OCT
31
2012
Everton 2 Liverpool 2 View From The Gwladys
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As an Evertonian it is natural to approach derby day with pessimism and caution and for me, Sunday was no different.

Last season was the first time in my lifetime that I genuinely felt we were a better side than our neighbours across the park and they managed to roll us on three separate occasions.

Why would any sane blue think Sunday was going to be any different?

As was the case for the Wembley encounter, Steven Pienaar was unavailable so there was always the worry that we may not see the best of Leighton Baines.

In addition, the central midfield partnership of Phil Neville and Leon Osman had hardly flourished in recent weeks so there was always the worry that they would be overran by Steven Gerrard and the Welsh Xavi (Joe Allen for anyone as confused I was when I first heard the reference).

The inevitable disappointment didn't take long to strike and a Leighton Baines own goal followed by a Luis Suarez header put the reds 2-0 up after twenty minutes.

But this season's Everton seems to have something different - a resilience that has perhaps not been present in the first half of previous campaigns.

For this reason, at 2-0 down, something inside me knew we weren't going to get beat.

Despite my pre-match nerves and pessimism, I knew we would come back into it and up stepped Ossie to do exactly that.

For the remainder of the first half there was only one side in it and some of the football being played down the left flank was a joy to behold.

Kevin Mirallas was proving that he is the man for the big occasion and every time he received the ball there was a buzz around Goodison, an anticipation of what he would do next.

Fittingly, the Belgian linked up with compatriot Marouane Fellaini down the left who in turn put the equaliser on a plate for the impressive Steven Naismith.

Two goals each and in the ascendancy, Everton were playing their rivals off the park and there was only one side looking to score the all-important third.

The Old Lady was rocking as much as our opponents and the only saving grace for Brendan Rodger's side was that half time was approaching.

There was a twist in the tale before then however. Mirallas beat Suarez to a pass down the left and took it round the Uruguayan.

Suarez made one of the less dirty of his persistent fouls of the afternoon (see several accounts of assault on Sylvain Distin) but the outcome on the match was there for all to see.

Mirallas, clearly the best player on the park so far, limped his way through the remaining five minutes and didn't come back out for the second half.

The loss of Kevin saw a lack of penetration down the flanks and after a much more timid second period the game seemed to be fizzling out for a 2-2 draw.

If possible, what happened next made me feel worse than watching a sea of red explode after Andy Carroll netted the winner at Wembley.

A Gerrard cross resulted in Suarez lifting the ball into the roof of Tim Howard's Gwladys Street net and I sunk.

How I wish I hadn't.

I was too busy kicking lumps out of the chair in front of me to realise that the linesman had his flag up.

Too busy to witness Gerrard run the length of the pitch and slide on his knees into the away fans only to see his celebrations short lived.

Too busy to take note of what was happening - Everton Football Club had benefited from an incorrect decision against Liverpool Football Club.

To quote a blue I follow on Twitter, @lcabbabeh (worth a follow, very funny!): "I see your last min goal, and raise you, Clive Thomas, Hand-Ball Hansen, Graham Poll & Clattenburg... #ReachesForPot."

It is about time we were on the receiving end of a bit of luck against them.

Suarez was onside, of that there is no doubt. But let's have it right, he shouldn't have even been on the pitch.

The fallout from the most entertaining derby in recent years is still rumbling on now. Some of the comments coming out of Liverpool FC are laughable, but just go to prove that we are getting to them.

Gerrard has claimed we played like Stoke and that his side were the only team trying to play football.

I won't start rattling off stats as the national papers have already got there, making a mockery of the comments made by the Liverpool captain.

Perhaps the most telling quote of all though is below.

"Everton are not better than us."

In all my years of following Everton, I have never known Gerrard to feel the need to publicly declare his belief that Everton are not as good as Liverpool.

He is rattled and clearly doesn't like the fact that nearly all sections of the media appear in agreement that David Moyes side are in fact the stronger outfit of the Merseyside clubs.

Roll on the return leg at Anfield in May.

I can hardly wait. The Gwladys Street Preacher. Follow on Twitter @GaryMaidenEFC

Email Bluekipper at enquiries@bluekipper.com

Comments about Everton 2 Liverpool 2 View From The Gwladys
 
3
I think the time has come to stop worrying about the RS. We need to think higher and better. If we underachieve this season and still finish higher than them, it will be no consolation whatsoever.
Paul R, Bristol, 2:24 PM 31/10/2012
 
2
May i also add a should of been Wayne Clarke winner Anny rd end 1988!
David, Liverpool, 2:21 PM 31/10/2012
 
1
Gerrard is certainly rattled. So is everyone else at that disaster zone across the park. At this rate they'll implode sooner rather than later :o)
Tony, Stoneycroft, 1:05 PM 31/10/2012
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