Comparing me to Rushie would be 'stupid', insists Gerrard
Published 23:11 13/03/12 By David Anderson
Steven Gerrard became the first player to score a Merseyside derby hat-trick since Ian Rush, then declared: Don't compare me to him.
Gerrard's three goals wrecked David Moyes' 10th anniversary celebrations as Everton boss and he is the first player to achieve this feat in the league since Rush bagged four in 1982.
Gerrard was honoured to have emulated his boyhood hero on his 400th Premier League appearance, but says he can't be compared to the Reds' all-time leading scorer.
"That makes it more special, because Ian Rush was a hero of mine," said the Liverpool skipper. "I looked up to him for a long time and watched many videos of him.
"But let's not be stupid. I'm not comparing myself to Ian Rush's scoring record and he scored 380-odd goals for the club. He was a different breed.
"To beat Everton is always special and to get three goals is a little extra-special. I have to give my team-mates credit and Luis Suarez put two of them on a plate for me."
Kenny Dalglish played that day Rush scored four at Goodison Park and claims he has run out of words to describe his talismanic midfielder.
"I'm not educated enough to add to what other people have already said about Steven," said the Liverpool manager.
"For him to score three goals is fantastic for him. He's had one or two bumps this season and to come back and score three in the derby, I think he will have a wee smile on his face later.
"He has been fantastic for this football club.
"For a guy who left school at 15, my vocabulary is not that great. There is no way I could extol the virtues of Steven Gerrard and do him justice.
"He was fantastic - but I think the three other local lads we had were as well. They didn't do too badly. He is the first to say he wouldn't have been there with three goals without the help of the others."
Gerrard appeared to hobble as he left the field at half-time, but Dalglish played down concerns over his fitness.
He said: "I would hate to see him when he is flying."
Although Liverpool, who remain seventh in the table, were poor in defeat at Sunderland last weekend, Dalglish thought such a convincing home win was long overdue.
It was only the Reds' fifth league success at Anfield this season despite a number of dominant displays.
Dalglish said: "I think it was a fantastic performance - the result reflected the performance. For us, we are delighted we have at last got reward for a great performance here.
"It is one of the many we have had here, but we got reward for the effort we put in.
"It is always nice when you play really well and win. Sometimes it is even better when you are rubbish and you still get three points but that hasn't happened to us too many times this season.
"It is a good reward for the players. It is great they maintained the belief in themselves and the philosophies we have got and the way they have been playing.
"I don't think it will do them any harm but we have got a really difficult game coming up on Sunday. We will enjoy this for a couple of days and then look forward to Sunday."
Liverpool's second league win of 2012 ended their three-match losing streak to leave them 10 points off fourth and Gerrard has challenged his team-mates to build on the victory.
"We need to find a level of consistency where we go on a winning streak rather than win one lose one, otherwise we'll find ourselves in a position in the league that we don't want," said Gerrard.
David Moyes defended his decision to rest several big names for Saturday's FA Cup clash with Sunderland, and said his players were at fault for all three goals.
"We've got a big week and I thought the lads did OK," said the Everton boss. "Some bits were OK and some bits weren't.
"We gave away three terrible goals. They were all instigated by ourselves and we led to our own downfall.
"The first we were on the break to try to score ourselves, the second we gave away on the halfway line and the third as well.
"We led to our own downfall, but after you give it away you still have to score and Liverpool did that.
"I am hurt because I am the Everton manager and I have lost to my rivals, Liverpool. I am the same all the time. We will get on with the next game.
"It doesn't make any difference. It is not about me, it is about the Everton players."