Everton v Liverpool –
Final Score/Result: Everton 3-3 Liverpool
Man Of The Match: Romelu Lukaku
This is an early contender for game of the season as both teams went all out in attack and made for a memorable Merseyside derby. But this result and Arsenal’s win against Southampton means Liverpool are now four points behind the league leaders. Everton on the other hand have now drawn three games in a row and could drop down to seventh depending on results elsewhere in the league tonight.
The whole match was played at the rate of knots and Philippe Countinho’s early goal set up the match perfectly. Daniel Sturridge started on the bench for this game as there were concerns regarding the fitness of the England international. Coutinho started in a three-man attack alongside Suarez and Henderson and the Brazilian made an instant impact as he put the away side in lead in the 5th minute of the game. Liverpool won a corner and the Gerrard’s delivery reached an unmarked Coutinho at the far post. The diminutive attacker controlled the ball on his thigh and volleyed it home with the outside of his right foot.
Everton were quick to respond though and Kevin Mirallas equalised for the home side just three minutes after conceding the lead. Phil Jagielka was fouled Coutinho on the right wing and Leighton Baines took the resultant freekick. His delivery at the far post and Liverpool failed to deal with it properly. The second ball fell to Mirallas and he stabbed it home from close range.
But the parity didn’t remain for long as Luis Suarez provided Liverpool with the lead once again. Gareth Barry fouled Suarez and the Uruguayan international scored from the free kick with a wonderful low curler around the wall. It was his 9th goal in the league this season and it seemed a crucial one at that point.
Simon Mignolet saved a wonderful attempt from Ross Barkley from reach the bottom corner of the net, and it was the first of many that he would make in the match. The other talking point in the first half was a terrible high tackle by Kevin Mirallas on Luis Suarez, but the Belgium international escaped with just a yellow card.
Roberto Martinez brought on Gerard Deulofeu in the second half in place of Baines and he made an immediate impact on the game as well. The 19-year-old missed a golden chance to equalize as Mignolet saved his shot one on one. In the 59th minute Joe Allen had a golden opportunity to double the lead for Liverpool, but the midfielder failed to hit the target with a gaping goal in front of him. Few minutes later Mignolet was once again called into action as Lukaku broke through and the Belgium made another wonderful save. But Mignolet did eventually equalise for Everton.
Ross Barkley won a free kick and and Mignolet was called into action from the resultant free kick from Lukaku. Although the goalkeeper did make the initial save, Everton retained possession from the loose ball. The ball eventually came back to Lukaku in the box and he finished it. A this point Everton looked the most likelier of the side to go on and win the game, and the they took the lead just 10 minutes after equalising.
Kevin Mirallas’ wonderful corner was met with an amazing header by Lukaku, who shrugged off Glenn Johnson and provided the home side with the lead for the first time in the game. But sadly for them the lead didn’t last long as Daniel Sturridge, who came on as a substitute, scored the equalizer in the 89th minute of the game. The England international scored with a wonderful header from a Steven Gerrard free-kick, as the match ended in a draw.
Brendan Rodgers was delighted with his side’s display and lauded their effort to come back into the match after conceding the third goal.
“When you come to your rivals, it’s very important that you don’t lose. Everton have a great home record, you have to show resilience and character, and we showed that.
“We can score goals – we showed that again today. Overall I’m delighted with the character of the players and [it was] a good point away from home. There’s a hell of a long way to go and there’s some great teams up there, but we feel like we’re improving all the time.” – The Liverpool manager said.
But he felt that Mirallas should have been send off for that challenge on Suarez.
“I thought Mirallas should have been sent off.
“It was a really really poor challenge, and it would have interesting to see what would have happened had Suarez gone in like that.
“He was nowhere near ball and has hit him on the knee.
“For a period of 10-15 minutes after that, Suarez was really struggling. It was a career threatening challenge and it should have definitely been a red card.” – Rodgers added.
Everton v Liverpool – Statistics
Romelu Lukaku has been in sensational form since his move to Everton in the summer. It is as if the Belgium international is proving a point to Chelsea and Jose Mourinho in every game. The 20-year-old has already scored seven goals in seven starts in the league this season and could prove to between Everton finishing in the mid-table or gaining a place in Europe. He scored a wonderful brace against Liverpool and the above heat-map depicts his movement on the pitch in the game