Gerrard claims only one club played football in Merseyside derby
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has criticised Mersey rivals Everton for playing in a style “similar to Stoke” on Sunday, and insists that the Reds were the only team interested in playing good football.
However, statistics suggest that the Toffees were better on the ball during the heated Premier League derby and despite a last minute Luis Suarez goal being wrongly disallowed for offside, Liverpool were in fact lucky to come away from Goodison Park with a single point, as they were edged out by their opponents in many key areas.
“I thought we were fantastic and stood up to a team that are very similar to Stoke,” Gerrard told reporters.
“Everton are effective because they have some big, physical lads in the team. We had a young, small team out there who were men and stuck together.
“There was only one team who came to play football and that was us” he added.
However, statistics from the English Premier League Index suggests that Liverpool were in fact second best when it came to passing the ball.
The stats show that Everton attempted 478 passes, 359 of which were accurate, compared to their neighbours 357 passes, of which 257 were accurate, giving the Toffees 56% control of possession.
Although Liverpool’s centre-backs Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel had a much lower percentage of playing long passes than their Everton counter-parts, at around 9% each, Steven Gerrard and Jonjo Shelvey received the highest percentage of long passes out of any of the midfielders involved on Sunday, according to Liverpool’s official website.
Furthermore, Nuri Sahin, who was taken off at half time, recorded just 58% passing accuracy, much worse than the likes of Phil Neville, 94%, and Leon Osman, 87%.
Everton made twice as many crosses into the box as their opponents, created more chances and forced the Reds into making more tackles and committing more fouls. The Blues beat their opponents on Total Shots, shots on target, shots off target, shots from inside the box, shot accuracy and had almost double the amount of corners.
Gerrard concluded his discussion on the Merseyside derby by stating: “Everton are not better than us”, however the statistics suggest that perhaps they were on Sunday.