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Gerrard treble seals derby spoils for Reds

Liverpool, who had lost their last three league matches, remained seventh in the table but moved five points ahead of their local rivals whose manager David Moyes endured a miserable evening to mark 10 years in charge of the Goodison Park club.

"To beat Everton is always special and to get three goals is a bit extra but I've got to thank my team mates especially Luis Suarez who put two goals on a plate for me," Gerrard told Sky Sports after playing his 400th Premier League game.

"It has been a frustrating run for us, we need to find a level of consistency."

Ian Rush was the last player to score three in the derby while the previous hat-trick in the fixture at Anfield was Fred Howe's in 1935.

Gerrard had the first clear chance to open the scoring when his late run took him clear of the Everton defence after seven minutes but his low shot was well saved by the sprawling Tim Howard.

The home side dominated the early stages with some crisp attacking football, Uruguay striker Suarez causing problems with his darting runs and clever movement, and they made the breakthrough after 34 minutes.

Howard blocked a shot from Martin Kelly and when the ball broke to Gerrard just inside the penalty area he delicately chipped it over the stranded goalkeeper and into the net.

Suarez's persistence earned the second Liverpool goal, his mazy dribble along the goal-line setting up Gerrard to smash the ball high into the net from eight metres shortly after half-time.

A toothless Everton never threatened to get back into the match and Gerrard completed his hat-trick from close range following another pass by Suarez deep into stoppage-time.