Sam Allardyce will have been as pleased as punch to grind out a stalemate but a weakened Liverpool were there for the taking at Goodison on Saturday. Taken they were not.
Despite a late surge, Everton could not find a cutting edge as one of the most timid Merseyside derbies in history finished 0-0.
Below we dive into the Toffees’ individual displays, with goalkeeper Jordan Pickford the clear pick of the bunch …
Jordan Pickford 8 – Wonderful stop from James Milner, and though he didn’t have to move very far to save Solanke’s point-blank effort, this was another mature peformance to add to his scrapbook.
Seamus Coleman 5 – Two superb blocks on Ings efforts towards the end yet saved his performance from mediocrity, beaten by Mane on occasion.
Michael Keane 7 – A much-improved display in what has shaped up to be a debut season to forget. Will not win any awards for composure but made 10 clearances amid Liverpool squalls of pressure.
Phil Jagielka 7 – Not a classic display by any means – there was nothing vintage about this match – but the 35-year-old held the fort and looked as energetic for his years as the younger and supposedly livelier Liverpool attackers.
Leighton Baines 6 – Solid. Dependable. Delivered one good chance for Tosun. Under the circumstances, that’s not a bad shift.
Morgan Schneiderlin 6 – Stuck his foot in more than most, which is something that the Frenchman doesn’t do enough for many fans’ money. However, he was hardly the metronomic presence that this game was crying out for.
Wayne Rooney 5 – His performance wasn’t ‘bull****’ – the phrase he seemed to utter after being yanked at the hour mark – as he showed passion if little else. If Everton are to move forward, though, it can’t be with Rooney in midfield.
Tom Davies 3 – Not only did Davies make just 19 passes in the 78 minutes he was on the field of play, but by the time he came off his passing success rate stood at a meagre 52.6 per cent. The 19-year-old has played a lot of football – yet is clearly still learning.
Theo Walcott 5 – Strange that he did not try and take on makeshift left-back Ragnar Klavan more, but playing narrowly seemed to be Everton’s gameplan. Nearly conjured an assist for Cenk Tosun towards the end.
Cenk Tosun 4 – When you’re presented with scraps of scraps for most part of the game, to not go closer with two relatively golden chances – the cross from Baines and then placing a header well wide – in the dying moments, makes you wonder just what a £27 million striker is supposed to deliver.
Yannick Bolasie 5 – That delicious strike aside, which brought the best out of Reds goalkeeper Loris Karius, Bolasie ran down a few blind alleys and his vision with the ball was blurry at best. Still not his pre-injury self.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin 7 – Injected far more cut and thrust than Bolasie when he was brought on for the last half-hour. He’ll be happy with everything up until the moment in which he shaped his body to shoot and ballooned a superb opportunity high and wide.
Idrissa Gueye 7 – One of the reasons why Everton gained a brief foothold in the game – assured both in the pass and tackle in replacement of a sub-par Rooney.
Beni Baningime 5 – The 19-year-old took no risks in the middle of the park for the 10 or so minutes he was on.
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