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18 Oct 2010

Everton ensured John W Henry's reign as Liverpool owner got off to the worst possible start as they emerged as comfortable winners of the Merseyside derby.

Henry and co-owner Tom Werner made a late decision to attend the 214th clash between the clubs after completing their £300m Anfield buy-out on Friday.

And there must have been times they wished they had stayed away from Goodison Park as Everton swept into an unassailable lead with a close-range first-half finish from Tim Cahill and a thunderous strike from Mikel Arteta just after the interval.

Liverpool improved on a thoroughly wretched opening 45 minutes in the second half, but failed to break down an Everton defence in which Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka were outstanding.

Fernando Torres was snuffed out for much of the game, but also starved of quality service. He had a late shot saved by Everton keeper Tim Howard, but if Boston Red Sox owner Henry wanted a graphic illustration of the scale of the task in front of him, he got it here.

And how Everton fans revelled in their victory in front of the new Anfield hierarchy as Goodison Park resounded to chants of "Going Down" at the final whistle as Liverpool remain rooted in the Premier League relegation zone.

For Everton boss David Moyes, it was a victory he desperately wanted after Liverpool did the Premier League double over his side last season.

Everton were lifted by Jagielka's swift recovery from the hamstring injury he sustained on England duty - while Liverpool boss Hodgson was able to call on Torres after the groin injury that forced him off early in the Anfield defeat against Blackpool.

And Everton exerted the early pressure as Liverpool struggled to find any rhythm, with both Jagielka and Distin wasteful after finding space in the penalty area.

Liverpool emerged from their subdued start to fashion their first opening after 23 minutes as Everton keeper Howard was forced to touch Torres' glancing header over the top.

Everton deserved a reward for their greater enterprise, and it came from a familiar derby source 16 minutes before the interval.

Seamus Coleman's dashing run down the right flank ended with a ball inside to Cahill, who lashed his finish high past keeper Pepe Reina at his near post.

Liverpool needed to increase the tempo after the break, instead it was Everton who were faster out of the blocks and they doubled their lead in spectacular fashion as Arteta picked up a loose ball 20 yards out and fired emphatically into the top corner.

Cahill dedicates derby win to fans

Everton were happy to sit on their lead and threaten on the counter attack, with substitute Jermaine Beckford shooting just over.

Liverpool had plenty of the ball, but Everton kept their Mersey rivals at arm's length apart from the one last chance for Torres.

And as Liverpool trooped off in misery at the final, Hodgson cut a frustrated figure as his team failed to make any sort of good impression on the new men at the helm.

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