Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish claimed not to have the words to describe the magnificence of Steven Gerrard after his Merseyside derby hat-trick.
The inspirational Liverpool captain hit a memorable treble as the Reds crushed their rivals 3-0 at Anfield to end a run of three successive Barclays Premier League defeats. Gerrard, 31, was controversially overlooked for the England captaincy last month but he emphatically underlined his importance to Liverpool on his return to the starting line-up following injury.
His hat-trick was the club's first in a league derby against the Toffees since 1982 and Dalglish said: "I am not educated enough to add to what anybody else is saying about Steven. He has been fantastic for this football club."
Dalglish added: "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 tonight, 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."
Both sides are back in action in the FA Cup quarter-finals at the weekend, with Liverpool hosting Stoke and Everton taking on Sunderland. Everton boss David Moyes made six changes but was coy when asked if the schedule had affected his selection.
"We have got a big week," he said.
The defeat also left Moyes, who celebrates the 10th anniversary of his appointment this week, without a win at the ground. Yet he said the result was no more deflating than any other defeat.
He said: "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."