The 224th Merseyside derby between Everton and Liverpool got an extra bit of spice with this being the last ever Merseyside derby for Liverpool legend, Steven Gerrard. Liverpool had the firepower of Daniel Sturridge back but he could only make it to the bench as the Reds gave to start to Jordan Ibe. Everton were missing Tim Howard and Leighton Baines as both teams looked to continue their fine run of form.
Tackles weren’t flying in as expected though it was an old boy who got the first proper shot on goal, Gerrard got the first shot on target in the 9th minute from a free kick but the shot was pushed above the bar by goalkeeper Robles. Liverpool were however dealt a blow as Lucas had to be substituted in the 16th minute and was replaced by Joe Allen.
A brilliant bit of skill by Raheem Sterling led him to cross the ball into the path of Jordan Ibe but the youngster’s shot was dealt really well by Joel Robles. Liverpool came close again when Ibe took the ball from the halfway line and ran at the Everton defence but his rasping shot came off the crossbar and kept the scores level.
Everton’s plan of bringing players back to defend was having a decent effect as Liverpool were left with very little space for their attackers and that is how the first have ended with Liverpool trying to break the Everton defence but they could not get a look in apart from the bright flashes of Jordan Ibe.
The second half, the same story
Everton started the second half with a free kick which went close by Mirallas but it was Liverpool who were doing all the running as Sterling came close yet again as his shot was saved easily by Robles. It was Robles again to the rescue when Sterling shot low and from the resulting corner, Gerrard shot with an acrobatic kick but it was deflected away by Naismith who saved Everton from conceding.
Liverpool then brought out their big gun, Daniel Sturridge who came on in the 55th minute to replace Philippe Coutinho. It was time for Everton to bring out their new loan signing as Aaron Lennon came on to replace Kevin Mirallas. The game went into a lull for a part of the second half before a squabble broke out regarding a challenge on Ibe before Henderson & Naismith got into it.
Rickie Lambert was brought on in place of Raheem Sterling for his first taste of a Merseyside derby with 10 minutes remaining in the game and he immediately got into the game with a low shot which was lacking power and was saved. Everton threw their final dice with Ross Barkley coming on for the hard working Naismith and Besic coming off with Alcaraz coming on.
Barkley produced a beautiful ball in a counter attack and Mignolet saved a magnificent shot by Coleman to keep the scores level and that was how the game ended, 0-0. Liverpool did all the running but it was Everton who held on and would have been happier with the result.