Needless to say, a 0-0 scoreline might not always mean a lethargic game, and is often even the indication of two really good halves of football where the two sides truly canceled each other out.
Unfortunately, the first of Saturday’s derbies – this one being from the Merseyside – didn’t live up to the expectation. The goalless draw was the result of a pathetic display from both sides, with occasional spurts of inspiration being the only watchable moments of the match.
With Liverpool having fielded a relatively weaker side in view of the upcoming second leg of Champions League football against City, one would have expected Everton to take the Reds to the task.
However, what occurred was a dismal showing, wherein the Toffees could only put in one shot on target from their six attempts. The 38% possession they held at full-time whistle barely told the full story, with the likes of Bolasie and Tosun putting in performances worth forgetting.
But one man who simply couldn’t find his footing, and unexpectedly so, was Wayne Rooney. With merely one attempt and a poor 70% pass success, his contribution was not at all up to the mark, and was more often than not a liability to the Everton attack.
As a result, Sam Allardyce decided to switch things up, and subbed Rooney off in the 57th minute itself, and needless to say, he wasn’t happy.
In fact, cameras caught his displeasure quite well, and one doesn’t need a degree in lip reading to determine what he might have exclaimed about the gaffer’s decision. Snubbing Sam’s handshake was also quite a telling move.
As expected, Twitter had a field day from his reaction, and the more serious of analyses even pinned the result to a negative showing from the manager, indicating he might be hunting for a new job come summer.
Think Rooney just shouted 'BULLSHIT' on the bench then
— Alex Shaw (@AlexShawESPN) April 7, 2018
But when quizzed about Rooney’s reaction after the match, Big Sam had this to say: “Wayne, as talented as he is and as good as he is on the ball, we needed to get about the pitch a bit more. It’s Everton-Liverpool, he’s bound to be disappointed, but I make the decisions.”