Related News

Home » Sports » Soccer

Everton's late equalizer denies Reds

LIVERPOOL remained in second place behind Manchester United in the Premier League on Monday after a Tim Cahill goal three minutes from time earned Everton a 1-1 draw in a lively Merseyside derby at Anfield.

Liverpool, which was knocked off the top of the table by United on Saturday after seven weeks in the lead, appeared all set to reclaim the spot after a superb Steven Gerrard goal put it ahead after 68 minutes.

Gerrard lashed in a low 30-meter drive that skidded across the surface and eluded Tim Howard as Everton conceded its first goal in six league matches.

Everton struck back in the dying minutes when Mikel Arteta swept in a perfectly flighted free-kick and the unmarked Cahill got ahead of the Liverpool defence to glance in the equalizer.

The draw, Liverpool's fifth in 11 league matches at Anfield, saw it pull level with Manchester United on 47 points but the champion stays top on goal difference and now has a game in hand. Everton remains sixth with 36 points.

"When you are top of the table and you are winning with three minutes to go (and draw) - you have lost two points," Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez told Setanta Sports.

"I thought we had all the control in the second half and more possession, but to concede a goal three minutes from time like that you have to be disappointed."

Liverpool was made to pay for not taking its chances earlier and Fernando Torres, making his first start for the club since November following an injury, had an excellent chance to put it ahead in the 28th minute after a stunning 60-meter pass from Sami Hyypia split the Everton defence.

Torres timed his shot to perfection, but with only Howard to beat from six meters out, fired against the goalkeeper's left-hand post and the ball bounced wide.

Everton's players thought they had a claim for a penalty just before Liverpool scored when Anichebe appeared to be brought down by Martin Skrtel but the referee waved play on.

Benitez's preparations were overshadowed by another bout of internal feuding, with the Spaniard criticizing the club owners to give defender Daniel Agger a new contract.

Benitez is worried about losing the Denmark international, whose agent has been spotted with AC Milan officials, due to dithering over a contract.

"The club has been too slow on Agger's contract," Benitez said. "Agger is now in the papers because we were not quick enough. I was talking to Agger and his agent, and Agger was telling me he wants to stay.

"His commitment to the club is 100 percent, but they have been waiting and waiting and waiting and they don't know what is happening. This could be the same situation with other players."

Netherlands forward Dirk Kuyt and Spain defender Alvaro Arbeloa are in the final 18 months of their contracts - like Benitez, who wanted a speedy resolution to his own talks over new terms when they opened in November.

"I wanted to finish my contract in one week and deal with other things because I was only thinking about what is best for my club," Benitez said. "I don't know if it is a worry about (Agger and) Milan but I do know the player wants to stay here. He wants to stay and so we can find a solution."


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend