Phil Jagielka’s incredible long-rang effort in injury time sealed a 1-1 draw for Everton at Anfield on Saturday in the 223rd edition of the Merseyside derby.
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Steven Gerrard curled home a beautiful free kick in the 65th minute after a controversial foul on Mario Balotelli from Leighton Baines, which looked like being the winner for the Reds. However, the ball dropped to Jagielka 30-yards out in the 92nd minute and the center back unleashed an unstoppable drive with his right foot to send the Everton fans into raptures in the away section at a stunned Anfield.
Everton struggled throughout with the Toffees’ last win at Anfield came in 1999 and Roberto Martinez’s men never really looked like taking all three points on Saturday. However, Jagielka’s late goal denied Liverpool bragging rights as the points were shared.
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Early on both teams had shouts for penalties as Romelu Lukaku was taken down in the box by Alberto Moreno but referee Martin Atkinson waved away the calls. Then Raheem Sterling’s shot seemed to be blocked by Gareth Barry’s hand in the box but no PK was awarded to Liverpool. Barry was living a charmed life after an early booking, as the Everton midfielder was lucky to not be shown a second yellow for a late tackle on Mario Balotelli in the 10th minute. From that free kick Balotelli forced Tim Howard into a smart save, as the frantic early start continued.
The game then settled down as Everton halted Liverpool’s early charge and Baines almost set up Lukaku for the opener but his cross was hacked away at a crucial moment by Lovren on the line. Everton then suffered a big blow as Kevin Mirallas pulled his hamstring after a surging run and was replaced by Aiden McGeady after 30 minutes. As half time approached, neither team were able to make the breakthrough as the score was locked at 0-0.
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In the second half the game continued to be a tight, tense affair as both teams failed to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Then in the 65th minute Liverpool took the lead as Balotelli was fouled by Baines, with the Italian going down rather easily, and Gerrard curled in the resulting free kick from 25-yards out to send Anfield wild. Howard got a hand to the effort but failed to keep the ball out.
That goal sparked the game into life, as both teams went for it in the latter stages.
Lukaku almost equalized for Everton right away, as a long ball into the box found the Belgian but he mistimed his header. Soon after, Balotelli should have made it 2-0, after Sterling buzzed down the left flank and whipped in a cross which Liverpool’s striker directed towards goal but after a slight deflection off Howard, the ball hit the crossbar and went over.
The final stages of the game played out with Everton pushing for an equalizer and that arrived late in the game courtesy of Jagielka’s howitzer from distance. Two stunning goals defined this game as the points were shared at Anfield.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Manquillo, Moreno, Lovren, Skrtel, Gerrard, Henderson, Markovic (Coutinho, 60′), Lallana, Sterling, Balotelli (Lambert, 88′)
Goal: Gerrard (65′)
Everton: Howard, Hibbert (Browning, 73′), Baines, Jagielka, Stones, Barry, McCarthy, Besic (Eto’o, 80′), Mirallas (McGeady, 31′), Naismith, Lukaku
Goal: Jagielka (90+1)