Everton held arch rivals Liverpool to a 0-0 draw in the Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon, and after the match their supporters were quick to praise a defender once the final whistle had blown.
The Toffees went into the match knowing that their record against the Anfield outfit is poor to say the least, but they had held the Reds on their last two visits, which seemed to act as confidence for them prior to kick off.
Marco Silva chose to make a few surprising changes to his Everton side for the contest, with Richarlison and Andre Gomes left on the bench, with the Portuguese boss choosing to go with strength through the spine of his team.
The Toffees huffed and puffed throughout what was a scrappy match, played at a breakneck speed, but with little of the quality that you would associate with both teams on any other occasion.
In the end the two defences came out on top in a goalless draw, which undoubtedly suits Everton a lot more than Liverpool, with the visitors now trailing Manchester City by a point in the title race.
One man stood out brightly for the Toffees on what was actually a positive day for them on and off the pitch, with the atmosphere at Goodison Park at fever pitch throughout the 90 minutes.
That player was Michael Keane, who was a rock at the back for Everton, in front of the watching on England manager Gareth Southgate. He kept Mo Salah very quiet and was strong and positive in his decision making on the ball.
Toffees fans were well aware of how well the defender played, and many of them took to social media after the derby to recognise that very fact, with the former Burnley man getting plenty of love and support within their posts.
Here are the pick of their messages:
VVD is different class. Michael Keane was immense #EFC
— Craig Duxbury (@craigduxbury) March 3, 2019
I’ve definitely not been as big a fan of Michael Keane as others, but he was my MOTM today. He had a couple nervy moments, but he was a giant in some giant moments as well. #EFC
— Rob Vera (@TheRobVera) March 3, 2019
Keane and zouma were superb #EFC
— Michael Rossiter (@MikeRosso_) March 3, 2019
Well we're average and mid table and nothing to play for so if them points they've bottled against us help them lose the title then sound. Thought we defended well Keane and Digne were brilliant they're front 3 were unusually quiet #efc
— Paul Edwards (@PaulEddie84) March 3, 2019
— Danny Tsang Mullally (@DanielMullally1) March 3, 2019
Thought that was Keane’s best game for Everton.
Won loads in the air, but made some superb challenges too. Was a massive test for him against a forward line like that and he was brilliant #EFC
— Matt Jones (@MattJFootball) March 3, 2019
Well said mr Moyes 👏
Still loads of room for improvement in this team. But all in all signs of confidence coming back to the players. Keane was quality today #EFC
— paul gimenez (@gimenez1982) March 3, 2019
Michael Keane was exceptional, his best performance in an Everton shirt for me, he didn’t put a foot wrong defensively. Everyone praises VVD but Keane matched his performance today and cleared everything and that last ditch tackle was class. #EFC #EVELIV
— The-Toffees.com (@thetoffees_com) March 3, 2019
— Craig (@ctayts) March 3, 2019
Happy enough with that thought we played well. Bernard, Keane and Gana superb #EFC
— Paul Brown (@PaulBrownEFC) March 3, 2019