Everton 2-2 Liverpool: Reds play well – but key decisions cost them greatly

DON KOPLEONE rates the Liverpool players’ performance from a frustrating afternoon at Goodison Park.

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What a strange, strange game of football. Liverpool did everything imaginable to win this derby, but somehow left Goodison Park with just one point.

A key reason for that being the Reds’ defensive vulnerabilities after Virgil van Dijk was taken out of the game by Jordan Pickford. How the England goalkeeper escaped a red card for his challenge is quite baffling.

But, make no mistake, this was the best Liverpool performance away to their local rivals that we’ve seen in recent years.

Sadio Mané slotted home early-on after brilliant work from Andrew Robertson.


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But Virgil-less, Jürgen Klopp’s side were more vulnerable to set-pieces, and conceded from a Michael Keane header midway through the first-half.

The Reds created good chances throughout, but it was only from a mere snapshot from Mohamed Salah that they managed to regain their lead. A first-time, half-volley finding Pickford’s far corner.

But again Everton responded via aerial threat, Dominic Calvert-Lewin rising highest.

Liverpool should have won the game, and Thiago Alcântara, on his first Premier League start, masterminded a move which seemed to have led to a Jordan Henderson winner.

But ultimately, a rogue offside line denied Liverpool.

With so much packed into one game of football, Richarlison’s sending off after a horrific tackle on Thiago almost feels like a footnote.

Your ratings, after a box-office Merseyside Derby.

Starting XI

Adrián 5 – Cheap giveaway for the corner which he then should have kept out for Everton’s first. Never looked confident.

Trent 5 – Really poor Merseyside Derby from Liverpool’s local lad. Never once dealt with a Digne overlap and was made to pay with the Everton second.

Joel 6 – Some erratic passing out from the back showed rustiness. Header denied brilliantly by Pickford.

Big Virg 7 – Had clattered James Rodríguez three times in five minutes when hit by Pickford’s horror tackle.

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Robbo 8 – Absolutely superb. Made Mané’s opener, and nearly had another assist when the Senegalese fired wide. Couple of poor corner kicks, however.

Hendo 7.5 – Grew into the game after a slow start, to be one of the outstanding players by the end of the first half. Enjoyed arriving into the box late more than we usually see. Deserved the late goal that he was so cruelly denied.

Fab 7.5 – Very good, bruising performance from the Brazilian, but he could have done better for the Keane header.

ThiaGOAT 8 – First start in the Premier League, and dictated a Merseyside Derby from 25 minutes on. Conducted what would have been a deserved injury-time winner.

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Mo 7.5 – First-half link-up was impressive, but sometimes lacked a final touch. Put that to rights with the thumping finish which sent the Reds 2-1 up.

Bobby 6.5 – Combined nicely with Salah in lead-up to the first, but flashed in-and-out of the contest afterwards. Another game where Firmino was the least impressive of the Liverpool front three.

Sadio 8.5 – Brilliant. Did everything in his power to win Liverpool the three points. Somehow unsuccessful in his quest. Man of the Match.

Subs

JoGo 5.5 – Never looked like he wanted the aerial battle with Calvert-Lewin.

DJ 6 – Struggled to get to grips with the crazy tempo of the game.

Gini N/A – On for injury time.


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