Goodison derby ends all square again

by | 04/10/2015  0 Comments  [Jump to last]
Everton 1 - 1 Liverpool

Romelu Lukaku scored his fifth League goal of the season to earn the Blues a point

Everton had to settle for another point in the Merseyside derby as Romelu Lukaku's equaliser late in the first half cancelled out Danny Ings's opener.

The Belgian striker rifled home when an errant Emre Can clearance fell to his feet inside the Liverpool area in stoppage time to take the Blues into the break level after Ings had been allowed to plant a free header past Tim Howard just a few minutes earlier.

That provided the home side the platform to step things up in the second half and win the game but despite being the better side they struggled to impose themselves or establish any consistent momentum.

Roberto Martinez was forced to name an unchanged line-up from the team that started at West Brom last Monday as neither Seamus Coleman nor John Stones were able to pass fitness tests before the game, which meant three players in the form of Brendan Galloway, Ramiro Funes Mori and Tyias Browning starting their first derby matches.

That inexperienced back line was marshalled brilliantly by Phil Jagielka, however, with the skipper making a number of crucial interventions during the first period to keep Liverpool at bay. And when Philippe Coutinho was able to spring the offside trap with an impressive ball to James Milner, Howard was on hand to divert the England man's shot past the post with his foot.

That sparked a flurry by Everton at the other end where Steven Naismith forced a world-class save by Simon Mignolet as the Belgian 'keeper palmed his header off Ross Barkley's free kick over with one hand. Three minutes later, Mignolet dived at full stretch to push James McCarthy's shot behind for a corner.

The reds maintained their pressure on the Blues' defence late in the first half and forced three corners in the space of a few minutes, the last of which yielded the first goal for Ings. The ex-Burnley striker dropped off Barkley as the set-piece was swung in and with Howard rooted to his line, he had the simple task of nodding past the American to make it 1-0 four minutes before half time.

Everton responded, however, when the largely anyonymous Gerard Deulofeu whipped a dangerous ball in that Can mis-kicked and as it bobbled off Martin Skrtel, it sat up perfectly for Lukaku to sweep home.

The second half was one of precious few chances, with the Blues unable to turn their growing superiority into clear-cut openings but when Barkley chose to go it alone on a promising counter-attack, he curled his shot the wrong side of the post.

Mignolet then foiled Lukaku with a parry and Howard executed a similar save to deny Coutinho at the other end but the grandstand finish that the Goodison faithful were pining for never materliased and a poorly-officiated match finished all square.

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