Yep, it's a Derby.
First, I apologize for not getting any player ratings up for the Sunderland game. I got swamped this weekend and kept trying to get to it, but this fixture came too quickly. After seeing the comments on the Sunderland game, it sounds like there wasn't much point in writing them anyways. On to the good stuff:
What a fantastic display by none other than Captain Fantastic. Stevie G continues to defy gangrene and slot them away in special games. This game on a whole was what we have been waiting for all year. It is the first convincing display since the year began and should set the tone for things to come. It should be noted that Everton fielded essentially a B-team (ok, so they can't afford an entire B-team, but you know what I mean), but I will take any sort of convincing win where there is a collective team effort at this point. Overall the lads played very well and it gives me great hope that we might just be able to crush Stoke and move on the the FA Cup semifinals.
On to the ratings:
Reina - 7 - Not too much to do, but was there when called upon.
Enrique - 8 - He was a beast, continuing to use his body perfectly and shutting down Everton's right flank. He also got forward quite well and there were shades again of the partnership we saw with Downing at the beginning of the year.
Skrtel - 7 - A rock back there, but that is just what we have come to expect from him isn't it?
Carragher - 7 - Well he didn't screw anything up. So based on his previous form, that is worthy of a seven. He and Skrtel did well to keep everything outside the box for the most part.
Kelly - 8 - An outstanding display. He kept his flank locked down for the most part and was an integral part of many attacks. His great run was responsible for the first goal and he gave Everton's defense fits. Someone had to because Henderson sure wasn't providing anything out there.
Henderson - 5 - Yikes! He did have a great through ball to Luis Suarez to start the play for Gerrard's second. However, it was still all on Suarez to make the goal. Other than that, he was quite poor. I have never seen an outside midfielder with such poor crosses. He also got caught/burnt in the defensive part of the pitch more than once. He looked quite frustrated with himself when subbed.
Spearing - 7 - An immense display, helping to shield the defense and keeping Everton outside the box. He also had a few wonderful passes as well. Most importantly, he kept his head in and unusually tame Derby.
Gerrard - 10 - How could I give him anything less? He got a treble, defended well, started the attacks and it was a huge game. I wish he was 5 years younger because I don't know how much longer he will be able to pull out these performances.
Downing - 8 - He had a great first half, playing in a number of teasing balls that no one got onto. Faded a bit in the second, but still popped up everyonce in a while to provide some great service that no one got onto. @OptaJoe tweeted before the game, "44-Stewart Downing has created more chances than any other player who hasn't made an assist in the Premier League this season. Unlucky."
Carroll - 8 - Woah, who was that pony on the pitch and what did they do with the real Andy Carroll. He stood tall, won balls and played an unreal cross field ball to Downing. He tracked back, held up play (Rooney-esque) and a number of his flicks actually came off for once. Perhaps he is actually finding form. Before we all get to excited, remember it was another side that was either weakened or non-premiership side, but it is still hope, even if it is small.
Suarez - 9 - He was an immense presence, constantly running at the Everton defense. They really had no answer and his two assists were well worked. He really dished them up on a silver platter for Stevie G. The last one was the most impressive as I think we all moaned a bit when he pulled it back instead of shooting. I do wish he could finish though. He had a number of nice chances.
Kuyt - 6 - Did well to shore up the right side of the midfield.
As if this needed asking, who was your Man of the Match?
Gerrard (50 votes)
Someone else (really?) (2 votes)
52 total votes