Liverpool 1-1 Everton: Rooney penalty leaves Reds rueing missed chances

Jurgen Klopp's selection gamble failed to pay off as Liverpool missed a host of chances before Wayne Rooney equalised to leave the 229th Merseyside Derby at 1-1.

Liverpool 1-1 Everton: Rooney penalty leaves Reds rueing missed chances
Rooney's penalty levelled the game (photo: Getty Images / Clive Brunskill)
Liverpool
1 1
Everton
Liverpool: Mignolet; Gomez, Lovren, Klavan, Robertson; Henderson, Milner; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mane; Salah, Solanke.
Everton: Pickford; Kenny, Williams, Holgate, Martina; Gueye, Davies (Schneiderlin 45'); Calvert-Lewin, Rooney, Sigurdsson; Niasse (Lennon 45').
SCORE: 1-0, Salah 42'. 1-1, Rooney 76'.
REFEREE: Craig Pawson (ENG): Yellow - Sigurdsson, Gueye.
INCIDENTS: Premier League fixture at Anfield.

Wayne Rooney's 76th minute penalty made Liverpool pay for missed chances in Sunday's Merseyside Derby, cancelling out Mohamed Salah's opener as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Liverpool were dominant throughout but were punished when Dejan Lovren pushed Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the area, Rooney taking advantage to leave Sam Allardyce the happier manager after his first derby since taking charge.

Everton were expected to park the bus and go long, which is what they did. Coming into the game against their free-scoring neighbours, who could blame them?

It worked early on with Liverpool blunted in terms of clear cut chances, despite a fast start aided by a loud Anfield crowd. Sadio Mane had the best of the early chances but the slippery surface did for him, tumbling in the area when facing up one-vs-one to Ashley Williams.

Allardyce wasn't pleased with what Everton were doing with the ball though, wasting it whenever they had the opportunity to attack.

Jordan Pickford's first three kick's went out for throws or into the hands of his opposite number Simon Mignolet, whilst Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan were doing a solid job of shackling Toffees strikers Oumar Niasse and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Salah strikes a beauty

All that meant that Liverpool were spending most of their time camped in the Everton half, a moment of magic from Salah doing the trick to open the scoring three minutes from half-time.

Picking the ball up in the area, the Egyptian outmuscled Cuco Martina before shimmying past Idrissa Gueye, bending the ball perfectly around Ashley Williams and into the top corner to extend his lead as Premier League top scorer.

That put Everton on the ropes and it should have been two before the interval, Mane bypassing Williams to burst into the area after a successful Dominic Solanke tackle, the Senegalese winger opting to shoot rather than squaring to Solanke or Salah, leaving his attacking allies disappointed as the ball flew wide of Pickford's goal.

It was much of the same after the break, despite two Everton changes.

Salah had a header just wide from an impressive James Milner cross, whilst Joe Gomez was unlucky to see his header fly over from Salah's whipped free-kick. 

The Reds were careful to avoid giving up any set-piece opportunities to the Toffees, whose best effort in that period came from Calvert-Lewin wrapping his foot round an off target shot.

Rooney makes Liverpool pay

However, the away side were to be given a golden opportunity to level up 15 minutes from time, one they took with pleasure to take a point.

It was a penalty that came from nowhere, Rooney knocking a ball in behind for Calvert-Lewin, a nudge in the back from Lovren enough for the striker to go down and Craig Pawson to point to the spot. 

Rooney stepped up in front of the away fans, hammering the ball down the centre of the goal to beat Mignolet and level the score. 

That seemed to do for Everton who were happy to take their point and run, Liverpool coming closest to a winner through substitute Philippe Coutinho, his free-kick well saved by Pickford in the dying minutes.

Not vintage Allardyce, but it will do...

Sam Allardyce will admit that his side didn't defend as well as he'd have liked, with Liverpool punished for wasting chances as opposed to having their luck run out.

Everton were picked off more than once, but that didn't matter when the chances were being missed. Mane, Salah and Gomez all should have put the game to bed before Rooney struck.

Sometimes it's luck that can make such a difference in football, something Allardyce would have taken in bundles had you offered it him before kick-off. 

Reds fail to capitalise on results around them

Arsenal and Chelsea both dropped points earlier in the weekend, giving Liverpool a chance to move into third with a win, putting clear daylight between themselves and the Europa League places.

After a good run of form it's not a terrible result when put into context, despite definitely being two dropped points. Whether those points come back to bite Liverpool on the backside in May remains to be seen.

A day for the right-back

Two young full-back's made their derby debuts and both shone. The first-half was Joe Gomez's, whose only poor challenge was the first 'big one' of the game, that he avoided a booking for.

Everything else he was first to, nipping in ahead of Everton players to steal the ball with pace and power constantly, offering support in attack and giving nothing away in defence. 

Everton right-back Jonjoe Kenny stood up in comparison in the second-half, his smart defending keeping Everton in the game before they equalised, a deft header to flick the ball away from an onrushing Solanke the best of the lot.