Everton 0-1 Liverpool: Reds win Derby with Dramatic Late Goal

Sadio Mané put in a rebounded Daniel Sturridge shot in the fourth minute of injury time to win the 227th Merseyside Derby for Liverpool under the lights at Goodison Park.

Both sides went into this game following important wins against Arsenal and Middlesbrough respectively. Everton began the game strongly and aggressively, disrupting Liverpool’s rhythm early on. There were some half chances falling to Divock Origi and Ramiro Funes Mori, but ultimately the first half was a scrappy affair. It was a heated, old-fashioned derby that was lacking in quality.

One of the key reasons for Everton’s first half success was down to midfielders James McCarthy and Idrissa Gueye. Gueye has proven to be a steal for Everton at £7 million from Aston Villa, and the Irishman McCarthy accompanied him as they pressed Liverpool, forcing them into mistakes. The Reds could do nothing in the final third, as Everton were all over them like a rash. The loss of James McCarthy to injury took the tempo out of the game for Everton, with Premier League veteran Gareth Barry unable to provide the same energy and aggression needed to stop this Liverpool side.

Liverpool’s pressing game began to grow in the second half, pinning the Toffees back and giving the reds more space in midfield to use possession to their advantage. More chances came for the Reds from Roberto Firmino, as he forced an outstanding save from Everton ‘keeper Joel Robles, who replaced the injured Maarten Stekelenburg after a collision in the 63rd minute ruled him out of action.

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley was lucky to stay on the pitch after a horrible high and dangerous tackle on Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson. Henderson was lucky he wasn’t injured in what could’ve been a leg breaker, while Barkley was extremely fortunate only to be booked.

As Liverpool kept threatening, substitute Daniel Sturridge ran across the 18 yard box in injury time and his scuffed shot rebounded off the post. The ball came back to Sadio Mané, who put in the rebound from six yards out. In the end, one goal was enough as a dominant second half from Liverpool helped give Jürgen Klopp’s men a vital three points in the title race as they try to close the gap on Chelsea.

Reds defence effective

The Reds defence dealt with Romelu Lukaku brilliantly. The Belgian, who has scored five Premier League goals in eight games against Liverpool, was unable to make his mark on the game. Henderson would often drop deep to cover him when he was on the ball, giving Dejan Lovren and in particular Ragnar Klavan the ability to combat him with great success. Liverpool have picked up three clean sheets in their last four away games, and this one was the most impressive yet.

Wijnaldum key in midfield

Georginio Wijnaldum has often lacked cutting edge in a Liverpool shirt and can therefore often go under the radar, but his performance in the Derby was another strong one. The Dutchman showed strength and power in midfield to get away from Everton players, keep the ball and create the pockets of space that Liverpool use so well.

Through him, opportunities could be created. Pressing and backtracking are also important parts to his game that shouldn’t go unnoticed. Should the 26-year-old add more end-product to his game through goals and assists, it will show how he is in fact one of the more integral players in this Liverpool side.

Sturridge demonstrates his quality

A lot has been said about Daniel Sturridge and whether he has a future at Anfield, but when he came on, he made a big difference. Creating space for himself and getting the shot away in injury time proved to be decisive, as it set up the winning goal. He may not start many games, but he has scored 13 goals in the Premier League as a substitue. He should stay on Merseyside where he can still have a big impact.

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