Liverpool edge Everton: 5 things we learned as title hunt still on after explosive derby

Klopp responds to Guardiola's latest praise of Liverpool

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Andrew Robertson and Divock Origi headed home crucial goals, as Liverpool simultaneously kept up with Manchester City in the Premier League title race and plunged Everton into further trouble. The Scottish international popped up at the back post to finish Mohamed Salah’s wonderful cross, before Origi ensured the three points and the bragging rights with a header of his own. 

And his second half intervention could prove to be enormous, as Jurgen Klopp’s side were constantly frustrated by Frank Lampard’s resilient Toffees. Despite chances being very hard to come by in the first half, there was no shortage of drama at Anfield.

Tensions regularly threatened to boil over as Everton’s time-wasting tactics and fouls infuriated an almost gladiatorial like Anfield crowd. And it was the Toffees who initially created the best chances as both Anthony Gordon and Abdoulaye Doucoure got in behind the Liverpool defence, only to scuff their chances wide.

Unfortunately, Frank Lampard’s side were made to pay for their lack of a cutting edge, as Robertson headed Salah’s dinked cross past a sprawling Jordan Pickford at the back post, before Origi haunted the Toffees once again in the later stages of a Merseyside Derbu. Liverpool remain just one point behind City, while Everton remain below those dreaded dotted lines of relegation, after Burnley overcame Wolves at Turf Moor – Express Sport considers five things we learned from the explosive Merseyside Derby.

Flashbacks to 2013

Lampard started against the Reds when Chelsea ruined the Reds title hopes with a dogged 2-0 victory at Anfield. Whether it was time wasting, instigating confrontations, or the odd naughty challenge, Jose Mourinho ensured the Blues did everything they could to anger and frustrate Liverpool and the Anfield crowd.

And with the stakes so unbelievably high for both sides, Lampard took inspiration from ‘The Special One’ as Everton did every trick in the book to upset to foil and enrage the Liverpool players. Richarlison was the pantomime villain of the first half, regularly dropping to the floor so referee Stuart Attwell stopped the contest.

A huge fracas involving both starting elevens took place in the middle of the pitch when Abdoulaye Doucoure scythed down Fabinho in the middle of the park. It was fierce, physical, and at times ugly, just like it was on that fateful day in 2013. Fortunately for the Reds, they managed to collect the three points in the end, but many Liverpool fans may well have thought they were experiencing deja vu. 

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Slow start almost haunts Liverpool again

Liverpool’s slow start to their explosive 2-2 draw against Manchester City almost resulted in the Klopp’s side finding themselves on the wrong end of a City defeat. And they began the Merseyside Derby in similarly laboured and slow fashion.

Richarlison, Gordon and Demarai Gray looked extremely dangerous in the first half as the Reds constantly looked to catch the three speed machines offside. But the back four was not in its usual sync and the Toffees were very close to taking advantage for the unusual lack of cohesion.

While Liverpool did improve in the second half, Klopp will know his side cannot afford to start games so slowly. 

Relentless Gordon

This season has been one to forget for Everton fans, but the emergence of Anthony Gordon is, perhaps, the sole positive of the campaign. The local lad took the game to the Reds, playing with speed, bravery, and courage.

Despite a relatively slender frame, he is surprisingly good at holding the ball up, while the likes of Gray and Richarlison surge forward in support. Unsurprisingly, he was a regular outlet whenever Everton wanted to launch a counterattack, or even bide themselves some valuable time to get back into shape. 

If Everton do go down at the end of the season, Gordon could be a very hard player to hold onto. 

Alexander-Arnold the target

Klopp recently said he would ‘knock down’ anybody who said Trent Alexander-Arnold cannot defend. However, this stern threat and support did not discourage Everton from targeting the England international’s flank.

Gordon was a constant menace in the first half, always looking to use his electric pace to get in behind Alexander-Arnold. Alex Iwobi also drifted onto the left hand side to double up on the England international at both ends of the pitch.

It could be argued that Alexander-Arnold often finds himself on the end of some fierce undeserving criticism. However, Everton’s approach to the contest suggests that opposition teams may have identified the right-back as a small chink in Liverpool’s armou


Pressure starting to show

Pep Guardiola would have watched the first-half with a huge smile on his face. Everton blunted a normally razor-sharp frontline with some resilient and compact defence.

Liverpool’s only blotch on another fantastic campaign is the fact that they have struggled to break down teams who do not allow them any space in behind. However, the Reds’ sheer fury and anger led to the Reds losing their composure in the final minutes of the first half.

Merseyside derbies will always be fierce and emotional affairs, but tensions between the sides regularly threatened to boil over. Liverpool will need to be faultless if they are to pip Manchester City to the title – calmness and composure has never been so important for Klopp and his players.

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