Everton manager Brian Sørensen was left lamenting his side’s lack of end product as the spoils were shared in Friday night’s Merseyside derby.
Little more than local bragging rights was up for grabs for two teams hanging in the WSL table’s mid-belly, but both Everton and Liverpool finished the occasion sharing a sense that each could’ve, and should’ve, taken all three points, if not a mutual exasperation with the standard of officiating as contentious disallowed goals were afforded both sides.
Midfielder Gabby George opened the scoring for Everton from a tight angle, but Liverpool’s ever-reliable Katie Stengel swiftly cancelled out the home side’s lead with a low finish from inside the box.
READ MORE: Everton player ratings as Gabby George and four others impress against Liverpool
READ MORE: How Everton 1 Liverpool 1 WSL Merseyside derby unfolded
And despite dominating possession for large portions of the match, Sørensen's side could not carve out an opening and deliver a win in front of a club-record home crowd of 22,161 fans for the women’s team at Goodison Park.
“We’re disappointed that we couldn’t give [the crowd] a win, but in terms of how we want to play, how we want to do stuff, I’m a little disappointed as a whole, but there’s parts that we can be proud of, it’s the end product,” Sørensen reflected after the match.
"After we scored, we froze, allowed the game to get open and they got their equaliser. Then second half we gained control again, looked comfortable, was just missing end product both in terms of getting the crosses in but also some of the chances."
George's cross-cum-shot ended the team's four-match goalless streak in all competitions, stretching back to Everton's 3-0 league win over West Ham United in January.
And while England international George, deployed on the wing against Liverpool with significant success, relished an impressive evening to mark her 100th WSL appearance, Sørensen could not similarly praise the entire team performance.
“I’m happy with 60-70% of [the performance], but we weren’t in total control for 90 minutes, which I expected to be against them," Sorensen said. "I don’t know if it was the 22,000 fans, or it’s just what a derby does, it’s back and forth and a bit scrappy at times.”
When pressed about Leighanne Robe disallowed goal for Liverpool due to Ceri Holland allegedly impeding keeper Courtney Brosnan, Sorensen maintained he had not seen the goal back and could not comment. He chirped a similar tune for Jess Park’s stunning strike from range that was disallowed due to a handball infraction on the England international.
Despite not delivering all three points, Sorensen acknowledged the importance of garnering such a momentous attendance for the Merseyside derby, and when asked how such attendances could be sustained for the future, the Dane insisted that Friday night could not be a one-off.
"Make sure we play here often," Everton's Danish coach said, when asked what needs to happen next, following what was a club-record home crowd for the club's women's team. "Hopefully we can come here, play more. People will come. Not only for the Liverpool derby but also when other teams are coming. So hopefully we can come here and play some more.”
Having claimed the reverse fixture 3-0, Everton sit six points above their Merseyside neighbours in the WSL table. They return to action when they host Tottenham Hotspur next weekend.
Nicoline Sorensen lifts lid on fulfilling Merseyside derby dream and makes Everton top four vow
Everton's Katja Snoeijs wants to inspire next generation in Merseyside derby
Liverpool player ratings as Katie Stengel excellent against Everton
What Liverpool players did at final whistle of Everton draw as fans bewildered