Merseyside derby struggles to live up to it’s billing

The Merseyside derby is one of the Premier League fixtures that fans look out for at the start of the season and it’s one of the most famous clashes in the English game. Last night though, it didn’t quite stand out.

Liverpool, chasing an elusive Premier League title, and Everton, fresh from a superb victory over Arsenal last week, struggled to find their footing in the first-half and the half-time whistle was blown after a largely unexciting 45 minutes.

Billed as ‘Merseyside Monday’ by Sky Sports and identified as one of the stand-out fixtures of the week, there was little to talk about at the interval following two shoddy attacking performances from both sides.

It left the two arch-rivals setting a rather unwanted record, as the clash became only the second this season to see zero shots on target in the first-half. The other, Swansea v Sunderland, was a relegation struggle and they’re two sides both Liverpool and Everton won’t want to find themselves alongside.

Tempers rose in the second-half, making it a more exciting affair, and Sadio Mane’s late winner fortunately made the game more memorable.