Luis Suarez and Other X-Factor Performers in Merseyside Derby

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistNovember 23, 2013

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on November 23, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

With Daniel Sturridge missing from Liverpool's starting line-up, Luis Suarez had no choice but to lead Brendan Rodgers' attack for the majority of this weekend's Merseyside derby—and he didn't disappoint in his task.

Via FeintZebra.com

The Uruguayan international was a constant threat to the Everton back line and got his name on the scoresheet with one of the most finely executed free-kicks that fans are likely to see all season, Tim Howard rooted to the spot and unable to prevent the 30-yard curler.

However, in a derby of this magnitude, there were a number of commendable performances as the two teams saw out the first 3-3 draw that a Merseyside derby has seen in the Premier League era, the last result of this kind coming in 1930.

Both the home team and visitors alike had a number of star assets on show in Saturday's early kick-off, a few of whom are detailed ahead.

All statistics are courtesy of WhoScored.

Kevin Mirallas

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23:  Kevin Mirallas of Everton celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on November 23, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brun
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

In a thrilling start to the Merseyside action, it was Kevin Mirallas who equalised Philippe Coutinho's early opener thanks to some fine poaching instinct inside the Liverpool box, prodding past Simon Mignolet among a raft of players.

Playing off the right wing, the Belgian international made four key passes, the joint-highest of any player in the match and feeding Romelu Lukaku with a healthy surviving of ammunition.

It wasn't an easy outing for Mirallas, either, who had an impressive Jon Flanagan marking him for the most part, but he managed to evade his marker on enough occasions to make several key interjections.

Jon Flanagan

PRESTON, LANCASHIRE - JULY 13:  Jon Flanagan of Liverpool looks on during the Pre Season Friendly match between Preston North End and Liverpool at Deepdale on July 13, 2013 in Preston, Lancashire.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Flanagan was somewhat of a surprise call-up for this fixture, but in the absence of Jose Enrique, he has laid down a marker as to why he might take Liverpool's starting left-back spot for his own on a more frequent basis.

It was the Reds' youngster who matched Mirallas for key passes made, recording four of his own in the 90-minute outing, even more impressive considering that's coming from a full-back.

The Football Front pointed out how effective Flanagan was over Twitter:

However, what really stood out for Flanagan was his incredible tally of nine tackles, three more than any other player on the day and a fine example of how the 20-year-old managed to blend good attacking input with his necessary defensive duties.

Romelu Lukaku

Of course, Lukaku has to be noted having initially pull his side back into the game at 2-2 only then to go on and give his Toffees a 3-2 lead going into the final 10 minutes of the game.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23:  Romelu Lukaku of Everton celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on November 23, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livese
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Regardless of the fact that their lead was ultimately taken away, the on-loan Chelsea prodigy put in another fine display as Roberto Martinez's focal point in attack, getting all four of his attempted shots on target.

Fine heading ability and calm finishing inside the box points to a pretty rounded asset in the general spectrum, and both of these attributes were emphasised in Lukaku's two goals, which eventually went on to earn a vital point for the Blues.

Related

    Zidane: Bale Didn't Want to Play vs. Man City

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Zidane: Bale Didn't Want to Play vs. Man City

    MARCA in English
    via MARCA in English

    Liverpool Bid for Jamal Lewis

    Reds submit $13M (£10M) offer

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Liverpool Bid for Jamal Lewis

    Jack Lusby
    via This Is Anfield

    Ranking Champions League Contenders 🏆

    12 teams are left. B/R rates each club’s chances ahead of Friday’s resumption.

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Ranking Champions League Contenders 🏆

    Sam Tighe
    via Bleacher Report

    Dortmund Expect Sancho Farce

    Man Utd expected to offer ‘well below’ €120M so CEO Ed Woodward can ‘save face’ having ‘failed heroically’ (Kicker)

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Dortmund Expect Sancho Farce

    Sport Witness Team
    via Sport Witness