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Just 20 minutes in, the Merseyside Derby is a thriller already

Nov 23, 2013, 8:09 AM EDT

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23: View of a merchandise stall prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on November 23, 2013 in Liverpool, England LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23: View of a merchandise stall prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on November 23, 2013 in Liverpool, England

Not 20 minutes have passed in the early match between Everton and Liverpool, yet we’re already in the middle of a thrilling  2-1 Liverpool lead. (Want more? Watch live on NBCSN and  live online via NBC Sports Live Extra).

It took just five minutes for Liverpool to grab the lead in the Merseyside Derby, with Philippe Coutinho marking the occassion by scoring his first derby goal. After Luis Suarez took a chance on goal, Steven Gerrard whipped in an enticing corner. Suarez then wiggled through the Everton defense to get his head on it, flicking the ball on to Coutinho. The Brazilian did well to get around to the near post, meeting Suarez’s header with the side of his foot to slip the ball past Tim Howard.

Everton responded in the best possible way, however. Sure, it took more than a minute, but after just three, the Toffees were back on level terms. Coutinho was the one who conceded the free kick, a silly decision when the opposition includes Leighton Baines. The Everton man put in yet another gorgeous kick, and history repeated itself. This time it was Kevin Mirallas, taking advantage of Martin Skrtel‘s turned back, who made the run to the near post. Another sidefooted kick and another ball in the back of the net, with Simon Mignolet the one picking it out this time.

Everything simmered for about 10 minutes before Liverpool took the lead once more, off another free kick. Suarez was the one who took it and sent his shot swerving brilliantly. The ball found a hole in the edge of the wall, flying threw and past a diving Tim Howard. Just 19 minutes in, but we’ve already got three goals and the promise of more excitement to come.

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