Everton fight back to earn a point in dramatic Merseryside derby

Luis Suarez took centre stage as Liverpool and Everton shared the points after a pulsating 90 minutes in the Merseyside derby.

Leighton Baines’ own goal and Luis Suarez’s header were cancelled out by Leon Osman and Steven Naismith in a helter-skelter opening half,

Suarez was controversially denied an injury-time winner after Everton had fought back from 2-0 down, but it was an earlier goal celebration which is likely to prove the game’s enduring image.

Having played a key role in Liverpool’s opener with a shot that deflected in off Leighton Baines, Suarez ran to celebrate with a swallow dive in front of David Moyes a reference to claims by the Everton manager before the game that he went down too easily.

In the 14th minute, the Reds striker pounced on a loose ball to the right of the Everton penalty box and sent in a low shot that deflected in at the near post off Baines’s leg.

Suarez turned for the dugouts to celebrate, pointing in Moyes’s direction before throwing himself into the air in a swallow dive and landing on the touchline in front of the Everton manager.

The Scot stormed out of his seat and a number of items were thrown on to the field in the minutes after the goal, but more drama was to come.

Five minutes later, Suarez scored a second Liverpool goal. Sterling won a disputed free-kick, Gerrard curled a delightful ball onto the head of his striker and Suarez applied the glancing blow that took the ball beyond Blues keeper Tim Howard into the net.

Osman (22) gave the home side an instant lift as Brad Jones’ weak punch fell perfectly for the Everton midfielder to slot home from 18 yards, courtesy of a slight deflection off Joe Allen, with the equaliser arriving shortly after the half-hour mark, Steven Naismith timed his run perfectly to meet Marouane Fellaini’s clipped cross to claim the equaliser with his first goal for Everton (35).

Liverpool were being overrun and Rodgers required a major reshuffle at the break. A switch to three at the back allowed his side the spare man in midfield but it was the decision to thrust Sterling into a central attacking role alongside Suarez that caused Everton a bigger problem.

The 17-year-old’s pace was an immediate issue, as he broke beyond Phil Jagielka only to skew his shot wide with just Howard to beat. But Everton kept coming too. Fellaini headed wide and Jelavic came within a big toe of an Everton third as he stretched to reach Seamus Coleman’s low cross, before inexplicably heading Baines’s free kick-wide from six yards.

Suarez thought he had won it deep in added time as he latched onto Sebastian Coates’ knockdown, but his flicked finish was ruled out for a debatable offside decision.