FOOTBALL : Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano believes he should be credited with the opening strike in Sunday’s 212th Merseyside derby despite it going down as a Joseph Yobo own goal.
Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano believes he should be credited with the opening strike in Sunday’s 212th Merseyside derby despite it going down as a Joseph Yobo own goal.
The Argentina captain let fly from 30 yards and although his shot appeared to be heading just off target it took a wicked deflection off the Everton centre-back and went spinning past goalkeeper Tim Howard.
“I think it’s my goal because I tried to score with the shot,” said the 25-year-old, whose celebration in front of the visiting fans at Goodison Park showed just what the strike meant to him.
That goal gave Liverpool something to hold on to and they defended resolutely under increasing Everton pressure until Dirk Kuyt scored the second after Howard half-saved Albert Riera’s shot.
Mascherano, however, is determined to claim the opener, which would be only his fourth career goal after hitting just one for Liverpool and two for Argentina.
He added: “It was a really important moment for me because I want to do my best.
“This season some people have criticised my shooting but I am trying hard to improve it and I am happy.”
Manager Rafael Benitez believes that although Mascherano’s primary role is as a defensive midfielder he is capable of getting more goals.
“Since he arrived here we have been talking about how he can score goals from outside the penalty area,” said the Liverpool boss.
“Sunday was really good for us, a bit lucky but really good. He can try (shooting from distance) because he can do it well.”