Gerrard leads Liverpool to 3-0 win over Everton

By STUART CONDIE AP Sports Writer LONDON (AP) -- Steven Gerrard marked his 400th Premier League appearance with a hat trick yesterday, leading Liverpool to a 3-0 win over local rival Everton. Gerrard opened the scoring in the 34th minute by curling a precise shot over three defenders and goalkeeper Tim Howard. The England midfielder then twice profited from good approach work by Luis Suarez, scoring in the 51st and in injury time. Although a top-four place and Champions League qualification looks to be beyond Liverpool, the Reds are now five points clear of Everton and head into Sunday's FA Cup quarterfinal against Stoke in high spirits. "To beat Everton is always special, so to get three goals is a little bit extra," Gerrard said. "It was a great term performance. Everything we wanted from the game, we got it." Liverpool has already won the League Cup and secured a return to continental competition next season. It now looks set to finish above Everton for a seventh straight season. Gerrard looked to have missed the opportunity for his opening goal when he failed to control a forward pass from Suarez. The ball instead went to Martin Kelly, who forced Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard into a double save. A rebound from the second save rolled to the feet of Gerrard on the edge of the area, from where the England midfielder scored with his less-favoured left foot into the middle of the goal just under the bar. Kelly could have made it 2-0 shortly after but shot across goal and past the far post. The second goal came when Suarez beat Sylvain Distin on the byline to wriggle into the area and Gerrard took the ball off his teammate's toes to score with a rising shot through a crowd of players. Suarez then led a counterattack down the left and unselfishly opted to pass to the unmarked Gerrard for a straightforward finish from a central position. "We need to find a level of consistency where we go on a winning streak, rather than win one and lose one, because otherwise we find ourselves in a position in the league that we don't want," Gerrard said. In the second-tier League Championship, Reading moved up to second place with a 1-1 draw at Doncaster. Hull moved above Cardiff into the playoff places with a 3-0 win at the Welsh club, which lost last month's League Cup final to Liverpool in a shootout. Gomez's 4 goals lead Bayern into Champions League quarterfinals LONDON (AP) -- Germany striker Mario Gomez scored four goals, leading Bayern Munich into the Champions League quarterfinals Tuesday with a 7-0 rout of FC Basel. A week after Lionel Messi became the first player to score five goals in a Champions League match, Gomez became the eighth to hit four as Bayern overcame a 1-0 first-leg deficit to advance 7-1. Arjen Robben also scored twice for Bayern, which was joined in the next round by Marseille despite the French club's 2-1 defeat at Inter Milan. Inter striker Diego Milito leveled the aggregate score at 1-1 and the match was heading into extra time before each team scored in injury time to draw 2-2 over two games -- with Marseille advancing on away goals. Marseille's got to its first quarterfinal since it won the Champions League in 1993 thanks to a standout performance from goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, and a stoppage-time goal by substitute Brandao. Milito, who scored twice in Inter's 2010 Champions League final win over Bayern, canceled out Marseille's first-leg advantage but Brandao somehow controlled a hopeful punt from Mandanda, swiveled and scored past goalkeeper Julio Cesar. "I didn't see the ball when it bounced off my back," Brandao said. "I just saw it was in my path and stroked it past the goalkeeper." Mandanda was sent off moments later for conceding a penalty that Giampaolo Pazzini converted, but it wasn't enough for Inter. Mandanda will be suspended for the quarterfinals, where Marseille could meet defending champion Barcelona, seven-time winner AC Milan, two-time champion Benfica or unheralded APOEL Nicosia. Meanwhile, although he fell short of Messi's landmark haul, Gomez matched Dado Prso's 2003 feat of scoring four in just 23 minutes. Basel had not lost away from home in its surprise qualification from the group stage but Robben opened the scoring from a rebound after Mueller had a shot blocked. He then provided the assist for his teammate to put Bayern further ahead in the 42nd minute. Gomez took over scoring duties two minutes later with a close-range finish following a corner and made it 4-0 shortly after halftime, scoring at the near post from a cross by Franck Ribery. Gomez completed his hat trick with a header from another cross by Ribery and grabbed his fourth goal in the 51st from yet another, shooting left-footed into the roof of the net. Robben rounded off the scoring nine minutes from the end, rounding the goalkeeper to tap in and make Bayern the fourth side after Valencia, Lyon and Barcelona to score seven times in this season's Champions League.


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