Saturday’s early kickoff saw the blue and red halves of Merseyside collide at Goodison Park for the penultimate time in what was about as thrilling a match as 0-0 draws can get. I had the pleasure of witnessing this spectacle from the very first row of the main stand, and it was a day I will never forget. The atmosphere both pre-match outside the ground and during what was a fiery encounter was simply incredible and made me so proud to be a part of such a special club and special fanbase. Although the disallowance of Conor Coady’s goal caused deflation like none other, it was truly an experience of a lifetime. With that being said, let’s dive into some statistics which paint the picture of the 241st edition of this historic rivalry.
One of many standouts in blue on Saturday was new recruit Amadou Onana who put on the best performance of his young Everton career thus far. According to Fotmob, the Belgian was Everton’s second-highest graded player, only behind Jordan Pickford, whose sensational display we will discuss later. Onana has seemingly already locked down a starting berth in Frank Lampard’s side and partnered Alex Iwobi, Tom Davies, and later Idrissa Gueye very effectively. Evertonians are clearly excited to have him as the centerpiece in midfield for the years to come.
Amadou Onana for Everton vs. Liverpool:— Squawka (@Squawka) September 3, 2022
◉ Highest pass accuracy (88%)
◉ Most duels won (11)
◉= Most ball recoveries (8)
◉ Most tackles (7)
◉ Most aerial duels won (3)
He will sleep well tonight. pic.twitter.com/wDiOksJ8w8
Defensive Recruits Performing
Both James Tarkowski and fellow recruit Conor Coady have put in some solid displays at the back since arriving at the club, and now both find themselves in the Top 3 for clearances made this Premier League season after becoming the first to hold Liverpool scoreless this year. Although this, the first clean sheet of the season for Everton, did not come in a win, managing it against a team that won 9-0 a week ago is still a major positive. Despite both players being ridiculed for “only being good in a back three”, they were both fantastic against the reds and have transitioned to a back-four seamlessly thus far.
James Tarkowski has made 42 clearances so far this season. No player has more:— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) September 3, 2022
James Tarkowski - 42
Joachim Andersen - 41
Conor Coady - 40
Tarkowski & Coady helped Everton get their first clean sheet of the season. pic.twitter.com/MnhUqSanyq
England’s Number 1 was absolutely sensational on Saturday, becoming the first goalkeeper to register 8 saves in a match this Premier League season. Although his kicking left much to be desired, especially towards the end of the 90 minutes, the fact of the matter is that the Reds would have left Goodison with all three points if it weren’t for the dazzling saves he pulled off, most notably when he tipped Darwin Nuñez’s deflected volley onto the bar in the first half, and then in the dying stages when the fingertip he got to Mohamed Salah’s low effort was enough to ensure it went “post and out” rather than “post and in”. It was a shot-stopping masterclass from Everton’s acting captain.
Jordan Pickford made eight saves against Liverpool, the most by a goalkeeper in a Premier League game this season.— Squawka (@Squawka) September 3, 2022
Earning that clean sheet. pic.twitter.com/0H1WHPJQ4L
Although how this game remained scoreless is still a mystery to anyone who watched it, one thing that isn’t surprising is the Merseyside Derby ending in a draw. 5 of the last 6 iterations at Goodison Park have ended honors even, with 4 of those ending without a goal. The fixture has now tied the record for most draws in Premier League history.
Most draws in a single fixture in Premier League history:— William Hill (@WilliamHill) September 3, 2022
▪️ 25 - Chelsea vs Manchester United
▪️ 25 - Everton vs Liverpool
Honours even once again. pic.twitter.com/3C5LZfYRyM
Waiting for a Win
Although today’s performance will certainly leave Blues feeling much more optimistic about the rest of the season, the fact remains that none of the 4 points that Everton have collected thus far have come from a victory. Although the balance and depth of the squad have clearly improved since last season, the victories must now come as well in order to ensure that the club does not find itself in a position even remotely similar to that of last season. I have faith that with important players returning to fitness and the continued gelling of the squad, Everton will be just fine this season. That’s my main takeaway from today’s match. Well, that, plus how glad I am to have landed on the right half of Merseyside some 10 years ago... Up the Toffees.