Speedie just too quick for the Toffees

Speedie just too quick for the Toffees

from "Press Association"


At first glance Howard Kendall and Kenny Dalglish would appeal to have little in common other than managing Merseyside clubs - but both have a tendency to be fickle with forwards. Neither seems able to decide on a settled line-up, but at least Dalglish has a wide variety to select from.


With Ian Rush out of contention with injury it seemed either Peter Beardsley or Ronnie Rosenthal would return to the starting line-up.


But then again, nothing is certain with Dalglish. He left Beardsley on the bench and Rosenthal in the stands and instead opted for new-boy David Speedie to lead the attack with John Barnes. Dalglish was, of course, right again. Speedie banged in two goals in three minutes and made it three in two games since his sensational move from Coventry. Once again Dalglish has illustrated that it is not just spending money that counts, but spending it wisely.


Beardsley though must be on his way. Leeds are bidding and, as he is now third at best in the queue for a place in the first team, it must be curtains for his Anfield career. He and Rush were not the only absentees from the starting 11.


Steve McMahon, Ray Houghton and Gary Gillespie were all missing. Liverpool coped. Ronnie Whelan went off with a fractured shin in his return game after nine matches out with an ankle injury. Liverpool coped. They coped despite a spirited Everton display which did not warrant a fifth successive derby defeat, never mind by a scoreline which wrongly indicates they were comfortably beaten.


The first Liverpool goal had more than a slice of luck, Jan Molby's shot being deflected in a way which left Neville Southall helpless. The deflection was via Speedie and after first claiming a hat-trick he later agreed Molby should claim it as the deflection had been inadvertent. The fiery Scot is cleary quickly adapting to the Anfield way of doing things.


Everton's reaction to this unjust reverse was to step up a gear and the game began to match the conditions which, perversely on this day of postponements, were perfect.


Bruce Grobbelaar had to make a fine save to deny Graeme Sharp and then watched in admiration as Southall made the save of the season. Barnes sent in a cracking volley and the Welsh international, who earlier this season was sulking at the foot of a post, made a quite magnificent leap to tip it away. Such was the quality of the save that both Barnes and Speedie congratulated the Everton keeper.


Everton built on that confidence booster by snatching a deserved equaliser just before the break, Pat Nevin stabbing the ball home after appearing to handle as he controlled Dave Watson's header.


But Liverpool and Speedie in particular wanted all three points and the former Coventry star's finishing skills allowed them to get them. Speedie first capitalised to head home from Molby's free kick and then instinctively turned in David Burrows' shot, very much in the Rush style. Everton never flagged but despite Sharp's effort, which Steve Nicol had to clear after it had beaten Grobbelaar, and Stuart McCall's close shot, the Merseyside honours were once again Liverpool's.


All that remained was for the Kop to give Speedie a huge ovation as he went off to be replaced by Beardsley.

Copyright - Press Association

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