The 224th Merseyside derby ended 0-0 after a poor match that I think most Evertonians will be happy to have got a point from in the end.
Everton 0 Liverpool 0: Eoin Leeson Review
Before the match, there had been so much build up and excitement. Both teams went into the match on unbeaten streaks and although those streaks continued, the point earned by both teams won’t have done much for either’s season.
Overall, I felt it was a disappointing performance by Everton.
Liverpool dominated us for large periods and had the majority of the chances with a poorly judged header by Steven Naismith and a Seamus Coleman effort that was saved our only clear-cut efforts on goal.
A lot of people said after the game that we settled for a draw but I think it was the lack of creativity in the team that made it look that way.
We defended really well and picked up our 3rd clean sheet in a row as a result.
This was mainly down to the partnership of Phil Jagielka and John Stones who were both excellent once again. Joel Robles did his bit too making some important saves from Gerrard, Sterling and Ibe.
As good as we were at the back though, we struggled going forward and didn’t create many chances, something I’ve had to say far too often in recent weeks.
Romelu Lukaku played quite badly but the minute amount of service he got didn’t help.
James McCarthy returned to the team and I thought he did very well. He, along with Jags and Stones were our best players.
Bryan Oviedo was solid enough filling in for the injured Leighton Baines and while it wasn’t his best game for Everton, the desire and tenacity shown by Muhamed Besic was great to see.
I’m still not sure how he wasn’t sent off. I thought it was a certainty pre-match. Also, how boss was his stare off with Ibe?
Aaron Lennon came on to make his debut and I thought he did quite well in the time he was given. He will only get better and I think our home game with Leicester in a couple of weeks is a great opportunity for him to stake a claim for a place in the team.
Gareth Barry, who had started to look like his old reliable self again in the past couple of games was dreadful. He was slow, his touch was dire and Martinez surely has to drop him and play Besic and McCarthy as our holding midfielders.
Steven Naismith had his worst game of the season. He struggled to do anything right.
Another positive was Ross Barkley. He came off the bench and finally looked like he was returning to form.
His pass to Coleman for the Irishman’s chance was sublime and another slip to Lennon that was just a tad over hit showed signs of our diamond sparkling again.
I think his break from the starting 11 has helped him and hopefully he can use this positive cameo to push on and get back in the team.
A fantastic atmosphere was let down by the quality of the game and although both managers claimed they were delighted with their side’s performance and result, I’m not sure the engrossing tactical battle will have been enough to satisfy either.
Next up for us is a trip to leaders Chelsea on Wednesday night. They’re quite good at the old football lark so let’s just hope our Blues can pull off something magical for us.
We deserve it.
Man of the Match: Phil Jagielka