Kenny Dalglish hails Liverpool desire after derby fightback
Dirk Kuyt's 68th-minute penalty denies Everton first win at Anfield since 1999 as Merseyside derby ends 2-2
Kenny Dalglish bemoaned his side’s inability to convert a host of first-half chances after his Liverpool side were held by Everton on his Anfield return.
Dirk Kuyt’s 68th-minute penalty restored parity in the Merseyside derby after two quick second-half strikes from Everton’s Sylvian Distin and Jermaine Beckford cancelled out Raul Meireles’ first-half opener for the Reds.
The Liverpool caretaker manager believes his side were unfortunate not to claim a victory after a dominant first-half display in which Fernando Torres hit the woodwork.
“I think we were a wee bit unfortunate to come in after the first half only 1-0 up,” Dalglish said. “They got two quick goals but we showed a great deal of desire and determination to get back into the game.
“Overall I think we had more shots, more efforts and more clear-cut chance, so possible we could say we deserved more from the game.”
Liverpool took the lead in 29th minute through Meireles after Kuyt had two efforts saved by Tim Howard in quick succession. At the third time of asking the athletic American was unable to stop the Portuguese midfielder from firing home the resulting rebound.
David Moyes’ men overturned Liverpool’s lead six minutes after the break. Mikel Arteta’s corner was nodded past Pepe Reina by Distin at the far post to level matters before Beckford placed a shot past Reina minutes later following a conspicuous challenge by Everton forward Victor Anchiebe on full-back Martin Kelly.
“The first goal should have been a goal-kick instead of a corner – you could see that clearly,” bemoaned Dalglish. “Even without lenses in I could have seen it. Then the second goal – Kelly got battered.”
Reds owner John Henry was in the directors’ box at Anfield to witness Dalglish’s much-anticipated return to the Anfield dugout, and the Liverpool boss expects meet with the owner and chairman, Tom Werner, to discuss potential transfer targets for the January transfer window.
“We’ll sit down, have a chat, and hopefully they might buy us a bit of dinner,” revealed Dalglish. “But what’s going to be involved in the chat I don’t know.
“If they are going to ask me a question and ask me how it’s going, I’ll give them an answer – but I’m not going to give that answer in here.”
Dalglish added: “We’ve got a couple of senior players who the supporters haven’t exactly seen eye to eye with. We’ve got to try and rebuild them. If we can get Christian Poulsen and Paul Konchesky back on side then that makes the squad that bit deeper.”