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Following a chaotic first half in which Liverpool went two goals ahead through Luis Suarez, only to be drawn level by goals from Leon Osman and Steven Naismith all within the first 35 minutes, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers used the half-time interval to re-organise his team and add some stability to the fiery Premier League derby, which finished 2-2.

At half time, Rodgers took off young winger Suso and replaced him with central midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, while Sebastian Coates came on for Nuri Sahin and Raheem Sterling was moved from out wide to up front alongside Luis Suarez.

It was a bold decision considering the match was delicately poised and Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has been widely criticised for using the same formation at Eastlands with limited success.

During the post-match interview, the Liverpool coach explained the change in formations: “I had to make a tactical change at half-time as there were a lot of direct balls, no great build-up play and we had to deal with a lot of aerial balls in the box, so we flipped it to a back three and five in midfield and two up front to still give us that possibility to attack better and I thought it worked really well for us.”

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was impressed by the quick decision, and agrees that it improved the Reds’ performance.

“I think it was an off-the-cuff decision and credit to the manager for that,” said the England international.

“That’s one of the reasons why he got the Liverpool job. He’s capable of making big decisions at big times.

“Everton were very direct in the first half and were getting on the second balls. The plan in the second half was to go 3-5-2 and try to stop the long balls coming in.

“Once we stopped that we passed through Everton and looked very dangerous on the break,” he added.

Gerrard also commented on the decision to disallow Luis Suarez’s late goal.

“I’ve seen it again and we can feel sorry for ourselves because it was a clear goal,” said the Liverpool and England skipper.

“We should be taking away the three points rather than just one. There is no offside and it’s difficult for me to explain it. The only person who can explain it is the linesman.”


  • ste
    3 years ago

    It was a great de facto 2-3 win by a young Liverpool team against their bitter and twisted, dirty fouling long ball merchant neighbours, Liverpool are on the up, and with competent/non corrupt ‘officials’ would be in the top 5 right now. Everton the top team on Merseyside? stop all that farcical nonsense right now.

    • Poul
      3 years ago

      Bloody fool – top 5 – don’t make me laugh – you should count youself lucky that Suarez stayed on the pitch – first time a player on 2 yellow and 1 red ends up with only one yellow. I thought Clattenburg was in charge but I could see he was busy giving Torres red card for not playing for the shite anymore.

  • Tom
    3 years ago

    I love how both Rodgers and Gerrard have convinced themselves that Liverpool were the better team and the the tactical change was a masterstroke of management.

    The truth is that, despite the scorline, Everton dominated the game as the game stats prove. The blues dominated possession, passing success, territorial advantage and the total number of crosses…..Brendan Rodgers had to put three central defenders in his defence because his team was getting overrun. If it wasn’t for the late disallowed goal, then I think that more pundits would be concentrating on how luck Liverpool were to escape with a point!

    • Krp
      3 years ago

      I dont think playing aerial balls means Everton controlled the game. I dont see why Everton wouldn’t cross with two tallest players on the league. And anyway, if number of crosses meant everything on the table, then what is CHELSEA doing a the top. Shouldn’t Everton be there?

      Dont just say Everton had control. Obviously they crossed a lot but what’s there until you get a goal. That’s why we brought coates in and we defended well. Everton couldn’t breathe through air – balls in the box. It was an even game. EVERTON ATTACKED, LIVERPOOL DEFENDED.

      It wasn’t sword against shield. Everton threw arrows and we stayed calm and kept them away coolly with Shields. That didn’t hurt us a bit. Now how’s that being lucky with a point when you defend so well. If you defend well,I had an impression that a draw is for granted.

  • DaveWestAus
    3 years ago

    REDSfan;;; FACT;Suarez was definately ‘ON SIDE’!
    However,I think the ‘off side’ may have been given against Coates! When Gerrard took the free kick I think Coates may have been closer to the goal than all the defenders.He dropped back to head the ball to Suarez!

    • Mzuzu Msibi
      3 years ago

      @Dave;I do not think we were watching the same game mate! I you can be able to watch the video of this game you can see that the ball is in the air for a long time allowing Coates to position himself at the back of the post and clearly on side! Everton player doesnt jump to attempt a clearance. That was a clear goal and there is no offside at all.