Single word yields best result

Football News: Liverpool v Everton FA Cup 3rd Round - A Liverpool Perspective

Liverpool v Everton FA Cup 3rd Round - A Liverpool Perspective
Image from: thenibble.com

Liverpool v Everton

 

It seems the match itself has been forgotten, as has everything else in the game, in the furore surrounding an incident that none of us actually have any knowledge of, other than our guesswork. So I am just going to leave that out and concentrate on the things I do know about the game, rather than crucify anyone out of pure ignorance like so many are keen to do.

Everton actually came out to play and have a go at Liverpool last night, though Allardyce will probably point to the result as proof he got it right in the Premier League match by sitting back and getting a draw. Unfortunately, much as I hate to admit it, he is probably right, as Everton showed last night that they do not really have the quality in the final third to really go out and take it to an opponent.

They are hamstrung by Rooney playing, he is not good enough to play the '10' role and just hampers the team, especially when he was no longer able to throw his considerable weight around after being booked. I have heard some people say it could even have been a red, it was rash, reckless and dangerous but I think a yellow was right and did the job of making him behave, which is what the cards should be about. It is a derby and it should be blood and thunder!

The penalty was a foul and so a penalty according to the laws of the game, though they are rarely given on every site posters complain about their centre backs holding as it will cost a penalty for their team one day, so we all know that it is a risk a defender takes. Having said that, I do not like the way Lallana went down to get the decision, much as I understand that players feel they have to go down in the box or a referee will not give the penalty. For me, I would have liked to see him get a booking for that and the same any other time a player like him or Hazard makes a ridiculous amount of a foul in order to win a decision.

Holgate followed up giving a penalty away with a dodgy few minutes and then a nasty little push on Firmino which could have easily caused serious injury to both the player and people in the crowd. Holgate was very lucky to get away without any punishment at all, he would not even have had any real grounds for complaint if the referee had shown him a red considering that attention had been drawn to players doing that in recent months. It was clearly deliberate and he should be very thankful the referee only spoke to him. That to me was far worse than the reckless challenges of Rooney, as it was a cowardly shove in the back.

The Everton goal was very avoidable, Lallana should have 'taken one for the team' so to speak when the break was launched. It summed up his abysmal performance when he just let the break go, rather than immediately taken the yellow for putting a stop to it. The rest of his performance being so poor is excusable, he was just rusty, but that is not excusable and it is something he has to ensure he never does again. It is no coincidence that Man City's woeful defence concedes so few when their players constantly give away fouls to stop a break.

What was most pleasing for me, even more so than van Dijk scoring a late winner on his debut in a derby, is that Liverpool won without Salah and deserved to win. There is a genuine strength in depth about the side right now, which is needed to compete in multiple competitions.

 

Klopp - handled the game very well, made changes to affect the game and did not end up getting sent off, unlike a member of the Everton medical staff, during the hoo-haa over the push and aftermath. His comments after the game regarding the penalty were also very considered and showed a lot of commonsense.

 

Karius - apart from the goal, which he had no chance with, he had very little to do other than sweeping up outside the box and a couple of catches. Though one was a worry as he caught the ball cleanly but landed on one of his defenders which knocked the ball out of his hands. Probably showed why so few keepers actually catch the ball these days, to avoid that kind of thing happening. He did need a few tellings off by van Dijk to come out quickly, but he was calm and composed and it felt a lot less nervy than those same situations with Mignolet.

 

Gomez - dwelt on the ball a bit too much last night, which saw him turnover the ball on a couple of occasions. Overall a decent performance though, he just needs to learn from those mistakes.

 

Matip - he was probably the worst player in a Liverpool shirt. He was weak, slow and unsure. Even when he attempted to foul Bolasie off the ball he ended up getting thrown to the ground. He was coming back from injury though, so that will have contributed to his struggles.

 

van Dijk - on the one hand he was extremely vocal, organising the team, telling the keeper when to come and when to stay, attacking every aerial ball and he scored a good header. On the other, he was going for balls he was never going to win and getting caught out and he missed an easy chance. It did feel like he was just trying too hard to win everything because it was his debut, so that does not worry me too much. The big worry is that he was still a little slow to get back when caught up field, even though he was trying hard. Overall a good performance, he dominated Calvert-Lewin when he was in his area, unlike Matip who struggled against him.

 

Robertson - shut Bolasie out early doors, got forward well but his decision making was as poor as ever. Just one cross came near to connecting and he took on a shot tight at the near post which was never on. Overall though, he is improving and it was another step forward in performance, not as sensational as I have seen some people claim but better than his previous ones. If he can learn to pick out a player with a cross then Robertson will be getting there.

 

Can - too slow to move the ball on, messes about with it in the wrong areas of the pitch and needs to quicken up for teams like that. That is what I wrote last time I wrote a review and it applies again.

 

Milner - I honestly cannot think what he contributed to the performance.

 

Oxlade-Chamberlain - a decent game, worked hard but lacked any end product. To be honest, he has looked more effective when playing deeper and playing as part of a front three did not bring out the best in him.

 

Lallana - dreadful performance, his touch was heavy, his legs were slow and he broke clean through on goal but lacked the stamina to do more than hit it early too far out to threaten. He looked like a player coming back from a long injury lay-off and it is clear we will have to show a lot of patience with him as he refinds his form. However the dive to 'win' the penalty and the lack of challenge on Bolasie on the Toffees break to score their equaliser were particularly poor. I know most people will not care about the way he went down as it was a foul, but it just leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. Liverpool should have been good enough to win without that.

 

Mane - better from Mane, he looked more like the Mane of last season, less sulky than he has been of late. Still short of the level he showed but at least he seemed like he was giving his all and caused them a lot of problems.

 

Firmino - Bobby was Bobby, buzzing around causing problems and not giving the defence a moment's peace. One thing that was unlike him was reacting after Holgate shoved him, leading to a major flashpoint in the game.

 

Subs:

Wijnaldum - replaced the visibly tiring Lallana in the 70th minute and, unlike the rest of his performances this season, he had a positive effect on the match. He needs to do more of that and less hiding.

Solanke - was part of a double substitution with Alexander-Arnold in the 77th minute when he came on in place of Gomez. Put himself about, getting a yellow card in the process, and ensured their tiring legs got no rest. Desperately needs a goal.

Alexander-Arnold - took the place of Milner and did well. Got forward well as usual but also looked very comfortable defending.

Written by Tris Burke January 07 2018 07:57:16