Liverpool’s derby win relieves Benitez | sports | Hindustan Times
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Liverpool’s derby win relieves Benitez

sports Updated: Nov 29, 2009 22:25 IST

Liverpool bounced back from their premature Champions League exit to beat neighbours Everton 2-0 on Sunday, a result which relieved some of the pressure that has been building on manager Rafa Benitez.

Javier Mascherano's long range 12th minute effort, which took a heavy deflection off defender Joseph Yobo, set Liverpool on their way before Dirk Kuyt sealed victory 11 minutes from time.

The win lifted Liverpool into the top five while problems continue to mount for Everton, who were the better side for long periods. Having won just once in 11 games, David Moyes's strugglers are three points above the relegation zone.

Liverpool have found themselves out of luck on the injury front this term while they were undone at Sunderland last month by a beachball, Darren Bent's effort deceiving keeper Jose Reina after hitting an inflatable object as Benitez's side lost 1-0 on Wearside.

But this time Liverpool profited from a stroke of good fortune in the 12th minute as Mascherano, one goal in his previous 71 Premier League outings for the club, attempted to find the target from 25-yards.

History was against Moyes, who had tasted success just twice over Benitez on the Premier League stage in five years. Despite missing key players Phil Jagielka, Phil Neville and Mikel Arteta due to long-term injuries, and Louis Saha, scorer of 10 goals this season, unable to start because he is not fully fit, Everton refused to feel sorry for themselves.

Liverpool, again missing Fernando Torres in attack, seemed content to soak up spells of pressure in an error-strewn match.