Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard in no rush to be labelled great
Wednesday 14 March 2012
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard underlined his enduring brilliance with a hat-trick in last night's clinical Merseyside derby destruction of Everton.
Gerrard, making his 400th Barclays Premier League appearance, was at his inspirational best as the Reds crushed their rivals 3-0 at Anfield to end a run of three successive league defeats.
The 31-year-old's treble was the first by a Liverpool player against their neighbours since Ian Rush struck four at Goodison Park in 1982.
Yet despite Gerrard's undoubted and continuing importance to Liverpool, which stretches back more than a decade, he modestly claimed he did not deserve mention alongside the club's record goalscorer.
Gerrard told Sky Sports: "I suppose it is special - Ian Rush is a hero of mine, I looked to him for a long time and watched many, many videos of him.
"But let's not be stupid. I am not comparing myself to Ian Rush.
"I think he scored 380-odd (actually 346) goals for the club. He's a different breed."
Manager Kenny Dalglish, who played alongside Rush, was short of words to describe Gerrard's brilliance.
Gerrard may have been controversially overlooked for the England captaincy last month but his influence in the corresponding role at Anfield is beyond doubt.
Dalglish said: "For a guy who left school at 15, my vocabulary is not that great. There is no way I could extol the virtues of Steven Gerrard and do him justice."
Gerrard, whose campaign has been restricted by injuries, put Liverpool ahead in the 34th minute when he clipped the ball over a crowd of players after Tim Howard had saved from Martin Kelly.
He added a second after good work by Luis Suarez six minutes into the second half before combining with the same player to grab his third in injury time.
It was a deserved victory for a dominant home side and brought them back within two points of sixth-placed Newcastle.
Dalglish said: "It is a good reward for the players.
"It is great that they maintained the belief in themselves, the philosophies we have got and the way they have been playing."
Everton's defeat left their manager David Moyes, celebrating the 10th anniversary of his appointment this week, still without a win at the ground.
The Toffees mustered only three shots on target compared to the hosts' 10 but Moyes had made six changes for the match with Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final against Sunderland in mind.
"We have got a big week," he said.
Moyes felt Everton paid the price for their own errors.
He said: "We gave away three terrible goals, all instigated by ourselves.
"We led to our own downfall, but after you give it away you still have to score and Liverpool did that."
Latest in Sport
Robin van Persie to Fenerbahce: Manchester United striker 'agrees to personal terms' with Turkish side
Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs posts bizarre video of his Miami holiday being invaded by an iguana
Women's World Cup 2015: England secure third place as they beat Germany in extra time with penalty by Fara Williams
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners will only consider 'astronomical offer' from Atletico Madrid for Santi Cazorla
Chelsea transfer news: Diego Costa wants a reunion with £25m Manchester United target Arda Turan... because he loves his kebabs
- 1 Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 4 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
- 5 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture