Jamie Carragher fulfils boyhood dream of scoring for Everton against Liverpool in Anfield testimonial
Defender on target at both ends in star-studded derby...
Jamie Carragher’s testimonial at Anfield ended in a 4-1 victory for Liverpool and saw the veteran fulfil a lifetime ambition and score for his boyhood club Everton, with an own goal penalty.
The Reds boasted a side that included former stars Jason McAteer, Luis Garcia, Emile Heskey and somewhat controversially, Manchester United striker Michael Owen for the veteran's big day. England captain Steven Gerrard also made a brief appearance for the first 10 minutes after being given special dispensation from Fabio Capello to take part.
Liverpool didn’t waste any time in getting proceedings underway and scored within two minutes when Luis Garcia curled a fabulous effort past Everton keeper Iain Turner into the top right hand corner.
Comedy ensued after the break after Lee Carsley looked for a penalty following a challenge from Carragher. Referee Mark Halsey ignored the claims which saw Carsley feign anger and kick the ball away. Halsey joined in with the festivities and booked Carsley before slapping the former Evertonian on the back of the head.
A penalty was awarded shortly after, but to Liverpool following Shane Duffy’s handball. Carragher, the man of the hour, stepped forward and converted the spot kick. A plethora of changes soon followed by both teams, and Liverpool’s third goal came through Joe Cole who volleyed past Turner on the hour mark.
Carragher's lifelong ambition to score for his childhood club was achieved shortly after when the Toffees' were awarded a spot kick. Yakubu looked set to take the penalty duties for Everton, but Carragher was quick to rush past the striker and plant the ball past a shocked and amused Brad Jones before leaving the field to a standing ovation from both sets of supporters.
Liverpool's fourth and final goal came when Nathan Eccleston scored in the 69th minute despite there being more than a hint of offside about the goalscorer.
Speaking to Press Association Sport after the game, Carragher explained the penalty own goal, saying: "As an Everton fan as a kid I've always dreamed about scoring against Liverpool so that is why I did that."
The 32-year-old who is hoping to raise £1 million from the match and a dinner, with all proceeds going to charity, also thanked the Football Association for allowing Gerrard to appear.
"A big thank you to the people at the FA because it is not easy as they had two massive games - but I think it helped they won last night," he added.
"He is the best player I've ever played with so I'm delighted he was involved.
"England always have to do a warm-down the day after so that was his warm-down."
Carragher also had kind words for Michael Owen, who braved a return to Anfield to pay tribute to his former team-mate, and revealed he had wanted him to take the first penalty of the match.
"I asked the referee to give us a penalty before half-time because I was thinking about Michael [Owen] as I wanted him to score - I totally forgot that people would want me to take one," he explained.
"He's my best mate in football and I think it took a lot of courage to come back today and do it for me knowing he would take a lot of stick.
"But I think the crowd would have killed him if he'd taken the penalty listening to their reaction."
Some videos from the match. They're terrible quality but they're all i could find atm...
Aw hai there michael....you got off easy btw :P They won't spare you next time...
Our lovely Xabi and Alvaro (who couldn't make it :( ) also tweeted their well wishes:
Carra-dona testimonial today. LFC legend!! Congratulations mate. Sorry not to make it...
#ThanksCarra Congratulations mate! Enjoy your day! I miss your shouts! :P #YNWA
( ^ LOL I'm sure you do....)