The Merseyside derby is usually full to the brim with action, but this one failed to sparkle, even if Sadio Mane notched a late winner deep into stoppage time.
But one thing that did grab people’s attention was that Mike Dean was to referee the fixture.
Even before the game, people were looking forward to the contribution of the famous referee.
Can't wait for Mike Dean here. It should be named either Mike's Monday or Dean's Derby.— Glenn Price (@GlennPrice94) December 19, 2016
Dean kept himself to himself early on.
And apart from a little energy drink-based mischief…
Mike Dean steals a Lucozade from the Everton physio bag. The man never fails to surprise you.— We Are Football (@WeAreFootballGB) December 19, 2016
…he remained largely anonymous to begin with.
Mike Dean has been quiet tonight. pic.twitter.com/4MRz857E8Q— Coral (@Coral) December 19, 2016
You can really read the tone of surprise here. He had! He had been good!
Hasn't Mike Dean been good— John Bradley (@jbradleymedia) December 19, 2016
But as the second half unfolded, Dean came to the forefront a little more.
"Relax," shouts Mike Dean, the winner of the Man Least Likely To Inspire Relaxation award five years on the spin.— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) December 19, 2016
And then, his first flourish of the game: the no-look booking, perfected.
A classic no-look yellow card from Mike Dean and people think the Merseryside derby has been dull. 😍 pic.twitter.com/ATChlylQxi— bet365 (@bet365) December 19, 2016
Is there a greater skill in refereeing then the no-look yellow card? Perfected by Mike Dean.— We Are Football (@WeAreFootballGB) December 19, 2016
And last but not least, we were treated to a rare occurrence: the referee dummy. Largely unseen at the highest level of the game, Dean allowed the ball to run through his legs, keeping the play flowing.
Great dummy from Mike Dean..— Manish Bhasin (@_manishbhasin) December 19, 2016
An 8/10 performance from one of the league’s most entertaining refs.
Mike Dean's a strange referee isn't he.— Anfield Online (@anfieldonline) December 19, 2016
He’s having quite the season.