Liverpool 25/03/2006 12:45
Both teams had men sent-off as the 203rd Merseyside derby went Liverpool's way at Anfield.
A Tim Cahill header on 60 minutes was little consolation for the Evertonians after a Phil Neville own goal and a Luis Garcia effort had given Liverpool a two-goal lead, which was restored late on by Harry Kewell.
The first to see red was Steven Gerrard, who was sent-off after a quarter of an hour following two yellow cards inside 35seconds - the first for kicking the ball away after Everton had been awarded a free-kick and the second for ploughing recklessly into Kevin Kilbane.
Ironically, the dismissal affected Everton's rhythm more than it did Liverpool's.
The Toffees had made arguably the better start, with Tim Cahill coming close with two efforts inside the first ten minutes.
One was saved by Reina and the second was blasted into the side netting from a narrow angle after James Beattie had done superbly well in the air to beat a combination of Sami Hyypia and John Arne Riise.
With Cahill and Phil Neville tigerish in midfield and Leon Osman getting plenty of the ball, and using it very well, Everton were in control until the sending-off.
Almost immediately, Luis Garcia came close when he lifted a curling effort over Wright and onto the roof of the net.
Liverpool suddenly kept the ball better and Everton's urgency seemed no longer there.
There was more than a touch of good fortune to the opening goal though - an inswinging corner from Xabi Alonso was headed past his own keeper by Neville in first-half stoppage time.
Just as they had done at Goodison in December, Liverpool effectively killed the game off within minutes of the restart when Garcia ran onto a Crouch header and lofted an accurate shot over Wright and into the net.
As the clock ticked past the hour mark, David Moyes instructed Duncan Ferguson, Andy van der Meyde and Simon Davies to take off their tracksuits and get ready for action.
Before he could make the changes though, Tim Cahill soared above the Liverpool defence to head home an Osman corner and pull Everton back into it.
Again though, it was Liverpool who responded positively.
They almost restored the two-goal advantage when Alonso clipped the crossbar with a free-kick from 20-yards and then Wright made a fabulous save to turn away a fierce drive from Harry Kewell.
Ferguson and van der Meyde were then finally introduced and the Dutchman made an instant impact - getting himself sent-off for catching Alonso with his forearm as they challenged for the ball.
Ferguson wasn't long in attracting the referee's attention when he barged into Alonso and earned himself a yellow card.
A superb strike by Kewell with eight minutes to go finally ended the Everton challenge.