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Everton must get new hires right

Everton
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Wayne Rooney, Dominic Calvert-Lewin combine late to steal Everton a point

For only the second time since 1937, Everton gratefully received an Anfield penalty and left with an unlikely 1-1 draw as Wayne Rooney converted the 77th-minute spot kick for his first goal in a Merseyside derby.

With Liverpool frustrated and their manager Jurgen Klopp apoplectic at the penalty decision, the opposing style of play and seemingly just about everything else, Sam Allardyce ended a fraught afternoon much the happier of the two managers. Allardyce remains the last opposing manager to win at Anfield and is in his element in this environment, thriving on the pantomime attached to derbies and these big games in general.

While there was no victory on this occasion, the Everton manager can reflect on a hard-earned point and more than a few opposing feathers ruffled along the way.

Many Everton fans rightly dread trips to Anfield thanks to recent history, but there is little doubt Allardyce will absolutely relish the chance to do this all again when the two teams meet at Anfield in the FA Cup in January.

LiverpoolLiverpool
EvertonEverton
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Positives

Through a combination of resolute defending, a slice of good fortune and opposition wastefulness, Everton managed to stay in the game and eventually force a result. Against a Liverpool team beginning the match having scored 40 goals in their last 11 matches, the visitors limited there in-form hosts to just three shots on target. In spite of 79 percent possession for the home team, Jordan Pickford had very little to do.

Negatives

With these two teams destined for an FA Cup sequel in less than four weeks, Allardyce knows his team must perform far better with the ball than they did in this match. The 21 percent possession Everton recorded in this match is their lowest since Opta began tallying such statistics, while a pitiful 51 percent pass accuracy reaffirms the need for better ball retention as merely reaching the halfway line felt like the Holy Grail for much of the match.

Manager rating out of 10

7 -- With plenty of substance and very little style, Allardyce did exactly what he set out to do and frustrated the home side enough so that one mistake allowed Everton to snatch a point. 

Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Jordan Pickford, 7 -- Strangely underworked considering the dominance Liverpool enjoyed. Aside from some wasteful distribution, the Everton goalkeeper acquitted himself well behind a hardworking defence, bravely stopping one cross, catching well and commanding his area.

DF Jonjoe Kenny, 7 -- A couple of misjudgements in each half aside, the local-born right-back impressed in his first Merseyside derby and made several timely interventions at the far post as Liverpool threatened.

DF Mason Holgate, 7 -- His continued presence in the starting XI despite the return to fitness of Phil Jagielka and Michael Keane speaks volumes. The 21-year-old is benefiting from a sustained run in his preferred position.

DF Ashley Williams, 6 -- Solid for the most part but occasional rash decisions remain a concern. One such incident led to the glaring opportunity Sadio Mane squandered at the end of the first half that would almost certainly have put the game beyond Everton.

DF Cuco Martina, 5 -- A tough afternoon out of position actually began in encouraging fashion, but from the moment Mohamed Salah shrugged off Martina's alarmingly weak challenge to put Liverpool ahead, the makeshift left-back crumbled and became a liability.

MF Wayne Rooney, 6 -- Chasing shadows throughout a painful first half in an unfamiliar role on the right flank, the Everton captain provided the necessary quality when needed later on. His fine pass led to the penalty that he then emphatically converted.

MF Idrissa Gueye, 7 -- Shares a portion of the blame for the Salah goal after a feeble and unsuccessful attempt to win the ball back, but the tireless midfielder was the outstanding performer in blue in the second half.

Wayne Rooney was quiet most of the night but held his nerve on the crucial penalty.
Wayne Rooney was quiet most of the night but held his nerve on the crucial penalty.

MF Tom Davies, 5 -- For the second year in succession, the young midfielder struggled to have any impact in the Anfield derby and his afternoon lasted just 45 minutes.

MF Gylfi Sigurdsson, 6 -- Tremendous work rate in a selfless cause as the creative midfielder, had to spend almost the entire match concentrating on going backwards rather than forwards.

FW Dominic Calvert-Lewin, 7 -- At the centre of the main talking point of the match, the strong running leading up to the penalty typified his performance as the young striker embraced a thankless task.  

FW Oumar Niasse, 5 -- Willingly chased lost causes as expected but this setup did not suit his style of play. Poor holdup play and constant isolation made for an unwanted marriage and accounted for his half-time substitution.

Substitutes

MF Morgan Schneiderlin, 6 -- Chipped in and played his part in a collective defensive effort.   

MF Aaron Lennon, 7 -- Unfortunate not to start and enhanced his claims with another good display here.

DF Phil Jagielka, NR -- Brought on for the closing minutes as Allardyce settled for a point.

Luke is ESPN FC's Everton blogger. Follow Luke on Twitter @lukeofarrell.

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