One of the fieriest derby around the world, ended tamely in stalemate with both the sides failing to open their account. In a match where Liverpool had the intent to score and Everton came with the intent to not concede it was not an adrenaline rushing Merseyside derby match. Let’s recap and look at the five talking points from the Merseyside Derby played at Goodison Park.
Everton had set up for a draw
It was until the final ten minutes of the game that Everton mustered their first shot on goal, which was saved brilliantly by Simon Mignolet. Until that moment Roberto Martinez had set up his side to contain and not go a goal down against their rivals. As soon as Liverpool had possession the Everton players got back in their half leaving little support for Lukaku upfront. It was a tactic that played off well for Martinez, but surely the crowd expected more shots on goal from the home side.
Daniel Sturridge a NONSTARTER in a massive Merseyside derby!
Daniel Sturridge has not been able to replicate his last season form as he has been plagued by injuries this season, but as he returned for Liverpool recently, it was expected that he would start upfront. Even if he was not match fit to last the entire game his movement, penetration and awareness would have been handy for Liverpool to get on the score sheet. It was probably another injury scare that prevented Brendan Rodgers from keeping the star out of the team, but in such Merseyside derby matches the adrenaline helps in overcoming minor fatigue / injury issues; Steven Naismith was a prime example where he stayed on the pitch even after concerns of him being injured.
Jordan Ibe looks like a star in the making!
While we are being critical of Brendan Rodgers non-selection of Daniel Sturridge, he did give young Jordan Ibe a start in this massive game. Rodgers has a knack of throwing his young players in the deep sea early on in their careers, however as expected Ibe came out with flying colors as he played effectively and came close to scoring in the first half. A performance which will surely put the youngster on the path of challenging for first team starts on a regular basis.
Stop Philippe Coutinho and you may stop Liverpool!
While Daniel Sturridge has been out injured and Raheem Sterling still not at his sparkling best Coutinho has been a catalyst in Liverpool recent run of results. Although he still has the goals missing from his tally but the talented Brazilian has made a habit of contributing in Liverpool’s victories of late. In today match while Everton were sitting back and preventing any damage, they were able to contain the mercurial Brazilian to a large extent.
Stevie G’s glittering Merseyside derby run in Premier League draws to an end
A young boy from Liverpool turned out to be a Superstar in the world of Football, and although he has always received a lot of stick from the Goodison park faithful, he will be missed by both set of fans in the next season. He came close to scoring on couple of occasions even in this game and his sharpness is still intact as expected from a top world class player.
While Liverpool sit on the seventh spot their Merseyside derby opponents are further adrift in the table and this month will be of immense significance to both the teams as they get back to Europa League action; a month which could possibly decide their fate in Europe for the current and the next campaign.
Images: Sky Sports, Telegraph and Getty Images