The city of Liverpool, united by passion and divided by loyalty. Football’s primary colours clashed again in the Meryseyside derby as the Reds faced the Evertonian blues in a match that was well hyped and what many thought would be the biggest chance Everton might have at beating their foes after eighteen years.
However, it wasn’t to be that story as two beautiful solo goals from Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho gave Liverpool the advantage as Pennington’s equaliser in between was short lived. Divock Origi’s cracking finish sealed the deal as Jurgen Klopp became the first manager of Liverpool to win three Merseyside derbies in a row and Liverpool put a heavy foot of their own in the top four race. Here’s how the Reds have been rated:-
GK : Simon Mignolet – 6/10
Good defence in front of him meant that Mignolet was rarely in trouble. He couldn’t do much from the corner in which Everton scored but he did enough to hold Ashley William’s effort and also prevent Holgate from scoring.
RB : Nathaniel Clyne – 6/10
Tussled hard with Baines and he was effective throughout the match in his position.
CB : Joel Matip – 6/10
Made his presence felt and thwarted Calvert-Lewin. He’s majestic when needed and he stepped up today as well by being solid and tidy.
CB : Dejan Lovren – 8/10
He was picked ahead of Ragnar Klavan to add a bit of a physical presence against Romelu Lukaku and it was a master-class from him. He kept Lukaku silent throughout, won the aerial battles and didn’t give the Belgian even one opportunity. His tackles were also brilliant today. Showed no fear sliding into good ones and won decent amount against Lukaku and Barkley.
LB : James Milner – 6/10
Tidy, retained possession, kept the flow ticking from the wide areas. Didn’t have much trouble defensively.
CM : Lucas Leiva – 6.5/10
Lucas was brought in as well for his wealth of experience and his physical nature and he did just enough to get his side over the line. He was heavily involved in the midfield although not much noticeable, left Barkley running at times but won plenty of aerial battles. A decent performance. Got an assist for Coutinho’s goal as well.
CM : Emre Can – 6.5/10
Added tremendous pressure on Everton and took it upon himself to get involved immensely in terms of strength and won his fair bit of the ball but also fouled several times. His work rate has gone patches higher which is a good sign.
CM : Georginio Wijnaldum – 6/10
Worked like a horse until the final whistle and today mostly he was a crucial part of Liverpool’s pressing and got less touches of the ball than he usually does.
LF : Philippe Coutinho – 9/10
Operated in a really jam-packed place but boy he did wonders. Coutinho carried on his form and made his presence count by luring in Everton defenders as Mane scored. Immediately after Everton’s equaliser, he dazzled past the young Evertonian defence and scored a curler that left Robles with no chance. His ball control is amazing to watch and Liverpool would only hope that his consistency never wavers.
CF : Roberto Firmino : 7/10
Did nothing much but involved himself as a focal point in the attack. In a game of midfield and defence, he was left a bit isolated.
RF : Sadio Mane – 7.5/10
Went on a sensational solo jog and kept composure to give Liverpool an early lead. He was subbed off early in second half for what looked like a knee injury.