Everton earn point as Liverpool let go of a two goal lead
October 29, 2012 in Premier League
David Moyes, earlier in the week, had criticised Luis Suarez for diving, and discussed how it deters fans away from games. There wasn’t much more Suarez could do in return to the Scot’s statements than scoring a goal, creating another and having a perfectly legitimate third denied, whilst adding in an humiliating goal celebration for good measure.
Suarez opened the scoring on the 14th minute, pouncing on the loose ball in the Everton penalty box, firing his shot against Leighton Baines which deflected into the back on the net. This lead him sprinting over to Moyes and sliding along his stomach, obviously referencing his statements earlier in the week. It wasn’t long before the second came either. Steven Gerrard delivered a free kick which lead to Suarez heading the ball past Tim Howard, making it 2-0 within the first 20 minutes. The crowd silenced, and it looked as if Liverpool were heading for their fourth derby win in their past five.
Everton needed a quick reply to avoid another derby day disappointment and immediately got one two minutes later, when stand-in Liverpool keeper Brad Jones punched a Leighton Baines corner straight to Leon Osman, who drove the return into the net from the edge of the box. Everton were alive again, and were the better side for the last part of the first half. Kevin Mirallas was terrorising the young Liverpool right back, Andre Wisdom, down the left flank for Everton, whilst Phil Neville started to take control of midfield; Everton suddenly looked like they were about to score again, and to no surprise, they did. The fourth goal of the game involved the dangerous Mirallas and Marouane Fellini, but it took Steven Naismith to score his first Everton goal to make the score line 2-2 at the break.
Brendan Rodgers changed the system for the second half, putting 17 year old Raheem Sterling up front with Luis Suarez, whilst bringing on Sebastian Coates and switching to three at the back, which in turn worked, managing to not to concede in the second half. Just as the first half, end-to-end entertainment, with Sterling putting a great chance wide, and Nikica Jelavic just couldn’t stretch far enough to make contact with Coleman’s cross from just six yards out – both sides unable to make anything of their second half chances. Tackles flew in and tensions were high as we reached the closing stages, a typical Merseyside derby with seven bookings and 34 committed fouls, it was just what was expected.
90 minutes had passed. Liverpool had a final chance with another Gerrard free kick, involving an initial Coates header. finished off by main Everton antagonist Suarez poking the ball into the net, sending the Liverpool fans wild with even Gerrard running the entire pitch length onto his knees in front of their away fans, just to get up and notice the goal was disallowed and the game was still on. The goal was wrongly disallowed for offside and Everton were fortunate, but a draw seemed a fair result.