Rooney's penalty earns Everton 1-1 draw in Merseyside derby

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Everton still hasn't won at the home of its fiercest rival since 1999 but will be more than happy to take a point from a match in which it was forced to defend for large periods.
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Everton striker Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring the equalizer — from the penalty spot — against Liverpool during their English Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool, on December 10, 2017. The match ended 1-1.

Wayne Rooney converted a 77th-minute penalty as Everton snatched a point in a 1-1 draw at Liverpool in the Merseyside derby in the English Premier League on Sunday.

Liverpool took the lead through Mohamed Salah's league-high 13th goal of the campaign and dominated the game until Dominic Calvert-Lewin fell to the ground after being pushed in the back by Dejan Lovren.

Rooney stepped up to send the penalty down the middle for his first goal in a Merseyside derby, in his second spell at Everton. It maintained Sam Allardyce's unbeaten start as Everton manager after three games — seven months after earning a win at Anfield when in charge of Crystal Palace, Liverpool's last home loss in any competition.

Everton still hasn't won at the home of its fiercest rival since 1999 but will be more than happy to take a point from a match in which it was forced to defend for large periods.

Juergen Klopp saw his team stay fourth and knows his selection will come under scrutiny.

The Liverpool manager took the surprise step of breaking up his "Fab Four" attack by naming Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino as substitutes, instead playing Dominic Solanke as striker and bringing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain into midfield.

It was part of six changes by Liverpool from the exhilarating 7-0 win over Spartak Moscow in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, but that didn't initially disrupt the team's flow going forward.

Everton was on the back foot virtually from the first whistle, with the pace and trickery of Salah and Sadio Mane, in particular, causing the visitors problems.

Salah's goal was a mixture of strength and footwork. Receiving a pass from right back Joe Gomez, the Egypt winger shrugged off Cuca Martina, twisted inside Idrissa Gueye, and curled a left-footed shot around Ashley Williams and into the top corner.

Mane squandered a two-on-one opportunity, dragging a shot disappointingly wide late in the first half, and Allardyce changed things by removing one of his two strikers — Oumar Niasse — at halftime.

Liverpool still dominated, though Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford wasn't seriously tested before Rooney's equalizer against the run of play, following a penalty decision that will be debated long and hard around the city.

Lovren did give Calvert-Lewin a slight nudge but maybe not enough to make the striker tumble over as he did. Lovren couldn't believe it when the spot kick was given and Rooney converted it down the middle.

Earlier, second-half substitute Olivier Giroud rescued Arsenal with a late equalizer in a 1-1 draw at St Mary's after Southampton had looked like holding on for all three points.

The France international, who replaced compatriot Alexandre Lacazette in the 72nd minute of a lively game, scored two minutes from fulltime with a glancing header off an Alexis Sanchez cross.

Southampton had made Arsenal sweat until then with Charlie Austin grabbing a fourth goal from his last three league starts with a third-minute shot past Petr Cech after being fed through by Dusan Tadic.

It was the 17th time Giroud has scored as a substitute for Arsenal, equalling Norwegian Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's record with Manchester United for most goals scored off the bench for a single club.

If the draw remained a lost opportunity for the Gunners, the goal at least staved off a second successive league defeat after a stinging 1-3 loss to United at the Emirates last weekend.

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Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud (second left) scores the equalizer against Southampton during their English Premier League match at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton yesterday. It ended 1-1.

"Last week had an influence on today's game," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, whose side played in the Europa League on Thursday, told Sky Sports television.

"They wanted to start strong but it took us time to get into the game again," added the manager, who criticized the amount of time-wasting in the match.

"I think he (Giroud) has come back into a very good shape, he's shown that today again. He's mentally extremely strong as well. It's a remarkable achievement what he has done again today."

Arsenal moved up to fifth place, behind Liverpool on goal difference, but 14 adrift of leader Manchester City which was playing Manchester United later in the day.

Southampton is 11th, ahead of Huddersfield Town but a point behind Everton.

"We started really well, got the goal. Should have got the second really," said Austin, who had a low shot from the right well saved by Cech minutes after scoring.

"Against Arsenal, you give them one chance and the big man's come on and scored. It's just one of those things...we take away a point from here but we should have taken all three."

On Saturday, Chelsea's hopes of retaining the EPL title suffered a severe blow as West Ham United upset the form book to win the London derby 1-0 and give David Moyes his first victory since taking over as manager.

Marko Arnautovic's early goal and a gritty rearguard action by the Hammers inflicted a first league defeat in eight games on third-placed Chelsea which is 11 points behind City.

Tottenham Hotspur returned to form with a first win in five league games, thrashing Stoke City 5-1 with Harry Kane scoring twice as Spurs climbed to sixth place, a point behind Arsenal.

Burnley is level on 28 points with Tottenham after beating 10-man Watford 1-0 at a wintry Turf Moor thanks to Scott Arfield's goal on the stroke of halftime.

Watford was educed to 10 men from the 39th after Marvin Zeegelaar was shown a straight red for a wild tackle.

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