After our recent run of results, it’s fair to say the sight and sound of The Kop in full flow on Kenny Dalglish’s return to Anfield is enough to brighten up any rainy Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, King Kenny couldn’t record a win on his first home game back as Liverpool manager as sloppy defending saw us leak two early second half goals before Dirk Kuyt levelled from the penalty spot, rescuing a much needed point.
As is often the case with the Merseyside derby, form goes well and truly out of the window, which was a more than welcome statistic before the start of this game with Everton having the better run of results over the past few weeks.
The game started with the reds attacking well across the pitch – particularly Kelly down the right wing, who is continuing his fantastic run of form despite the recent disappointments. The hard work seemed to have paid off with Torres, showing a flash of the world class forward we’ve been missing of late, taking on the Everton back line only to see his fantastic curling shot rebound off the post only for Kuyt to miss.
Whilst our possession was plentiful and we were attacking well, in comparison with recent weeks it felt like an absolute onslaught on the Everton goal mouth. Johnson, who’s second successive selection at left-back was questioned, was industrious coming forward once again throwing weight in to the call for him to be used as a winger rather than a fullback. Just before the half hour mark, Johnson made a fantastic run high up the left flank. He cut inside on to his right and sent a ball over for Kuyt on the far post who was saved close from range twice, before the ball fell for Meireles who rifled it in to the back of the net.
The attacking continued until half time, with Everton lucky to have only conceded the one goal. Unfortunately for us, Moyes’ team talk must have stirred something up as Everton came back out the tunnel with a much altered mentality.
Agger was withdrew due to sickness at half time, with Kyrgiakos coming on in his place. As the second half began, Everton won a corner almost immediately which was tucked away by Sylvain Distin unchallenged at the back post. Then minutes later Jermaine Beckford, who had found his way easily past Meireles, latched on to Osman’s ball and lashed it past Reina.
The Liverpool we’ve been used to for much of this season seemed to be back, with passes going astray and the opposition seeing far too much of the ball. However the hour mark saw a touch more inventiveness creep in to the side again, which came good with Maxi being brought down in the box by Howard, who escaped without a booking.
Up stepped Dirk Kuyt who sent the American the wrong way as he equalised in front of The Kop from the spot, setting up a tight final 20 minutes. Few clear cut chances followed and Dalglish was denied a winning return to Anfield.
Torres, who received a yellow card along with Reina and Kuyt, misses our next game against Wolves as it was his fifth of the season.
Reina, Kelly, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger (Kyrgiakos 45), Meireles (Shelvey 80), Lucas, Spearing, Maxi, Kuyt, Torres.
Unused Subs: Gulacsi, Cole, Aurelio, Pacheco, Babel
LFC Reds Man of the Match: (Martin Kelly: 45% of the vote)