Liverpool 2 Everton 2: Derby draw reinforces Dalglish's assessment of Liverpool

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish believes the performance in their draw in the 215th Merseyside derby with Everton showed confidence was returning and proved the players are better than results have indicated this season.

Dalglish's first game at Anfield since returning for a second spell as Reds boss got off to a good start when Raul Meireles scored his maiden goal since joining the club in the summer.

Sylvain Distin and Jermaine Beckford turned the game on its head shortly after half-time but Dirk Kuyt salvaged a point from the penalty spot when goalkeeper Tim Howard fouled Maxi Rodriguez.

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After two defeats – to Manchester United in the FA Cup and Blackpool in the league – since returning to replace Roy Hodgson just over a week ago, Dalglish feels the tide has turned.

"I was going to most games (prior to his appointment) and I couldn't believe the players did not get more wins than they did because they are much better players than where they are at the moment," said the Scot. "But there are a lot of people who have said that and the best way for us to put our words into practice are by performances like that.

"I have not been surprised negatively by anyone since I came in. Positively I have been really pleased with the attitude of the players.

"There is a lot we still have to analyse but really there has been a lot of positive things from the players.

"We are happy with the way we are playing. There is a lot of belief coming back into the players and that is great for us."

Everton manager David Moyes admitted some of his players were overawed early on in their first derby at Anfield but felt they got to grips with things for the start of the second half.

"I am disappointed we didn't take all three points after the second half but (was) delighted to only come in 1-0 down after the first half because Liverpool were the better team," he said.

"In the first half we never got to the pitch of the game and it looked as if we had some young players in the team who looked overawed by the start of the game.

"Liverpool won all the duels so it needed a word to correct it at half-time and in the second half we were terrific.

"I thought we had a chance when it went to 2-1 because we were on top but we were missing three or four big players.

"I know Liverpool were missing two (Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher) but it is different for a club like Everton, who have a much smaller squad."

Moyes did not feel Dalglish's return made much difference to the occasion.

"It is always a great stadium with really good support who get behind their team – they were playing Everton so it wouldn't have mattered who the manager was it would have been the same," said Moyes.

Moyes confirmed Everton have accepted a bid from Chelsea for Steven Pienaar but have turned down Tottenham's offer for the midfielder.

He said: "We have accepted an offer from Chelsea. Steven has not agreed terms with Chelsea.

"We've given his representatives a chance to talk to Chelsea but they've not got permission to talk to Tottenham because they've not offered the same money."