A new edition of the Merseyside Derby took place today at Anfield, Liverpool and Everton faced each other once more after bad results from both teams in the last couple of Premier League matches.
Liverpool, apart from their midweek victory against RB Leipzig, haven’t shown a great performance lately since they lost to Manchester City 4-1. The Reds exposed their defensive flaws especially between their goalkeeper Alisson and central defenders. The answer to these defensive problems could be found in the long list of injuries affecting the Liverpool squad, especially defenders such as Van Dijk, Matip and Joe Gomez. This situation forced Jürgen Klopp to improvise midfielders into defenders like Fabinho or Henderson until the arrival of Ozan Kabak, a 20 year old defender who came in on loan.
The bad shape from the Anfield team was confirmed in the heavy defeat against Leicester City in which they lost 3-1 to the foxes, where Alisson made an important mistake that ended in a Goal for Leicester. On the other side of town, Everton haven’t been an amazing team either. The Toffees accumulated 2 defeats in a row, losing 2-0 to Fulham and 3-1 to Manchester City.
Right now, we can see the Everton performance that we saw at the beginning of the Premier League, without showing efficiency neither in defence or in attack. The last great match from Everton was that amazing FA Cup match against Tottenham where they won 5-4. They showed a weak defence but an amazing attack prowess.
The match started with Everton lining up in a 5-3-2 formation in order to be a defensive team that would try to counter-attack and Liverpool with their usual 4-3-3 with the idea to be the team that dominate the ball all game. All the previous ideas about today’s game were forced to change when on the second minute, after a loss of possession from Thiago Alcantara and a couple headers the ball relapsed to James Rodriguez who immediately saw the run from Richarlison and played an amazing through ball to the Brazilian who scored clinically past Alisson Becker.
Since the Toffees scored, Liverpool controlled possession without really getting into the oppositions box. The first opportunities to score for the Reds came after a rebound right outside the Everton box that ended with Roberto Firmino shooting inside the 19th minute – a couple seconds later – a headed clearance from Godfrey left the ball to the captain Henderson who hit an amazing sho. None of the occasions ended in a goal due to two incredible saves by Jordan Pickford who had an amazing performance today.
On the 25th minute the injuries hit again to the Liverpool squad. This time Jordan Henderson felt a severe muscle pain that made him leave the match on the 29th minute, leaving his place to the 23 year old defender Nathaniel Phillips.
All throughout the match, Liverpool could never recover from that early goal from Everton. In the second half they just made a couple of goal-scoring situations, including a header from Mane which ended in another save from Pickford. But they never created real danger to the Toffees defence
To make the Reds’ problem worse, at the 80th minute, after a fast counter-attack from Everton, Alexander Arnold committed a foul on Calvert-Lewin and gave Sigurdsson the chance to score and put the final nail in the coffin in this Merseyside Derby.
After 22 years Everton have beaten Liverpool in their own backyard, in one of the most uneven derbies in the world and are now level on points with Liverpool on 40 points but still being in the 7th position while the Reds remain in sixth. Meanwhile, Liverpool´s crisis gets worse after suffering their four loss in a row in the Premier League.