Pre-Match Thoughts: The Reds didn’t quite get the fitness boost we were all hoping for, as Emre Can and Daniel Sturridge both start on the bench, and Joel Matip is completely absent from the matchday squad. Still, it’s a reasonably strong squad, and it’s nice to know that we can bring Sturridge off the bench if we need a late goal. It’s Derby Day, is there really much more that needs to be said?
- Aaaaand we’re off! Liverpool go long from the opening kick. It’s already end-to-end and tackles are flying in from the opening minute. Ross Barkley already has a torn shirt. Looks like both sides are up for it tonight.
- Everton have been the slightly more energetic side in the first ten minutes. Their press is doing well to keep Liverpool pinned back, but neither side has looked particularly dangerous so far...
- ...until Mignolet’s failed clearance right to Lennon in the middle of the park, about 30 yards from goal. Thankfully it lead to nothing.
- Firmino, who already gave the ball away in a dangerous position moments ago, just committed a silly foul in a very dangerous position. However, the wall does it’s job and the sides remain on level terms.
- Everton are absolutely bossing the Reds at the moment. We’re pinned back in our own half, and our midfield (and for that matter, our forward line as well) has been completely pressed out of the game. If Liverpool can’t get a foothold soon, this could be a very long night.
- Twenty-six minutes in and Liverpool finally have their first shot. Not on target, mind you, but a shot nonetheless. Wijnaldum’s curler from outside the box was never likely to make the net bulge, but it’s far better than what we’ve seen so far from the visitors.
- Since Wijnaldum’s shot, Liverpool have slowly started asserting themselves in the game, though still haven’t created much going forward.
- Divock Origi finally gets involved in a big way. Some quick build up (and a brilliant Mané dummy) sets Clyne free down the right flank, and his inch-perfect cross finds the big man in the middle of the box. However, he couldn’t keep his first-time chance down and on target, and the score remains knotted.
- Halftime Thoughts: It looks like Liverpool weathered Everton’s best shot in the opening 25 or so minutes, but still did little to create at the other end. Liverpool have also been very wasteful going forward, with several errant passes to no one in particular in and around the box. Liverpool will have to step it up in the second half if they want to get anything out of the fixture.
- A comedy of errors somehow fails to produce a Liverpool goal to open the second half. Firmino latches on to a throughball, but hits it straight at the keeper. Then the ball comes back to Firmino, who tries to pick out Mané and/or Lallana, only for both of them to take each other out, and the best chances of the night go unrewarded.
- A quick 1-2 with Mané and Firmino nearly produces the opening goal, but the chance dribbles just past the far post. Stekelenburg is hurt in the process, and can only last a few more minutes before being replaced by Joel. I have to admit, it’s quite funny watching the diminutive Everton trainer “helping” Stekelenburg off the pitch.
- Barkley comes in late with a studs up challenge on Henderson in what should have been an easy decision for a straight red. Barkley somehow stays on the pitch and Henderson somehow isn’t spending the next several months on the trainer’s table.
- Liverpool nearly find a break through on a corner, but the backup Everton keeper was equal to Firmino’s shot that was bound for the lower near corner.
- Kloppo leaving it for late to bring on a sub, bringing on Sturridge and Can for Origi and Lallana in the 82nd minute. This second half has nearly been all Liverpool, hopefully the Reds can find a late breakthrough.
- GOAL! Sturridge’s shot bounces off the post and Mané follows it in! Liverpool lead in stoppage time!
- Final Whistle Thoughts: The Derby was pure chaos, and not in the good sort of way. Both sides were full of passion and energy, but the football was decidedly lacking. Liverpool did well to play their way back into contention after absorbing the best Everton had to offer, but never had an answer going the other way. An away draw was probably the deserved result, but Liverpool nabbed the victory in the end.
We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.