Liverpool – Origi (96’)
Everton – None
A late goal from Divock Origi secured Liverpool a 1-0 victory against Everton at Anfield on Sunday.
A very lively first half saw chances at both ends, with Yerry Mina sending his header wide in the 4thminute and Sadio Mane firing over the bar in the 13th.
But the visitor’s biggest chance of the game came in the 21stminute when Andre Gomes found himself in space just a couple of yards from goal, but his header was fantastically saved by Alisson and Joe Gomez was quick to hook the ball off the line.
Jordan Pickford was also called into action when Mohamed Salah found the run of Xherdan Shaqiri, whose shot was saved by the England No.1.
In what was an extremely balanced game, it was a 96th-minute freak-goal from Origi that made the difference, keeping Liverpool just 2 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.
As time ticked on, it seemed the Reds would have to settle for a draw. That would’ve been a fair result given the exceptional performances from both sides.
But Trent Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick found Virgil Van Dijk, who appeared to scuff the shot and it looked like it was heading for row Z. Somehow, some way, the ball landed on the crossbar and Pickford wasn’t able to deal with it, knocking it into the path of Liverpool’s forgotten man. After hitting the woodwork just minutes earlier, he wasn’t going to miss twice.
Anfield erupted into a frenzy, which included Jurgen Klopp running onto the pitch to embrace the Liverpool goalkeeper. Moments like that. Those are what title challenges are built on.
This result puts Liverpool in a good place going into a busy Christmas period and Everton will surely take a lot of positives from their performance as they not only defended brilliantly, but they caused Liverpool’s defense a lot of problems, which could’ve gone their way on a different day.
Player and Manager Ratings:
Alisson – 10 (Showing exactly why Liverpool paid the fortune they did for him. Made some exceptional saves at crucial moments to keep the scoreline at 0-0. Was first to diffuse a situation between Joe Gomez and Richarlison as tensions rose and took the decision to give Trent a better angle for his free-kick, which ultimately led to the goal)
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7 (Played well and put in a few last-ditch tackles, delivery was off which limited Liverpool’s threat on set-pieces.)
Joe Gomez – 8 (An incredible goal-line clearance to deny Everton an opener, not even Jurgen Klopp knows how Alisson and Gomez kept Andre Gomes’s header out.)
Van Dijk – 7 (Solid as always, assist of the season if you ask me)
Robertson – 7 (Solid as always, didn’t stop running)
Fabinho – 8 (Won more tackles than any other player on the pitch and loves a forward pass)
Wijnaldum – 6 (Didn’t have much of an impact, probably needs a rest)
Shaqiri – 7 (Was a threat going forward, denied by Pickford but probably took too many touches)
Salah – 6 (Wasn’t at his best but Everton did well to mark him out the game, was given no space what so ever)
Firmino – 5 (Missed a couple of really good chances and his touch was poor, shocked that he was the last to be subbed off)
Mane – 7 (Should’ve been on the scoresheet but missed a few really good chances, looked the most threatening of the front three)
Keita – 7 (Looked good when he came on and managed to get us further up the pitch, deserves more starts)
Sturridge – 7 (Looked sharp. Should possibly start over Firmino against Burnley mid-week)
Origi – 10 (Maybe over the top, but a last-minute winner in a Merseyside Derby means it is very deserved. Missed a sitter minutes before)
Manager Rating: Klopp – 8 (Substitute decisions paid off in the end, couldn’t contain himself and ran onto the pitch when Liverpool scored. I hope he never leaves)
Pickford – 6 (Made some crucial saves but was also at fault for Liverpool’s late winner. Should’ve pushed it out for the corner rather than knocking it back into a dangerous area)
Coleman – 6 (Had to deal with Mane, but did well defensively)
Mina – 8 (Was incredibly unlucky not to put Everton ahead early on, was solid against a very good Liverpool attack)
Keane – 7 (Made some important blocks and clearances to deny the Reds, looked solid)
Digne – 7 (Did extremely well top stop Salah and Shaqiri before they were eventually withdrawn)
Gomes – 8 (Caused Liverpool a lot of problems and somehow wasn’t able to score)
Gueye – 6 (Didn’t look great on the ball but a tremendous effort from the midfielder)
Walcott – 6 (Great pace but his touch let him down, was through a couple of times but was never able to make anything of it)
Sigurdsson – 6 (Liverpool did well to stop him doing what he does best – being creative. Good work rate)
Bernard – 6 (Looked good but wasn’t able to make anything happen for the Blues)
Richarlison – 5 (Struggled against Van Dijk so was a quiet night from the Brazilian)
Lookman – 6 (Looked bright when he came on but wasn’t able to make anything happen)
Calvert-Lewin – 5 (Didn’t have enough time to make an impact)
Zouma – 5 (Didn’t have enough time to make much of an impact)
Manager Rating: Marco Silva – 8 (Was seconds away from securing a draw, something a lot of teams will struggle to do at Anfield this season. Was unfortunate to see his team lose but set them up fantastically)
Premier League fixtures are coming thick and fast as Christmas approaches. Liverpool faces Burnley at Turf Moor mid-week and they’ll be hoping for a much more comfortable win. Sean Dyche’s side looks merely a shadow of the team they were last season so the Reds will be hoping to extend their unbeaten run and come away with all three points.
Everton faces Newcastle at Goodison Park on Wednesday night, with Rafa’s side suffering a disappointing 3-0 loss to West Ham at the weekend. After an impressive display on Sunday, Marco Silva will be hoping his side can continue the good form and continue pushing for Europa League places.
By Hannah Pinnock