An emphatic second half penalty and a stoppage time breakaway goal secured a brace for Reds talisman Mohamed Salah, which was just enough to put away the 10-man visitors and briefly take Jurgen Klopp’s side to the top of the Premier League table ahead of the rest of the matchday fixtures.
Everton manager Sean Dyche came into the match set on frustrating the hosts with deep resolute defending, only doubling down on that strategy following Ashley Young getting sent off for two yellow card fouls in the first half. The Toffees’ disciplined defending meant that, even with five forwards on the pitch, Liverpool struggled to break down their opponent until Craig Pawson’s reviewing of the VAR footage gave the 72nd minute penalty for a handball against Michael Keane.
A fired-up Klopp was effusive at full time in what is always one of the most emotional fixtures on the calendar, even despite the decline in Everton’s fortunes in recent years.
The Liverpool boss admitted that a soft but valid shout for a second yellow card against Ibrahima Konate at 0-0 in the second half was a decisive moment:
“I didn’t see [the Konate foul] back but I have seen so many football games and have seen yellow cards in moments like this,” the German manager said speaking to BeIN Sport after the game.
“But yeah, we got lucky, probably.
“[However], I liked the first half a lot of things. We should have scored one or two or three goals, especially after their set pieces with counterattacks with a better last pass.
“But [playing against] 10 men you have to get used to it. The main message at half time is that we are not allowed that we get frustrated or whatever, because not each possession phase will lead to a sitter.”
Credit must be given to the visiting Toffees who gave a good accounting of themselves and did not look a side set to spend a third consecutive season battling relegation.
“Actually, I liked the game,” Klopp continued. You have to fight through. It’s a derby and will not end up deciding the table at the end of the season, but it has an impact like all the other games.
“[However] it is much more tense and a lot more emotion, so the relief in this moment is really big.
“Good, tough, we are happy.”