Liverpool 1-1 Everton: Jagielka’s stunner denies Reds derby win (video)

1 Comment

Phil Jagielka’s incredible long-rang effort in injury time sealed a 1-1 draw for Everton at Anfield on Saturday in the 223rd edition of the Merseyside derby.

[RELATED: Watch the full match replay]

Steven Gerrard curled home a beautiful free kick in the 65th minute after a controversial foul on Mario Balotelli from Leighton Baines, which looked like being the winner for the Reds. However, the ball dropped to Jagielka 30-yards out in the 92nd minute and the center back unleashed an unstoppable drive with his right foot to send the Everton fans into raptures in the away section at a stunned Anfield.

Everton struggled throughout with the Toffees’ last win at Anfield came in 1999 and Roberto Martinez’s men never really looked like taking all three points on Saturday. However, Jagielka’s late goal denied Liverpool bragging rights as the points were shared.

[VIDEO: Premier League highlights, here]

Early on both teams had shouts for penalties as Romelu Lukaku was taken down in the box by Alberto Moreno but referee Martin Atkinson waved away the calls. Then Raheem Sterling’s shot seemed to be blocked by Gareth Barry’s hand in the box but no PK was awarded to Liverpool. Barry was living a charmed life after an early booking, as the Everton midfielder was lucky to not be shown a second yellow for a late tackle on Mario Balotelli in the 10th minute. From that free kick Balotelli forced Tim Howard into a smart save, as the frantic early start continued.

The game then settled down as Everton halted Liverpool’s early charge and Baines almost set up Lukaku for the opener but his cross was hacked away at a crucial moment by Lovren on the line. Everton then suffered a big blow as Kevin Mirallas pulled his hamstring after a surging run and was replaced by Aiden McGeady after 30 minutes. As half time approached, neither team were able to make the breakthrough as the score was locked at 0-0.

[RELATED: Latest Premier League standings]

In the second half the game continued to be a tight, tense affair as both teams failed to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Then in the 65th minute Liverpool took the lead as Balotelli was fouled by Baines, with the Italian going down rather easily, and Gerrard curled in the resulting free kick from 25-yards out to send Anfield wild. Howard got a hand to the effort but failed to keep the ball out.

That goal sparked the game into life, as both teams went for it in the latter stages.

Lukaku almost equalized for Everton right away, as a long ball into the box found the Belgian but he mistimed his header. Soon after, Balotelli should have made it 2-0, after Sterling buzzed down the left flank and whipped in a cross which Liverpool’s striker directed towards goal but after a slight deflection off Howard, the ball hit the crossbar and went over.

The final stages of the game played out with Everton pushing for an equalizer and that arrived late in the game courtesy of Jagielka’s howitzer from distance. Two stunning goals defined this game as the points were shared at Anfield.

LINEUPS 

Liverpool: Mignolet, Manquillo, Moreno, Lovren, Skrtel, Gerrard, Henderson, Markovic (Coutinho, 60′), Lallana, Sterling, Balotelli (Lambert, 88′)

Goal: Gerrard (65′)

Everton: Howard, Hibbert (Browning, 73′), Baines, Jagielka, Stones, Barry, McCarthy, Besic (Eto’o, 80′), Mirallas (McGeady, 31′), Naismith, Lukaku

Goal: Jagielka (90+1)

Champions League preview: Spurs host Leipzig, Valencia visits Atalanta

Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Two more UEFA Champions League Round of 16 ties kickoff Wednesday, including one being labeled as the biggest in a club’s existence.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

That would be Serie A side Atalanta, which hosts Valencia at 3 p.m. at Gewiss Stadium.

Atalanta had played in two consecutive Europa Leagues, but this is their first move into the Champions League. To make the knockout rounds is exceptional, and club president Antonio Percassi is fired up.

“We must be honest, this is the most important game in the history of this club,” Percassi told Sky Sport Italia. “It doesn’t seem real. It’s exciting just thinking that tomorrow we’ll be in a Champions League Round of 16. It’s wonderful for our fans too. … This is going to be a unique experience that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.”

Atalanta finished second in its group to Manchester City, and is fourth in Serie A. Valencia won its group.

There’s a Premier League side in action on Wednesday, too, as Spurs begin life without Heung-Min Son.

Jose Mourinho spun a tale about how badly Tottenham will need its fans against RB Leipzig, comparing the home-field advantage to an emergency rescue crew of sorts.

Leipzig is led by Julian Nagelsmann, who was once referred to as “Baby Mourinho” by his players.

The 32-year-old was quick to distance himself from the story.

“Tomorrow it is Leipzig against Tottenham, not Mourinho v. Baby Mourinho,” he said. “I have great respect for Mourinho. He has won lots of titles with big clubs, the Champions League twice. He has made his mark on European football at some big European clubs. I think it his 59th knockout game in the CL and it is my first so there is obviously respect there.”

Liverpool’s Robertson not a fan of Atletico Madrid theatrics

Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Liverpool fullback Andy Robertson was not impressed with Atletico Madrid’s display as his side fell 1-0 in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League’s Round of 16 tie on Tuesday.

The Reds fell behind on a fourth-minute Saul Niguez goal and couldn’t get a shot on target despite 73 percent possession in Spain.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Atleti executed its plan to near-perfection, slowing restarts and taking advantage of counterattacking opportunities to assuage the constant pressure of Liverpool.

At times it was reminiscent of early-century Italian national team play, and both neutrals and Liverpool knew what they were in for once Atleti took the lead.

“We gave them the best possible start to get the fans behind them and then they can start falling over and things like that, trying to get under our skin a bit which I think we handled quite well to be honest,” Robertson told BT Sport. “We know we are better than (how they played). We put in a decent performance and we can be better than that. Luckily we have got a second leg to put it right.”

Given the performance and the reputation, you’d still fancy the Reds to “put it right” at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp thinks Atleti will feel plenty of pressure at Anfield, and he will certainly feel the officiating will be more to his liking.

Liverpool’s Klopp: ‘Our people will be ready’ for second leg at Anfield

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jurgen Klopp didn’t have any issue with Diego Simeone’s defense-first Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Tuesday.

The Spanish side flummoxed Liverpool’s attack and the Reds didn’t manage a shot on target despite eight attempts and 73 percent possession at the Wanda Metropolitano.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

What Klopp didn’t appreciate was the referee’s work, though, implying that Polish official Szymon Marciniak was overwhelmed by the occasion. Marciniak has worked UCL matches for six seasons, twice overseeing quarterfinal ties.

Klopp was shown a yellow card in the second half, and the Liverpool boss felt Sadio Mane was harassed by Atleti. Klopp removed yellow-carrying Mane at halftime.

“He was targeted obviously,” Klopp said after the game. “The only thing they wanted was to make sure he got a yellow card. The score is 1-0, that’s all but you need to be really strong as a ref in this atmosphere. So many things happened, after 30 minutes already three players were on the ground. The first yellow card was a striker from us. I’m not sure they even got a yellow card, which is funny.”

Atleti’s Angel Correa was shown a yellow, while Klopp, Mane, and Joe Gomez were cautioned for Liverpool.

The Liverpool boss found himself laughing a few times, especially when he was asked about Simeone’s touchline personality.

Klopp said before the game that if the German was a four in intensity, then Simeone was a 12. Simeone followed suit by constantly urging the crowd to get behind the home side on Tuesday.

That didn’t bother Klopp, but he issued a public relations officer’s dream in reacting to it.

“Wow, wow,” he laughed. “That’s energy. I don’t think I have to do it that much (at Anfield). Our people will be ready. Welcome to Anfield. It’s not over yet.”

Klopp finished his remarks by saying of Jordan Henderson‘s removal from the game with a hamstring injury, “I hope it was a precaution, but I’m not 100 percent sure”

Haaland wins first leg after Borussia Dortmund-PSG comes to life late

Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Imagese
Leave a comment

Erling Haaland scored twice in a mid-second half flurry as Borussia Dortmund beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Tuesday.

The hosts also got an assist from teenager Giovanni Reyna, who became the youngest American to appear in a Champions League match.

Haaland now has 39 goals in 29 appearances between Red Bull Salzburg and BVB, 11 of those for his new German employer.

Neymar scored off a Kylian Mbappe goal for PSG, who brings an away goal back to the Parc des Princes for a March 11 second leg.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Neymar had an early free kick, missing just wide of the far post.

Jadon Sancho troubled the keeper twice in the first half hour, first with a cross that Mats Hummels headed over goal. Then, Keylor Navas picked another Sancho offering out of the air.

Sancho kept serving, and Erling Haaland couldn’t turn a promising cross on target.

Dortmund walked into halftime with a scoreless match but a 7-2 edge in shot attempts. Neither of PSG’s shots were on target.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre put in American teen Giovani Reyna in the 67th minute.

Two minutes later, it was 1-0 to the hosts through Haaland’s close-range goal.

Neymar replied from close range himself after a powerful, clever dribble from Kylian Mbappe led to a pass through the box.

But Haaland got his second in the 77th minute with a scorching shot that serves as the first senior assist of Reyna’s senior career with Dortmund (Watch it here).