Reds in Reserve: Liverpool 3-1 Everton

Posted by AdamS on April 30, 2007, 09:43:02 PM

I've hardly been able to get to a reserve game this season so I was made up to be able to go tonight. As I'm changing jobs I should be able to go to all the games next season, although if the rumour I heard tonight is true I may be watching them in Southport.

It was a lovely evening in Wrexham that welcomed the mini derby. Harry Kewell also made the bench as he begins his long awaited comeback. As we took out seats early on the Everton Press Officer decided he wouldn't belittle himself by sitting with people who write for independent websites and went to sit on his own in the other press box. A typically Evertonian attitude.

It was a typically Evertonian result as well as they lost 3-1.

Since I was last regularly watching the reserves the line up has changed quite dramatically. With players like Antwi, Roque, Hammill and Guthrie out on loan there are a lot of the Under 18 squad that recently beat united to win the FA Cup featuring regularly at reserve level. There were many good performances from the lads tonight and it was a thoroughly entertaining game.

There was a relatively quiet start to the game. The only real action was Linfield mistiming a header when he should really have done better. The game really burst into life in the 18th minute. Scot Phelan went in two footed on Insua and I think he could quite easily have walked, but Insua helped him out by staying on his feet and Phelan escaped with a yellow.

There were a few occasions where Everton players tried to turn the game into a physical battle but on each occasion The Reds just stuck to their football. This was a prime example. Within minutes of the booking El Zhar took in a cross and shot with a toe poke which was luckily saved with his legs by the keeper. Moments later Liverpool were not to be denied though. The livewire Paul Anderson latched on to a poor back pass and fired past Ruddy into the keeper's bottom right hand corner.

Liverpool were keeping the ball well and working advantages through nice intricate passing. The second goal when it came was something of a freak though. As El Zhar raced through he and Irving challenged for a bouncing ball. The result saw the ball lob over Ruddy and find the back of the net. It looked like Irving had kicked it into El Zhar and the deflection lifted it over the helpless Evertone keeper, but it could just have been an own goal.

Everton were still in the game at this stage and it took some excellent reading of the games from Hobbs to deny Agard. It was still Liverpool who were creating the better chances though. Lindfield robbed Irving  35 yards from goal and in one movement took at shot that had the keeper beaten all ends up but narrowly went wide.

Two minutes later and El Zhar went even closer. Insua whipped in a wickedly curling ball which El Zhar dived full length for and powered just wide, this time to the keepers right. El Zhar was very lively tonight and a couple of minutes later was unlucky again as Anderson beat Molyneux and powerfully put in a cross which just alluded Nabil.

Everton could easily have been down to ten men at the start of the second half. Harpur went flying in on Hobbs, but as Insua had done in the first half, Hobbs managed to get out of the way and this time the referee didn't even give a free kick.

Ten minutes into the second half and a very trim looking Harry Kewell was preparing to come on. I'm still hopeful that Kewell has something to offer Liverpool and he certainly looks fitter than he has for a long time. In fact, I'd go as far as to say he looks five years younger now than he did a year ago.

As he made his entrance he was booed by the Evertonians as you might expect. In fact they were still booing him five minutes later when he skinned three of their players and laid a goal on a plate for Lindfield to tap home. He didn't do a great deal else in the game, but he suddenly looks like an athlete again.

Everton were still causing Liverpool the odd problem and Roberts nearly misjudged a cross which he ended up palming against the bar.

It was still Liverpool who looked most like scoring though and they very nearly did in the 76th minute. Insua beat his man before laying the ball out wide to Kewell. His measured cross found Anderson in space. He steadied himself and hit a measured side foot volley that would probably have found the net nine times out of ten. This time Ruddy pulled off a very good save.

Everton did get their consolation goal a few minutes later. Agard found himself through one on one with Roberts. He made no mistake and coolly stroked the ball into the same corner Anderson had chosen earlier. Now I don't know if it was his first goal at this level or what, but the lad celebrated as if he'd just scored the golden goal winner in a Worlds Cup final.

Apart from a little scuffle between Anderson and Everton trickster Kissock the last few moments were uneventful. It had been a thoroughly enjoyable game though, and a very professional performance from Liverpool. There were excellent performances from Hobbs, Threlfall and Anderson. Tonight I'd have to pick El Zhar as my Man of the Match. He was tireless and skillfull.

Liverpool: Roberts, Darby, Insua, Nuth (Kewell, 60), Barnett (Ryan, 77), Anderson, Spearing, Lindfield, El Zhar, Threlfall

© AdamS 2007

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