Tim Howard – 6
A mixed day for Howard, who ended up facing surprisingly little in the way of testing shots from Liverpool’s underwhelming forward line of Mario Balotelli, Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic. A strong save from Lallana’s early header aside, the American had little to do in what was a fairly scrappy game. Howard should arguably not have been beaten from Steven Gerrard’s second half free kick, though he then went on to make a crucial save from Balotelli soon after.
Tony Hibbert – 5
Thankfully, Hibbert was afforded far more protection at Anfield than he was at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday, but that still didn’t stop him from looking painfully out of his depth against the mobility of Raheem Sterling et al. He can be counted on to run all day, and a hard, but clean, tackle on Balotelli provided a rare second half highlight, but most Evertonians breathed a sigh of relief when the right back was withdrawn for Tyias Browning.
John Stones – 9
Restored to his favoured position at centre half, John Stones was magnificent in his second derby start. Where last year he toiled on the right while Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge ran riot, this year the young Englishman was composed, muscular, and above all elegant in his defensive play. It’s this sort of display that looks set to keep Stones at the heart of the Everton defence this season, and, fingers crossed, for many years to come.
Phil Jagielka – 8
Many of Everton’s problems have stemmed from the centre of defence this season, and captain Phil Jagielka has been as culpable as any player in terms of turning in underwhelming performances during the current campaign. Not so in the derby. Jagielka was tough and assured alongside his young defensive partner, and gave the Liverpool attack very little to work with in and around the Everton box. The fact that he scored a thronking, 30-yard, volleyed equaliser right into the Kop didn’t hurt either.
Leighton Baines – 6
Forced to hold back on his forward runs after the introduction of Aiden McGeady, Baines had another solid, if unspectacular game at left back. For the most part he nullified what little threat Markovic posed on the Liverpool right, but he never looked entirely comfortable against the physicality of Balotelli, clumsily giving away the free kick from which Gerrard gave the hosts the lead.
Gareth Barry – 5
The derby saw Gareth Barry give one of his poorer Everton performances, partly influenced, no doubt, by his very early booking. Hassled and harried by Sterling, Lallana and Jordan Henderson, the veteran midfielder wasn’t allowed his usual time on the ball, and his passing – both long and short – suffered as a result.
James McCarthy – 6
Given the unenviable task of assisting Tony Hibbert against a very quick Liverpool attack, McCarthy performed admirably, despite being allowed little time on the ball throughout. But while defensively solid, the Irishman struggled to pick a pass when venturing forward, and wasn’t helped by Roberto Martinez’s 4-3-3, or an unusually panicked performance from his midfield partner, Barry.
Mohamed Besic – 5
Several interceptions contributed to an effective defensive display from Besic, but complacency and poor choices going forward continue to be major issues with the young midfielder’s game. It’s been a difficult start to life on Merseyside for the Bosnian, though to his credit, he did form a valuable part of the midfield unit that, for the most part, prevented the Liverpool attack from breaking behind Everton’s defence.
Kevin Mirallas – 6
Mirallas had a lively start, demonstrating his now customary derby day fire in the opening exchanges at Anfield, but suffered a nasty-looking injury mid-way through the first half. Hurtling into the Liverpool penalty area, the Toffees’ best attacking player pulled up sharply before collapsing into a heap, clutching his hamstring. Everton, that…
Steven Naismith – 6
Naismith worked well between the Liverpool lines during the first half, combining nicely with Lukaku and Mirallas before the latter’s early exit, and providing a welcome outlet for the Blues’ often beleaguered midfielders. As the game went on, however, he was marginalised, with the opposition trio of Henderson, Gerrard and Sterling growing more dominant during the second period.
Romelu Lukaku – 5
Once again stationed wide on the right, Lukaku was given the dual task of attacking the Liverpool wing while keeping Alberto Moreno from raiding forward at Tony Hibbert. The latter was accomplished fairly well, though the former, it’s fair to say was not. Clumsy in possession and lethargic on the ball – particularly in the second half – Lukaku had a game to forget, though admittedly his service was equally disappointing.
Aiden McGeady – 6
Brought in for Kevin Mirallas following the Belgian’s early injury, McGeady made the most of his few opportunities, but wasn’t able to produce any sort of sustained threat on the counter. Had he been able to pick out Lukaku, having found himself through in the Liverpool penalty area in the first half, the game would have taken on a very different complexion.
Tyias Browning – 7
It’s one thing to make your Everton debut in a heated Merseyside derby at Anfield, but it’s quite another to come on and sure up your side’s shaky defence with 20 minutes to go. Browning didn’t see an awful lot of the ball during his memorable cameo, but he demonstrated enough pace, skill and composure to suggest it won't be long before we see him in the first team again.
Samuel Eto’o – N/A
Man of the Match – John Stones
The perfect combination of style and steel, Stones is a very special centre back. In the three games he has partnered Jagielka this season Everton have conceded twice; in the other five, they’ve conceded 16. It’s not difficult to see the difference the outstanding young Englishman makes.