LIVERPOOL: Everton hit back from two goals down to save a 2-2 Premier League draw with visiting Liverpool in today’s frenetic Merseyside derby which saw Luis Suarez live up to his billing as the focus of attention.

Everton manager David Moyes had wound up tension ahead of the game by urging referee Andre Marriner not to fall for any play-acting by the Uruguay striker.

Last season’s fixture at Goodison Park had seen Everton’s Jack Rodwell – now of Manchester City – sent off for a challenge on Suarez that prompted a theatrical reaction from the Uruguayan. Rodwell later had the red card scrapped by an FA review panel.

Moyes recalled: “People talk about the [20] sendings-off in these derbies without talking about the decisions. Fans are going to turn away from football if they continue to go to watch people who throw themselves on the ground when they’re not touched.”

Almost inevitably, then, it was Suarez manufactured the opening goal, against the run of play. He cracked in a right-wing cross which Everton’s Leighton Baines deflected, helplessly, into his own goal. Suarez, to celebrate, ran over to the Everton bench and dived headlong at the feet of Moyes.

Fortunately he was swamped by his own team-mates before the unimpressed Moyes could reach him.

Six minutes later Suarez glance-headed home a Steven Gerrard free kick for Liverpool’s second goal. Everton then battled back to level, deservedly, with goals from Leon Osman and Steven Naismith before half-time.

Referee Marriner managed to keep all the players on the pitch though he did show his yellow card to seven – including Suarez for stepping on the back of Sylvain Distin’s right ankle midway through the second half.

Suarez even thought he had won the match in the third minute of stoppage time but his ‘goal’ disallowed – wrongly as TV reviews proved – for offside for pushing by Sebastian Coates. His consolation was to be hailed as man of the match.

As for his first goal celebration, Moyes admitted: “In that situation I think I might have done the same.”

** Tottenham overtook Fulham, Everton and Arsenal to go fourth after goals from Gareth Bale and Clint Dempsey brought a 2-1 win over promoted, struggling Southampton.

** Papiss Cisse scored the stoppage-time 2-1 winner for Newcastle against luckless West Bromwich without knowing anything about it. A cross from substitute Sammy Ameobi hit Cisse on the back and flew into the net. It was Cisse’s first league goal of the season.