Steven Gerrard and gang eventually came from 1-0, on a poor clearance by Carragher, to defeat the cross-town Toffies 2-1, with Carroll catching the winner three minutes from time.
The starting XI was probably the first thing that caught my eye. Shelvey was relegated to the bench for no reason while Downing was placed in a side featuring Carroll, Suarez, Gerrard, Henderson and Spearing. The defense was made of Agger, Skrtel, Carragher and Johnson. Brad Jones started in net.
Why Carragher instead of Enrique? No one will know, but the 24′ made everyone question the inclusion of Carragher. Agger and Carragher got stuck in the box with possession and time. Instead of making a sensible pass, Carragher hoofed the ball straight at Tim Cahill. The ball deflected right to Nikica Jelavic (who was offside) who finished cooly past Jones for the opener.
The rest of the half was Everton and Liverpool failed to respond.
The second half started off much better for Liverpool. They were able to keep possession and do reputable work against the Everton defense. Suarez’s buzzing finally paid off in the 62′ after Sylvain Distin horribly hit a back-pass to no one in particular. Suarez pounced on the chance through to goal and hit the ball with the side of his right foot past an oncoming Tim Howard.
From then out, both teams fought for the goal that would book their train tickets to Wembley in May.The introduction of Maxi showed the dominance of Liverpool once and for all. Carroll then missed a gaping chance with his left foot, just pushed it wide.
Bellamy changed the tide of the game when he was introduced rather late. In the 87′, Bellamy fired a free kick from the edge of the area. Andy Carroll and his ponytail hopped above the rest and sent the ball into the back of the net, for his second winner in as many games. Cue excitement for the Reds.
The rest of time looked even more Liverpool. Maxi missed a gaping chance, but the match was already settled at that point.
Suarez was voted the player of the game, and rightly so. He was a pest to the Everton defense and even earned himself a goal on the day.
I’ll be back with more later. The next match is Sunday.
Also, remember the 96 who died at Hillsborough 23 years ago. Justice will be served.