VIDEO: Philippe Coutinho Opens the Scoring as the Reds Lead
In the build up, we were told that this would be the quietest Merseyside Derby in years — two managers favouring patient, possession based football was sure to take the fire out of the fixture, right? Three goals, a number of yellow cards and a potentially leg breaking tackle on Luis Suarez says otherwise.
Within 20 minutes, we’d seen the ball hit the back of the net three times. Philippe Coutinho opened the scoring with a composed finish after the Everton backline lost him during a Steven Gerrard corner, though that lead wouldn’t last long when only a few minutes later Kevin Mirallas drew level, finishing acrobatically from a Leighton Baines freekick. There were hints of last seasons match at Goodison as both teams turned the tempo down briefly, but a certain Uruguayan would flash a bit of magic to turn the volume back up.
Set-pieces seemed to be the rule of the day and Suarez showed he was a master of them by restoring the Reds lead with a stunning freekick that snuck through the Everton wall and just out of the reach of a sprawling Tim Howard. Mirallas would turn the malice on for the Blue half on with a poorly timed tackle on Suarez that sent the physio’s on the pitch and should have seen him exit it, but Phil Dowd would only flash a yellow card. We’ve got another half to make up for that though…