Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

Danny Murphy has told The Daily Mail that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp purposely exploited Everton’s James Rodriguez on Saturday.

Both sides played out a very entertaining and yet very controversial 2-2 draw in yesteday’s Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.

The Colombian has been one of Everton’s star players this season following a summer move from Real Madrid.

But Rodriguez, whose corner was headed in by Michael Keane in the first half, was much quieter than he had been in recent weeks.

Everton vs Liverpool: How Jurgen Klopp's men can silence noisy neighbours

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There’s no denying that the former Real man is a massive talent, but Murphy has suggested that his weakness lies in an unwillingness to graft off the ball, claiming that Liverpool targeted him for that exact reason.

He said: “They [Everton] look better than they’ve done for years and, in James Rodriguez, have a player with real star quality. But the better teams will have seen how you can exploit the Colombian’s lack of willingness to track back when the opposition left-back is bombing forward.

“Andy Robertson capitalised. Liverpool were a real threat down that side and of course that’s how they took an early lead with the full-back crossing for Mane.”

There’s no such thing as the perfect player – well, with the exception of maybe a prime Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo – and Rodriguez certainly isn’t without his flaws.

That being said, he has such a multitude of strengths that perhaps his weaknesses aren’t going to matter as much.

Then again, there’s always progress to be made, whether you’re in the middle of your career or in the twilight of it, and a tactician of Carlo Ancelotti’s talents will probably find a way to get Rodriguez to focus on the defensive part of his game.

Photo by JAN KRUGER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

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