Liverpool are looking to shake off the embarrassment suffered to Aston Villa before the International break and get back to winning ways against arch-rivals and Premier League leader toppers, Everton! They ended up playing out a thrilling 2-2 draw, only after being robbed off by VAR towards the end. The Reds began the game with all guns blazing, getting the lead in the 3rd minute when a slick attacking move was powered into the net by the returning Sadio Mane.
But after Virgil van Dijk had to be subbed early on for picking up an injury due to a terrible challenge from Jordan Pickford, Liverpool lost their early momentum. Everton equalized in the 19th minute when Micheal Keane’s header went through Adrian’s hands, making it 1-1. The game lacked a killer touch to it after that, before Mo Salah delivered with a brilliant strike in the 72nd to regain the lead for the Reds.
Everton turned up the tempo after that and clawed back to get their second in the 81st minute, when Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s header floated into the net. Liverpool then seemingly scored a dramatic winner through Jordan Henderson in added, time only for VAR to rule it out by the most ridiculous of margins. Definitely the most entertaining Merseyside Derby in years, but Jurgen Klopp will (rightfully) be fuming not to get 3 points.
Here are Liverpool player ratings vs Everton.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Jurgen Klopp (6.0) –
Klopp played the strongest XI he had in his disposal, but Van Dijk’s early substitution definitely impacted his tactics a bit. He needs to improve his side’s defensive sturdiness and work with the likes of Alexander-Arnold & Gomez to rediscover last season’s form. Liverpool were a bit sloppy in the final third tonight, but Klopp will be happy how they dominated possession and looked more dangerous with their link-up play.
Bit unlucky not to get the win towards the end because of VAR, but Klopp needs to work on his side’s fitness and fluidity to get playing like champions again.
Adrian (5.0) –
Adrian can’t afford to make any more mistakes today! But it seems he can’t just help himself right now! Keane’s header was a good one, but he surely should’ve done better instead of allowing it to go through his palms! Made a few decent saves in the game, but his error for that effectively didn’t allow Liverpool to get the win.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (5.0) –
Trent’s right foot seems to be back producing magic and he almost got a goal in the 24th minute when his beautiful free-kick forced a brilliant save from Pickford. Caught horribly out of position in the 50th-minute allowing Digne to put in a perfect cross to Calvert-Lewin, but lucky to see the striker missed.
Again doesn’t do enough to stop Digne’s cross in the 81st, leading to a goal for Calvert-Lewin. Really needs to improve his defensive work, because opponents are taking advantage of his vulnerabilities to hurt LFC.
Virgil van Dijk (N/R) –
Started the game with confidence before getting clattered by a horrible challenge from Pickford in the 6th minute, forcing VVD to get subbed. Klopp will hope his injury is nothing serious.
Joel Matip (6.5) –
Back into the starting XI after a long time, but seems assertive enough to deal with Everton’s aerial threat. Unlucky not to get a goal in the 77th when his superb header was saved really well. He actually managed himself really well, making clutch clearances and keeping Calvert-Lewin quiet when he was marking him. Should start more regularly from now after that composed performance.
Andy Robertson (7.0) –
Robbo continues his impressive start to the season with another assist, cleverly sneaking into the box before picking out Mane for his goal. Continued causing havoc with his forward movement and laid another big scoring chance to Mane in the 35th with a perfect pass, only to see him miss. Makes a huge interception to deny Calvert-Lewin a clear swipe at goal in the 75th.
But he couldn’t deny the striker for his goal, as DCL leapt over him for the strike. But Robbo’s determination and tenacious performance deserves a pat on the back today.
Thiago (7.0) –
The first start of the season for Thiago, that too in a Merseyside derby! Moving around the ball with utmost swagger and almost got a goal in the 33rd when his shot blazed barely wide of the post. But defensively he’s struggling to keep up with James Rodriguez on occasions and not closing him down soon enough.
Played a stunning no-look pass to kick-start the move leading to the winner, only to see his efforts destroyed by VAR. Thiago’s brilliant passing ability helped Liverpool dominate proceedings, but he probably needs more aggressiveness in his game to reflect Klopp’s style perfectly.
Jordan Henderson (7.5) –
The captain’s instilled that positive energy which Liverpool desperately lacked against Villa. Leading the LFC high press superbly to dispossess Everton midfielders in key areas and driving his side forward. Hendo’s never-say-die attitude almost paid off in the end, as he cleverly twaddled into the box before scoring – only to get screwed by VAR.
Regardless, Henderson provided the bite and heart Liverpool needed to fight their way into effective outplaying Everton and ensured they didn’t disintegrate under pressure again.
Fabinho (6.0) –
Fabinho’s back in his natural role and finding things much more comfortable with Hendo & Thiago beside him. Doing pretty well to stop Everton to penetrate through the middle and making key interceptions to trigger counter-attacks. But even he started to tire out as the game kept moving, making silly fouls and not being able to protect his backline enough. Subbed late on for Wijnaldum.
Mo Salah (6.5) –
Mo’s getting into some really promising areas in the final third and played a lovely through ball allowing Robertson to get into the box and assist the opener. But after being quiet for almost the entire game after that, he proved why he’s regarded as a Derby-Day specialist with a fantastic volley into the bottom corner to help his side retake the lead. That’s also his 100th goal for Liverpool!
Almost got his second in the 78th, but his ambitious long-range strike was parried away. Not the best of performances, but Mo proved his class with the goal.
Sadio Mane (7.5) –
Doesn’t seem to be affected by Covid at all, making a clever forward run before scoring an emphatic effort early on to put LFC ahead. But he should’ve done better when found in another open scoring position in the 34th, scuffing his shot horribly wide. But Mane’s movement is causing Everton nightmares, forcing silly mistakes.
Cleverly sneaked behind the defenders to almost get his second immediately after Calvert-Lewin’s strike, but his attempt was saved. Very unlucky not to get an assist towards the end, as he played an ideal pass leading to assist Hendo’s late goal before it was ruled out.
Roberto Firmino (5.0) –
Firmino hasn’t been as active as his fellow attackers and only managed to head one attempt way wide in a relatively quiet half. Couldn’t really produce anything definitive in the second half either, causing himself to be subbed after Salah’s strike.
Joe Gomez (4.5) –
Gomez hasn’t really played with Matip that often and that’s showing today, as he’s struggling to keep Calvert-Lewin’s threat contained. Caught napping inside the box for his goal and he should’ve marked DCL to deny him that effort. Looked shaky all game long and really needs to up his performance-levels to get a place over Matip in this side.
Diogo Jota (N/R) –
Jota made a few decent forward runs after coming on, but couldn’t really create anything definitive after coming on.
Gini Wijnaldum (N/R) –
Brought on too late to make any kind of an impact in the game.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Mane’s form doesn’t seem to have been hindered by Covid at all and he was at his fiery best today. Got a good goal and was unlucky not to get the win after another impressive performance. He’s the MOTM today.