Steven Gerrard admitted Liverpool should have done better in what appeared to be his final Merseyside derby, but he tipped Jordon Ibe to have a “terrific future” in the game.
In what was Gerrard’s last taste of the fixture unless the rivals are drawn against each other in the later stages of the FA Cup, the Reds were restricted to a goalless draw by Everton at Goodison Park.
Nineteen-year-old winger Ibe, making his derby debut, enjoyed the best scoring chance of the game as his shot from deep clattered Joel Robles’ far post in the first half.
While captain Gerrard was disappointed by the draw, he is optimistic for Liverpool’s future having witnessed a virtuoso performance from his young team-mate. “(It should have been) much better than that,” the 34-year-old told Sky Sports 1. “I think in the first half both sides cancelled each other out and we were just looking for that spark and that opening that we needed but it never came.
“Everton are a good team, they defended well and defences were well on top today.”
On Ibe, who spent the first half of the season on loan with Derby, Gerrard added: “He’s fantastic.
“He only found out he was playing yesterday so to have 24 hours to prepare for a big match like this and be man of the match, it was a very sensational performance.
“He was very unlucky not to get the winner with that unbelievable strike in the first half so he’s got a big future and, if he keeps working hard, he’s got a terrific future.”
Los Angeles Galaxy-bound Gerrard might even have notched a winner himself but his audacious overhead kick did not ruffle Everton goalkeeper Robles.
“I knew I got good contact on it and it would have been a great way to round off what was possibly my last time here at Goodison but I think all in all it was a fair result today,” the midfielder added.
“Both sides huffed and puffed. We maybe edged the chances but I think we can’t have too many complaints.
“There are a lot of positives for us, certainly this guy (Ibe). He was sensational in the derby and I think Derby have done a great job with him.
“We wanted him back because of how well he’d done. If he can keep performing like that then we’ll do well.”