By DAN KARELL
In one of the most anticipated rematches of the season, Liverpool proved that they belong once more in the discussion of the English Premier League’s top four clubs.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard opened the floodgates and after two brilliant Daniel Sturridge goals in the first half, Luis Suarez completed the 4-0 rout against Everton in a mid-week Liverpool derby at Anfield. Adding insult to injury for Everton was the loss of forward Romelu Lukaku in the 25th minute to an ankle injury.
Right from the opening whistle, Liverpool came out with more desire to go forward and attack the Everton end. In the 20th minute, Gerrard made a near-post run and angled home a header from a corner kick to give Liverpool the lead. Though Everton winger Kevin Mirallas came close on two occasions, Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho played Sturridge through on a counter attack in the 35th minute and the England international finished easily.
Two minutes later, Sturridge again found himself in front of goal and somehow chipped Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard and nestled the ball into the corner from outside the box. For good measure, Suarez added to Everton’s misery with a 55-yard run, outpacing two defenders, and finishing past Howard in the 50th minute. Sturridge had a chance to complete his hat-trick four minutes later from the penalty spot but sent his strike over the bar.
Here are some more notes from around the soccer world:
ROSSI WON’T NEED KNEE SURGERY, ACCORDING TO AGENT
Fiorentina, and all of Italy, just breathed a massive sigh of relief.
Following a second visit to Dr. Richard Steadman in Colorado, Rossi revealed to the world through his agent that he would not have to undergo surgery for a third time on his injured knee. The diminutive American-born forward only returned to the field last May after overcoming two torn anterior cruciate ligament injuries.
Fiorentina confirmed the news and said that Rossi, who would likely make the Italy World Cup squad if healthy, will continue rehabbing the injury for the next two months before he can return to the field.
Rossi started the 2013-2014 season for Fiorentina with a bang, scoring 14 goals in 18 games. Even though he’s been out with his most recent knee injury Jan. 5, he’s still two goals ahead of the Domenico Berardi of Sasuolo in second place.
The 26-year-old released a statement on his official Facebook page after receiving the good news: “I am morally relieved after meeting with Professor Steadman. Now I’ll have to give my best with rehabilitation. Always by your side. Forza Viola.”
MATA MAKES MAN UNITED DEBUT IN WIN
Playing his first game in Manchester United red, Juan Mata hardly looked out of place.
Though he didn’t score or set up a goal, Mata still played an influential role in Man United’s 2-0 victory against Cardiff City as Robin Van Persie returned to the starting lineup and grabbed a goal to his name. Mata started and played 84 minutes before being replaced by Adnan Januzaj.
Playing behind Van Persie, Mata helped link the midfield and attack as well as switch the field. Mata played a terrific ball into the box towards Ashley Young, though the England international couldn’t direct the first-time effort towards goal. Young would make amends in the 59th minute though with a blast from outside the box for Man United’s second goal of the day.
With the win, Man United are now just six points away from a Champions League place.
Real Madrid are through to the Copa Del Rey semifinals after a 1-0 (2-0 on aggregate) victory at home against Espanyol. (REPORT)
Neymar’s father admitted that he received €10 million to help ensure that his son would end up at the Catalan club. (REPORT)
Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey suffered an injury setback and could now miss another 4-6 weeks with a thigh strain. (REPORT)
The 18-team Bundesliga posted a record turnover of €2.17 billion, a new high for the ninth-straight year. 17 of the 18 Bundesliga teams posted a profit before taxes, interest, depreciation and amortization in 2012-2013. (REPORT)
The Netherlands National Team has scheduled friendly matches against Ghana (May 31) and Wales (June 4) in their World Cup sendoff to Brazil. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Impressed by Liverpool’s performance? Glad to hear Rossi could come back in two months? What did you think of Mata’s debut?
Share your thoughts below.