• Premier League

Gerrard withdraws Everton barbs

ESPN staff
October 31, 2012
Steven Gerrard clarifies Everton comments

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has performed a diplomatic U-turn by withdrawing his criticism of Everton's playing style.

Following the Reds' 2-2 draw with their Merseyside rivals at Goodison Park on Sunday, Gerrard claimed Liverpool were the only team that "tried to play football", and compared Everton's approach to that of Stoke.

However, Gerrard has now backtracked and attempted to mitigate his comments by suggesting he was angered by the officials' late decision to disallow Luis Suarez's goal for offside, even though the striker appeared to be level with the last defender.

"Just to clarify I've watched the game again, and I've seen some of Everton's matches this season, and what I said in relation to their style of play went too far," Gerrard told the Liverpool Echo.

"I was frustrated by the disallowed goal from Luis when I spoke and also some of the things that have been said about Luis in recent weeks which haven't been fair in my opinion.

"As captain I have a duty to stand up for our players when I feel they are unfairly singled out.

"But it wasn't my intention to disrespect Everton or Stoke for that matter and I certainly didn't intend any disrespect to their manager or players.

"I have the utmost respect for David Moyes and Tony Pulis and the job they have done at their respective clubs.

"My main issue was with the goal that wasn't given and that Liverpool did not get the three points I felt we deserved in what was a fantastic derby match."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.