Liverpool reignite title hopes and push Everton to the abyss as massive rift revealed between rivals


Rarely has a Merseyside derby had such a major impact at the top and bottom of the Premier League table, but rarely has the chasm, the absolute chasm, existed between Liverpool and everton was so great.

Iverpool remain firmly in the title race, reducing Manchester City’s lead to a single point with five games left. While Everton didn’t suffer the defeat they feared, their biggest concern has been recognized: they are now in the last three. The possibility of relegation is a dawning, growing, ugly reality.

Burnley’s home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers had sent Everton to 18th and while they showed fight and spirit and dragged Liverpool into an unseemly struggle for long stretches, it ultimately wasn’t despite a superb performance from Anthony Gordon to see them through enough single threat. Next up is Frank Lampard’s former club Chelsea at Goodison Park next Sunday.

Still, Liverpool had to fight and fight to the end and once again Divock Origi played his part as he came off the bench and helped with his first touch to shape the valuable goal that brought floods of relief to Anfield. And just as nerves began to grow it was Origi who scored the second to confirm victory as Jurgen Klopp once again put Jurgen Klopp’s strength on the bench and his ability to use it through Liverpool let.

That means the Belgium international has scored six goals against Everton, twice as many as against any other club, with only Steven Gerrard scoring more against his bitter rival.

With 11 goals, Origi is also Liverpool’s most successful substitute in the Premier League. He was a legend, said Klopp later.

Just as important as Origi was Andrew Robertson. The left-back scored with Liverpool’s first shot on goal (when was the last time you had to wait more than an hour to get that?) and also intervened decisively when Alex Iwobi seemed poised to equalise.


Robertson’s name echoed around the stadium, as did Origi’s after the final whistle.

Inevitably, there were also cheering shouts of ‘go down’ aimed at the remnants of Everton fans who had started the game by turning around as they performed You’ll Never Walk Alone. They ended feeling shunned by their failing club, which appear doomed to relegation from the top flight for the first time since 1951.

As some Liverpool supporters will rejoice at the possibility of what they call the ‘five’ – their team win an unprecedented ‘quadruple’ while Everton are relegated. A defeat means Everton have lost eight straight away games in all competitions for the first time since 1948 and have been beaten away by Goodison and drawn the other in 11 of their last 12 league games. Another startling statistic is that they are 50 points behind Liverpool.

And there is one more. They gained just 17 percent possession, the second-worst ratio since Opta began compiling such numbers in 2003.

For an hour, however, their conservative tactics worked, and they also displayed the full range of skill: from an alleged jump by Gordon to persuade referee Stuart Attwell to take a penalty, for which he was cautioned, to Jordan Pickford wasting time on it Richarlison went down twice, holding his face and then when he hit the turf for the third time after Attwell had had enough and ignored him, he initiated a melee.

It started with Lampard and Klopp colliding on the touchline and going toe-to-toe while yelling at each other, followed by Abdoulaye Doucoure who turned Fabinho on his head with all the players.

Doucoure and Sadio Mane – for poking Mason Holgate in the face and risking being sent off – were cautioned and it summed up a troubled and tense first half.

In fact, Everton had the best opportunity when Richarlison stole the ball from Thiago Alcantara and released Doucoure who didn’t have the pace to take advantage of the space in front of him. Instead, he dragged a low shot over the goal.

At half-time, Lampard will have been delighted with the fight and vibrancy of his team. In contrast, Klopp will have fumed at Liverpool’s lack of fluency and slowness and how that played into the hands of their opponents.

Liverpool needed to pick up the pace and there was certainly more urgency when they resumed, but it also meant they were vulnerable to counter-attacking, especially with Trent Alexander-Arnold pushing so high on the pitch.

Everton broke up with Gordon again when Joel Matip seemed to rush into him, but the charges were again dismissed.

Gordon showed his feelings by posting a replay of the controversial incident on Twitter.

Lampard insisted it was a penalty and there was certainly a stronger case, although Gordon may have suffered because of his earlier simulation.

Anyhow, it was crucial when Origi and Luis Diaz were introduced and made an impression after Gordon missed a shot during the warm-up. First Mohamed Salah traded passes with Origi as he worked his way up from the right and set up a cross towards the far post which was hit by Robertson returning via Pickford.

Then another substitute, Jordan Henderson, took a clearance from a corner and delivered. Diaz’s acrobatic scissor shot ricocheted over the goal and was hit by Origi, who headed home from close range.

It was a goal that confirmed the result – and the terrifying gap between these two great clubs. (© Telegraph Media Group Ltd. 2022) Liverpool reignite title hopes and push Everton to the abyss as massive rift revealed between rivals

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