A Phil Jagielka wonder goal ensured the spoils were shared when Liverpool hosted Everton.
But despite the parity on the pitch, the Reds are nailed on to best their city foes in the 2014/15 Premier League and their 3/10 to prevail in their seasonal match bet must be entertained.
They may only be a place and a point better off than the Toffees at present, but that margin is sure to be far wider come the campaign’s conclusion once the raft of new Anfield arrivals acclimatise to one another’s games.
Losing Luis Suarez was a blow of such magnitude that Brendan Rodgers’ men were never going to be assured of a smooth start to proceedings.
Finding a like-for-like replacement for the Uruguayan borders on the impossible and, although the horde of fresh faces brought in can’t match him for quality, they remain good players.
Lazar Markovic and Adam Lallana will prove first-rate conjurers once they acquaint themselves with life in the English top-tier/rediscover match fitness respectively, while Mario Balotelli’s goal tally will be closer to 20 than ten if he avoids injury/suspension.
More importantly regarding their hopes of long-term joy though, the Reds were much improved defensively in the derby.
Steven Gerrard was back to looking every part the competent holding-midfielder when presented with a partner-in-crime to help shield the back four, while Dejan Lovren wasn’t overly perturbed by the significant threat of Romelu Lukaku.
On the other hand, the Toffees’ usually reliable defence has reflected a typical Roberto Martinez rearguard for the most part this season, suggesting that the discipline David Moyes spent more than a decade instilling is beginning to wane after over a year without the Scot taking training.
Similarly, five games, no wins and 18 goals conceded with veteran lynchpin Sylvain Distin holding the fort doesn’t bode well either.
With a shortage of alternatives to the ageing Frenchman, it seems as though Everton’s defensive concerns will be tougher to resolve than Liverpool’s, which will ensure the Reds come out on top in this inter-city tussle.