Five things learned from Liverpool's draw with Everton: Gerrard, Balotelli and Lallana feature

Raheem Sterling and Lazar Markovic are also points of particular focus...

Play to the final whistle - and take your chances

Liverpool's 1-1 draw against Everton was one that felt like a defeat.

After such dominance - and such a relatively poor performance from the visitors - the Reds showed their naivety once again this season, succumbing to a late Phil Jagielka strike.

The volley was unstoppable and all credit to the Toffees skipper for unleashing it. But why were Liverpool so deep at the end of the game, inviting a side that hadn't threatened onto them?

And why hadn't they taken one of their numerous clearcut chances earlier in the game? Yet more questions for Brendan Rodgers...

Balotelli needs Sturridge

Mario Balotelli was a key factor in Liverpool's profligacy. Yes, the Italian showed signs of promise and won the free kick for Steven Gerrard's wonderful goal.

But Balotelli also missed the Reds' biggest chances and took far too many selfish shots when he could have found a team-mate. The 23-year-old needs Daniel Sturridge back for someone to work with - and fast.

Gerrard proves his class

The recent criticism of Liverpool skipper Gerrard has frankly been absurd.

Yes, the 34-year-old can have off-days and isn't the man he once was when it comes to bombing forward, meaning he is vastly inexperienced in the holding role, which he is learning in all the time.

But writing off the Reds captain and saying Rodgers should drop him? What on earth...?

Where would the Anfield side have been without him today? The problem for Rodgers is that, on big occasions like this, everyone else seems to go missing - and Gerrard is one of the few left standing.

So does Lallana... but not Markovic

Another star performer against Everton was Adam Lallana. Worries over the summer signing's Liverpool future appear premature, as his slow start looks more to do with fitness than a lack of ability.

Against Roberto Martinez's men, the former Southampton ace began to find his feet. His energy levels were superb and he looks like he could hit top form any time now.

The same can not be said, however, of Lazar Markovic. The Serbian has been simply awful since moving to Anfield and really needs to take a long hard look at himself. The £20 million signing certainly needs time - but if he is unsettled, there is no point starting him when it jeopardises Liverpool's performance levels.

Sterling needs to be no.10

A problem contributing to the Reds' misery in the final third was that Raheem Sterling was deployed down the left-hand side (then on the right for the last few minutes). Yes, the England man gave Tony Hibbert some problems there. But what did he really do?

Sterling should be played at no.10, where he can cause real problems and link up with Balotelli. Most of Lallana's best moments came out wide, anyway, while Suso should have replaced Markovic, not the off-form Coutinho.

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