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Everton deny Gerrard victorious final derby

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By EMN Updated: Feb 09, 2015 12:19 am
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The Reds captain’s presumptive final appearance in this fixture was low on drama, with neither side able to carve out a good enough chance to decide it either way

Agencies
London, February 8

Everton and Liverpool played out a 0-0 Premier League draw in a Merseyside derby high on emotion but lacking in quality.
The visitors created more chances and went closest to a breakthrough when Jordon Ibe – making only his second Premier League start – rattled the post with a drive from distance midway through the first half.
Steven Gerrard, featuring in what could be his final league derby, also went close on a couple of occasions but even the introduction of Daniel Sturridge early in the second half could not help Liverpool to find a winner.
A tense affair threatened to boil over 12 minutes from time when a disagreement between Muhamed Besic and Ibe sparked a brief altercation between the two sets of players. Referee Anthony Taylor cautioned Besic, Steven Naismith and Jordan Henderson before tempers were calmed.
For Everton, it was a 10th consecutive Merseyside derby without victory in all competitions, dating back to their last triumph in October 2010.
The draw leaves Roberto Martinez’s men 12th in the table with just two Premier League wins in their last 12 matches while Liverpool are five places better off, having lost just one of their past dozen top-flight games.
The Reds were first to threaten in the 10th minute when Joel Robles tipped away a Gerrard free kick that was heading for the top corner.
The visitors suffered a blow when Lucas Leiva had to be withdrawn on the quarter-hour with what looked like an injury to his left thigh. He was replaced by Joe Allen. Two minutes later, Raheem Sterling’s deflected shot rolled across the box and Robles had to rush smartly across his line to deny Ibe from close range.
Ibe went even closer in the 27th minute when he raced forward into space and thumped an effort off the left-hand post with Robles beaten.
Kevin Mirallas sent a free kick narrowly wide from 30 yards at the start of the second half, although Simon Mignolet looked to have it covered at his near post.
Liverpool hit back with Sterling twice shooting straight at Robles before an acrobatic Gerrard effort was headed over the crossbar by Naismith.
With 55 minutes gone, Brendan Rodgers brought on Sturridge in place of Philippe Coutinho in a bid to break the deadlock. Everton responded with a change of their own as Aaron Lennon, signed on loan from Tottenham on transfer deadline day, replaced Mirallas.
With five minutes remaining there was one final chance for the hosts when Seamus Coleman saw his effort parried behind by Mignolet, as the game ended with honours even.

Baggies fight back to earn important point

Brown Ideye’s second-half header secured a point for West Brom as they fought back to claim a draw against Burnley.
First-half headers from Ashley Barnes and Danny Ings put the home side firmly in control, until Chris Brunt reduced the arrears from a corner on the stroke of half-time.
And it was another set-piece that proved Burnley’s downfall midway through the second period as substitute Ideye glanced home Brunt’s delivery.
For West Brom, captained by Darren Fletcher on debut following a move from Manchester United, it was a positive response to last week’s 3-0 defeat by Tottenham, though Pulis benched Saido Berahino following comments in the week about his future at the club.
The point takes Burnley back out of the bottom three after Hull City had displaced them on Saturday but with a tough run of fixtures to come, Dyche will see this as a huge opportunity lost.
Burnley, who named the same starting XI for the 10th league game in succession, had the better of the opening exchanges with Ings firing over before Ben Foster produced a superb one-handed save to tip Scott Arfield’s effort onto the crossbar.
And Burnley’s pressure paid off in the 11th minute as they broke the deadlock.
Arfield headed the ball into the path of Ings, and his hooked cross found strike partner Barnes who nodded in from six yards.
Berahino, who attracted attention in midweek when he suggested he could move away from West Brom at the end of the season, was soon summoned into the action due to an injury to Victor Anichebe.
The visitors managed to get something of a foothold in the game, but Burnley doubled their lead in the 32nd minute thanks to their top scorer.
A clever dummy from Kieran Trippier down the right-hand side released George Boyd, whose inviting cross was met by a powerful Ings header, leaving Foster stranded.
Just when it seemed the hosts would reach the interval with a comfortable lead, Brunt lost his man at a corner and headed Callum McManaman’s delivery in off the bar from close range.
Brunt then turned provider for the equaliser, sending in a corner from the right that half-time substitute Ideye flicked home having escaped the attentions of David Jones.
Joleon Lescott headed Jason Shackell’s effort off the line, while Gareth McAuley was fortunate to see a handball in his own penalty area go unpunished.
Berahino was almost the hero for Albion in the dying moments, but Tom Heaton and Ben Mee combined to keep him out and prevent Burnley from capitulating fully on home turf again.

Liverpool were outstanding: Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers believes his Liverpool side were outstanding in the latest Merseyside derby despite drawing 0-0 with Everton at Goodison Park.
In a game of few chances, Jordan Ibe came closest when his 20-yard drive rattled the woodwork but overall Everton’s disciplined defence denied Liverpool’s creative players any time and space to operate in.
However, Rodgers feels that his players performed excellently and praised Ibe for his display.
“I though we were outstanding over the course of the game,” he told Sky Sports. “You don’t know until you put a young player in how he is going to perform but Jordon Ibe only turned 19 in December. He puts a shift in and he’s only going to get better. We had a lot of outstanding British talent in the team.
“We’re still fighting and in a good position (to finish in the top four). It was important we got something from tonight. Our level of performances are at a high level.”
Toffees boss Roberto Martinez meanwhile, was happy with his side keeping a clean sheet.
“We want to get better in every department,” he said. “It’s important to keep clean sheets but in the same manner we want to create and score goals. I thought today was an interesting tactical battle on the pitch,. We both had our turns in charge of the game. You could see that one goal would do it for either side. I am extremely satisfied with the performance.”

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By EMN Updated: Feb 09, 2015 12:19:35 am