Steven Gerrard scored the first Merseyside derby hat trick in 30 years as Liverpool beat Everton 3-0 to end a three-game losing run in soccer’s Premier League.
Gerrard, making his 400th league appearance, scored once in the first half and added two goals after the break at Anfield last night to get the first hat trick in the fixture since Ian Rush in 1982. It was Liverpool’s biggest home win against its local rival since Nov. 6, 1983, when it also won 3-0.
“To beat Everton is always special, so to get three goals is a little bit extra,” Liverpool captain Gerrard told Sky Sports. “It was a great term performance, a clean sheet. Everything we wanted from the game we got it.”
Liverpool stays seventh in the standings with 42 points, 10 behind fourth-place Arsenal in the race for the final Champions League spot with 10 matches remaining. A win for Everton last night would have taken it above Liverpool, which had lost to Manchester United, Arsenal and Sunderland in its three previous league games.
Gerrard opened the scoring in the 34th minute when he lifted a left-foot shot from the edge of the penalty area over Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard and a crowd of defenders.
Liverpool went 2-0 up six minutes after halftime when Luis Suarez weaved his way into the Everton penalty area before leaving the ball for Gerrard to thump a shot high into the net.
Suarez and Gerrard combined on the counterattack to complete the scoring in stoppage time. Gerrard released the Uruguayan striker into space before receiving the ball back and firing a first-time shot into the net.
Gerrard’s haul lifted his goal tally in Premier League matches between the Merseyside rivals to seven, taking him one past Robbie Fowler’s record of six.
Both teams play F.A. Cup quarterfinals in their next game. Everton hosts Sunderland on March 17, a day before Liverpool takes on Stoke City at Anfield.
“We’ve got a really difficult game coming up on Sunday so we can enjoy this for a couple of days before looking forward,” Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish said in comments on his team’s website. “The season has not finished because we have won a game.”
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