Everton 3-3 Liverpool: Drama at Merseyside as game ends in a draw
Before the derby Brendan Rogers reiterated the importance of this match especially in the race for top four. Reality, consistency is what he kept on emphasizing on, he stressed on the importance of it in order to be contenders.
John Henry, the Liverpool owner had already done his but by providing his private jet to transport Suarez from Montevideo to Merseyside, thus underlining the importance of the derby. In lieu of the derby a lot of talk was said about the number of red cards this derby has seen. Times have changed though, with both managers’ connoisseurs of attacking football a lot was expected, and they didn’t disappoint at all.
In the end it was an incredible match with no team conceding each other even an inch, as the game finished 3-3. Enthralling, epic, passion and a clean game!!!!…it may not have been a ferocious game of the yesteryears but a brilliant end to end game. Chances ebbed and flowed at both ends, given the chances created and missed, the scores could have been probably half a dozen goals to each side.
It was a surprising line-up from both managers, with Sturridge on the bench for Liverpool, Martinez also rang in the changes as Barkley and Mirallas started thus replacing Osman who had played against Crystal Palace prior to the international break. It seemed a cautious line-up but the football on display was anything but cautious, with both sides attacking with gusto right from the first whistle.
Liverpool took the early lead through, Coutinho, initially a saerching ball from Steven Gerrard which lead to a corner, and that searching ball resulted in a corner and an unmarked Coutinho had all the time in the world to score the easiest of goals. It was too easy, as no one picked up his run, McCarthy was inside the goal rather than being on the line. Too easy as Coutinho had the time to actually receive the ball and pick his spot.
Everton though didn’t let that goal bog them down and soon equalized through Mirallas, as both teams were guilty of bad defending at set pieces. In the 17th minute though Suarez produced a moment of brilliance as he curled a stunning low free kick around the wall to give Liverpool the lead. Everton though were unrelenting and continued to attack and tempers flared when Mirallas tackled Suarez heavily and was guilty of actually leaving a mark on Suarez.
The referee, though was lenient and in hind sight due credit must be given to the referee as well for he was responsible for letting the game flow. The rest of the petered out at pace but not at the pace which it had kicked off.
Going into the second half, the players seemed to have been refreshed and recharged as they picked up from where they left. Flanagan who started at left-back was outstanding throughout the game, accused of being too tenacious and for a player who has made sporadic starts for Liverpool, he was terrific. Another player who performed brilliantly was Mignolet for he saved time and again from chances which could and should have been buried by the Everton players.
Liverpool were being kept under the cosh and in between there was a chance for Allen as Suarez literally served it on the plate for him, who conspired to miss it and to make it worse picked up a yellow card for fouling Mirallas who had been the luckiest guy on the pitch especially after the horrendous tackle in the first half.
Everton though were playing brilliant counter attacking and swift football as they kept on creating chances time and again and Lukaku who had been quiet all afternoon finally grabbed the equalizer as their dominance finally paid off. Lukaku then went one step further and marked his stamp on the authority as he buried a header from six-yards to give Everton the lead with 10 minutes to go.
Rodgers looked stunned and brought on Sturridge, who lo and behold equalized with only a minute left in the normal time. Liverpool had the chance to even win it but the goal was rightly ruled offside, as Everton still continued to attack.
While it was a match which kept the fans on the edge of their seat, Liverpool will probably walk off the happier side, Rodgers at the end seemed glad as he reiterated the mistakes Liverpool made and was glad that Liverpool was able to go home with something from the game.