Three things we learned from Liverpool - Everton
Liverpool - Everton: Richarlison had a goal and helped set up the late penalty that led Everton past Liverpool for the first time since 2010 in a 2-0 Merseyside derby win over the reeling Reds at Anfield.
Liverpool is now winless in five-straight Premier League matches at Anfield after going years without a loss. The sixth-place Reds slip 16 points back of Man City, who has a match-in-hand, and now must start a chase of fourth-place Chelsea and their 43 points.
Everton’s celebrations will be massive after ending a frustrating wait of 11 years between wins over Liverpool after Richarlison, James Rodriguez, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and Gylfi Sigurdsson contributed to their early and late goals.
Everton’s 40 points are behind Liverpool on goal difference but the Toffees have a match-in-hand on their derby hosts, who lost captain Jordan Henderson to an injury.
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The Toffees were out-possed 71-29 and out-attempted 15-9, mostly by design, and both keepers had to face six shots on target over 90 minutes.
Three things we learned from Liverpool - Everton
1. Liverpool title defense comes crashing down as Ancelotti’s Serie A special: Italian soccer’s top flight is now a league of as many goals per game as any of the top European leagues, but Carlo Ancelotti’s Saturday show to pick up Everton’s first win over Liverpool in nearly 11 years was straight out of the 1990s calcio playbook. Up early against the champs, Everton made life miserable on the hosts. Seamus Coleman was relentless on the right while Mason Holgate followed Roberto Firmino all over the pitch and Michael Keane was the enforcer next to him. Brilliant commitment.
Ancelotti saved Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson for late. Newly-fit forward DCL took an incredible ball from Richarlison and saw his initial shot saved by Alisson Becker. But Trent Alexander-Arnold’s desperate failed slide to block Calvert-Lewin’s shot also took out the forward’s tracking of the rebound and Sigurdsson put it to bed with a low, composed penalty. He’s been invaluable to Ancelotti, completely bought-in whether sub or starter.
Liverpool’s absolutely horrid home record -- can’t believe we just wrote those words -- is mostly down to injury but also to Klopp and Co. not having answers to the low block.
2. Banner day for Everton, embattled Pickford: Jordan Pickford made his name at Sunderland, making save after save for a struggling Black Cats side and ultimately choosing Goodison Park as his next destination. He’s since become England’s No. 1 goalkeeper while never quite finding the same consistent stardom at club level. That wasn’t the case on Saturday, as Pickford made a number of seriously wonderful saves. It began with an early flying stop of a Jordan Henderson shot and carried past the hour mark when he made a tremendous defiance of Mohamed Salah.
3. Henderson injury hurts everywhere: We can argue over whether Jordan Henderson should’ve ever been taken out of the midfield when Fabinho joined Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, and Virgil van Dijk as injuries to center back options at Anfield, but there’s no doubt his removal from the first half with an apparent groin injury derails Liverpool’s top-four bid. Henderson is the team’s captain and perhaps top emotional leader (Van Dijk features here), and he’s also become a top-end playmaker with long balls from the midfield. As a center back it’s debatable that he’s a better option than Ozan Kabak, Ben Davies, Nathaniel Phillips, or Rhys Williams, but he’s an option nonetheless. A long-term absence would really sting with Sheffield United, Chelsea, Fulham, and RB Leipzig next and Klopp said the injury “doesn’t look like a small one.”
Man of the Match: Seamus Coleman
Richarlison got his goal and Pickford was wonderful, but we feel compelled to choose a back. Coleman was not only a resolute scrapper on Saturday but also the only member on the team to play in the previous win over Liverpool.
Liverpool - Everton recap
Richarlison further cemented his place in the dark part of Liverpool supporters’ minds with his third-minute opener.
Pickford robbed ex-Sunderland pal Jordan Henderson of an outside-of-the-boost wondergoal with an equally-impressive save in the 20th minute.
The game took another wicked turn at the half-hour mark, as Jordan Henderson required treatment on his groin and tried to play on but could not.
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That forced Jurgen Klopp to play two center backs in starter Ozan Kabak and Nathaniel Phillips.
Pickford caught a Sadio Mane header just after halftime as Liverpool started with intent, and Mane’s inability to find finishing touch on many moments of danger might be the Reds’ story of their shutout.
Everton scored off a counter late to complete the score line and end their miserable 23-match derby run.