Here’s three talking points to take away from an incredible 232nd Merseyside Derby:
Everton must take chances to reach next level
Liverpool may have great chances themselves, such as the one-on-one opportunities for Xherdan Shaqiri and Sadio Mané, but Marco Silva will rue the free header Yerry Mina placed wide early on, or Alisson’s remarkable save from André Gomes.
Despite drawing at Anfield last season, this was an undeniably better overall performance from Everton, and the extent of improvement in this team from 12 months ago has been immeasurable.
To reach that next level, though, the Blues must eradicate this profligacy from their game. It happened at Arsenal with Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s spurned chance; it re-occured at Manchester United with Bernard firing wide with the goal at his mercy.
Only when this issue is rectified will the so-called ‘top six’ become the top seven.
Walcott needs time on the sidelines
In the half-hour Ademola Lookman spent on the pitch, the 21-year-old again made a far greater impact than the man he replaced, Theo Walcott, had on proceedings.
It should not go unmentioned that Walcott headed across for Gomes’ excellent chance, but he was otherwise peripheral throughout the match.
Despite three goals this season, Walcott’s form has been on a downward trajectory for some time now, and even if he gives more defensively than Lookman, he is currently offering far less creatively.
Consecutive home games against Newcastle United and Watford are the ideal opportunities to bed Lookman in to the starting 11 for the first time in the league this season.
On current form, he merits a start far more than Walcott.
Six points from six are now a necessity
In Everton’s two previous defeats, away to Arsenal and Manchester United, they followed them up with convincing home wins against Fulham and Brighton & Hove Albion.
On Wednesday night against Newcastle, a repeat of that feat is now pivotal.
Everton’s home form has, in the main, been exemplary under Silva, and to bounce back from a defeat that is incredibly hard to take with a solid win would bear the hallmark of a team with a strong mentality.
Ultimately, it took the scrappiest winner after the allocated injury time to win an even derby for Liverpool.
Despite the obvious feeling of raw devastation, the signs could not be clearer that Everton are increasingly becoming a force to be reckoned with; even Reds boss Jürgen Klopp had the good grace to admit this.
Six points from the next two games will not erase today’s disappointment entirely - nothing will - but it would be the perfect response from a team that means business.