Four months after Jurgen Klopp approached the foursome, he has a less prestigious quartet. The German remains unbeaten at Goodison Park but a fourth goalless draw at Stanley Park of his tenure meant that although they remain winless, Everton emerged from the 241st Merseyside derby with more credit than Liverpool.
A 36-shot game was far more dramatic than the score suggested. It had everything but goal, with an disallowed four-clunk woodwork and a pretty brilliant performance from Jordan Pickford. His encounters with Liverpool were marked by harrowing mistakes and a horrific injury suffered by Virgil van Dijk. This time Pickford traded the role of villain for hero, with an exceptional save from Darwin Nunez, a very good one from Roberto Firmino and an invaluable stoppage in stoppage time to slow down Mohamed Salah while the Dutchman might have been lucky enough to avoid one Red card for a foul on Amadou Onana. If controversy can be a constant in such games, along with Everton’s wait for a home win now dating back to 2010, Liverpool could be concerned about more recent trends.
Nine points have eluded them already this season and while they launched an attack in the second half, a new habit of slow starts is hampering them. At least this time they avoided conceding the first goal in a game, even if there wasn’t one.
All of this was surprising given the quantity and quality of the effort. The keeper and the frame of the goal teamed to save Liverpool in remarkable seconds. Nunez snagged Joe Gomez’s long pass to unleash a half-volley that Pickford excellently tipped the bar. Luis Diaz collected the loose ball and curled a shot against the post.
Perhaps it was inevitable that it would not be a quiet return for Nunez. Klopp relied on his temper and brought the Uruguayan back straight after his suspension for attacking Joachim Andersen. His notoriety came for a variety of reasons, with one miss and a volley drilled at Pickford while finding a more conventional use for his head, although efforts from crosses from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Salah each went wide and overhead. Ultimately, however, it proved neither destructive nor self-destructive.
The compromise on his comeback was that Firmino was benched. Perhaps that was a mistake given the Brazilian’s enormous influence in his absence and in the second half. Klopp is no stranger to calm and rotation in the derby; He put his trust in youth by giving Fabio Carvalho a first start in the Premier League. The experiment lasted just 45 minutes, during which Liverpool lacked fluency, before Firmino was called up for a move to four strikers.
The Brazilian had scored three goals in his previous two games and could have scored a hat-trick. Pickford denied him every time, clawing a shot in the corner, saving a close-range header and parrying a late try. Pickford wasn’t done yet: flipping Salah’s stoppage time to the near post saved a point. And when he had allies to provide it, with James Tarkowski, Onana and Demarai Grey, all great and Everton spirited throughout, he was a wonderful achievement.
Goalkeeping excellence wasn’t just limited to the Englishman. Alisson did a brilliant job of turning substitute Dwight McNeil’s deflected shot over the bar as Klopp’s tactical changes left Liverpool more open to counterattacks.
Everton’s threat preceded that, however, and they were the first to hit wood. Both managers made notable decisions and Frank Lampard parachuted Neal Maupay to a debut that was delayed by a bank holiday. The Frenchman’s movement was a sign that he was looking to make up for lost time. He pulled a shot as he was being fed by Gray. His presence challenging Van Dijk was a factor as Tom Davies smashed a shot past the outside of the post.
Maupay brought shine and showed what Everton were lacking in their starts without a striker. He looked like Salomon Rondon with third, fourth and fifth gear. But the criticism that dogged him at Brighton for three years was that he missed too many golden chances and when the Livewire Gray ran half the length of the field to pick him out, his shot was aimed too close at Alisson.
Another Maupay shot from a tight angle didn’t find the target until Conor Coady applied a touch and celebrated with such fervor it was easy to forget he was an ex-Liverpool player. A few minutes and a VAR check later the goal was chalked up, the Merseysider ruled just offside. Coady was a rare childhood Liverpool fan who was emptied of it. The majority could rue the result and Pickford’s defiance.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/everton-liverpool-result-final-score-highlights-b2159046.html Everton vs Liverpool result and Premier League final result after Jordan Pickford heroics