Liverpool 1 Everton 1 – Deja-Blue for the Reds

By Ryan Grant • Jan 26th, 2009 • Category: Match Reports |

Twice in a week and they still can’t be seperated, Everton and Liverpool drew 1-1 at Anfield in the 4th Round of the FA Cup. The multi-millionaires had a great chance thanks to a training ground injury rendering our midfield bereaved of any creativity.
Liverpool had virtually all the play yet found themselves 1-0 behind at half-time due to Cahill, yet again he was free of markers and headed goalwards from a great corner from Pienaar for Lescott to add the finishing touch which brought uproarious scenes from the Blues fans.
For all of their pressing, any sniff they had was dealt with in excellent fashion by our back four. Half-time and you could say we deserved our lead for taking the chance when offered, even though Liverpool were plying on the pressure.
Second half and with a rant in their ears their tempo and desire was on the up but yet again the all-English Everton defence was immense.
At this point, Everton’s lack of creativity in midfield was showing as there was no one to get the ball down and pick a pass that kept us in possession long enough to build an attack. Therefore it was a case of hoof and defend.
This was being done with some ease until 10 minutes in when Gerrard was put in on the box with sublime skill from Torres and produced a tame left footer that looked to go straight through Howard, a bad error indeed. However, just a few minutes later and the same keeper made a quite wonderful save to deny that man again another love in with the media.
For the rest of the half, Liverpool kept attacking but Everton kept defending with resolution and a good dollop of class but the attacking ideas were very limited. Big Vic was clearly struggling and Castillo tiring; there was no-one else but a couple of kids, Gosling and Rodwell, to put on and although they played a part, in no way did or could it help with our attacking ideas..
Final whistle and no doubt a better result for Everton than Liverpool considering the team the Reds were able to field which suggested that Benitez wanted it done and dusted today.
Overall, I thought it was a very good defensive job well done against an acknowledged top four Champions League side and with Capello in attendance it should have given him lots to think about when it comes to choosing an England back four as Everton’s was not only first class but showed they don’t buckle under intense pressure when faced with so called world stars. Both results at the games have been excellent yet both have demonstrated that Everton are short on creative numbers for the midfield, which means over-reliance on keeping every player fit and suspension-free.
With no money available this window then, each time Arteta and Fellaini are missing, the Blues will rely more and more on defensive tactics to get into Europe, and who knows maybe a tilt at the cup?
By Jack Farrell


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