Liverpool concede another late goal to draw the derby

Premier League
Saturday 27 September 2014 - 12:45 pm
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It was a relatively underwhelming Merseyside derby which saw the points split thanks to a late goal by Phil Jagielka.

The reds had finally taken the lead via a Steven Gerrard free kick, but yet again Liverpool's inability to keep a clean sheet was brought to the fore, with Jagielka striking his shot into the Kop net in injury time.

Liverpool were a shadow of the side that had demolished Everton by half time the last time these two sides met.

LFC 1-1 Everton Merseyside Derby September 2014

Daniel Sturridge wasn't fit for this game so Brendan again elected to play Mario as the single target-man up front.  Him, Markovic, Lallana, Manquillo, Lovren and Moreno meant that over 50% of the Liverpool side were involved in their first Merseyside derby.

Of those, only Lallana and maybe Balotelli could emerge with their heads held high.

So little has been promised of Markovic in particular, but the man keeping Coutinho out the team was a major disappointment.  He appeared to be miles off the pace of the game in what was a relatively tame affair.

Of course Gareth Barry was the first to throw in a late challenge, bringing down Lallana within the first minute.  He avoided a yellow card, and then avoided another (and a penalty) when he saved the ball inside the area.  Martin Atkinson had also missed a challenge by Moreno on Lukaku that could have earned the blues a dangerous free kick at the edge of the box.

Skrtel powered a header at Tim Howard from a Gerrard free kick, and Balotelli sent a free kick into the corner that forced Howard into a finger-tip save.  At the other end Everton arguably had the best chance of the first half.  Lovren clearing a pass across the six yard box by Baines.

Balotelli worked a little harder in the second half - and it was one such move to regain the ball that led to him being fouled in the 65th minute.  Gerrard stepped up, under the watchful eye of Balotelli, and sent the free kick into the top right corner. Howard got a touch, but not enough.

As time ran out Liverpool began to retreat.  Balls were being cleared unintelligently - straight back to those in Everton blue - inviting more pressure on.

When a ball was eventually batted out to Jagielka, with Lallana wandering around ball-watching, the Everton defender had sufficient time and space to throw his shin at a shot that curled beautifully into the top corner.  And by beautifully we mean horribly.  Mignolet, like some of his midweek attempts at saving 16 penalties, was close but not close enough.

Everton have now gone 15 years without a win at Anfield, a new record, but at the final whistle the draw felt like a win to their support.  The DVD is out on Monday.

Liverpool stay firmly in mid-table with only 7 points from their opening 6 games.  Champions League returns this week with an away trip to Basel, but the reds must keep focus on the upcoming 4 Premier League games.  On paper the easiest section of the season and four games that must all deliver maximum returns.

Man of the Match: Adam Lallana (68.3% of the vote - Source: LFC Reds)

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Liverpool concede another late goal to draw the derby

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