Everton’s dismal record in the derby continues, as a second half double for Mo Salah secured all three points at Anfield. Liverpool, dominant throughout, played against ten men for almost an hour, but it took a penalty on 75 mins to break the deadlock and an injury time tap in to complete the victory.
One win in 28 for Everton in this fixture could possibly have been improved upon if Calvert Lewin had done better with an early chance. However, that header from the away side was their only effort on target and, once Ashley Young was correctly dismissed just before half-time for a second bookable offence on Luis Diaz, it looked like a matter of time before Liverpool would score. Jurgen Klopp’s men though were wasteful in possession, too often failed to make the extra man count and, other than a couple of speculative long range shots, Jordan Pickford was largely untroubled between the posts.
The second half saw Liverpool camped in the Everton half, with the impressive Dominic Szoboszlai running midfield. Salah meanwhile was having a shocker, barely finding a red shirt all afternoon. Yet, cometh the hour, cometh the man. Michael Keane eventually having been judged to have handled in front of the Kop and, after the referee was sent to the VAR screen, a penalty was rightly awarded. Salah smashed the spot kick to Pickford’s left, and a huge sigh of relief rang around Anfield.
Sean Dyche, already frustrated and rightly mystified at the referee’s failure to send off Ibrahima Konate, already on a yellow before fouling substitute Beto, was predictably livid. His anger eventually leading to a yellow card. He may, though, be better channeling his irritation at his players, who again failed to look like they believed a positive result was possible against their near neighbours, in what was the 263rd playing of this Merseyside fixture.
Someone, somewhere, decided that there should be nine additional minutes beyond the 90, but even this failed to properly galvanise a poor Everton performance. It was one of their rare forays forward that led to the Egyptian’s 201st Premier League goal. Liverpool breaking forward at speed, after winning the ball in their penalty are, with Darwin Nunez teeing up a tap in for Salah in the 97th minute.
So, yet again, Liverpool come out on top against Everton, with Klopp now having more victories in this fixture than any Liverpool boss in Premier League history. The victory temporarily took his side to the top of the league and, with games against Nottm Forest, Luton and Brentford as their next three league fixtures, Liverpool should find themselves very handily placed for a title push after the next international break.