Liverpool vs. Everton: Matchday Commentary

Liverpool vs. Everton: Matchday Commentary

Americans Abroad

Liverpool vs. Everton: Matchday Commentary

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Good morning everybody. It is Saturday morning and if you are reading this then you have woken up very early to catch today's edition of the Merseyside Derby between Liverpool and Everton (7:45am, ESPN2).

U.S. national team stars Tim Howard and Landon Donovan will be looking to help Everton score the rare win at Anfield against a streaking Liverpool squad looking to overcome a rough first half of the season.

I will be providing live commentary on the match (assuming I don't fall back asleep) so please feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.

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FINAL– That's all for me. Thanks for waking up early and following along here. Feel free to share your post-game thoughts below. Also, be sure to look out for today's "Your Running Commentary" post.

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FINAL– Liverpool 1, Everton 0. Liverpool fought through a first-half red card and outworked an Everton side that just never could break through on a 10-man Liverpool.

Not a great day for the Americans. Howard gives up a goal inside his six-yard box and Donovan failed to make the type of impact he's made in previous matches. it wasn't a bad performance, but he struggled in the second half to find the game.

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95th Minute– Peinaar RED CARD!! A second yellow for the South African. He came in with a shoulder on Gerrard. Not a smart decision by him there.

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95th Minute– Liverpool is holding on here. Everton can't find a chance.

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94th Minute– Two minutes left.

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92nd Minute– Anichebe gets in on goal, but he takes a pointless touch instead of ending it into the mixer. Wasted chance there.

Fabio Aurelio comes in for Maxi Rodriguez, who was pretty invisible today.

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91st Minute– Five minutes of stoppage time.

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90th Minute– Reina went down hard, landed flat on his back. He's definitely dazed.

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89th Minute– SAVE REINA. And it's Yakubu of all people with a dangerous shot.

Everton's corner is cleared away.

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88th Minute– Donovan looks to be moved up top, next to Yakubu. Can he get some service?

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87th Minute– Yakubu has looked terrible since coming in. His touch has been horrid and he's not looked dangerous at all.

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86th Minute– Clock is ticking. Can the Toffees create some changes? Donovan hasn't been given much in the way of quality passes his way, but he can turn things with a good cross.

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83rd Minute– Peinaar is down and tempers are up here. Gerrard with an ugly challenge on Peinaar. He gets a yellow for his trouble.

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82nd Minute– Everton corner kick.

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80th Minute– Credit to Liverpool for staying organized defensively. They've done well to thwart all of Everton's challenges.

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78th Minute– I have to say Arteta has been disappointing since coming on. He's been stuck in a deep midfield position and hasn't done much getting forward.

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76th Minute– Everton starting to show some control with the man up, but still haven't tested Reina.

Can Donovan do something in the final 14 minutes? Everton is out of subs so Donovan will be playing 90 today.

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70th Minute– Arteta with a long free kick headed clear with ease.

Donovan is staying on. Looks to be Saha and Osman coming off. Yakubu and Anichebe come on.

Donovan stays on and will be called on to provide some service for the big Nigerians.

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69th Minute– Donovan could be coming off here. He hasn't been very involved lately. His teammates aren't finding him, but he also hasn't done much with the looks he's gotten.

Everton look to be preparing for a double sub.

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66th Minute– Liverpool keeps the pressure on. Everton just haven't been able to make the most of the man advantage. Yakubu looks to be coming in for Everton.

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64th Minute– Nothing comes of the Liverpool corner. Here comes Everton, trying to build something up. Their attack has been non-existent.

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62nd Minute– Liverpool corner.

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61st Minute– Ryan Babel looks to be coming on.

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60th Minute– Liverpool deals with Arteta's corner.

On the goal replay, it sure does look like Kuyt got a push on Howard on the goal. Not sure what ESPN's color guy is talking about claiming that Howard had looked shaky before the goal.

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59th Minute– Donovan earns a corner with a nice run and clever move in the area.

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55th Minute- GOAL LIVERPOOL!!!! Dirk Kuyt with a header right in front of goal, beats Howard to the corner and heads it home. Liverpool 1, Everton 0.

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55th Minute– Liverpool with another corner.

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53rd Minute– Lucas with a clean tackle on Donovan, which starts a Liverpool counter and leads to a corner. Not a good stretch for Donovan the past few minutes.

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52nd Minute– Gerrard with a free kick from distance that Howard catches well.

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50th Minute– Donovan takes one from distance and it's a weak dribbler. Should have passed there.

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48th Minute– You can't really tell Liverpool is a man down. Not yet anyway.

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47th Minute– Liverpool corner. Dealt with.

Feillaini doesn't have a broken leg.

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46th Minute– And we're back.

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HALFTIME– Having been treated to a half-dozen replays of the Fellaini-Kyrgiakos challenge, it's clear that Kyrgiakos deserves a red, but it's also clear that Fellaini follows through with his studs up into Kyrgiakos' leg. That should have been a double red card.

Good first half from Donovan, who has done well with the possession he's gotten. He's passed well and run at people, while also showing a willingness to get into challenges. Luckily for him, the really physical action is taking place on the opposite wing and centrally. Maxi and Insua aren't the most physically aggressive types so Donovan will find the going much smoother on his side.

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HALFTIME– We're scoreless in a tough, testy and entertaining match. Not the most beautiful soccer, but good enough to keep us awake this morning.

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49th Minute– Everton haven't really tested Liverpool with the man advantage.

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49th Minute– "It's not about size. it's about what you do with it."

That's what she said.

Okay, it's early in the morning.

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48th Minute– Cahill JUST WIDE! Oh wait, he was offside anyway. Good ball by Donovan to get that going.

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45th Minute– Four minutes of stoppage time.

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45th Minute– Gerrard OFF THE CROSSBAR. Howard was at full stretch and the free kick hits the frame.

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44th Minute– Mascherano has moved to right back with Kyrgiakos' sending off. The Mascherano-Peinaar match-up will be a fun one to watch.

Cahill whistled for a foul on Gerrard. Free kick for Liverpool straight on goal from 30.

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42nd Minute– Donovan called for a foul for backing into Daniel Agger. Soft call there.

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41st Minute– Arteta comes on for Feillaini. Osman should drop back a bit and Donovan has a skillful midfield partner to help create some more chances.

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39th Minute– Feillaini tried to come back on, but he's too hurt to continue. I won't lie, I thought he was acting the whole time. Apparently he hurt himself when he was breakdancing on Kyrgiakos' leg.

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37th Minute– Feillaini is being treated for an ankle injury and it looks as though Mikel Arteta will come in for him.

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35th Minute– For those who missed it, Kyrgiakos came in with a two-footed challenge on Feillaini, who responded with a two-footed stomp on Kyrgiakos's leg. Feillaini has been carried off.

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34th Minute– Wow, the ref has completely botched it. Kyrgiakos has been sent off but Feillaini hasn't been sent off (at least not yet). Both men should be sent off if anything.

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33rd Minute– Feillaini and Kyrgiakos go in on a challenge. Feillaini should be off.

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32nd Minute– Liverpool gets numbers forward on the break but can't put a shot on frame. Osman with a good challenge late.

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31st Minute– Carragher draws a yellow for a challenge on Peinaar. The ref needs to take control so this one doesn't get out of hand.

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29th Minute– Peinaar gets a yellow card for a hard challenge on Mascherano, who is in serious pain. Rash one there.

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27th Minute– The match started fast, but has gotten more physical lately. How will the teams respond?

Liverpool corner kick.

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25th Minute– Fellaini with a bit of a dirty challenge on Kuyt, no card. Things getting a bit testy.

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23rd Minute– Donovan corner is headed clear and Liverpool eventually gets on a break.

Reina looks a bit shaky early today.

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22nd Minute– Baines with the free kick, forces a save from Reina. Donovan corner coming.

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21st Minute– Donovan draws a free kick from Kuyt. Good opportunity from about 30, straight on goal.

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20th Minute– Donovan gets in on a good challenge with Gerrard. He's playing with confidence and is off to a good start today.

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19th Minute– Game is off to a good pace. No seriously dangerous chances yet, but some good back-and-forth.

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17th Minute– Liverpool corner.

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16th Minute– Donovan delivers a nice springing pass to Cahill on the counter, but Liverpool recovers and fires off its own counter. Things have opened up here.

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15th Minute– Distin heads it clear and Everton has the ball now.

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14th Minute– Liverpool with a corner kick now.

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12th Minute– Good near-post corner is headed back to Donovan, who whips in another ball but Feillaini is whistled for a foul.

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11thMinute– Everton corner, Donovan to take.

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10th Minute– Mascherano came in late with a studs-up challenge on Feillaini and escapes with just a warning. He's lucky.

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8th Minute– No Fernando Torres today, much to the delight of Tim Howard, who has seen the Spaniard beat him several times before (though not last summer at Confederations Cup, right?).

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6th Minute– Donovan is facing the all-Argentine duo of Maxi Rodriguez and Emiliano Insua on the Liverpool left flank today.

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5th Minute– Donovan's getting into some good early challenges. He's ready to contribute defensively today it seems.

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4th Minute– Tim Howard punches away a Gerrard free kick.

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3rd Minute– Gerrard draws a dangerous free kick for Liverpool.

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3rd Minute– Leighton Baines with a few corners that don't lead to chances.

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1st Minute– Donovan's first two touches are good, he earns a corner kick.

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1st Minute– And we're off. Who's got coffee?

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PRE-GAME– This is Landon Donovan's second visit to Anfield. He played as a sub in a UEFA Champions League match for Bayer Leverkusen and enjoyed a good showing. That was a week before his awful match vs. Liverpool in Germany.

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PRE-GAME– Players are walking onto the field at Anfield and it's a beautiful day in Liverpool. Don't you just love HD? Seeing the players breath in the Liverpool chill is pretty impressive.

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PRE-GAME– Not sure about the positions listed by the ESPN broadcast. I'll adjust as the match gets underway.

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PRE-GAME– Here are the lineups:

LIVERPOOL

———————–Ngog——————-

———————Gerrard——————-

Maxi———-Lucas——Mascherano–Kuyt

Insua——-Agger —-Kyrgiakos—-Carragher

——————–Reina———————–

EVERTON

———————Saha————————

Peinar——–Cahill—-Osman———-Donovan

——————Feillaini————————

Baines—-Heitinga—–Distin———Neville

——————–Howard———————-

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