To take a point at Everton is often something to be content with. Not this time though. It means Liverpool will lose ground in the fight for fourth and as the game panned out we should have won.
Not that is was an unfair result. Football is about scoring and prevent the other lot from scoring so 0-0 in the Merseyside derby is nothing to complain about.
But even so, Liverpool created enough chances to claim the win but our inability to score let us down again. And it stems from our lousy shooting, demonstrated once more at Goodison.
Football-wise it was no more than an average performance. Liverpool had a hard time penetrating the stubborn home defence and on the few occasions we did a lame effort followed. The match was more of a battle than a display of technical and skilful football. A derby of old if you like.
But I firmly believe that the offensive side of things soon will improve. As Daniel Sturridge gets fitter and find his form and Jordon Ibe gets more accustomed to Premier League football the burden lessens for other creators like Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana and Raheem Sterling. Opponents will have trouble knowing who to mark. This quintet could be a fantastic defence opening unit in the coming months.
At the same time our defence has improved a lot and keeps doing it. This was our fourth clean sheet on the bounce in the league. Compare that with five clean sheets in the first 20 league fixtures and evidence for a more resolute defence emerges.
The formation called 3-4-3 has been a huge success. The best thing is its flexibility. Yesterday, for instance, it was better described as 3-2-4-1 with two holding midfielders, two attacking ones and two wing-backs. When the Reds attacked it was 3-2-4-1, but when Everton had the ball we switched to 3-4-2-1. And sometimes when Liverpool really put the foot on the gas it was a genuine 3-4-3.
Several players thrives in the new system. Especially the back three guys Emre Can, Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho has found a prosperous defensive understanding. And in attack the wing-backs supports the three forwards in a way that threatens the opposition from all angles. Hopefully the formation gets even more effective as the season progresses.
The inability to score and the two points lost were the negative things last night. We can´t afford to drop points in games we dominate. We have three capable teams to pass to reach top four and they are fighting like mad to keep us behind them. To climb the table we must fight even harder and play much better than them and what we managed yesterday.
Here are my ratings for the Reds who participated in the 24th league match of the season (on a scale from 1 to 10):
GK Simon Mignolet 5.
Hardly anything to take care of but rescued a point with a great save at the end.
RB Emre Can 6.
Tough and fearless in defence, creative and eager in attack. Another good display.
CB Martin Skrtel 7.
Didn´t put a foot wrong and not head either for that matter. In the right position all the time.
LB Mamadou Sakho 4.
Sufficient defensive effort but occasionally a bit clumsy in possession.
DM Lucas Leiva 3.
No particular impact during his 16 minutes before his injury.
DM Jordan Henderson 5.
An average performance, did his job but not so much more.
RWB Jordon Ibe 6.
Showed courage, speed and technique to unsettle the home defence. Hit the post with a ferocious drive. Could have been the winner.
CM Steven Gerrard 5.
Another effort from the captain where he mixed good with bad.
AM Philippe Coutinho 4.
Was whacked down several times and his trademark passes were often wrongly placed.
LWB Alberto Moreno 4.
Has a hard time getting something useful out of his runs and hard work. Weak in duels.
CF Raheem Sterling 5.
Moved a lot as usual but couldn´t find a way through the home defence.
CF Daniel Sturridge 3. (Replaced Philippe Coutinho after 56 mins).
Tried some tricks and passes but nothing really came off.
DM Joe Allen 2. (Replaced Lucas Leiva after 16 mins).
Decent passer of the ball but is too weak and ineffective. No impact whatsoever.
CF Rickie Lambert 2. (Replaced Raheem Sterling after 82 mins).
Had a couple of shooting possibilities but wasted his chances.
Up next is Tottenham at home on Tuesday, a game versus one of our top four rivals. Spurs are in a good mood after beating Arsenal so it will be an awkward match. But we must win otherwise the Champions League dreams will surely be shattered. And even if we win the next set of matches are as crucial. We have Southampton, Manchester City, Mancheter United and Arsenal on the horizon. Both daunting and intriguing. But these kind of challenges is what footballers like, I´ve been told. Let´s hope Liverpool players live by that device and make sure:
We Go Again.