Substitute Daniel Sturridge scored a dramatic late equaliser as Liverpool shared the spoils in a pulsating 3-3 draw with Everton in the 221st Merseyside derby. The england striker had started the game on the bench, having struggled with a dead leg, but came on with 11 minutes left to head home a minute from time in an enthralling English Premier League contest at Goodison Park.
Philippe Coutinho had put Liverpool ahead in the fifth minute from a corner, only for Kevin Mirallas to equalise for Everton three minutes later. Luis Suarez struck a spectacular free-kick past Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard to give Liverpool a 2-1 advantage at half-time, but the hosts roared back in the second half.
On-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku looked to have given Everton the points with two goals in the space of ten minutes late in the second half, only for Sturridge to have the final word. Everton manager Roberto Martinez made one change from his side's goalless draw with Crystal Palace as Ross Barkley replaced Leon Osman in midfield.
Liverpool left Sturridge on the bench, with Joe Allen named in the starting line-up as Brendan Rodgers played Suarez alone up front, while Jon Flanagan was preferred to Aly Cissokho at left-back. Everton started positively, but it was the visitors who took the lead after Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard delivered an in-swinging corner that was flicked on by Suarez to Coutinho at the back post.
The Brazilian calmly controlled the ball on his thigh and struck a low volley into the Everton net despite a last-ditch attempt to clear the ball on the line from James McCarthy.
Everton got themselves back on level terms shortly afterwards, though, when Leighton Baines lifted a high free-kick into the penalty area. Barkley used his strength to outmuscle Liverpool centre-back Martin Skrtel and Mirallas steered the ball home from close range. There was no let up in the intensity and Liverpool regained the lead five minutes later when they were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position for a foul on Suarez by Gareth Barry.
Suarez dusted himself down and took advantage of a gap between the Everton defensive wall and Steven Pienaar to curl the dead ball into the bottom-right corner of the net past the despairing dive of Tim Howard. Mirallas continued to look Everton's best outlet in the final third as they attempted to get back on terms and the winger saw his angled effort from the right whistle past the post.
Thrilling second half sees spoils shared
Martinez introduced Gerard Deulofeu for the injured Baines early in the second half and the on-loan Barcelona forward had a golden chance to equalise when he was put through one-on-one with Simon Mignolet, only to shoot straight at the goalkeeper. Liverpool missed an even better opportunity at the other end on the hour when Suarez danced through the Everton defence and the ball dropped to Allen, who contrived to shoot wide from near the penalty spot with only Howard to beat.
The match seemed to become a battle between Belgium team-mates Mignolet and Lukaku as the Liverpool goalkeeper twice denied his compatriot with smart saves. Lukaku eventually got the bit of luck his endeavour deserved after his deflected free-kick was parried by Mignolet and Mirallas picked the ball up on the left flank.
Mirallas's cross took a deflection off McCarthy and found Lukaku, who made no mistake with a confident finish to equalise. Howard produced a point-blank save from Suarez moments later before Lukaku struck again as he showed his strength inside the penalty area to powerfully head home from a Mirallas corner.