What a week it was. The David Beckham hype-machine went into over-drive in the build-up to his reunion with Manchester United. Arsenal conceded two of the more farcical goals of this, or any other season. In Germany, Bayern Munich scored possibly the most offside goal in the history of the European Cup, and closer to home, Portsmouth’s ever-increasing debt mean they are facing administration and the sanctions that it brings with it. In all the confusion, Liverpool’s first venture back into the competition formerly known as the UEFA Cup since 2004 was placed firmly on the back burner. The Europa League had arrived at Anfield, receiving a rather lukewarm reception from the 40,450 in attendance. These brave souls not only braved the elements, but also a quite turgid 90-plus minutes on the pitch.
It was one of the more explosive Merseyside derbies in living memory. And that is saying quite something in about a fixture that has produced nineteen red cards in the 36 times Liverpool and Everton have faced off in the Premier League since 1992. Everton will be disappointed with the sloppy nature of Dirk Kuyt’s 56th minute winner. Tim Howard and Phil Neville should be particularly annoyed with their respective efforts. That said, there is no great shame in losing at Anfield. But the manner of this defeat should have Toffees’ manager David Moyes taking a long, hard look at himself and his side.