In years gone by you’d look at the fixture list at the start of the season to see when the big games came. Man United v Liverpool, Arsenal v Spurs, Liverpool v Everton. It didn’t, matter who you supported, these games mattered to everyone. They were just big.
But today’s Merseyside derby was big for other reasons. It was big for Liverpool because defeat would have piled yet more pressure on a beleaguered Brendan Rodgers. Both sides were looking for a win to boost their league position, with both stuck in mid table.
It was an interesting game, but it never threw up what we hoped for in a derby of this size. It was about as even as it could be – in possession stats, shots on target and the one that matters, goals.
Danny Ings put Liverpool ahead only for Romelu Lukaku to equalise – a point apiece was probably fair.
No Gerrard Pointless Derby now in my eyes doesn't seem like it will have the same edge!
— Vinnie Rourke (@VinnieRourke) October 4, 2015
In years gone by it was blood and thunder. There are more red cards in Everton v Liverpool than in any other fixture in the Premier League. The days of Steven Gerrard going hell for leather, Duncan Ferguson giving as good as he got – and more!
There’s a reason derbies are special, but it’s lost some of it’s edge.
Both teams came into the game in similar league positions – and both towards the mid table. The most heated the game got was when Sakho and Lukaku squared up. As scary as that would be for anyone standing between those two, it wasn’t ever going to boil over.
The game finished 1-1, and that was probably fair – it never threatened much else.
Simon Mignolet. What. A. Save
Twitter reacted positively to Simon Mignolet for once. The Belgian keeper made two wonderful first half saves to keep Liverpool in the game, and although he did concede one goal, he gave a good account of himself.
Normally the problem man between the sticks – he was at fault for Sion’s equaliser in midweek too – Mignolet stepped it up today when it really mattered.
He’s that kind of keeper – he plays on the edge. Sometimes it makes him look silly when he concedes goals he should concede, but today it paid off.
Danny Ings can play for a big club
— FootballFanCast.com (@FootballFanCast) October 4, 2015
It wasn’t a controversial signing when Rodgers took Ings to Liverpool from Burnley. After last season in the Premier League, Ings deserved his chance to step up a level and not spend the season in the Championship with his relegated club.
But his performances over the last few weeks have been much improved from his performances in the first few weeks of the season. He scored again today – on the big stage, in a pressure game – and he’s fitting into life at a huge European club very nicely indeed.