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Liverpool 1, Everton 1: First Thoughts

Everton's 23rd visit to Anfield in the Premier League era brought a draw for the visitors as Phil Jagielka's late strike cancelled Steven Gerrard's opener.

Cometh the hour...
Cometh the hour...
Alex Livesey

liverpool blog fc sbn

Liverpool 1 Gerrard 65'
Everton 1 Jagielka 90+1'

  • The opening of the Merseyside was bright and full of entertainment. An early booking for Gareth Barry saw Liverpool have an early chance to score from a freekick after just a minute into the game.

  • Everton and Liverpool both should have been awarded penalties in the first half but Martin Atkinson declined to give either. Everton's call came first with Alberto Moreno tussling with Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry's arm clearly connected with the ball.

  • Jordan Henderson was a titan in the first half and he had a few friends who were performing well in pursuit of Liverpool's cause. Step up Adam Lallana in particular and he was here, there, and everywhere. Martin Skrtel, and Dejan Lovren looked like a solid pairing, dealing with any danger effectively. 

  • Liverpool were the better side in the first half but the corners, shots, half chances, and decent work came to nothing. Everton weren't overwhelmed by any means but weren't finding much joy on the counter as Liverpool remained calm in the defensive third.

  • Mario Balotelli shoots a lot. A lot. He had his chance with the first free-kick so the captain had his turn midway through the second half to score his ninth Premier League goal in Merseyside derbies, more than any other player. Lukaku could have equalised immediately after if his head could have connected with a cross but Balotelli should have put Liverpool two nil up just a minute after Steven Gerrard's goal.

  • Mario Balotelli is not the sort of player who will make runs when Liverpool have the ball in counter attacking situations. He frequently shoots from deep and that's something he'll have to reduce moving forward. He'd also benefit from a partner who will make those runs off the shoulder and into space. Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suárez were exceptional in doing so whether they had a partner or not. His skill on the ball, hard work, and calm temperament are exemplary but if he wishes to improve on his record of one goal in five games, he will need to make adjustments.

  • Lallana's harrying on the 90 minute mark was a sight to behold after his exertions in midweek and that is what a victory needs in the closing minutes.

  • But of course, Phil Jagielka does that. Well well well. A draw and some head scratching.

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We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.

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