Monday, 9 February 2015 00:00
Steven Gerrard of Liverpool has a shot at the Everton goal during their English Premier League soccer match at Goodison Park, Liverpool, February 7, 2015.Reuters: In the Steven Gerrard scrapbook of Merseyside Derby memories, he is unlikely to reserve a page for what is probably his last local hurrah.
A 0-0 Premier League draw against old foes Everton at Goodison Park is not how the Liverpool captain would have dreamt about signing off from the rivals’ habitual battle for superiority.
Having terrorised Everton for the best part of 16 years, Saturday’s clash was a rare occasion when Gerrard, fresh from making his 700th club appearance, had little or no impact.
An overhead kick that was deflected over the bar was as near as he came to making a mark in a game that will be swiftly forgotten by all who watched it.
If anything, the Liverpool skipper was upstaged by 19-year-old wide player Jordon Ibe.
He was making his first start since returning from a loan spell at second tier Derby County and came as close as anyone to making an impact when he rattled the post with a 25-metre effort in the first half of a man-of-the-match performance.
“He did fantastic,” Gerrard told Sky Sports.
“He only found out he was playing yesterday so to have 24 hours to prepare for a big game like this. He was man of the match.
“A sensational performance and unlucky not to get the winner. Credit to him, he’s got a big future and he’s going to be a terrific player.”
The result was a dent in Liverpool’s hopes of a top-four finish and Champions League qualification.
Liverpool’s next three league fixtures are against Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton and Manchester City, with little room for slip-ups as the season enters its final 14 games.
Brendan Rodgers’s side are now unbeaten in eight games and part of the reason for their resurgence after a terrible start to the campaign has been the form of defensive midfielder Lucas Leiva.