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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.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

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 ]

Premier League social media wrap: Robertson, Milner rank sitcoms; Richarlison chills

Premier League social media
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Shooting down transfer rumors, tossing video game controllers, and debating the laugh tracks are all a part of Friday’s PL social media wrap.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Liverpool stars Andrew Robertson and James Milner pitched in to the club feed with a video discussing the best sitcoms in British history.

It’s worth it if only for Robertson’s marginally accurate turn doing a dance from “The Inbetweeners.”

Everton star Richarlison looks to be home in Brazil, and quite chilled out in a beach setting.

The forward turns 23 on Sunday and has already collected 28 Premier League goals between Watford and Everton.

He has 19 caps and six goals for Brazil.

The ePremier League Invitational has been a source of entertainment for soccer-deprived fans this coronavirus pandemic, and play continued in the second edition on Friday.

Sheffield United’s John Egan handled his business against Brighton and Hove Albion’s Aaron Connelly, who was none-too-pleased to concede a goal.

Thrown controllers. Stars, they’re just like us.

Arsenal loanee Dani Ceballos turned to an American politician to show his feelings about a transfer rumor after an account Tweeted thoughts of a swap deal.

Ceballos, a Real Madrid player, would join left back Sergio Reguilon, currently on loan at Sevilla, and $32 million in moving to Sevilla in exchange for Argentine striker Lucas Ocampos.

It’s never happening that way, but it’s funny enough.

Ranking every Everton player

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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

Aubameyang fires Arsenal past Everton

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang climbed atop the Premier League’s goal-scoring list as Arsenal beat Everton 3-2 on Sunday at the Emirates Stadium.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Eddie Nketiah also scored for Mikel Arteta‘s men, who allowed a first-minute goal but rebounded to move ninth. The Gunners are four points off fifth.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richalrison scored for Everton, which sits a point behind the Gunners in 11th.


Three things we learned

1. Aubameyang’s class permanent: There’s a new name joining Jamie Vardy atop the Premier League’s goal scoring leaderboard, as Aubameyang bagged his 16th and 17th goals of the season. The Gabonese striker scored with his left foot and his head in putting himself one goal from 50 in his PL career.

2. Leno continues to make Best XI case: The majority of voters have probably used a permanent marker to put Alisson Becker into their teams of the year, but Bernd Leno has been an absolute marvel behind Arsenal’s suspect defense (which returned Sunday after a 270-minute shutout streak).

It’s not just about his shot-stopping, which is supremely good (and yes we know he allowed two on Sunday). Leno connected on five of seven long passes and passed at 90 percent. We know Mikel Arteta wants a ball-mover like Ederson. Leno fits the bill.

3. English youngsters deliver for both teams: Calvert-Lewin may have only converted one of his three prime chances, including a stoppage-time header wide of the goal, but the big Everton striker remains in the midst of his career year. The hosts got a ninth assist in all comps from Bukayo Saka (18) on a first PL goal from Eddie Nketiah, who’s just two years older than the English U-19 star.

That’s not even mentioning another decent-enough day from Mason Holgate, who’s improved dramatically under Ancelotti.

Man of the Match: Aubameyang.


Calvert-Lewin was the beneficiary of miserable Arsenal defending on a first-minute free kick, as Sead Kolasinac followed his mark into the box and David Luiz popped a header into the path of the scorer.

Djibril Sidibe then closed down Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the Gabonese was played deep into the Everton third.

Kolasinac had injury added to his insult, his jersey sleeve a makeshift sling for his shoulder as he made way for Bukayo Saka in the 18th minute.

Eddie Nketiah sent Nicolas Pepe into the 18, but the Ivorian’s rocket blasted over the arms of leaping Jordan Pickford.

The Everton keeper would save Pepe in the 26th, but he couldn’t stop Nketiah a minute later. The Englishman leaped to knock in a terrific Saka cross for 1-1.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

The goals kept coming, as Luiz played Aubameyang through the Everton backline for a smashing finish in the 33rd, only to see Yerry Mina cue up Richarlison‘s stoppage-time finish.

The second half saw Arsenal score within a minute of the restart, Aubameyang heading a Pepe cross past Pickford.

Everton began to put pressure on the Gunners, and Leno made an incredible close-range save on Calvert-Lewin in the 73rd.

Leno made another big save when Richarlison trapped a low Delph drive and turned toward the goal.

Granit Xhaka picked off a poor Jordan Pickford pass and Nketiah struck the crossbar in the 86th.

Transfer rumor roundup: Richarlison to Barca for $110M? Spurs’ striker search

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Watch our transfer deadline day show from 6-8 p.m. ET on Jan. 31, live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com.


A roundup of all of the major transfer rumors, most notably those involving Premier League clubs, on Wednesday…

[ MORE: Spurs complete Bergwijn transfer from PSV ]

Barcelona have reportedly had a $110-million bid for Richarlison rejected by Everton. That’s a mind-blowing number for a club like Everton to receive, but the Toffees apparently didn’t have to think long before saying “thanks, but no thanks.” Luis Suarez is expected to miss four months due to a knee injury, leaving the Blaugrana somewhat for a replacement. Everton, however, have no desire to lose a key member of their squad with little to no time to sign a replacement.


After adding winger Steven Bergwijn on Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur are heavily linked with a number of strikers as options to replace the injured Harry Kane. AC Milan’s Krzysztof Piatek is the most frequently linked (and most expensive) player coming out of the rumor mill, while Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud has come up as an emergency option (he is reportedly open to the idea). However, Jose Mourinho has reportedly been told he has just $13 million to acquire a new forward after spending a combined $108 million on Bergwijn and Gedson Fernandes.


Elsewhere in Tottenham rumors, full back Kyle Walker-Peters is expected to complete a loan move (without an option to buy) to Southampton in the very near future. The 22-year-old has been on the fringe of the first-team squad for what feels like five years now, but has never quite broken through. This could be Spurs putting into the shop window a player who they don’t believe is in their long-term plans in order to drive up his price tag come this summer.


Sheffield United look set to make a big push for a top-six finish, as the Blades are linked with moves for a pair of highly rated young players: Richairo Zivkovic, from Chinese side Changchun Yatai, and Sander Berge, from Genk. Zivkovic was one of the most highly touted youngsters in Europe before moving to China on a big-money deal; Berge has been linked with some of the biggest clubs across Europe in recent years, all the while the 21-year-old has become a fixture for the Belgian side.