Against Liverpool we started off at a high tempo and showed that to a man, we were bang up for this from the word go - something that's been missing in the last couple of derby matches.
And we could have gone ahead in the first couple of minutes when Victor Anichebe controlled a high ball and hit a low shot on that turn that Reina did well to parry. Meanwhile, Phil Neville put himself about all night but did well to get amongst Liverpool and put a couple of strong challenges in to set the tone for the rest of the team. That can never be underestimated in a derby.
Moyes stuck with the same defence that has done so well recently. Infact, the only change was that Anichebe came in for Fellaini and played wide right rather than as a lone striker - Tim Cahill got the nod to continue in that role. And the teenager had a game to remember, working tirelessly all night to hold the ball up, run the channels, win free kicks and generally cause as many problems for Liverpool as he could. He worked, very, very hard and took a few knocks along the way.
He almost set-up the opening goal too, with a great cross from the right which saw Tim Cahill outjump Skirtl only to see his header tipped around the post by Pepe Reina.
Shortly afterwards there was a comedy moment as Cahill gave Skirtl a helping hand into the advertising hoardings, much to the annoyance of Liverpool fans and Skirtl in particular.
Liverpool had a couple of chances themselves though, as firstly a loose ball dropped to Hyypia in the box but the excellent Leighton Baines dived infront of the shot and kept things at 0-0. Torres then went clean through but the pressure from Jagielka was just enough for him to put his shot the wrong side of the post when you'd have put your house on him scoring.
The second half began in much the same fashion - scrappy play from two committed teams - but Liverpool began to put the pressure on and Tim Howard made good saves from Gerrard before Riera fired wide when given a bit too much space by the otherwise miserly Everton defence.
Speaking of which, they really were fantastic. Tony Hibbert has been in the form of his life since returning from injury and he's somebody I always want to see playing in games like this. As ever, he flew into challenges and tackled anything that moved but he also got forward very well and put some great crosses in. That part of his game has definately improved lately.
On the other side, Baines was the same. He had everything you want from a left back. Solid and tenacious defensively but also excellent going forward. His pace and overlapping runs gave Liverpool problems and he drilled a couple of low crosses in that Cahill couldn't quite convert.
Jagielka was, as ever, superb. He consistently plays brilliantly at the heart of our defence and looks like one of Moyes' best ever signings. Lescott already has that label and is back to his best besides him.
Everton almost took the lead when Anichebe showed great strength to out muscle Carragher on the left wing and drive towards goal just as he did on the other wing for that famous goal against Nurnburg. Before he could pull the trigger though, Skirtl brough him down and I still think it was a foul although Moyes has said he thinks otherwise and there legs did seem to get tangled. Anyway, the referee waved the appeals away and moments later - for the only moment in the game, Gerrard was allowed too much space in the final third of the pitch.
It was infuriating but not surprising to see him fire into the bottom corner from 25 yards and it seemed a cruel blow to an Everton side who had battled so hard up to that point.
Moyes had few real options on the bench so had to stick with what he had but Everton kept going for the final 20 minutes and eventually got what they deserved. Anichebe was brought down on the left wing infront of the Everton fans and as Arteta lined up the free kick I was willing him to pull it back to the unmarked Baines on the edge of the box. He didn't though, and instead fired it into the 6 yard box as Tim Cahill evaded his marker and turned it into the back of the next to spark wild celebrations amongst the Everton fans.
Those celebrations continued as the Liverpool fans poured out of the ground knowing that this would be a serious blow to their title ambitions. It was a fantastic performance by Everton and a great result which sets us up for the cup tie this sunday perfectly.
Everton should fancy their chances of going one better in the next game.