Mason Holgate

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Merseyside Derby: Everton holds Liverpool

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Liverpool and Everton’s latest Merseyside Derby failed to live up to the hype as the presumptive champions got little going in a 0-0 draw at Goodison Park on Sunday.

The Reds dropped points for just the third time this Premier League season and lead Man City by 23 points before the two-time reigning champs host Burnley on Monday.

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Liverpool now needs a combination of five points won by the Reds or lost by City. Liverpool hosts Crystal Palace on Wednesday and City has two matches before the Reds’ following match versus City on July 2.

Everton moves to 38 points, six back of seventh-place Sheffield United and four behind eighth-place Spurs in the race for European placement.

EVERTON – LIVERPOOL FULL MATCH REPLAY


Three things we learned

1. Injuries sting Liverpool: Already without Andy Robertson, an injury to deputizing James Milner forced Joe Gomez into the match in the first half. Then a 73rd minute injury to Joel Matip forced Dejan Lovren into the match moments before Jurgen Klopp was set to bring on Mohamed Salah as a super sub. The injuries during this congested schedule will not threaten Liverpool’s title but will hurt their chances to break some records.

2. All played, but few played well: You can count on one hand players that really stood out for their contributions. Mason Holgate was quite good for Everton and Richarlison had his moments but his lack of finishing touch kept the Toffees off the board. Liverpool’s back line was strong after some early wobbles and Naby Keita and Fabinho both showed rust amidst great industry. This match falls into the category of forgettable.

3. Ancelotti’s chance hands youth a chance:  Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti gave 19-year-old academy product Anthony Gordon a first PL start in a big spot (keeping Gylfi Sigurdsson on the bench nonetheless). The Merseyside Derby did not prove too big of a stage for the midfielder, though he was about as influential as you’d expect given the circumstances. Gordon showed promise in converting a dribble, recording a key pass, and completing his only cross over a low amount of touches in 60 minutes.

Man of the Match

Richarlison despite forgetting his finishing boots. He was the most dangerous player for either side with respect to Alexander-Arnold. Holgate was very good.


Game flow

Richarlison drilled an early show wide of goal and Alex Iwobi also sent the Reds a warning sign as the hosts started brightly.

Liverpool, of course, found its footing with a dozen minutes, missing a shot wide of the goal before Trent Alexander-Arnold’s service on a free kick was substandard.

Another Alexander-Arnold free kick led to Joel Matip heading wide and Richarlison had an offside chance go awry at the other end.

Roberto Firmino missed a prime chance when he shot wide despite Naby Keita racing down his left side.

Pickford got low to stop another Alexander-Arnold free kick before halftime.

James Milner needed to leave the match in the 42nd minute following a leg injury. Joe Gomez took his. place at left back with Andy Robertson out.

Mason Holgate made a great block on a Takumi Minamino shot from prime location in the 45th.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Everton took off Gordon for Sigurdsson at the hour mark.

Sadio Mane hit the deck to earn. a very dangerous free kick in the 63rd minute. That’s Alexander-Arnold country, but his effort turned off the wall and wide of the frame.

Jurgen Klopp plugged Georginio Wijnaldum in for Naby Keita in the 65th minute, a fourth sub after Divock Origi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Gomez in entering the fray.

Everton had a great chance with 11 minutes to play when Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s flick of a Richarlison cross was palmed away by Alisson Becker and Tom Davies saw his deflected rebound hit the post.

Holgate couldn’t turn his diving header of the ensuing rocket corner on goal.

Pickford tipped a Fabinho free kick over the bar in stoppage time, and the ensuing corner was faulty.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Ranking every Everton player

Everton
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How to grade a team that couldn’t do anything for the better part of a season, but now lurks within range of European qualification?

That statement pertains to a few Premier League teams, but none more than Everton. The Toffees sat 18th in the beginning of December but rose as high as ninth once Carlo Ancelotti took the reins of the Goodison Park set.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

So let’s get to grading a very two-faced side.

Below we give each Everton player a grade, ranking and group them together based on their season(s) so far.

If a Toffee is listed in this ranking it is because they’ve played in more than five games in all competitions.


A-GRADE

Richarlison: The 10-goal man has a penchant for the wonderful and both power and pace for days. Willing to get stuck into a tackle, the Brazilian has now been the banner buy for Marco Silva at two clubs that eventually let him go.

Lucas Digne: Hasn’t pitched in with goals this season, but his six assists are a step up from 2019-20. The best two left backs in the league play on Merseyside.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin: Carlo Ancelotti’s best work so far is turning the immense potential of DCL into a top-performing goal machine. He’s a handful with skill and a nasty streak.

Mason Holgate: Slumped late in the season, but the 23-year-old has been Man of the Match caliber on several occasions this season. A tidy passer.


B-GRADE

Djibril Sidibe: The 27-year-old World Cup winner and Monaco loanee has four assists and almost 20 more tackles than the second-best total on Everton (Richarlison).

Yerry Mina: The club’s clearance leader this season will remember this year for a monstrous brace in a 3-2 defeat of Watford.

Djibril Sidibe (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

C-GRADE

Gylfi Sigurdsson: Why was he sitting on the ground for the would-be Harry Maguire own goal? That’s why he’s dipped from B- to C+ in our books. Sorry, Gylfi, it had to be. Just a goal and two assists from the veteran.

Michael Keane: Mercurial! The center back looks like a force one week and then feeble the next. Consider October, when he won 20 aerials over two matches only to disappear in back-to-back matches against Brighton and Saints (two total).

Andre Gomes: Some promising early displays but also some rough ones. The 26-year-old midfielder’s quick recovery from a long-term injury gives the Portuguese a chance to build consistency down the stretch.

Alex Iwobi
Bernard
Seamus Coleman
Fabian Delph


D-GRADE

Moise Kean: Turns out his immaturity issues are a very real problem, and the 20-year-old has been a big letdown on Merseyside.

Tom Davies: Still very young, but his performances have sunk as low as his socks this season. Very uneven.

Jordan Pickford: Once a Sunderland star, he’s now somehow both the England No. 1 and one of the worst-performing goalkeepers in the PL.

Morgan Schneiderlin
Theo Walcott

Jordan Pickford (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

INCOMPLETE

Leighton Baines, Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Cenk Tosun, Anthony Gordon, Oumar Niasse

Holgate, Pickford save Everton in draw with West Ham

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Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Issa Diop traded goals in Everton’s 1-1 draw with West Ham United at the London Stadium on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The draw has David Moyes‘ West Ham a point outside the drop zone, while 11th place Everton moves seven clear with 29 points.


Three things we learned

1. Toffees bailed out by Holgate, Pickford: Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford‘s last few weeks have been as good as he’s played since his Sunderland days, and he made a pair of incredible saves for the Toffees. But his young center back Mason Holgate was the star, with an assist on Calvert-Lewin’s goal and a key block to go with seven clearances and much more (See MOTM, below).

2. Calvert-Lewin sums up Toffees’ uneven play: The tempestuous young striker got another goal, but Everton’s point came mostly through Pickford and Holgate. Calvert-Lewin got his headed goal but also as many fouls (3) as chances created. His quick post-match comments really fit the bill.

“I thought today we under-performed. It was disappointing not to play to our strengths. We got ourselves back into the game but should have gone on from there and won it. I am happy to get on the scoresheet and get the point but I thought we could have performed better.”

3. Snodgrass is class: The 32-year-old Scot continues to turn back the clock for West Ham, providing power and craft in producing three goals and three assists this season. All of those score sheet moments have come in the Irons last 13 matches.

Man of the Match: Holgate’s assist was great, but how about seven-for-seven in ground duels, two blocked shots, a goal line clearance, and four interceptions. Fantastic stuff.


Tom Davies was stripped at midfield, leading to in-form Robert Snodgrass curling a shot to Jordan Pickford.

Snodgrass set up Pablo Zabaleta for a classy chest trap and volley, but Mason Holgate blocked the shot wide of the near post.

Lucas Digne gave the ball away to Mark Noble, who sent Sebastien Haller through the goal. Pickford made a fine leg save as Haller aimed to go low and near post.

Theo Walcott blew a chance to make it 1-0 when Digne spotted the ex-Arsenal star, who flubbed a ball right to Darren Randolph.

The Irons got their deserved lead through an Issa Diop header of Snodgrass’ free kick in the 40th, but Calvert-Lewin got one of his own from a Digne corner kick moments later.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Pickford made an incredible save in stoppage time to keep it 1-1, reaching low to paw away a point-blank Irons chance.

The English keeper than slapped a deflected shot wide in the second half.

Greenwood leads Man Utd to Everton draw

Manchester United Greenwood
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Manchester United found its equalizer but not a winner, as Everton claimed a point from Old Trafford in a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

A controversial Victor Lindelof own goal had the Red Devils down 1-0, but Mason Greenwood scored as a super sub to split the spoils.

United slips sixth, a point back of victorious Spurs, while Everton’s second result under interim boss Duncan Ferguson has it 16th. That’s still just three points above the drop zone.


Four things we learned

1. The Natural delivers fitting finish: If you draw up a goal scorer’s goal, the seeing-eye shot Greenwood struck to beat Pickford and score a 1-1 draw for the hosts sure delivers the goods. Greenwood turned 18 on Oct. 1, and already has six goals and two assists for the senior side. His finish through traffic was food for thought as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tries to find the right mix of attackers to fit with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

2. Digne injury a big concern: One of Everton’s lone season-long positives has been Lucas Digne, who’s possibly the best left back in the league (If he’s not, 1 and 2 are on Merseyside). But he had to leave the match with injury, and backup Leighton Baines is experienced but the author of less than 600 minutes of playing time since the start of the 2018/19 season. The goal came on his side, though Greenwood’s shot was well-taken.

3. More improvement from Everton: We’ve detailed Everton’s strength in giving up few shots, but dangerous ones. The gaffes weren’t there on Sunday, with Pickford having to make one big save and Greenwood squeezing a very professional shot inside the near post. Duncan Ferguson has shown the Toffees to four of six points from Chelsea and Manchester United and will helm a League Cup quarterfinal versus Leicester City on Wednesday at Goodison Park. He’s giving the Toffees the opportunity to be patient in finding a permanent boss, and himself the chance to build up his lore even more.

4. VAR finds nothing clear and obvious on Everton goal: The Toffees will be counting themselves fortunate that the Lindelof own goal wasn’t pulled off the board, as Dominic Calvert-Lewin came across David De Gea in a bid for a corner kick and made contact with the players’ face. De Gea should’ve done better either way, but it’s as hard luck an own goal as you’ll find when it comes to the Portuguese center back.

Man of the Match: Mason Holgate was Everton’s best player but less effective in the second half. Scott McTominay was again solid for Manchester United, as were their backs, but Greenwood gets our nod.


Jesse Lingard had a first minute chance to score but mishit his point blank chance wide of the near post.

Mason Holgate had a speculative try from distance that caught David De Gea off guard, sending the keeper into his goal post following a slap over the bar. He’d sting another shot to De Gea in the seventh minute.

Marcus Rashford wrapped a shot around the goal in the 10th minute, and Daniel James drilled a low shot across goal and out of bounds a minute later.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Pickford was briefly fooled by a 26th minute Rashford free kick, but reacted well to palm away the swirling effort.

Everton took the lead via a Victor Lindelof own goal, which arrived when David De Gea failed in a bid to poke the ball away. He wasn’t helped by a hand to the face from Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but VAR didn’t see a clear and obvious error in a foul not being given to the forward.

Luke Shaw fizzed a shot through traffic that was well-saved by Pickford at full extension, the game then stalled by Lingard’s apparent head injury.

James turned to hit a ball to a prone Pickford in the 69th minute as United pushed for an equalizer.

Greenwood found the leveling goal in the 78th minute, James’ square ball setting the youngster up for a shot through traffic that defied Pickford’s dive.

Everton’s Silva, Holgate react to blowout derby loss

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Marco Silva‘s big trouble grew larger after a 5-2 loss to Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby at Anfield on Wednesday, but Everton defender Mason Holgate said his team’s rookie mistakes are not the manager’s fault.

When asked how much fault the players bear with their manager under fire, there were no minced words from the 23-year-old.

[ RECAP: Liverpool 5-2 Everton ]

“Pretty much all of it,” he said. “The manager has told us what we need to be doing and we have not gone out and done that. We played well in patches of the game but route one, direct balls are not things the manager should be telling us about. We should be dealing with and we have not done that.”

Silva accepted responsibility for the result and said “my words will change nothing” when asked about his fate as Everton boss, but he also agreed with his defender about the mistakes.

He was asked point-blank about Everton’s status in relegation zone.

“Really, really bad for us. We are making the same mistakes. We are not strong enough to be in a different position. I’m not here to talk about the players because they are fighting. Our opponent was more brave than us. We should be better, of course.”

It’s difficult to imagine anything changing in the near future even if Silva is fired. There were very redeeming performances from the players at Anfield. Richarlison was the top performer, while Lucas Digne was adequate.

It should be noted that the Toffees did score twice, and produced numerous chances. Moise Kean missed a late chance, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin could’ve won a penalty in the first half (It wasn’t the type of foul VAR is ever going to overrule, but it wouldn’t have flipped it the other way had Mike Dean awarded it).

But this was about defending, and keeping the balls out of the net. Goal scorer Michael Keane and Holgate were under fire all night, and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was credited with more errors than saves (which isn’t difficult; He didn’t have a save).

These players will remain the same as Chelsea, Manchester United, and Arsenal loom on the league docket, with a League Cup trip to Leicester City thrown into the mix.

Silva’s likely to be dismissed, and Everton might be best served not named a successor until after this run of fixtures.