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    Match Report: Everton 1 Liverpool 1

    By Mollie Bennett (@molliebjourno)

    Everton came from a goal down to earn a draw against Liverpool in the 225th Merseyside derby.

    The Blues suffered a major blow before the game as John Stones and Seamus Coleman failed fitness tests, meaning the inexperienced Ramiro Funes Mori and Tyias Browning retained their place in Everton’s defence.

    The Toffees defence was tested early on as Liverpool had the better of the opening 20 minutes.

    Phil Jagielka was at his excellent best to keep his level, first excellently blocking Daniel Sturridge’s goal bound effort in the 6th minute, before snuffing out a dangerous looking through ball moments later.

    Jagielka was supported by the impressive defensive trio of Funes Mori, Browning and Brendan Galloway, who all played with little evidence to show their lack of Premier League experience. 

    Liverpool forward Danny Ings then fired a volley narrowly over the crossbar, before Tim Howard had to be alert to deny James Milner from a tight angle.

    In the 27th minute, Everton had their first meaningful chance of the game as Ross Barkley delivered a precise free kick onto the head of Steven Naismith, however the Scot was denied by an emphatic reaction save from Simon Mignolet in the Liverpool goal.

    Three minutes later the Belgian stopper was Liverpool’s hero again as he somehow got down to palm James McCarthy’s powerful drive around the post.

    The Reds were gifted a lead in the 41st minute when the unmarked Ings headed home a simple header, that Everton stopper Howard should really have collected.

    The Goodison faithful wasn’t silenced for long though, as the Blues drew level in first half injury time thanks to the dangerous-duo of Gerard Deulofeu and Romelu Lukaku.

    The Spaniard delivered a teasing centre into the heart of Liverpool’s defence – which niether Emre Can nor Martin Skrtel dealt with– allowing the in-form Lukaku to fire his side level, with an instinctive first-time finish into the bottom corner.

    Everton would have been hoping to start the second half, as they ended the first, however it took until the hour mark for the Blues to get going again.

    The introduction of Aaron Lennon injected some much-needed urgency into the Everton side as Mignolet snuffed out a couple of dangerous Everton crosses.

    Ross Barkley then fired a curling effort just wide of the upright, before Lennon found Lukaku in space, only for the Belgian to be denied by his international teammate Mignolet, who diverted his powerful-drive away from danger.

    In the 78th minute there was a moment of controversy as the already-booked Lucas Leiva somehow escaped a second yellow card for a deliberate trip on McCarthy.

    Everton should have been playing the last 12 minutes with a man advantage; instead Lucas was replaced by Joe Allen seconds after committing the foul.

    Both sides pressed for a winner, however the game ended in a draw for the third successive meeting between the sides, as Everton’s wait for a derby win continues.

    Next up for the Blues, is the visit of Manchester United who come to Goodison after the international break.
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    Item Reviewed: Match Report: Everton 1 Liverpool 1 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Mollie Bennett
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