Everton – Liverpool was a enthralling, tight Merseyside Derby as there was drama from the first minute to the last and the score ended even with Richarlison sent off, VAR chaos and pretty much everything else.
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Sadio Mane’s early goal was canceled out by Michael Keane’s header in the first half as Virgil van Dijk and Seamus Coleman both came off injured, with the former the subject of a controversial tackle from Jordan Pickford.
Both teams had chances in the second half as Mohamed Salah whipped home a clinical finish for his 100th Liverpool goal but Dominic Calvert-Lewin made it 2-2 with a textbook header late on to secure a draw which keeps Everton unbeaten this season and keeps them above bitter rivals Liverpool.
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There was time in the 90th minute for Richarlison to get sent off for an awful challenge on Thiago Alcantara, then Jordan Henderson thought he had won it by Mane was said to be offside as VAR ruled out the late winner.
3 things we learned
1. Pickford so lucky to not see red, as Liverpool sweat on Van Dijk injury: He should have been sent off and the PGMOL have admitted they didn’t check for a red card challenge as they were too busy looking at offside for the incident in question. Pickford was a lucky boy and Liverpool will now be sweating on Van Dijk’s fitness. He walked off on his own, so that’s promising. When it come to Pickford, if he had sworn at the referee at half time or when play had stopped he would have been sent off, so why wasn’t he sent off for that horror challenge on the pitch, even though offside was correctly called?
2. Liverpool dominant but defensive issues remain: They deserved to win this. There’s no doubt about that. But they didn’t. Jurgen Klopp’s side have now let in 13 goals in the Premier League this season and with Alisson out injured, and Van Dijk out early in this one, they looked shaky at the back. TAA and Robertson had off days and Adrian could have done better on both goals. Liverpool have to tighten things up at the back if they’re going to win the Premier League title back-to-back.
3. Everton resolute as James, Calvert-Lewin prove class: This was not a good Everton display but the class of James Rodriguez and Dominic Calvert-Lewin shone through. They hung in there, though, as Ancelotti will be pleased with their battling display. He will also be honest and admit his side got away with one here. If they are serious about being top four contenders they have to play better than this against the big boys. Still, they are unbeaten and top of the table but they have now gone 23 games without beating Liverpool in all competitions.
Man of the Match: Sadio Mane – He scored the first goal and was a constant menace. Did well to set up what he thought was a late winner for Liverpool too.
Mane gave Liverpool the perfect start as Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino combined to find Andy Robertson down the left and he beat Coleman before finding Mane who slotted home.
Moments later Mane whipped in a cross which almost found Jordan Henderson but Everton cleared, and from the corner Virgil van Dijk was then clattered by Jordan Pickford in the box but no penalty kick was given as the Dutchman was offside before the contact arrived.
Van Dijk came off injured and was replaced by Joe Gomez in a big early blow for Liverpool. Calvert-Lewin then nodded over and forced a save from Adrian as Everton grew into the game with Firmino heading over at the other end.
Everton equalized before the break as Keane powered home a header from a James Rodriguez corner as the English defender rose above Fabinho and Adrian could have done better.
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Pickford then made a wonderful save as he pushed Trent Alexander-Arnold’s free kick away in an end-to-end first half, which also saw Everton captain Seamus Coleman forced off through injury as Ben Godfrey made his Toffees debut. Mane went close to putting Liverpool back ahead before the break as Liverpool looked more dangerous.
Henderson fired just over at the start of the second half as Liverpool continued to dominate, but Everton were a threat on the break as Calvert-Lewin missed a great chance as Adrian put him off.
Rodriguez then whipped in a superb cross to the back post which Richarlison headed against the post. Liverpool finished strongly as Salah swept home a fine finish after Mina’s clearance fell straight to him to make it 2-1, then Pickford brilliantly denied Joel Matip’s header to keep Everton in it.
Calvert-Lewin headed home to make it 2-2 and there was still more action to come as Mane went close, Richarlison was sent off for a horror challenge on Thiago Alcantara, then Henderson thought he had won it but Mane was adjudged to have been offside by VAR as a 93rd minute winner was chalked off.