A deplorable red card decision by Martin Atkinson turned this Merseyside derby completely on its head as Liverpool exploited the 11 v 10 advantage through 2 second half goals….
11 v 11 Starting line ups…..
The red card decision meant that the Blues had to readjust. Moyes deployed Cahill left midfield and Osman tucked inside along Fellaini. The Blues were thus left in a similar scenario to last weeks game with City, playing 2 solid banks of four close together in front of our 18 yard area to deny Liverpool space between the lines and in behind.
11 v 10 line-ups….
Liverpool make extra man count
The logic of playing 11 v 10 is simple for the team with the advantage; make the pitch as big as possible by using attacking fullbacks to make your opponents consume more energy tracking runs which leads to fatigue.
As you can see from the chalkboard (right) our pressing game was restricted because of the change in approach – at 11 v 11 we pressed Liverpool high in their own half with the bulk of our tackles made here – following the red card we adjusted and defended our 18 yard line pressing only when Liverpool crossed the halfway line.
As a result of this, Liverpool dominated possession of the ball from the back with Reina’s pass completion 78% in comparison to Howard’s 36% . Liverpool were using their attacking fullbacks well with Kelly and Enrique joining and going beyond midfield at every opportunity. Before the red card, Liverpool’s pass completion was a stable 73% but following the dismissal it swelled to 83%. With the man advantage, Kuyt missed a penalty after a truly stupid challenge by Jagielka and on the stroke of halftime Adam went close with a shot from outside the box.
Blues struggle to make openings
Offensively the Blues just couldn’t get any sustained period of play in the Liverpool half and vitally our best attacking weapon Leighton Baines didn’t register one successful cross all afternoon. With limited options in the final third, we resorted to long shots at goal in comparison to Liverpool who were able to occupy more possession in our half and craft openings shown by the below graphic (Everton shots left Liverpool right)
Liverpool eventually broke the deadlock with 2 goals late on – both coming from down our right flank, firstly Carroll and then the vile Suarez. Both goals could have been avoided. Coleman’s stamina is not the best – he has been substituted in every game he has started this season – but as a natural defender he provides superb cover to his fullback and did well tracking Enrique throughout. Both Liverpool goals came down our right shortly after Coleman had been withdrawn. Coincidence?
The game was ultimately decided by the buffoon that is Martin Atkinson; aided and abetted by the despicable Suarez. The Blues were well in the game up to this crazy decision and will duly feel hard done by. Liverpool made the extra man work to their advantage and eventually wore the Blues down.