Five things we learned about Everton after the Merseyside derby

Leighton Baines

Everton impressive against Liverpool in explosive Merseyside derby

In a feisty and hugely entertaining lunchtime match, both Everton and Liverpool enjoyed spells where it looked like they would emerge victorious.

A draw was probably just about a fair result, though in all truth, each team deserved maximum points purely for entertainment value.

Everton were particularly impressive as they forced their way back into the match in the second half, and now look like a team fully capable of matching any of the title challengers.

Below we pick out five things we learned from Everton's performance

Everton have maintained the intensity they possessed under Moyes, and added something extra

Many wondered what kind of change would come over Everton as David Moyes left to Manchester Untied and Roberto Martinez arrived from Wigan. The answer seems to be that the Spaniard has managed to keep the intensity and determination of the former manager's style, while adding his own penchant for panache and possession.

Barkley really is the real deal

Ross Barkley really impressed throughout as Everton's all action ball carrier from midfield. He provided the kind of spark glaringly absent from young English players, and was the best performance by a home grown player in this fixture in some years. This could be a big year for Barkley and if he carries on with these kind of performances, England boss Roy Hodgson may find it impossible to leave him at home come the World Cup.

Lukaku should be utilised as more than just a target man

Such is Romelu Lukaku's physical presence that the temptation is often to hit the ball up to the Belgian and expect him to initiate the next phase of play. That is definitely something that the striker has in his locker, but he proved in the second half that he has much more to offer as a frontman, where Lukaku looked most effective using his pace and power to beat the Liverpool defence and break through on goal. It's easy to say Jose Mourinho should have kept him at Stamford Bridge, but if he scores two goals every time Everton play one of Chelsea's rivals it may not be such a bad decision to let Lukaku go out on loan after all.

Baines injury could jeopardise Everton season and World Cup spot

Perhaps the biggest blow to Everton was the suspected toe or foot injury to England left back Leighton Baines that forced him off early in the second half. The Toffees will be hoping that whatever damage there reported isn't much more than bruising, as any kind of break would likely rule him out for several weeks, depriving Everton of their dangerous fullback, and Baines of much needed momentum heading into the last few months before the World Cup.

Gerard Deulofeu looks like a superstar in the making

Ironically, the withdrawal of Baines saw the introduction of young forward Deulofeu, and saw the game swing back into Everton's favour. The on-loan Barcelona player really caused waves with his direct and skilful running, and Liverpool needed some big saves from Simon Mignolet to keep him from scoring. He's clearly being blooded slowly by Martinez but rumours that he is Barcelona's next big thing don't look unfounded.

image: © wonker

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