Everton and Liverpool derby thriller

2013-11-23 21:05

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Everton, Liverpool draw 3-3 in chilly afternoon at Goodison Park

Everton and Liverpool contested one of the most thrilling Merseyside derbies to date as the 221st edition ended in an unbelievable 3-3 draw at Goodison Park yesterday.

A bitterly cold afternoon did little to douse the passion of both sets of fans, and with 19 minutes gone they had already seen three goals, with Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suárez scoring either side of Kevin Mirallas’ equaliser.

The game continued at breakneck speed after the restart, with Romelu Lukaku levelling matters midway through the second after heading home to make it 2-2 with eight minutes left, although Daniel Sturridge popped up in the last minute of normal time to earn a dramatic draw.

The result saw Liverpool climb to within a point at the top of the table, while Everton hoisted themselves to fifth, although both sides could finish the weekend lower down, depending on results elsewhere.

Brendan Rodgers’ men launched their first attack after five minutes, and it would eventually lead to the first goal as Steven Gerrard’s corner was flicked on to Coutinho, who had all the time and space to control with his chest before angling a shot home with the outside of his boot.

The lead would last only three minutes, though, with a set piece again leading to a goal, this time Leighton Baines’ deep delivery being knocked down into the area by Ross Barkley, with Mirallas reacting quickest to prod home from close range.

Midway through the first half and the match was already looking like a classic, with Suárez unsurprisingly playing a pivotal role in the tie as he curled a fabulous free kick between the tightest of gaps in the Everton wall to bend the ball past Tim Howard and into the bottom corner of the net.

Tempers started to flare in the closing stages of the first-half, with Mirallas fortunate to escape a red card following a very dangerous studs-up challenge on Suárez.

The Reds supporters were left holding their heads in disbelief shortly after the restart as Suárez danced his way past three defenders before the ball popped out perfectly for Joe Allan, but the midfielder somehow contrived to skew his shot wide from just a few feet out.

The visitors were soon made to pay the ultimate price for that miss as Simon Mignolet managed to save from an initial free kick.

However, Everton were quickest to react to the rebound that resulted in Steven Pienaar cutting the ball back for Lukaku, who duly slotted home a low drive.

With eight minutes left, the hosts stormed into the lead for the first time, with Lukaku making the difference, rising metres above the Liverpool defenders to head home from Mirallas’ corner to send the home fans into delirium.

But there was to be one more twist in the tail, and with the clock ticking down, Gerrard whipped in another telling delivery, where Sturridge merely had to direct his header goalwards, with the pace of the cross taking it past the goalkeeper and into the far corner. 

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