Sunday 28 October 2012
Everton manager David Moyes was full of praise for the character of his team after they came from two goals down to draw with Liverpool at Goodison Park.
A Leighton Baines own goal and Luis Suarez’s header put the away side 2-0 up within 20 minutes but Leon Osman pulled a goal back shortly after Suarez’s strike and Steven Naismith levelled the scores ten minutes before the break.
"We got off to a terrible start," Moyes said. "But it was a great recovery. We showed great character. I was a bit disappointed we didn't come in 3-2 up at half-time. I thought we just about earned that.”
"Mirallas was nearly unstoppable and was unlucky not to score"
Moyes hailed the impact of Belgium forward Kevin Mirallas who filled in for the suspended Steven Pienaar down the left for Everton, but who did not emerge for the second half because of injury.
“Kevin Mirallas was outstanding,” Moyes said. “He was fantastic in that 20-minute period up to half-time. He was nearly unstoppable and was unlucky not to score. He was very good so it was a big blow for us not to have him for the second half. I think he went over on his ankle, but I don't know exactly.
"Overall, we played very well and we were a threat. It was a good open game and we had quite a lot of moments where we could have scored again."
Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, lamented Suarez having a late strike disallowed but was proud of how his young team performed against one with more experience.
"It would have been a well-deserved and brilliant win for us,” Rodgers said. “Instead, we are frustrated but at the same time I am very proud. I look at my team here today in a real cauldron of an atmosphere and how they stood up to everything against a very, very experienced team.
"Raheem Sterling is 17 years old, Suso is 18, Andre Wisdom 19, Jonjo Shelvey 20, while Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson are 22. They are all young players who will only grow and get better and better. So it was another terrific stride forward for us.”
"They are all young players who will only grow and get better and better"
At the interval, Rodgers withdrew Nuri Sahin and Suso and replaced them with Sebastian Coates and Jonjo Shelvey as Liverpool moved to three at the back while Sterling moved into the more central role, playing in behind Suarez.
"I did it to deal with two tall strikers [Nikica Jelavic and Marouane Fellaini]," said Rodgers. "Everton just smashed the ball up to them so it was as simple as that.
"They played direct, so I felt we needed that extra body and Seb could come and play central to pull our two centre-backs closer together. It also allowed us to be offensively set up to go and play as well.
"We knew there was going to be a wee bit of room on the side of the midfield but my concern was that whenever they had the ball, it was constantly thumped into the box, so we organised the game to make them play deeper.”
Matchday Live on Premierleague.com offers commentary on how the match progressed, statistics as well as the latest photographs from the match. Click on the link below.
Everton 2-2 Liverpool - Report, photos and stats >>