Everton?s first and only opening came within the opening minute. Good work by McFadden and Anichebe presented Osman with a chance. The midfielder used his feet well to draw a sharp stop from Brad Jones, with Seamus Coleman?s rebound going harmlessly wide. Liverpool?s Raheem Sterling showed his potential throughout and was a constant threat to the Everton defence. His first sight of goal came after a driving run with his shot curling just wide.
Seamus Coleman got into some promising situations down the Everton right. Unfortunately, misdirected passes or over hit crosses let the young full back down. His decision-making and final ball was poor throughout the match. Coleman?s performance suggests he is still more suited to a full back role. Jagielka showed his defensive class with a great last-ditch tackle preventing a chance for the visitors. Suso had another effort for Liverpool as they began to see more of the ball.
Everton grew into the half with Osman and Barkley looking bright in the final third. Osman produced a smart turn but the Liverpool defence were quick to block his shot. Sterling remained Liverpool?s biggest threat and Mucha had to be alert to make a low save from the winger. Sterling forced an even better save from the Slovakian keeper just minutes later as Liverpool began to dominate.
At the other end, Anichebe had a penalty appeal waved away with the forward going to ground too easily. Suso had a low effort for the visitors, which Mucha gathered well. Everton were struggling to keep possession due to Liverpool?s pressing game and the poor distribution of Jagielka and Duffy. Liverpool almost took the lead from an Everton corner, as a rapid break found Sterling on the left. His curling effort finally evaded Mucha?s grasp but the frame of the goal came to Everton?s rescue, this time.
Coleman?s ball found McFadden, on the stroke of half-time, but the Scot?s header found its way over the bar. The half-time whistle went with Liverpool much happier, due to their inexperienced line-up. Osman had been bright for Everton with Barkley showing slight glimpses of his ability. Sterling and Krisztian Adorjan showed their potential for the visitors with Adorjan looking very assured in possession.
Nathan Eccleston was on hand to fire an effort narrowly wide after cutting in from left. Around the hour mark, Everton?s most composed performer, Leon Osman made way for young midfield prospect Francisco Junior. The Portuguese midfielder?s cameo proved to be the highlight of the Everton performance. The youngster constantly looked to get on the ball and displayed a good range of passing off either foot. Despite only playing a third of the match, Junior impressed more than the highly rated pair of Rodwell and Barkley.
Eccleston tested Mucha with the Slovakian producing another save, whilst at the other end; Touray?s over hit cross almost embarrassed the Liverpool keeper. The Liverpool right back, McLaughlin, produced a fine cross into the Everton area as Liverpool still looked the most likely to score. Thankfully, for the home side, Adorjan missed the ball and Sterling put his effort wide.
Rodwell and Barkley efforts from distance and a Duffy header were all Everton had to show for their second half endeavours. Michael Roberts fired an effort over for Liverpool, from 25-yards, with Mucha beaten. That was the last effort of note as the game fizzled out to its goalless conclusion.
Jagielka and Duffy showed their class defensively but, even at reserve level, their distribution simply isn?t good enough. Rodwell remained anonymous throughout and failed to stake his claim for Tottenham on Saturday. McFadden appeared lost on the left of midfield; his second stint at Everton may prove to be a short one. The two young full backs, Browning and Touray, showed signs of promise with Browning tackling well and Touray looking a threat going forward.
Barkley appeared easily frustrated at times, often due to the defence?s willingness to bypass the midfield. The youngster will have to learn to go about his business, even if the team is not playing well. The midfield prospect remains a work in progress although there were several flashes of his undoubted potential. Francisco Junior?s bright cameo suggests his stay at reserve level could be a short one.
The game time will help the first team players but a bright and purposeful Liverpool side easily outplayed their experienced opponents. Osman aside, Everton?s first team players wasted their chance to impress the watching David Moyes.
Mucha 8* Browning 6 Jagielka 6 Duffy 6 Touray 6 Coleman 5 Barkley 5 Rodwell 4 McFadden 4 Osman 7 Anichebe 6
Subs: Francisco 7, McAleny 6
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
948 Posted 07/03/2012 at 21:45:36
561 Posted 10/03/2012 at 13:14:19
Thanks for taking the time to write up this report ? I too went to the game and I am in broad agreement with you.
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment to Column articles, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and MailBag submissions across the site.