Liverpool 1-1 Everton
By Phil McNulty
round replay after their second draw inside a week at Anfield.
Joleon Lescott put Everton ahead after 27 minutes, turning in a Tim Cahill header from Steven Pienaar’s corner.
Liverpool drew level nine minutes after the break when Everton keeper Tim Howard allowed Steven Gerrard’s shot to squirm in after 54 minutes.
Howard redeemed himself with a stunning save from Gerrard, with Everton’s defensive power earning a draw.
Liverpool attacked constantly throughout, but Everton were magnificently marshalled at the back by Lescott and Phil Jagielka, both impressing under the watchful eye of England coach Fabio Capello.
Everton will be happier to take the tie back to Goodison Park, whereas Liverpool now have another vital game in a packed fixture list and it remains to be seen how boss Rafael Benitez treats the replay.
David Moyes’s side suffered a blow prior to kick-off when influential midfield man Mikel Arteta was ruled out with a rib injury sustained in training.
And there was a setback of a different kind for Liverpool’s £20m striker Robbie Keane, who did not even make the substitutes’ bench.
This is sure to cast further doubts over his long-term Liverpool future.
Liverpool, predictably, started at pace but it was Everton who posed the questions as Pienaar went down under challenge from Alvaro Arbeloa.
Everton appealed for a penalty, but referee Steve Bennett ignored their claims, with replays suggesting there had been minimal contact.
Liverpool’s first moment of danger came in the 11th minute, courtesy of a moment of fancy footwork in the penalty area from the unlikely figure of Jamie Carragher, but his shot could only find the side-netting.
Everton had probed Liverpool’s weakness at defending set pieces in the draw at Anfield on Monday – and they did it to great effect again to take the lead after 27 minutes.
Cahill once again showed his uncanny knack of escaping his marker to head Pienaar’s corner towards goal, with Lescott applying the finishing touch from six yards out.
Liverpool had enjoyed huge supremacy in both possession and territory, but had found themselves frustrated by Everton’s committed defensive organisation.
A dreadful error by Everton keeper Howard gifted Liverpool an equaliser after 54 minutes.
Fernando Torres set Gerrard up with a superb flick, but Howard allowed a relatively tame shot from the Liverpool captain through his grasp at the near post.
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Howard redeemed himself two minutes later with a stunning save from Gerrard, turning his effort from 12 yards over the bar.
Everton’s attacking options were desperately limited, especially with Victor Anichebe carrying a knee injury from early in the second half, which forced him to be replaced by teenager Dan Gosling with 20 minutes left.
Liverpool responded with a substitution of their own four minutes later when the subdued Ryan Babel was replaced by Albert Riera.
The stretched nature of Everton’s squad was demonstrated when 17-year-old Jack Rodwell then came on as replacement for the tiring Segundo Castillo.
Everton’s attacking forays had been rare, but they were caught on the break as Liverpool wasted a glorious chance to take the lead after 80 minutes.
Gerrard set up Dirk Kuyt, but he shot straight at Howard in front of The Kop – a wasted opportunity.
Everton were on the back foot and Howard had to show safe handling to save well from Andrea Dossena’s angled 30-yard drive.
It was the last moment of danger for Everton – and now the sides must meet again at Goodison Park on Wednesday 4 February (2000 GMT).
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Skrtel, Carragher, Dossena, Kuyt, Alonso, Mascherano, Babel (Riera 75), Gerrard, Torres. Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Hyypia, Aurelio, Benayoun, Leiva Lucas, Ngog.
Booked: Alonso, Carragher.
Goals: Gerrard 54.
Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines, Anichebe (Gosling 71), Castillo (Rodwell 76), Neville, Osman, Pienaar, Cahill. Subs Not Used: Nash, Yobo, Van der Meyde, Jacobsen, Jutkiewicz.
Booked: Cahill, Pienaar.
Goals: Lescott 27.
Ref: Steve Bennett (Kent).
BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Everton’s Joleon Lescott on 7.94 (on 90 minutes).
Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport’s Player Rater after the match has finished. Player Rater