Everton manager David Moyes was delighted with his side’s 2-0 win over Liverpool today – but admitted his players had performed better this season and lost.
The Toffees have endured a testing start to the campaign and came into the Merseyside derby having won just once but they were too strong for a Liverpool team who remain in the relegation zone.
Tim Cahill handed the hosts a first-half lead and Mikel Arteta doubled their advantage with a shot from the edge of the area after the break.
The three points will be gratefully received at Goodison Park but Moyes was adamant his team were not at their best.
He told Sky Sports: “Their attitude was spot on and they got their reward.
“I thought we have played better in the majority of games than we did today but it was a derby and a different kind of game.
“Some of our performances (earlier in the season) were good but we did not get the result but today we did enough.
“We are getting away from the wrong end of the table. We are a good enough team to be at the top end.”
Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson was pleased with his players despite another disappointing result.
He said: “We fell behind to a deflected block which fell kindly for Cahill so I thought at half-time we were a bit unlucky to be a goal down because we had got back into the game well.
“In the second half we did everything the team could possibly do, we played well, created chances, we limited them to very few and put them on the back foot.”
Star striker Fernando Torres again drew a blank and Hodgson admitted the Spaniard was low on confidence.
He added: “I don’t think he is physically unfit, I think he showed that today, he did plenty of work and we don’t have any injury problems with him.
“He got battered during the World Cup and mentally he is probably a bit low and he needs a goal or two to get it back. Certainly today I would have no qualms about his performance.”
Liverpool’s position inside the bottom three with a record of one win in eight games is the standout story in the Barclays Premier League at present but Hodgson is refusing to panic.
“I don’t think it is a crisis, I thought the way we played today was not the level of a team in the bottom three but six points from eight games is a very poor return,” he said.
“We need to start winning to climb the table and until we do the word ’crisis’ will continue to be bandied around.”