Brendan Rodgers was pleased with his team’s performance in the Merseyside derby, particularly two young stars…
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has admitted that he was disappointed not to secure all three points in the Merseyside derby draw with Everton, but was quick to point out the many positives.
Liverpool player ratings v Everton, with Jordon Ibe and Emre Can the stand-out performers
How Twitter reacted to Everton 0-0 Liverpool – Joe Allen questioned again, while Jordon Ibe goes down well
Five things we learned from Liverpool v Everton, including life after Gerrard, the importance of Lucas and more
Rodgers, who was quoted by Liverpool’s official website, said: “Over the course of the game, I thought we were clearly the better team. The balance in our game was very good.
“We switched off towards the end, in the last five minutes they had a counter-attack that led to their only shot on target.
“Apart from that, we defended very, very well and pressed the game well at the right moments and I thought we looked exciting in terms of our threat going forward.
“We needed a bit of luck in the final third of the field, we had opportunities both in the first half and the second half but just couldn’t quite take them.
“But it’s another clean sheet for us, a point away and we keep moving forward.”
The Northern Irishman singled out youngsters Emre Can and Jordon Ibe as his star performers, adding: “What was pleasing tonight was that in such an intense atmosphere, the composure of my young players.
“Look at Emre Can tonight, at 21 years of age he was like a Rolls-Royce at the back; he defended fantastically and his quality on the ball was very, very good.
“Young Jordon Ibe and the rest showed great composure, they connected the game very well in the team. We’ve now got a really solid structure and good stability in the team defensively.
“86 minutes was their first shot on target so that’s a big credit to the team and how well they defended when they had to.”
Ibe returned to Liverpool last month after being recalled from a loan spell at Derby County. After making substitute appearances against Aston Villa and West Ham, he was given his first start against the Blues.
“We were just waiting to put Jordon in,” said Rodgers. “We called him back because we felt now he can really contribute.
“He had a great spell on loan which is what you want for your young players, to get that experience. He had an outstanding manager in Steve McClaren and a really good time at a good club.
“It was the time to come back and feature, and he obviously would have played in some of the cup games if he was available.
“I had no qualms about putting him in and it was a brilliant performance by him. He was unfortunate not to have scored with his run and strike, and also he had one at the back post where if he arrives a fraction earlier he probably scores.
“He has wonderful temperament and technique, and is tactically very good for a kid coming into that system, having to get forward and then know when to tuck in as well. I was very pleased for him in the intensity of that game.”