Lukaku Shines In Derby Draw

Big Rom was outstanding but once again I feel we’ve missed an opportunity to truly kick on while letting a poor Liverpool side off the hook.

By @Markthablue

The blues could have gone third with a win but it wasn’t to be in a match short on quality.

The second half was especially attritional and slow-paced following a frantic first half. Everton finished the game stronger but unable to carve out that one chance that might have made all the difference.

Martin Atkinson was the ref, a known redshite, whose CV shines brightest with a sending off of Jack Rodwell for the cleanest of clean tackles some years back. It was with some naive surprise that I was shocked at just how disgustingly biased he was in this match.

Giving Liverpool everything and bottling sending Lucas off for what should have been a clear second yellow in the second half, Atkinson, at his sniveling best, was on hand to give our lovable neighbours pretty much every decision.

The game started with the visitors dominant in possession and the blues looking to hit Liverpool on the counter. Ross Barkley almost getting in from a Lukaku through ball.

Soon after Jagielka, who was outstanding, was called into duty. Blocking Sturridge’s effort at the near post before the hills have eyes wannabee Martin Skrtel blazed over.

Tim Howard, later to be back to his old tricks again, was called into action. Denying Milner at the near post in what was proving to be a frantic start. The blues annoyingly unable to impose themselves on a fragile reds back line. Deulofeu, much like at West Brom in the early stages, cut a lonely figure out on the right hand side.

The blues finally threatened Mignolet’s goal on 28 minutes. Barkley doing brilliantly from a free kick in a central position to pick out Naismith in acres of space. His goal-bound header acrobatically tipped over by Mignolet for a corner.

Mignolet denied the blues again shortly after, pulling off a fine save to keep out McCarthy’s fierce drive. Much more like it from the blues who were finally starting to ask questions. With Lukaku, who for me put in one of his best ever performances in an Everton shirt, outstanding.

Winning headers, bullying Skrtel and Sakho, it was a display of purpose and power. It’s a wonder Atkinson didn’t send him off for being a threat to his beloved reds.

With an equalising goal just reward for a superb showing, Lukaku looked every inch a 28m pound striker. Long may his recent form continue.

A laughable moment arrived shortly after when Liverpool conceded a throw in, Emre Can showed his areshole qualities by holding onto the ball as Barkley attempted to get the ball off him. Not releasing the ball, Can clearly thinking it was his to take home, squared up to Barkley. The ref saw fit to book them both. Utterly ridiculous.

Barkley’s crime was to try to get the ball off Can. Atkinson clearly upset about having to book one of his beloved reds took Barkley’s name too. Petty and pathetic but nothing new from Atkinson. LiverpoolThat.

Then EvertonThat kicked in. From a corner at the Gwladys Street, Danny Ings, who was turned down for the Santa’s little helper role in Elf for being too short, won a header 3 yards from goal in a crowded penalty box. Tim Howard neglecting his goalkeeping duties by remaining rooted to the spot.

Ings had time to light a ciggy before almost apologetically powder puffing a header into the empty net . Everton’s defending woeful, Barkley culpable again with his marking from a set piece, but a commanding goalkeeper would have had that corner for breakfast. 0-1

Screaming that we bottled a derby again worked as the blues sprung forward and Deulofeu’s only meaningful contribution of the match was crucial. Putting a terrific ball in from the right.

Can panicked and volleyed his clearance straight at Skrtel, the ball dropping to the man you want it to drop too, Big Rom. And the striker didn’t disappoint, clinically dispatching the ball from 8 yards out into the bottom left hand corner past a stranded Mignolet. 1-1

Just reward for Lukaku who for me put in his best performance in a blues shirt. I’m truly not bothered what his first touch his like, it’s his touch in front of goal I’m interested in.

The Belgian is paid to score goals and he’s doing it. I love a good moan but some of the criticism Lukaku gets is beyond me. Yes he can improve but how long have we been crying out for a goalscorer like him?

Half time arrived soon after. We needed to get the ball down more and play the way we have been doing, far too many Unsworth-esq long balls from the back. The second half soon began with the blues on the front foot.

Tyias Browning, who once again had an encouraging display, saw his header come off Sakho for a corner. While Lukaku tested Mignolet with a low cross, as the blues tried to pin Liverpool back.

The game was scrappy in the second half but the blues looked the more likely to win it. Barkley on the end of a 30 yard lung busting run curled just wide with Gwladys Street faces in full on guppy fish at feeding time mode.

The Blues pressure grew, Lennon, on for the largely disappointing Deulofeu, played Lukaku in with a great reverse pass, the Belgian on his weaker right foot, from close range, drew a point-blank save from Mignolet as Everton looked to win it.

Frustratingly, that was about it, as the game petered out into yet another derby draw. Making it ten games since the Blues last tasted victory over Liverpool.

I’m not going to criticise because we had some excellent performances here, and we have a base on with which to build from, I just wish we would conquer this derby day mental block which continues to affect us.

Funes Mori was excellent second half alongside the imperious Jagielka. Galloway was first class, truly mouth-watering potential this lad. Browning didn’t disappoint, and added to the terrific job Barry and McCarthy did in the middle of the park. We have lots of positives to look back on. None more so then Romelu Lukaku who was quite simply immense.

We have made strides since last season’s horror show and if we can get Coleman, Stones and Mirallas back firing, then we have so much to be optimistic about. We did look threadbare on the bench to say the least and that’s largely down to the board who again failed to strengthen our team this summer.

The lack of boardroom ambition continues to undermine our ambitions on the pitch. I’ve been quiet lately on this subject on Twitter but my opinion remains the same. We will struggle to progress to where we want to be as a football club while our present incumbents remain in situ.

The blues have an international break now and a chance to get some key payers back before the Man Utd game. Having witnessed the Mancs at Arsenal, we should be confident we can collect all three points and keep our season progressing along in the direction we all want it to go.

It will be a tough test, United have improved this season, although they were hopelessly dismantled at the Emirates. We need to get the pace back in our play. We looked too laboured at times in the derby and hopefully the break will assist this and we can go at United like rabid dogs a week on Saturday.

I sense this team could achieve something, we’re not losing many games and seem to have the blend of youth and experience just right. Let’s hope the blues can do our obvious potential justice and really make it a memorable season.

Where better to start fulfilling that potential than at home to Manchester United? COYB!

Sin Miedo

Mark Ellis

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Follow Mark Ellis On Twitter

Mark Ellis

34 year old Evertonian, BU Supporter, blogger, loving Roberto, busy with my beautiful son Kai who has made me & my fiancee Lyndsay's life complete.

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