Wayne Rooney welcomed ‘a big point’ and revelled in sending Evertonians home happy after slotting home from the penalty spot to earn a 1-1 draw at Anfield.
The Toffees skipper grabbed his first goal in a Merseyside derby when he blasted past Simon Mignolet with 15 minutes remaining after Dominic Calvert-Lewin had been bundled over in the area by Dejan Lovren.
Rooney’s penalty – the second spot-kick awarded to Everton at Anfield since 1937 – cancelled out Mohamed Salah’s first-half opener and extended the Blues’ unbeaten run to four matches, conceding just one goal along the way.
“It’s a fantastic point for us,” said lifelong Evertonian Rooney, whose incisive pass teed up Calvert-Lewin in the build-up to the penalty.
“It’s great to play the derby. It’s great for the city. There’s bragging rights at stake. I think today the Evertonians will be more happy than the Liverpudlians. It’s a good point away from home and it’s kept our run going that we’ve had over the past couple of weeks. It’s a big point for us.
“It’s always nice to score against Liverpool whoever you are playing for! I had to keep myself composed (for the penalty). I had a bit of time to compose myself and I knew where I was going. I practiced a penalty yesterday and thankfully I’ve caught it right.”
Rooney was also full of praise for Everton’s resolute defending to keep at bay a Liverpool attack which had netted 15 goals in their previous three matches.
“Liverpool have some very good individual players and we knew it would be a difficult game and that we had to be patient, keep our shape,” added the Academy graduate.
“We knew we’d have our chances. They’ve been having many chances in games, scoring a lot of goals, but we defended brilliantly. We had two or three chances on the break which we had to make the most of and, thankfully we did for the goal.”
Jonjoe Kenny joined Rooney in the post-match interview and hailed his teammate’s “little bit of magic” for steering the Toffees to a point.
Asked how he enjoyed his maiden first-team start in a Merseyside derby, the Kirkdale-born defender said: “I loved it. We defended well. They’ve got a good attack and have been scoring goals. We had to keep our shape and a little bit of magic from Wazza (Rooney) and Dom (Calvert-Lewin) got a penalty and the draw.”