LIVERPOOL, February 5 – Steven Gerrard seems set to miss the next few weeks of Liverpool's bid for the Premier League title after sustaining a hamstring injury during their 1-0 FA Cup defeat by city rivals Everton.
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez, speaking after Wednesday’s match here at Goodison Park where teenager Dan Gosling’s goal two minutes from the end of extra-time did for the visitors, said Reds captain Gerrard would undergo a scan to assess the full extent of the problem.
Now the inspirational midfielder, who as much as anyone at Anfield has helped Liverpool move to within two points of leaders Manchester United, seems certain to miss Saturday’s league match away to Portsmouth as well as England’s friendly international in Spain next week.
Gerrard limped out of this fourth round replay after just 15 minutes before 19-year-old Gosling secured Everton’s first win over their Merseyside rivals in seven attempts.
"We need to check on Gerrard," said a dejected Benitez after Liverpool’s first defeat in 17 outings. "He will have a scan tomorrow (Thursday). We will have to wait and see until then."
The Spaniard backed his players to bounce back from their bitter disappointment after Gosling’s goal earned Everton a last 16 date at home to fellow top six side Aston Villa.
A defeat compounded by Gerrard’s injury was made all the worse for Liverpool by their finishing with 10 men after Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva was sent off in the second half.
"I didn’t want to go out of the FA Cup," added Benitez. "I have to be disappointed with the way we have lost, but we still have the league and the Champions League this season. We are still in a very good position."
While Benitez, who has yet to sign a new contract at Liverpool, launched an inquest into where it all went wrong, delighted Everton manager David Moyes savoured his first victory over Liverpool since September 2006.
And Moyes believes there is no reason why his side cannot go all the way in the FA Cup, a competition they last won in 1995.
"There is more to come from us," said the Scot. "We’ll enjoy this moment and then we’ll move on.
"We didn’t win the FA Cup by defeating Liverpool, but there will be a lot out there who will think we have."
Moyes reserved special praise for Gosling, who only turned 19 on Monday and whose goal was just his second for Everton since a one million pounds pre-season move from Championship side Plymouth Argyle.
"He works hard in training. Dan is a well mannered boy who is always willing to learn," said Moyes, without a recognised striker for much of this season.
Louis Saha and Yakubu remained injured and Australia midfielder Tim Cahill once again played up front on his own on Wednesday.
"The result ranks very highly in terms of my time here at Everton," said Moyes, who celebrates his seventh anniversary at Goodison next month.