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Goodison Park | 29th November 2009 13:30

Everton v Liverpool

Everton's 2-0 derby defeat to Liverpool ended in frustration.

But not for any of the same reasons which were prevalent after the defeat to Hull in midweek.

This time the Toffees showed loads of endeavour and enjoyed much of the possession. They had most of the chances, and most of the better performers (none better than Steven Pienaar) were clad in blue.

Liverpool's first goal, in the 12 minute, was fortuitous in the extreme as Joseph Yobo inadvertently diverted Javier Mascherano's long-range shot past Tim Howard.

The second, ten minutes from full time, came after two-disallowed goals for the home side and some world class goalkeeping from Pepe Reina. Dirk Kuyt was on hand to tap in after Howard had saved from Reina.

David MoyesDavid Moyes and Rafael Benitez on the sidelines

Full-blooded early challenges by Fabio Aurelio and Tim Cahill were an indicator of things to come, with Everton having the best of the early proceedings.

So it was against the run of play when Mascherano's speculative long range drive was deflected past Howard by Joseph Yobo.

Seemingly unfazed by the setback Everton continued to boss proceedings in confident style, with the effervescent Pienaar particularly to the fore.

Chances began to come and in the 17th minute Diniyar Bilyaletdinov screwed horribly wide when Jamie Carragher's flicked clearance fell straight to him five yards out.

Five minutes later the same player forced Pepe Reina into a full-length save with an acrobatic strike, then Pienaar went wide with a left-foot effort.

Diniyar BilyaletdinovDiniyar Bilyaletdinov rues an early chance

Everton probed again but surprise starter Jo could only prod Marouane Fellaini's flick into the Spaniard's hands moments afterwards.

And the Blues even had the ball in the net after the half hour but the Brazilian's effort - after much excellent build-up - was rightly chalked off for offside.

But despite Everton's dominance, it still required a fabulous Howard save to prevent Insua's header doubling Liverpool's lead before Jo was again denied by the offside flag moments before half time.

The Toffees began the second half in equally impressive fashion and soon Jo was almost on the end of a flowing move involving Pienaar and Cahill.

The South African's left-footer before the hour looked comfortable for Reina until the keeper dropped it between his legs. Unluckily for Everton, he spared himself more embarrassment in front of the Gwladys Street end by quickly gathering the ball.

Steven Pienaar and Emiliano InsuaThe impressive Steven Pienaar is faced by Emiliano Insua

Seeking to ratchet up Everton's squeeze on the game, Moyes introduced Louis Saha with 25 minutes left, replacing Jo.

But at the other end David N'Gog had other ideas as his effort from Kuyt's cut-back was deflected wide.

With 20 minutes left Cahill again forced a world class save from Reina and the Spanish stopper even managed to deny Fellaini's point blank follow-up.

It proved key as Liverpool extended their lead with minutes to go, Kuyt bundling home after Howard saved from substitute Albert Riera.

Everton sent on Yakubu but Liverpool weren't troubled further, with Howard again saving from Riera late on.

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