By EddieC, 28-10-2012, 18:03:29
Liverpool had to make do with a point at Goodison Park after having a perfectly good injury-time winner by Luis Suarez inexplicably ruled out for offside.
|The Reds had taken a two goal lead, but an Everton fightback combined with some poor defending saw the scores level at half time thanks to goals from Leon Osman and Steven Naismith.
As is always the case in the Merseyside derby tensions were running high, with both sets of fans in good voice. On 13 minutes though, all that could be heard round the stadium was the red half of the city celebrating.
Jose Enrique – out of favour under Brendan Rodgers but starting in the absence of Glen Johnson – fired the ball across the box towards Raheem Sterling, who was bundled over by Leighton Baines. The inevitable shout for a penalty went up, but referee Andre Marriner played a good advantage. The ball found it’s way to Suarez, who took a touch before firing a shot which Baines diverted into his own net.
It didn’t take long for the Reds to double the lead. Steven Gerrard curled a free-kick in behind the Everton defence on 19 minutes, and there was that man Suarez again – left with an easy header to make it 2-0.
The second goal seemed to kick Everton into life, and within minutes the lead was halved. Brad Jones made a poor punch from a corner, which landed perfectly for Leon Osman to drive home.
Liverpool were on the back foot, as the home side grew in confidence. Everton were in the ascendency, and it seemed only a matter of time before they got an equaliser.
The fears of the fans that had made the short journey across Stanley Park were confirmed on 35 minutes when Naismith connected with a Marouane Fellaini cross to bring the scores level. Goodison erupted as if Everton had won the title – no doubt they’ll be releasing a DVD of the game next week!
Half-time couldn’t come quickly enough for the Reds, who were looking worse and worse as the game went on. Kevin Mirallas was a constant thorn in the side of the Liverpool defence with some tricky footwork.
Everton boss David Moyes had spoken before the game about Luis Suarez, warning Marriner to watch out for him diving. How ironic then to see Phil Neville booked for taking a ridiculously theatrical tumble on the edge of the box. Maybe Mr Moyes should concentrate on the behaviour of his own players rather than jumping on the Suarez-bashing bandwagon?
Despite mounting pressure, Liverpool managed to make it to half-time without conceding further. Rodgers made two changes at the interval – Nuri Sahin coming off for Sebastian Coates and Suso being replaced by Jonjo Shelvey – changing formation to play three at the back. Rodgers has received criticism from some quarters for not appearing to have a plan b, the changes seemed to be unforced so maybe this is an indication that he does have more than one tactic up his sleeve?
Everton started the second half as they’d left off in the first, and things did not look good for the Reds. Seamus Coleman in particular was playing well and but for a wasteful header from Nikica Jelavic would have had an assist to his name.
In a reversal of the opening 45 minutes though, Liverpool got stronger as the half went on, and the final 10 minutes was one-way traffic in the visitors favour. Phil Jagielka managed to deny Gerrard with an outstretched leg on 82 minutes and was there again to stop Suarez after he had skipped past several defenders in the style we have all become accustomed to.
The match ended in controversy as Suarez found the back of the net in the last minute of injury time. The Uruguayan was already celebrating following a simple finish from a Coates knock-down, but the linesman’s flag was raised for offside. Replays have subsequently shown that not only was the goal legitimate, but it wasn’t even close to being offside. It seems that match officials are getting more decisions wrong than ever these days, and this decision will only strengthen the argument for the use of technology to assist their decision-making.
On balance a draw was probably the fair result, but it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth (no pun intended!) to see three points snatched from us in such a manner.
Kopworld man of the match – Luis Suarez.