Everton 1 - 1 Liverpool

Ramiro Funes Mori started his first derby in place of John Stones, with superb youngsters, Galloway and Browning the full-backs. Coleman did not make the team, with Mason Holgate named to the bench. Everton were therefore unchanged with Barkley, Naismith, Deulofeu and Lukaku the spearhead.

The visitors kicked off and tried to attack but Everton pushed back and there was an openness about the first few back-and-forths, Lukaku almost releasing Naismith, while Funes Mori was required to deploy an early Row Z clearance. Early shots by Barry and Sturridge were well off target.

Browning fouled for a freekick. Skrtel got around Galloway and fired in an excellent cross that looked meat and potatoes for Sturridge but Jagielka got to it first to drive it behind for a corner. More corners followed as the Blues defence was tested, Jagielka just clipping the ball off Ings's toes.

Everton struggled a little to get fluid movement going forward and had to chase the ball while a chance fell to Ings that he lashed just over the bar. Some great step-overs for Lukaku but the pass did not reach Galloway. Everton's challenges were a little too strong for Martin Atkinson, while Liverpool could foul with impugnity, Can restraining Lukaku illegally and Deulofeu going down, as the Blues applied better pressure but could not make the crucial final pass.

Deulofeu intercepted superbly but again the ball forward to Lukaku was poor. There was a break as Skrtel required treatment on his hand (why on the field?). Atkinson then gave Liverpool a shocking free-kick decision as Milner slipped but the cross came off Skrtel at the far post under great pressure from Funes Mori.


Coutinho put in a clever chip over everyone to Milner running in but the angle was narrowed by Howard who diverted the shot into the side netting. Everton finally got a dangerous set-piece when Barkley was fouled; Barkley took it and whipped in a fantastic ball that Naismith looked to power home with a close-range header but it was close enough for Mignolet to stick out a hand to deny him. McCarthy was next to fire in a brilliant strike that Mignolet dived across to save well.

A clash between Barkley and Can saw lots of handbags develop, yellow cards for both, and Barkley being perhaps a little too wound up as the only scouser on the pitch. Funes Mori did well to deny Sturridge. Can then tried an acrobatic kick that caught Barry and the Gwladys Street screamed for a second yellow but Atkinson was not interested, seeing it as accidental.

Another Liverpool attack developed a little too easily and Jagielka again needed the final interception at the cost of another corner. Everton were trying to get the ball out to Deulofeu, who lost it and Liverpool broke but Funes Mori was across really well to deny Milner; however, Ings scored with a simple header from the resulting corner as Howard stood almost motionless on his line, 3 yards from the dropping cross.

Deulofeu tried his party piece step-overs but Moreno was not fooled and Liverpool attacked again, as the goal underlined their better play. Numerous times in the first half, the ball had been played up to Lukaku but the second ball rarely came off the Big man to a Blue shirt; however, it was him who benefitted from a poor clearance off a Deulofeu cross and he lashed the ball across Mignolet, to set Goodison alight, the perfect riposte just before half-time to rescue sopmething bearing all the hallmarks of another massively disappointing derby.

Everton won an early corner after the break and Browning put in a great header that was deflected behind. The Blues won a free-kick off Milner but didn't use it well, Skrtel being pushed.

Everton were not building well with any kind of fluidity, playing too many early overhit balls and squandering possession, and there was precious little continuity going forward. Skrtel finally penalized for fouling Lukaku, the free-kick not as creative this time, Naismith not getting forward to it. Deulofeu not getting room to attack the ball, three players on him.

Naismith was fouled by Lucas for a dangerous charge but no yellow card. Barkley crossed well but Lukaku was too far behind it as Lennon came on to replace Deulofeu, who could not get into the game. Lennon was much more effective with his first play, but no-one in the middle. Barkley forced a corner on the other side but it was ridiculously overhit, and it was Liverpool who eventually got another corner that Jagielka powered clear.

McCarthy was carded for what looked like a fair tackle on Milner. Everton broke well but Barkley chose to shoot rather than play in someone else and an his shot drifted wide. Naismith headed nicely right to Lukaku's feet and the ball bounced off him like a brick wall...

Lucas was booked for a poor challenge from behind on Barkley. Some better play saw a shot from Funes Morio blocked and the ball spun out to Lukaku who had space and time on the right side of the area to really test Mignolet but instead he drove the ball straight at the Liverpool keeper with the left side of the goal gaping invitingly for the winning score that simply would not come.

A dreadful foul by Sakho on Lukaku went unpunished, but Everton were trying to play Lukaku in at every opportunity. Howard had to block a Coutinho power shot. Lucas clipped McCarthy's heels but did not see yellow. Barkley's effort for the set-piece was poor, straight at the wall as Kone replaced Naismith, and for the Reds Allen replaced Lucas.

Liverpool strung together more attacks but vital blocks prevented damage. Everton looked to break but the ball would not run to Kone, symptomatic of the match. In the last 5 minutes, Everton finally started fighting for the ball and playing with a bit more desire but the visitors resisted and won yet another corner. But it was cleared and again the early ball to Lukaku came to nothing.

A much better passing move down the middle looked to have teed up Lennon but he took an extra touch. Liverpool almost broke but a brilliant interception by Funes Mori cut out the danger. Everton surged forward but the close passing was getting blocked. Sakho and Lukaku went at it off the ball, Sakho getting very upset over Lukaku showing some spirit after being held illegally.

But nothing Everton tried would come off as they mounted a final attacking sequence; it just wasn't happening. A brilliant ball into Lukaku's feet from Lennon but it just bounced off him, summing up a very frustrating game in which Everton rarely showed the required tempo, composure or inventiveness, despite edging the second half against a very beatable Liverpool side.

To sum up the gulf in expectations, Brendan Rodgers was dismissed from his post as Liverpool manager just an hour after the end.

Everton: Howard, Galloway, Funes Mori, Jagielka (c), Browning, Barry, McCarthy [Y:65'], Naismith (79' Kone), Barkley [Y:35'], Deulofeu (60' Lennon), Lukaku [85'].
Subs: Robles, Gibson, Oviedo, Osman, Holgate.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Skrtel, Sakho [Y:85'], Can [Y:35'], Clyne, Moreno, Lucas [Y:69'] (79' Allen), Milner, Coutinho, Ings (76' Lallana), Sturridge.
Subs: Bogdan, Gomez, Rossiter, Ibe, Origi

Kick off: 1.30pm
Martin Atkinson

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