Ten man Liverpool win fiery merseyside derby

Liverpool 1 Everton 0

Striker Dirk Kuyt's 50th Liverpool goal gave his side a 1-0 victory in a fiery 213th Merseyside derby at Anfield which saw both teams reduced to 10 men.

The Dutchman scored for the fourth time in as many games with a close-range header 10 minutes after half-time.

Liverpool played the last 55 minutes at a numerical disadvantage after Sotirios Kyrgiakos was dismissed for a two-footed challenge on Marouane Fellaini, while Steven Pienaar was shown a second yellow in second-half injury time.

The red cards took the tally to 19 in the last 13 years but referee Martin Atkinson somehow missed Marouane Fellaini's stamp on the Greek defender's right shin in the same incident which led to his red card.

It threatened to overshadow a fiercely-contested encounter until Kuyt struck early in the second half to ensure Everton's winless run at Anfield since 1999 continued.

Liverpool have now gone seven Barclays Premier League matches without defeat, keeping six clean sheets in the process.

By contrast, Everton's nine-match unbeaten run came to an end. The last team to beat them before today had been Liverpool at Goodison in late November and they have now won just two of the last 21 league derbies.

The tone for the match was set in the opening 15 seconds with Jamie Carragher's strong but fair challenge on Pienaar which left the South Africa midfielder rolling on the ground holding his shoulder.

Unfortunately, it was only to get worse in the first half as Atkinson's leniency saw a number of over-the-top tackles escape the required action.

Fellaini, competing for the ball, kicked Kuyt in the face as the Dutchman lay on the ground without censure, while Pienaar was only cautioned for a challenge which started at Javier Mascherano's right knee and worked its way down.

Carragher went into the book for going through the back of Pienaar in retaliation while the other booking of the first half went to Kuyt for tripping Landon Donovan.

In between all the flying tackles there was very little football played in the opening 45 minutes.

Steven Gerrard's inswinging fourth-minute free-kick forced Tim Howard to punch out from under his own crossbar while Daniel Agger, on his first appearance for nearly a month, fired a right-foot shot a couple of yards over from a corner.

David Ngog fired a shot well wide after Maxi Rodriguez and Gerrard had combined while late in the half the Liverpool captain rattled Howard's crossbar with a 25-yard free-kick.

For Everton, Leighton Baines' left-footed free-kick was tipped over by Jose Reina while Tim Cahill directed a free header over from seven yards in added time.

Liverpool began the second half well and Ngog saw an early left-foot shot deflected wide by Sylvain Distin.

And they were rewarded in the 55th minute when Kuyt, despite being clung onto by Phil Neville, nodded in Gerrard's inswinging corner from three yards with Howard left flapping.

Johnny Heitinga's foul on Rodriguez earned him a booking but Gerrard hit the free-kick straight at Howard.

In the 63rd minute Ngog was replaced by Ryan Babel, who was given a rare outing in his preferred position up front.

Everton manager David Moyes sent on Aiyegbeni Yakubu and Victor Anichebe for Saha and Leon Osman in an attempt to find the equaliser.

A scuffle broke out seven minutes from time when Gerrard caught Pienaar after clearing the ball and bizarrely Atkinson, having not blown for a foul, booked the Liverpool captain and then Anichebe for his part in the retaliation.

Liverpool were content to defend their lead and counter-attack when possible but Reina had to be alert to tip behind Yakubu's shot on the turn.

In the fifth minute of added time Pienaar was sent off after jumping into Gerrard as the hosts hung on to maintain their momentum going into an equally-important match at Arsenal on Wednesday.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin