EPL: Liverpool disappointing form continues

Posted on by SoccerPunter

Liverpool were beaten 2-0 by Everton in the Merseyside derby on Sunday as the English footballing giants’ new era got off to a bitterly disappointing start.

Goals in each half from Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta sealed the points for Everton, who moved up to 11th in the Premier League standings as Liverpool slipped to second from bottom.

With their new American owner John W Henry watching from the stands at Goodison Park, Liverpool were unable to provide the win their supporters craved after last week’s legal drama, which culminated in the club’s takeover.

The defeat means Roy Hodgson’s side have taken only six points from eight games this year, a grim indicator of the size of the rebuilding task facing Henry and his New England Sports Ventures (NESV) group.

A defiant Hodgson denied Liverpool were in crisis despite a defeat which continued their worst start to a season for 57 years.

“I don’t feel it to be a crisis because the way we have played today I don’t think anyone would believe that is the type of football of a team in the bottom three,” Hodgson told the BBC.

“I think we can consider ourselves unlucky.”

Hodgson also defended out-of-sorts striker Fernando Torres, who had another fruitless afternoon in front of goal, saying the Spanish international was still struggling to recover his best form after the World Cup.

“We don’t have any injury problems with him. He got battered for his performances at the World Cup and mentally he is a bit low,” Hodgson said.

“He needs a goal to get his confidence back. I have no qualms with his performance against Everton.”

Everton boss David Moyes meanwhile was satisfied with a result which lifted them clear of the drop zone.

“We are getting away from the wrong end of the table. We are a good enough team to be at the top end,” he told Sky Sports.

“I thought we have played better in the majority of games than we did today but it was a derby and a different kind of game.

“Some of our performances (earlier in the season) were good but we did not get the result but today we did enough.”

A frenetic opening spell saw Everton take the lead on 34 minutes. Irish wide player Seamus Coleman surged down the right and cut back an inviting cross for Cahill, who blasted high into the net past Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

The goal was no less than Everton deserved after they dominated a feisty first half that saw referee Howard Webb book three players — Everton’s Cahill and Liverpool’s Maxi Rodriguez and Raul Meireles.

Ayegbeni Yakubu forced a smart low save from Reina shortly before Everton took the lead, while Reina had to be alert on the stroke of half-time to save a rising long-range shot from Leon Osman.

Spanish midfield maestro Arteta doubled Everton’s lead five minutes after the interval, lashing home a swerving right-foot shot from the edge of the area.

With the clock ticking down, Fernando Torres saw a shot well-saved by Tim Howard but it could not mask another disappointing afternoon for the Spanish striker, who looked out of sorts throughout.

In Sunday’s other Premier League game, Manchester City can cut Chelsea’s lead at the top to two points if they can secure an away victory at Blackpool.

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