Everton manager Roberto Martinez was fascinated by the tactical battle played out by his side and rivals Liverpool during their goalless Merseyside derby on Saturday.
Nothing could seperate the two rivals at Goodison Park as Reds midfielder Jordon Ibe and Everton defender Seamus Coleman went closest to opening the scoring for either side in the tight strategic contest.
Depsite the lack of clear-cut opportunities, Martinez insisted the game displayed other qualities not often associated to fierce local derbies.
“It was a very interesting game of football,” the Spaniard told Saturday Night Football.
“Tactically it was a real good battle between two sides who were trying to score goals but, at the same time, were very strong defensively.”
“It was a fascinating tactical battle from that point of view. You see players showing an incredible flexibility in their tactical awareness and I really enjoyed that side.”
“It was unfortunate from our point of view that we had to be cautious with injuries and a number of players coming back from injury, otherwise we could have used our bench to our advantage.”
“Liverpool had a good chance in the first half and we had two opportunities in the second half that maybe we should have done a bit better and a move in the second half. But all in all I thought tactically it was one of those games you want to analyse and enjoy.”
Despite the Toffees only able to carve out one shot on target the entire 90 minutes, Martinez explained it was his intention to set his side up for a tight game that would ultimately hinge on the taking of the odd chance.
“Today was about making sure that a confident team couldn’t get into a position where they could score and dominate the game,” he added.
“When we got on the ball we created good space and probably some decisions, or the technical quality of the action, wasn’t good enough.”
“We got in good positions to hurt this Liverpool side, like when Seamus Coleman got into the box and draws a great reaction save from Mignolet.”
“We were working for the clean sheet with defensive organisation and being able to win the game. It’s not about having shots or having a threat and leaving yourselves exposed.”
“The game was between two sides with asymmetric system which opened a lot of one versus one situation all over the park and it was a fascinating tactical battle.”