Everton displayed all the qualities which have kept them in the top four this season, fighting back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Liverpool in the 219th Merseyside derby.
When Luis Suarez headed in his sixth goal in eight league matches in the 20th minute, after Leighton Baines had earlier turned the Uruguay international's cross-shot into his own net, the Reds appeared in control at Goodison Park.
However, in a pulsating first half Leon Osman pulled one back almost immediately before Steven Naismith equalised 10 minutes before half-time.
The remaining 55 minutes subsequently failed to match what had gone before, and although both sides could have won it after the break, the point was enough to keep Everton in fourth, six points ahead of their neighbours.
Liverpool fielded five derby debutants - Raheem Sterling, Andre Wisdom, Nuri Sahin, Suso and Joe Allen - with Everton having just two in Kevin Mirallas and Naismith.
That may have contributed to what was a first 45 minutes so open it belied its history of being the oldest and longest-running cross-city rivalry in English football.
Suarez opened the scoring in the 14th minute. Steven Gerrard's pass sent Jose Enrique, on his first start since October 2, racing down the left and although his cross flashed through the six-yard area it was collected by the Uruguay international, whose drilled cross-shot return was deflected in by Baines.
His reaction was to race to the dug-out and dive full-length - in a celebration reminiscent of Jurgen Klinsmann's for his debut goal in English football in 1994 - in front of Toffees boss David Moyes after his pre-match comments about players going to ground easily.
Ironically, later in the half, it was one of Moyes' own players Phil Neville who was booked for diving on the edge of Liverpool's penalty area.
That prompted a swift retort from injured Reds defender Glen Johnson on Twitter.