This week's post match analysis will focus on the main talking points of the Merseyside derby this weekend of Everton were rather lucky to escape with a point. A wonder goal from Phil Jagielka in injury time saved the day but the Blues were mostly undeserving as a result of a poor attacking performance and of course left Anfield with their obligatory injury.
Howard is up and down
Many were questioning Tim Howard before this game following his horror show against Crystal Palace last week. In all truth, Howard was superb in this game, denying both Mario Balotelli's free-kick and close range effort with a dangerous Adam Lallana header also being turned away superbly. Despite this, the American will be disappointed to have not saved Steven Gerrard's free-kick, which was at a comfortable height, as it looked like he had dived too early. Nonetheless, much improved upon last week's showing.
Stones and Coleman are key
John Stones is the epitome of the modern day central defender and surely cannot be left out of Everton's side any more, especially giving Sylvain Distin's poor performances so far. The young Englishman was composed on the ball, strong in the tackle and a literal touch of class in the heart of the Everton defence, never looking troubled by Liverpool's attacking talents.
As much as John Stones' presence was sorely needed in the Everton defence, Seamus Coleman's was hugely missed. The Irishman adds not only defensive strength to the Blues defence but a massive attacking threat and his absence was sorely missed at Anfield. When the full back is missing, the whole of Everton's line up looks lopsided and they will need him fit and firing as soon as possible.
Mirallas injury will be huge
Just as the Blues could look to build on this massive point, they lose one of their key players for what could be a long time. It's almost obligatory for Everton to suffer a big injury at Anfield and it seems this time it was the turn of Belgian Kevin Mirallas who pulled up with what could be a bad hamstring injury. Hopefully it isn't as serious as it looks because Everton have little options to replace him long term and his presence would have made a huge difference to yesterday's game.
Lukaku isn't a winger
Okay, so I get that this tactic has worked twice against Arsenal and Martinez was putting Lukaku up against Alberto Moreno in an attempt to exploit the defender, but this was a move that back fired massively for the Blues. Lukaku was poor out on the right wing, spending most of the game miscontrolling the ball and giving it away and looking entirely isolated without the support of Coleman. It's a mystery why he was left out there all game. As a side note, the Belgian really needs to work on his hold up play and first touch, which at the minute are not those of a £28m striker.
Samuel Eto'o is being massively underutilised by Everton at the minute and it is baffling to see. Roberto Martinez seems to have bought in to the ‘old man' notion of the striker and is only bringing him on with games dying out. As the Liverpool back line dwindled and sat deeper yesterday, Eto'o could have been brought on much earlier and had a bigger impact on the final score. Hopefully he is given more game time across the year as he brings a touch of class that this side could do with.
It would be amiss to not mention Jagielka's strike now wouldn't it, and what a hit it was. The defender didn't just blast that in to the back of the net, it dipped and swerved beautifully to leave Mignolet without a hope and the Liverpool fans utterly dejected. He admitted in his interview that he just ‘took a swing' but if that is the result, he can swing all he likes in future. Just for your viewing pleasure, here's that video again. Sumptious!
The best angle of Jagielka's unbelievable hit vs Liverpool https://t.co/cfERS9Hx9G— Football Vines (@FootballVines) September 27, 2014