CURLER: Liverpool’s red hot Mo Salah (right) strikes against local rivals Everton
DESPITE LIVERPOOL having over 78 per cent of the possession and countless chances to win the game, the Reds had only themselves to blame for not putting the game to bed against Everton (December 10).
Home manager Jurgen Klopp left some of his star players out of the starting line-up, with Roberto Firmino, Georginio Wijnaldum, Emre Can and Phillipe Coutinho on the bench, preferring to play Dominic Solanke, James Milner, and Andrew Robertson.
Everton’s new boss Sam Allardyce would have felt very happy coming away with a draw especially as it was one of the worst derby day performances from the Toffees’ that I have ever witnessed.
The opening goal came after 42 minutes, which after waves of Liverpool pressure saw Mohamed Salah score his 13th goal of the season with a touch of brilliance.
He picked up the ball just outside the right-hand side of the Everton box, where Everton defender Cuco Martina struggled to cope with Salah’s strength, and the Liverpool winger then wriggled away from Idrissa Gueye, before delivering an amazing shot around Ashley Williams, looping the ball over the Everton keeper Jordon Pickford, into the top left corner.
Liverpool dominated the first and second half, with chance after chance without really testing the Everton keeper; the red side of Merseyside should really have been 6 – 0 up.
Despite all of the dominant possession, Everton scored a late equaliser on 79 minutes, when Dominic Calvert Lewin received a fantastic ball from his captain Wayne Rooney. The Everton foward was subsequently pushed over in the penalty box by a sloppy challenge by Dejan Lovren. Rooney then coolly slotted home the resulting penalty to make it 1-1.
The game finished with honours even, but Liverpool will be the team most disappointed with the result.
Klopp said before the match: “It is part of the season where you have to make the changes when you can make the changes.
“I know people are saying Liverpool are flying and that, but today we need to be ready for a proper fight. It’s our stadium, it’s our home ground and I really want to see that.” In the end his team failed to deliver on that promise.
Allardyce said after the game: “Everton’s defending was brilliant today. When you stop Liverpool, the top scorers in Europe to seven shots on target then you are doing something right.”
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