Contrary to what you might have heard, or allowed yourself to believe, nobody from Liverpool really wanted a Manchester City victory; no one at Everton can really accept a defeat with a shrug.
Goodison Park may not have been at its partisan, intimidating best, there was a hint of ambivalence in the air, but this was not a meek Everton performance. It was not a gentle stroll for City because nobody in blue turned up and rolled over.
According to the more prevalent pre-match barometers, social media and local radio phone-ins, this was a game Everton could not win; a game where a defeat would be greeted with laughter and smiles.
All good natured, all a bit of fun, anything to hinder Liverpool’s chances of winning the league for the first time in 29 years.
Accuse an Everton supporter of being bitter before kick-off and most would have gleefully admitted it, even if the supposed willingness to throw a game said more about the fact the Toffees have entered February with nothing meaningful left to play for than anything else.
For all the collective goodwill that has been shared between these two clubs in recent years – not least over the campaign for justice over the Hillsborough tragedy – there is only so much Liverpool “success” any Everton fan can take.