Merseyside Derby Draw

Everton and Liverpool have played out a 1-1 English Premier League Merseyside Derby draw at Goodison Park on Sunday.  Both goals arrived in the closing stages of the first half as parity won the day on this occasion.  In the opening 10 minutes it was Brendan Rodgers’ side that was on top but despite several forays into the opposition area, Tim Howard was not forced into a save thanks to resolute defence, with Phil Jagielka looking particularly impressive.

In the 28th minute Steven Naismith forced an acrobatic save from Simon Mignolet that showed great reflexes.  Naismith’s header came from a Ross Barkley free kick that ultimately brought nothing but a corner.  Mignolet had to dive to his right three minutes later to save James  McCarthy’s shot from just inside the area across goal.

On 34 minutes there was the first scuffle of the afternoon when Barkley prevented Emre Can from taking a quick throw-in.  Tempers flared but it nothing but handbags really as both players were shown yellow cards for their outbursts.  In the 42nd minute it was 1-0 to the Anfield club when Danny Ings headed home past Howard despite standing behind Barkley who hardly moved as the corner kick came in.

Romelu Lukaku equalised in first half stoppage time when a rebound found its way to his feet after Can’s clearance hit Martin Skrtel and the Belgian duly blasted home from around 10 yards.  There were no breakthroughs or real threats in the second half with Barkley’s long-range effort on 64 minutes probably the highlight.  However the shot curled away from Mignolet’s left post.

Lukaku had a 70th minute chance but fired his attempt straight at Mignolet before the Toffees had a penalty shout when Mamadou Sakho brought the Belgian down on the edge of the area but the defender was first to the ball and duly won it too.  The match was starting to open up and a minute later Philippe Coutinho made his way into the home side’s area but hit his shot straight at Howard.  On 77 minutes Lucas was lucky to avoid a red card after tripping McCarthy in midfield.

The Brazilian was already on a yellow card and although the home crowd was crying out for a red, there would be no such thing.  Nevertheless, the second stanza proved to be a stale affair with both sides appearing happier to settle for a point rather than seek all three.  The result places Roberto Martinez’s men in sixth place on the table while the 18-time English champions are lingering in 10th.