Home ANALYSIS Everton vs Liverpool – Five Major Talking Points

Everton vs Liverpool – Five Major Talking Points

Everton vs Liverpool
Michael Keane heading home Everton’s first goal of the day. (Picture Source: Twitter)

In what turned out to be a Merseyside derby to remember, Everton might’ve felt undone-yet-lucky to escape with a point on a day when Liverpool didn’t have their best outing as well. Despite not being at their usual best, Jurgen Klopp’s men dominated the ball created better chances and made Jordan Pickford work harder.

Some VAR controversy towards the end left Liverpool fans fumed, with the technology denying Jordan Henderson an injury-time match-winner. While that remains the biggest talking point by some distance, there were some other notable moments in the game worthy of attention. Here are the five talking points from the first Merseyside battle of the season.

#1. Was Mane off?

Picture Source: Hotstar

In the lead up to the Jordan Henderson goal, Mane was on tight margins before he swept in a delicious ball in the path of his captain. The replays didn’t seem to show conclusive evidence, but the in the off-side markings, the red line which was perpendicular to Mane’s trailing elbow, was apparently keeping him off.

While that seems ridiculous on the eye, some will say “Off is Off, my a meter or a mile”. However, the technology will be in the spotlight for this and maybe it does catch what the naked eye doesn’t, but that looked far more in favor of Mane than Everton. The Blues, who were 10-men down already, managed to hold on in the final three minutes.

#2. Menace from Liverpool’s left side

Andrew Robertson looked re-ignited watching Sadio Mane on the left-flank alongside him and the duo made Everton and Seamus Coleman sweat for as long as the game lasted. Salah didn’t have the best of games keeping that wonderful strike aside, it was Mane and Robertson dominating the show, supplemented by a midfield maestro in Thiago.

Robertson’s run in the early minutes allowed him to find Mane in space in the box, who thumped it past Pickford authoritatively. The duo kept dominating the show whenever Liverpool went forward, and the Scottish left-back definitely was past that horrible experience at Villa Park a fortnight ago.

#3. James engines Everton

Every good move from Everton had a delightful James Rodriguez contribution. From pinging crossfield balls with ease to delivering some defense-opening through balls, the Columbian was an asset impossible to value for the Blues. While that is encouraging, it is also concerning as the over-dependence factor creeps in heavily.

Allan’s off-the-ball capabilities are brilliant but he isn’t as potent moving it forward. Andre Gomes tried a lot of things when he had the ball but looked far from brilliant. If the Everton midfield doesn’t buck up and ease the burden off Rodriguez, the title-challenge aspirations will get slaughtered very soon.

#4. Reckless challenges from Everton

In hindsight, Jordan Pickford should’ve received a red for his ill-timed challenge on Virjil van Dijk, which saw the Dutch defender limp his way out of the game. The challenge wasn’t subject to further examination as Van Dijk was found off-side, marginally. This was the first time since Van Dijk’s world-record move for a defender in January 2018 that Liverpool were without Allison and Van Dijk on the field in a Premier League fixture.

Richarlison, however, didn’t find an escape route like Pickford. His harum-scarum tackle on Thiago right at the death left Michael Oliver with no option but to hand a red to the Brazilian winger. The emotions of a derby seemed to have kicked in late in the game, but that’s no excuse for a challenge that puts your team vulnerable in the final few minutes.

#5. Everton’s long-wait continues

If ever there was an Everton team in their entire history credible-enough to end this decade-long winless streak against their local rivals, the current crop was definitely one of them. Carlo Ancelotti seems to have prepared them quite delightfully this season and they have produced some attractive football thus far with James at the heart of things.

However, even this rejuvenation couldn’t help them end their thirst. The sun shines yet again on the red side, with Everton registering a fourth-straight stalemate at the Goodison Park against Liverpool, with the previous three being goal-less. Mane, who scored the first goal today, was also the last person to score in this fixture at Goodison, when he scored in a 1-0 in December 2016.

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