Where to start with a Merseyside derby that just about had it all? The plain facts are that Liverpool won it 2-1 after a second penalty from their Dutch striker Dirk Kuyt while Everton were reduced to nine men.
After a relatively uneventful opening, the game burst into life after 37 minutes when Sami Hyypia volleyed in an early contender for own goal of the season. Liverpool failed to clear a corner and when a cross came back into their box, the Finnish centre-half inexplicably hammered the ball in via the post from just outside his own six-yard box.
Seven minutes into the second half, Liverpool were level after their captain, Steven Gerrard, was brought down by Tony Hibbert – the Everton defender was rightly sent off, as he was clearly the last man. Kuyt sent Tim Howard the wrong way from the spot. Against 10 men, Liverpool now looked the much likelier winners, though the Reds manager, Rafael Benitez, sprang a surprise when he removed Gerrard with 20 minutes remaining, the Brazil-ian youngster Lucas replacing him.
Everton were hanging on by this stage but looked certain to earn a point until the second minute of injury time, when a Lucas shot was expertly saved by Phil Neville, who was sent off for deliberate handball, becoming the 16th player to see red in the past 22 meetings between the two sides. Kuyt, who was lucky to still be on the field after a horrible two-footed lunge at Neville, went for the same cornerfrom the spot and Howard will be disappointed not to have saved.
There was still time for the home side to be denied what looked a indisputable penalty as Jamie Carragher dragged down Joleon Lescott in the box, but the referee, Mark Clattenburg, waved play.
In Scotland, Rangers comfortably defeated Celtic 3-0 in the first Old Firm derby of the season.
Nacho Novo scored twice, a header from an Alan Hutton left-wing cross after 28 minutes and a late penalty, with Barry Ferguson also on target. Celtic had an barely credible nine players booked.Reuse content