Caution gripped both sets of players by the end of a fleetingly entertaining 0-0 draw in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park. There were few chances, the best of which was a shot from young Jordon Ibe that hit the post in the first half.
Jordon Ibe hit the bar in a lively display for Liverpool in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.
It was one of numerous highlights in the youngster’s performance, justifying a managerial selection that had a lot of tongues wagging before kick-off. This isn’t usually the occasion to try out the new things, but Brendan Rodgers’ decision was vindicated.
Some of Liverpool’s play deserved a better reward, but they allowed the fear of defeat to get to them during a safe, anodyne second half. They controlled a lot of the game without ever really deserving victory.
They might even have paid the ultimate price if Simon Mignolet hadn’t been alert late on, but honours, such as they were, ended even.
Player ratings: (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):
GK Simon Mignolet, 7 — Rarely troubled for most of the game. Whatever he had to catch or gather he did proficiently enough. He showed good concentration skills when forced to make a good save from Seamus Coleman after a rare breakaway from the home side in the game’s closing stages. Looking increasingly confident, with another clean sheet to his name.
DF Emre Can, 8 — Showed great determination for his first experience of this unique atmosphere. Kept a cool head for most of the game and even had one or two forays up front when it didn’t seem like the rest of the team really wanted him to. Aggressive without being hot-headed, this was almost a template for defending in a tempestuous derby fixture.
DF Martin Skrtel, 7 — Not overly troubled by a curious display from Romelu Lukaku, who spent most of his time away from the danger zone. Skrtel still had to keep his composure during Everton’s intermittent spells of pressure. Led the whole defence well and made very few errors.
DF Mamadou Sakho, 6 — It is sometimes difficult to determine if the Frenchman is having a torrid time because his passing style and movement seem ungainly whether he’s playing well or badly. This was not one of his better days, however. He caused a panic once or twice when there was little danger. Seemed to be bored by the lack of threat from Everton, and that impatience with monotony can sometimes be his undoing.
MF Jordon Ibe, 8 — Before the game began, he’d have been forgiven for letting a huge occasion get the better of him. By the final whistle, he had undoubtedly been one of Liverpool’s few successes. Kept his passing and positional play sensible and simple early on before trying his luck going forward and was unlucky not to score from a first-class strike. There is surely more to come from Ibe. His time at Derby County seems to have done him the world of good.
MF Alberto Moreno, 6 — Lots of endeavour with little reward. He always looks as though he is about to hurtle forward and yet far too often he holds back. He also kept letting Seamus Coleman ghost past him by committing himself unwisely to a challenge. Liverpool are getting clean sheets now thanks to his unassuming protection of Sakho, but at some point the Spaniard must be allowed to fully express his more attacking instincts.
MF Jordan Henderson, 7 — Sometimes casual in the first half and caught out of position a few times. Perhaps he allowed the loss of midfield partner Lucas to affect his game? Got his act together in the second half, although he did wake Everton up after a childish spat with Steven Naismith. As a possible future captain, he might learn from Steven Gerrard’s calming behaviour but his manager certainly won’t want to put out any of that fire out just yet.
MF Lucas Leiva, N/R — Seemed his usual methodical self until injury brought his evening to an end after 15 minutes.
FW Steven Gerrard, 6 — Some good, some bad, some nondescript. Doesn’t really seem to fit anywhere in this formation, and he didn’t really bring an awful lot to a game where he was considered the main focal point. Not surprising, with all the media hype beforehand. Good skill and athleticism in the Everton box for an overhead kick, which was unluckily deflected over.
FW Philippe Coutinho, 7 — Still the main threat, although Everton had clearly done their homework and made sure they stopped him, by fair means or foul. Brought off on 55 minutes and a lot of Liverpool’s momentum at that stage left with him.
FW Raheem Sterling, 6 — Often frustrating and generally chose the wrong pass or shot in a ragged first-half performance. Has a lot to learn about being a striker but was still dangerous on occasion before being taken off on 82 minutes.
MF Joe Allen, 6 — Brought on very early to replace Lucas and might have been fazed by the speed of the game. Gradually got to grips with the match and kept it simple. Sometimes too simple, though.
FW Daniel Sturridge, 6 — Clearly still not 100 percent and rarely posed any threat. Seemed to play everywhere but in the penalty area, although that is understandable as very little was being created anyway given he was replacing Coutinho who had provided most of the threat before then. A useful 40 minutes or so for attaining match performance, at least.
FW Rickie Lambert, N/R — Another late, uneventful intervention in place of Sterling. Given one chance to seal the points but scuffed his shot into the grateful arms of Joel Robles.
Source -:- Espn
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