Being the best of a bad lot--or at least a largely mediocre one--isn't always the most flattering of honors, but for Jordon Ibe, it was plenty impressive. The 19-year-old spent the first half of the season on loan at Championship promotion candidates Derby County, and on the back of his string of impressive performances throughout the fall and winter, Brendan Rodgers opted to bring him back into the senior squad.
With Lazar Markovic a doubt in the build-up due to a minor knock, Ibe was given just his second ever Premier League start at right wingback, and for 90 minutes on Saturday night, he was among Liverpool's stronger performances. He was involved in their best two chances of the night in front of goal, first pushing an effort from a deflected Raheem Sterling shot on goal that was saved point-blank by Joel Robles, and later when he shook two defenders to fire an arrowed, swerving strike past Robles and off the far post from 20-plus yards.
His influence faded slightly during a second half that saw Everton clamp down defensively, but he still managed to get involved with a few dangerous crosses, and he remained solid without the ball and tracking back. It was not a dominating, match-changing performance, but certainly one that did more than enough to showcase why Rodgers recalled him.
He and Markovic looked poised to battle it out for minutes the rest of the season and beyond, and for Liverpool supporters willing to be patient with a pair of promising wide players, that should be an exciting prospect.
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