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Arsenal (A) Sun 1 Mar 2015, 14:05, Barclays Premier League

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

Sunday's thrilling Merseyside derby proved to be one of the most eventful in recent seasons.
Everton's vibrant fightback from 2-0 down inside 19 minutes to secure a share of the spoils has earned the Blues rich praise from footballing neutrals.
And, by delving into the statistics for the game – provided by the world-renowned Prozone performance analysis system -   it is clear a share of the spoils is no less than David Moyes' men merited.
Tellingly, Everton attempted 333 passes to Liverpool's 250 while enjoying a 53 per cent share of the possession over the 90 minutes with Moyes' men also putting together 16 sequences of six or more successive passes, two more than our visitors and with a better pass completion rate – 84% compared to 80%.
In the centre of the park, captain Phil Neville (53) and goalscorer Leon Osman (49) both significantly outpassed Steven Gerrard (36) and his midfield cohort Joe Allen (34) contributing to the Blues making 91 passes in the final third of the pitch with Liverpool only managing 37.
Both teams on the day played 27% of their passes over 25 metres. Crucially, of Everton's 333 passes, only 14% were attempted over 25 metres and in a forward direction; whereas Liverpool attempted 16% of their 250 passes over 25 metres and in a forwards direction.

Across the back, Everton's defenders made 25 more passes in the crucial opening 45 minutes than their Liverpool equivalents which also hints at a greater intent to build from the back, while Tim Howard was less inclined to look for his forwards than opposite number Brad Jones.
Including goal-kicks, free-kicks and punts from the hand, 53 per cent of Howard's distributions could be deemed 'long'; for Jones that figure stands at 74 per cent.
Ultimately, the key stat was that the 219th derby ended in the 66th draw between the two clubs and a point which continued Everton’s impressive opening to the 2012/13 campaign.

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