The first Merseyside Derby of the Premier League season took place on Saturday at Goodison Park. It was definitely an exciting affair, as the teams from each side of Stanley Park in Liverpool posed plenty of danger for the other.
The game was played at Goodison Park. But in the end, the goal nets at both ends of the field were left undisturbed, and neither the Blues nor the Reds will be feeling very satisfied with the result.
The Role of the Goalkeepers in the Game
As was to be anticipated, Liverpool started the match as the stronger team and spent most of the opening 15 minutes of play with the ball within Everton’s half of the field.
However, after that, the home team managed to break the siege and gradually move the line of battle away from Jordan Pickford’s goal.
In spite of this, Liverpool was able to maintain possession of the ball for 61% of the game and take a total of 23 shots, eight of which were on target.
On the other hand, Everton shot at Alisson Becker 14 times in total, but only managed to hit the target three times.
It is quite clear that the two goalkeepers played very well in order to preserve the scoreless draw. Pickford was able to make a fine save after a fine saves, denying.
In particular, Roberto Firmino, Darwin Nunez, Fabinho, and Alisson were able to deal easily with a particularly nasty situation when Everton forward Neal Maupay had a clear view of him from very close range.
Pickford and Alisson combined to deny a goal. On that particular day, any one of the goalkeepers may very well be considered the finest individual performer for their respective sides.
Still, there were a few instances in which even their brilliance was insufficient, and it was the crossbar that kept Tom Davies from scoring for Everton.
As well as Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz, and Mohamed Salah from scoring for Liverpool. All of these opportunities came throughout the game.
All of the Teams
Both managers formed 4-3-3 formations. Everton started Conor Coady with James Tarkowski, Vytalii Mykolenko, and Nathan Patterson.
Amadou Onana anchored the midfield, where he was supported by Tom Davies and Alex Iwobi. Demarai Gray and Anthony Gordon flanked Maupay.
Frank Lampard made two substitutions throughout the game, both to add fresh legs without changing the strategy. Gueye replaced Davies at 62 minutes and Gordon at 80.
Klopp started Kostas Tsimikas on the left defensive wing instead of Andy Robertson, and Fabio Carvalho replaced Jordan Henderson in the center of the park.
And Darwin Nunez, coming off a three-game suspension, started ahead of Roberto Firmino, but the rest of the line-up was as predicted.
Klopp replaced Carvalho at halftime with Firmino and shifted to a 4-2-3-1. The substitution gave his side some much-needed energy, but Pickford was at his best and the ball couldn’t get past him.
James Milner replaced Alexander-Arnold and Joel Matip replaced Harvey Elliott. Gomez moved to the right-wing while Milner moved to midfield, and Matip replaced Van Dijk. Tsimikas’ left winger Robertson came in in the second half.
Controversies to Mention
Merseyside Derbys are seldom without controversial decisions from the referees, and this one was no exception. This game has featured the reddest cards in EPL history. The Blue half of Liverpool regrets two calls, even though both were accurate.
The crowd thought Everton had scored in the 69th minute. Maupay picked up Gray’s right-wing cross and sent it low and dangerous across the goal. Coady redirected it into the goal from close range, then rejoiced despite scoring against his previous team.
Coady was offside when Maupay crossed, so the only issue is why the linesman didn’t raise the flag. The goal was finally ruled out, and although several English newspapers called Liverpool’rescued by the VAR,’ the technology really protected the sport’s integrity and the linesman from shame.
The other was trickier. Five minutes later, another. Some feel Van Dijk should have been sent off for his late tackle on Onana, who had his studs on his ankle. Despite the late and dangerous tackle, the Dutch defender checked on Onana and apologized.
It occurred in front of referee Anthony Taylor, who thought Van Dijk’s yellow card appropriate punishment. The VAR didn’t ask him to check it on the pitch-side screen. Lampard upset with the decision, but that was anticipated.
The Last Words to Remember
This contest had no winner, not simply in terms of the result, but because both sides were glad to escape loss. Both clubs will feel they wasted a chance to go away with all three points, yet for some Everton supporters, it undoubtedly seems like a triumph considering the quality and reputation disparity between the two Merseyside rivals.
Liverpool is in the sixth position with nine points from six games, and they’ll stay there if league leaders Arsenal defeat Manchester United on Sunday. If not, United will leapfrog Liverpool in seventh.
Everton, West Ham, Aston Villa, and Nottingham Forest are all tied for 16th with four points. Only Leicester City has fewer points after six matches than this group.
Everton will enjoy a week off before visiting Arsenal. Liverpool plays Wolverhampton Wanderers the day before the Champions League opener against Napoli.
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