The roles in the Merseyside derby were clearly divided from the start, the Reds played the game and the Toffees defended compactly and concentrated on quick transitions. It was precisely these that led to the first dangerous attacks, but Demarai Gray and Anthony Gordon were then unable to complete the counterattacks (15th/16th).
After a little more than 20 minutes, the Reds made their first good shots. Sadio Mané narrowly missed the right angle from 20 meters out (22′), just a little later Diogo Jota fired just wide of the goal from 12 meters out (31′). The guests’ best chance came from Abdoulaye Doucouré, who, after a changeover situation, came to the end on the right in the penalty area, but shot just wide to the left (34′).
The initial phase of the second half then clearly belonged to the Toffees, who had various promising counterattack situations within the first quarter of an hour. Gordon had the best chance in this phase, who was sent into the box with a chip pass by Alex Iwobi, but missed the right corner (56th). Jürgen Klopp reacted to his team’s lack of improvement compared to the first round and made two substitutions. Newly-substituted Divock Origi shielded the ball well in the box and set up for Mohamed Salah, who crossed to Andrew Robertson. The Scot then headed in for a somewhat fortunate lead (62′).
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In the final phase only the Reds played. After Jordan Pickford initially made a wild excursion from his box, he first made a strong save against Joel Matip and then was lucky that Salah shot just over the goal from 13 meters (66th). Then the Reds got lucky again when a shot from distance by Gray just missed the left angle (72′). But the 2:0 should then also fall.
First Pickford parried a deflected shot from Thiago very well, but then he had no chance in the following corner when Liverpool combined well in the sixteen with high balls and Origi headed in from five meters (85th).
The voices of the game
Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool Manager): ”Thank God the game has two halves. We didn’t play particularly well in the first half. They made it difficult for us, we couldn’t get behind the last line. We didn’t get enough exercise. We weren’t fast enough. In the second half we were a lot more direct and caused them a lot more problems. The goals were wonderful.”
Frank Lampard (Everton manager): ”We played well. Maybe if we score the first goal the game will be different, but with Liverpool there will always be quality moments. I can’t ask for more from the players; we were smart for 60 minutes but unfortunately the goal goes in and it’s very difficult after that.”
Andrew Robertson (Liverpool): ”We had to work properly. In the first half we didn’t get the rhythm we wanted. Then play into their hands a bit, but in the second half we came out, played our own game and the first goal is always important. Diaz has been exceptional since he came on and Divock’s stats against Everton are exceptional too – the moment he came in the mood changed and I think everyone expected him to score.”
Anthony Gordon (Everton): ”We cannot criticize our commitment. It’s hard to get here. The plan was just to make life difficult for them. You are in very good shape. Go a little harder in the duels and take your chances, but we didn’t do that and unfortunately they scored two more goals. […] We stayed tuned. We stuck together. It was a good performance for much of the game but they showed their quality at the end.”
The tweet about the game
That was noticeable: Jürgen Klopp’s golden hands
Jürgen Klopp really showed a golden touch today with his substitution decisions, or whatever you want to call it, the German coach brought in both Origi and Díaz in the 60th minute, both of whom immediately influenced the Reds’ offensive action. Less than two minutes after this double change, Liverpool made it 1-0.
As a result, many attacks ran through the winter newcomer Díaz, who even collected a scorer point in the end. Before that, however, Henderson was substituted on in the 82nd minute, who also played an important role in the 2-0. The captain crossed the ball to the left post, where Díaz crossed it with a remarkable side kick for Origi, who then only had to head in. Thus, all three Liverpool substitutes were directly involved in the second goal.
The stats: 50
With 79 points, Liverpool are now 50 points ahead of Everton, who are deep in the relegation battle. That’s the biggest lead the Reds have ever had over the Toffees at the end of a game day. At the end of the 2019/20 season there was also a 50 point difference.
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