Toffees saved by the linesman in Merseyside derby

Premier League
Sunday 28 October 2012 - 1:30 pm
Goodison Park
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Everton 2-2 Liverpool

LUIS Suarez had a valid goal chalked off in injury time - causing the 219th Merseyside derby to end in a 2-2 stalemate.

Suarez celebrates near the Everton dug out

Suarez celebrates near the Everton dug out

Much of the speculation ahead of the derby had focussed on Everton's 'improvement' and questions about whether the balance of power had shifted on Merseyside.  However, even with 5 derby debutants in the Liverpool line up at Goodison, it was Liverpool who set off at a blistering pace.

Brad Jones kept his place in goal after two clean sheets.  Depending on who you choose to listen to - it was either down to form or a lack of fitness for Pepe Reina - named on the bench.   In all likelihood it was most probably an uneven combination of the two.

The big surprise of the team was the selection of Jose Enrique - in for Glen Johnson who picked up a knock mid-week, and despite his midweek goal - Downing did not 'cement' the left back position.

Almost from the kick off Everton were on the offensive - winning two corners - but eventually it was Liverpool who saw large periods of possession.

In the 14th minute Liverpool were ahead.  Pressure in the Everton area delivered the ball to Suarez right of goal, with a narrow angle.  After composing himself he smashed a shot in, which deflected in off Leighton Baines.  On replay - it appeared the shot was going wide, so Leighton can have the honour of being named as Liverpool's opening scorer.

But Suarez didn't have time for replays as off he ran, celebrating down the touchline, heading deeper and deeper towards the land of Mordor.  15 yards outside Moyes' technical area - he jumped and floated beautifully to the ground in front of the Everton manager.  A rebuke to David Moyes pre-match comments on diving - comments that would later leave some egg on the Scotsman's face.

1-0 - a good start? How about 2-0 then.  Because minutes later, in the 20th to be precise, it was just that.  Steven Gerrard sent in a free kick from way back, floating perfectly towards the penalty spot - and Suarez rose highest and got the lightest of touches to send the ball past Tim Howard.

It was all going so well, but Liverpool didn't maintain their cushion for long.

A cross came in and Brad Jones scurried after the ball, unnecessarily in hindsight.  The ball went straight to the blues and before Jones could reset his position, Leon Osman fired in a shot to give the blues a lifeline.

The rest of the half was dominated by Everton, as the reds youthful inexperience reared its head - Sterling lucky to keep his place on the pitch after a couple of poorly timed challenges.

In the 35th minute parity was restored albeit through some controversy.  Liverpool should have been awarded the throw-in deep in to the reds half, but Everton threw it in with little protest - Fellaini then sent in the cross and Naismith had too much time in front of goal to smash the ball in.

The second half was a more even affair - helped by the departure of Miralles and the introduction of Coates and Shelvey at the expense of Sahin and Suso.

Both Jelavic and Sterling had opportunities to write their names in to derby folklore.

And then as injury time arrived - more controversy.  Luis Suarez and the thousands of Liverpool fans inside the ground thought he had won it.  For six seconds after the goal even the linesman thought he had won it - before he decided, right next to the Gwladys Street, to raise his flag.

It wasn't offside - but since when have the laws of the game mattered hugely to the mediocrity of English referees.

Liverpool take the point, but with a mere 10 points from 9 games, at the quarter season stage - the reds are not sitting pretty in the table.

LIVERPOOL Jones; Wisdom (Henderson 70), Skrtel, Agger, Enrique; Gerrard, Allen, Sahin (Coates 46); Suso (Shelvey 46), Suarez, Sterling. Subs not used: Reina, Assaidi, Downing, Carragher.

Booked: Sterling, Agger, Suarez.

Goals: Baines 14 og, Suarez 20.

2 comments on
Toffees saved by the linesman in Merseyside derby

  1. Bluenose here. Thought it was a cracking game. Liverpool unlucky at the end but that’s very often the way Derbies go, and we’ve both had our share of hard-luck stories over the years. Like him or loathe him, I thought Suarez was terrific yesterday and your young lads stepped up to the plate brilliantly – bodes well for LFC for the future.

    I think a 2-2 was about right in the end. Good comeback from Everton, lots of “meaty” tackles and goals. Well played both teams.

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