Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has praised the composure of midfielders Jordon Ibe and Emre Can after his side’s 0-0 draw with rivals Everton in the Merseyside derby on Saturday.
The visitors at Goodison Park hit the post through 19-year-old Ibe, making only his second English Premier League start, but that was the closest either side came.
Everton did not have a shot on target until the 86th minute, when Toffees defender Seamus Coleman forced Reds goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to make a save.
Ibe was named man of the match, which justified Rodgers’s decision to last month bring him back from a loan spell at Derby County.
“I have been just waiting to put him in. I called him back because I thought now he can really contribute,” he said.
“He had a great spell on loan, which is what you want from your young players, and he had a good time at a good club but it was time for him to come back and feature.”
“I had no qualms about putting him in. It was a brilliant performance by him, he was unfortunate not to have scored with his run and strike.”
“He has wonderful temperament and technique and is tactically very good for a kid coming into that system. I am very pleased for him.”
“What was decent tonight was in such an intense atmosphere the composure of the young players.”
“Emre Can, he was like a Rolls Royce at the back at 21 and he defended fantastically.”
“Jordon Ibe and the rest showed great composure. They connected the game really well and we now have got a real solid structure defensively and 86 minutes was (Everton’s) first shot on target.”
The downside for Rodgers’ men was the early loss of midfielder Lucas Leiva to a thigh injury, which is likely to keep the Brazilian out for a while.