Everton 1 - 4 Liverpool
Blues: Gray 38’
Reds: Henderson 9’, Salah 19’ 64’, Jota 79’
Like Jurgen Klopp, I’m starting to really dislike this fixture. Credit to Everton, I guess. Their brand of “physicality” effectively derailed our season with two red-card worthy challenges, which saw Virgil van Dijk and Thiago out for 10 and 4 months, respectively. So, the first order of business is to get out of Goodison with all limbs intact. And the second order of business is to show these the gulf in class—and it is an absolute chasm—en route to getting all three points.
Liverpool will no doubt be buoyed by the fact that they can start what is, on paper, the strongest available XI. The midfield three of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, and Thiago should give Everton an absolute nightmare in the center of the park. Let’s get some revenge and a second big away derby win of the season.
Sadio Mané helps create a nervy situation between Coleman and Pickford within the first minute, and then Joel Matip sends a free header wide on the ensuing corner. Less than a minute later Mohamed Salah cannot put a point-blank shot on target. Good start from the Reds.
GOAL! The skipper, who was cruelly denied a Derby winner by VAR last year, is picked out by an Andy Robertson cut-back. His first-time left-footed curling effort from the edge of the area is inch perfect, leaving Pickford to just flap at the breeze as the ball goes by.
GOAL!! Everton had played their way back into the match following the first goal, but Hendo and Salah absolutely fucked them on the counter. Technical term, you understand. The goal scorer turned provider, playing Mo through, and Mo did the only appropriate thing when 1 v 1 against Pickford: he aimed high.
Thiago has committed a few stupid fouls in dangerous-ish areas. He hasn’t put in too many rash challenges this season, and hopefully he’s not letting the heat of the moment get to him.
Andros Townsend, who is already on a yellow, took a swipe at Robbo while scrapping for the ball, giving him a bloody nose in the process. If Robbo wasn’t already in the mood for a fight, he sure as hell will be now.
Goal. Everton pull one back, basically out of nowhere. Alisson rushes out to meet Gray after he was put through 1 v 1, but should’ve done better. The shot went through the Brazilian’s legs and into the back of the net.
Things go from bad to worse from a Liverpool perspective, after Thiago picks up a yellow for a poorly-timed tackle. On the other hand, Everton finish the half with 4 players on a yellow, 2 for simulation.
It was very close to being a perfect first half, especially under the circumstances. However, Liverpool turned off for a moment, and were duly punished. It’s been a frustrating trend for the Reds so far this season, particularly while leading. Regardless, another 45 minutes like the first should see the visitors get the win across the line.
Liverpool start the half brightly, and Mané should’ve done better after being played through on goal. The Senegalese striker even seemed surprised about how much space he had in the box, hesitated, and hit the back of a sliding defender when he finally got his shot away.
Diogo Jota wins a free kick in what you’d think would be prime Trent Alexander-Arnold range, but Virgil van Dijk steps up to take it instead, and slams it directly into the wall. Well, interesting choice and execution.
GOAL!!! Mo fucks ‘em on the break again! The chance comes about from an Everton corner, the ball comes back to Coleman on the halfway line, but Mo is breathing down his neck, and forces a mistake. In a flash Mo is gone, and does brilliantly to hold off Coleman and place the shot perfectly in the far corner.
Following Mo’s goal, the Traveling Kop comes alive, serenading Goodison with a rendition of “You haven’t won a trophy since 1995.” And a few minutes later “Merry Christmas, Everton.” Is right.
With about 15 minutes to go, Klopp makes his first change, bringing on James Milner for Thiago. I hope Milly two foots someone. Anyone. But especially Richarlison.
GOAL!!!! Jota makes it 4! And the Blues are filing out. Robertson picks out Jota’s run into the box, and the best Portuguese striker in the world makes the most of it. He turns his mark, takes it to the byline, and beats Pickford from the tightest of angles. Did he aim high? You betcha.
Klopp makes his last few changes as the match enters the final few minutes. He brings on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on for Hendo, and Takumi Minamino for Jota.
Final Thoughts and Man of the Match
It’s a rare Goodison win for the Reds! And no leg breaking tackles! Lovely. Bigger picture: the Reds kept up with the lead pack, just 1 point behind City, and 2 behind Chelsea, but extended their already impressive goal differential advantage. These Reds have now scored 43 goals in 14 matches, with a +31 goal differential. And they extended their run of matches with 2+ goals scored to 18. Impressive.
Who was Liverpool’s Man of the Match against Everton?
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