Berbatov stooped, rather like Cahill, to nod home a winner at Bolton to finally oust Liverpool from the summit.

Sparking celebrations not unlike those of Steven Gerrard last night as he wheeled away in sheer delight after finding the breakthrough that has proved so fatally elusive on so many occasions already this campaign.

But the real reason for such outpourings of delight at Stamford Bridge and the Reebok was because they know this Premier League is there for the taking and every three points picked up along the way is so precious.

And Liverpool’s late capitulation last night only confirms that belief.

Benitez staying positive

Sky Sports

Rafa Benitez maintained a positive outlook following Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Everton at Anfield.

The Reds looked set to return to the top of the Premier League table when Steven Gerrard broke the deadlock midway through the second half.

Tim Cahill grabbed a dramatic late equaliser for the Toffees and Benitez admits it was frustrating not to hold on for three points.

"When you are at the top of the table and with three minutes left you are winning - then we have lost two points," he said.

"We were winning and had control of the second half and all of the possession.

"We had more control so I was confident we would score a second goal.

"But then we concede with three minutes to go."

Benitez nevertheless believes Liverpool should remain upbeat about their current situation as they are level on points with leaders Manchester United.

"It is disappointing for today, but we are in a good position," he added.

"You have to manage the press, but we are in a good position. We have qualified in the Champions League, we have a cup game next week (against Everton) and are top of the table. We must think only of the future.

"We are in a good situation so we have to be positive."

Reds denied by late Cahill header


Everton stopped Liverpool in their tracks at Anfield as Tim Cahill's late equaliser earned a 1-1 draw and prevented the Reds going back top.

When Steven Gerrard, captaining Liverpool for the 250th time, smashed home his 14th goal of the season midway through the second period, it looked as if the Reds were going to knock Manchester United off the top of the table.

But Everton have become a mean outfit this season, and they desperately wanted to put their local rivals in their place.

And when Cahill's late header flashed past Jose Reina, the Toffees secured a deserved point.

Fernando Torres was back in Liverpool's starting line-up for the first time since November following his hamstring problems, for this 209th Merseyside derby.

And Irish striker Robbie Keane, so often recently consigned to the bench, was also included, with Xabi Alonso another returned to the side that were so poor in drawing at Stoke last time out.

Everton, six games unbeaten going into this clash, were without the suspended Marouane Fellaini and young striker Victor Anichebe came into the side.

For Liverpool this was a test of their nerve after a difficult fortnight which included Benitez's outburst against Sir Alex Ferguson, and then the Anfield manager's contract wrangle.

These off-field distractions came while during a period when the Reds had been forced to sit and watch as Manchester United win three games in a week to claim the Barclays Premier League top spot for the first time this season.

This was the Reds' chance to reclaim the lead, and there was little doubt this was one of the most important derbies for years.

And it was important for Everton, too. They are in a European qualification spot despite a host of injuries, and they were intent on doing anything they could to ruin Liverpool's season, with the FA Cup fourth round clash back at Anfield on Sunday.

And they showed their intent inside 40 seconds when Anichebe struck a fierce, low 20-yarder that forced Jose Reina into a full-stretch save to his left.

Everton were not going to be out-muscled and three quick fouls on Gerrard had referee Howard Webb issuing lectures to Phil Neville, Joleon Lescott and Mikel Arteta.

Then Liverpool's first clear chance saw a 12th-minute drive from Kuyt blocked by Leighton Baines in the six-yard box.

Webb continued to be tolerant as the contest became heated, and fouls by Neville on Kuyt, Cahill on Martin Skrtel and Phil Jagielka on Keane failed to see a card produced.

Then Reina was again forced into action to keep out a fine header from Cahill following Anichebe's far post cross.

Everton were more than matching their neighbours, with the abrasive Cahill as confrontational as ever.

But Steven Pienaar pushed Webb too far and was booked for a block on Torres. Seconds later the Spanish striker surged between Lescott and Jagielka, only to lift his shot against a post and behind.

Cahill then almost punished Alonso for taking a quick free-kick, the Australian blocking the ball and lifting a shot over the crossbar from the half-way line.

Anichebe and Alonso both needed treatment after a clash of heads, before Leon Osman won possession in midfield and forced Reina into another save and Albert Riera then sent a 20-yarder flashing just wide of Tim Howard's right-hand post.

Referee Webb refused Liverpool a penalty two minutes after the break when Torres went down theatrically after being pushed by Jagielka.

Arteta was booked for a trip on Kuyt, Liverpool having the most sustained spell of pressure in the match. But still Baines got away down the left twice to test Reina with testing crosses.

And after Cahill had won a soft free-kick against Skrtel, Arteta fired in a low drive that Reina held with some difficulty.

Howard saved well from Gerrard and Baines was not to know Torres was offside as he produced a fine saving tackle to stop the striker scoring from the rebound.

Liverpool needed more guile to break down Everton's outstanding defence and Yossi Benayoun came on for Keane.

Everton felt they deserved a penalty when Skrtel looked to send Anichebe tumbling, and they may have had a case.

But the South Yorkshire referee waved away the appeals, and the complaints were still raging on the pitch - and the touchline - as Liverpool surged away for Gerrard to crash home a 30-yard drive to put the hosts ahead after 68 minutes.

It had been over 10 hours since Everton had previously conceded a goal.

Everton hit back with Osman firing a rising drive that Reina held. Such was Liverpool's desire to hang onto their lead that Torres was replaced by Lucas after 85 minutes, Kuyt now playing a lone role up front.

And Everton's defiance was rewarded when they forced themselves level after 87 minutes when Arteta's free-kick from the left was met by a powerful, flicked header by Cahill in the six-yard box.

Liverpool sent on Ryan Babel for Riera, but were unable to deny Everton their point.

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Thor Zakariassen ©