Five observations from Everton's draw with Liverpool

Kevin Mirallas Belgium

The 1-1 result saw the Toffees shock their rivals, who looked set to take three points after Steven Gerrard's free kick.

Stones likely to become a permanent fixture for Everton

The writing may be very much on the wall for Sylvain Distin. At the grand age of 36 the Frenchman has finally seen John Stones, last season's young pretender come forward and claim his starting berth. And, importantly, it arrested a series of games that had seen plenty of un-Everton like defending and a lot of goals against. Stones was excellent at Anfield, so often a place where teams were slaughtered last season, and is surely a regular alongside captain Phil Jagielka moving forward.

The injury to Mirallas looks like a bad one

One terrible piece of news to come from the game was the injury to the Toffees' star winger Kevin Mirallas. The Belgian went down clutching his hamstring after a dribble in the first half, and left the pitch on a stretcher. With Mirallas a vital ingredient in getting the best out of Romelu Lukaku last year, as well as chipping in with plenty of match winning performances and goals himself, he would be a big absence if he misses a substantial amount of time, something that sadly looks likely.

Muhamed Besic impressed in the midfield battle 

Everton's midfield signing from Ferencvaros, Bosnia midfielder Muhamed Besic had a strong game in the centre of the park, exhibiting good passing accuracy and a willingness and ability to intercept the opposition. The 22-year-old was making his first start for the Toffees, but the fact it was at the most hostile place an Everton side could play their football didn't put him off, and he very much played his part in restricting the impact of Liverpool's midfield.

Jagielka proved he's not done yet

Another player who excelled on Merseyside was Everton captain Phil Jagielka. The England defender had come in for criticism in recent weeks, like Distin, for dipping below his usual standards when it came to stopping the opposition attacks. The Toffees remain the leakiest side in the Premier League, almost unthinkable considering how resolute their defence has been in the last few years. However, Jagielka proved there is still plenty of miles left in the tank yet, with an excellent defensive display alongside Stones, as well as the quite phenomenal long range strike that drew his side level in added on time.

There isn't so much between the two sides

There was evidence last season that Everton were making their own progress towards the top four under Roberto Martinez, and though their season wasn't as strong as crosstown rivals Liverpool, a fifth placed finish ahead of Spurs and Man United was nothing to be snubbed. With Liverpool shorn of their talismanic striker Luis Suarez, and with a bundle of players to bed in, there is very little discernible difference in the level of quality of the two sides. Come Christmas it may not be such a big surprise if Everton are edging the outfit from the other side of Stanley Park.

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