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Football News: Liverpool v Everton - A Liverpool Perspective

Liverpool v Everton - A Liverpool Perspective
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Liverpool v Everton A Liverpool Perspective

 

How can I start talking about that game? Unlike the West London Derby, it was not a clear one-sided game of a top 4 side going to a bottom end team and beating them comfortably. Nor was it like the North London derby, which was like finding out which end would hit the floor when you drop a cat with a piece of toast buttered side up tied to its back, as both sides had been riding their luck all season to get results better than their performances actually deserve. Instead this was two teams who were picking up results, doing some good stuff but neither quite showing what they can do yet and it was a chance to see how far both had come from last season.

Overall it was as expected, two good teams going toe-to-toe, with Liverpool shading it until the final portion when Everton decided to play for a draw and it cost them the chance of the point/s. At the end of the day the Toffees were doing fine when they were trying for the win, though, like I said Liverpool slightly shaded it, it was the decision to time waste that cost them and it was a massive mistake on the part of Marco Silva to do so.

Anyway, as Reyrey1 requested something different with this one, I will not do too much talking about the overall game, in fact just go straight to individual performances now, as I am going to include ratings for the Everton players as well. One more thing, I have to say the referee was probably the best I have seen in a Liverpool match this season (not really saying a lot I know), not perfect but certainly not a bad performance. I would be glad if we had a lot less of the Mike Dean's of this world and a lot more of Chris Kavanagh, if that is any guide to his performances in general.

 


Silva - has made massive steps forward with this Everton side already, but it was his choice to try and hold onto a draw at the end and mess around with subs and other timewasting methods. That is what cost them, as it put them under pressure and took it all off Liverpool's shoulders. For a manager who has difficulty coaching defensive solidity in his teams, it was an unbelievably bad decision. Rating: 6.5.

 

Pickford - I make no bones about not being a fan of Paddy Kenny's lovechild, he is a decent keeper who is prone to idiotic errors. As well as that, he is weak on crosses, his kicking varies wildly in accuracy and his decision making and positioning is incredibly suspect. Being slightly shorter, he makes heavy weather of simple saves because he is stretching more than most, making them look spectacular on TV and in pictures but he should be making them look easy, because a lot of them are.

This game showed his error-prone side is going nowhere, even though he has gained a lot more experience over the last few months than most keepers get in their entire career. I know he is still young but the only thing that he seems to be growing in over the course of the last few months is waist size. Rating: 3.

 

Coleman - had a tough night up against Mane, as you would expect, but did really well. He was never able to keep Mane totally quiet, but who has been able to do that? Coleman certainly never got the kind of chasing some full-backs have taken at his hands and was also able to get forward at times. He has long been one of the best right backs in the Premier League and it is clear he still has some time left in him if he can stay fit. Rating: 7.

 

Keane - I am still not convinced by Keane, he is not a bad defender, just not good enough if Everton want to push on. There were a number of times Liverpool broke through and he was beaten too easily, far too easily. This was not even a Liverpool attack at its best, but he was nowhere near good enough to deal with them, though at least he avoided major mistakes. Rating: 5.5.

 

Mina - Mina excels dealing with aerial threats, he wins almost every header and balls played in anywhere near him seem to just be drawn to his head. It is just the rest of his game that lets him down. He is positionally poor and was caught out a few times. He is one of those players that highlights just how bad Barcelona's recruitment policy has been in recent times, as he does not have the quality on the ball to make up for his deficiencies in defensive situations. His partnership with Keane needs a lot of work as well. Rating: 6.

 

Digne - did ok, though he was never able to get close to Shaqiri or to cut off the crosses coming in constantly from his side. Where he does well is in attacking. He gets forward and attacks well, but is nowhere near cutting off any of the attacks down his side of the pitch. Rating: 5.5.

 

Walcott - his pace is a constant threat but he just did not offer enough in this game. It was when he was taken off that Everton looked at their most threatening, which says a lot about how he played. Rating: 5.5.

 

Gomes - while Everton fans have gone a little overboard about him, he is a very good player, if a little on the portly side. He has a little too much weight around the waist and it is affecting his mobility slightly. What he does have is a nice touch, and the ability to pick out a pass, though he shows no sign of having the vision to pick out longer passes. He is another of those who were signed by Barcelona despite not being at their level, but he is certainly a decent player.

He does need to work on his awareness, as a couple of times he gave away the ball needlessly through being caught unawares. On the whole though, what he needs most is more help in midfield. Rating: 7.

 

Gueye - runs around everywhere, rushing in recklessly and with little thought and lacks ability on the ball. His rashness means he can often end up throwing himself into a tackle when he should be staying on his feet and that leaves the defence unprotected. Gueye would be a much better player if he just learnt to calm down a bit and put in a few less tackles. Everton need better in there alongside Gomes if they are to control games in the future. However, in a derby game, his headless chicken approach is quite useful, as it kept Liverpool's midfield from being able to settle on the ball and really take full control of the game. Rating: 7.

 

Bernard - was on the periphery of the game and never saw enough of the ball. When he did, he troubled Alexander-Arnold and was happy to fall over and pick up free kicks when the young full-back got too tight. While his small stature can be a disadvantage at times, he knows how to use it to get decisions from the referee when he is under pressure on the ball. Rating: 7.

 

Sigurdsson - he is the key for Everton, if he performs, they perform. Like Bernard, he never saw enough of the ball to really affect the game sufficiently. On the ball he has good vision and can pick out a good pass, he just did not do enough of it. Rating: 7.5.

 

Richarlison - I know Everton fans seem to think they are going to struggle to keep him from the hands of Real Madrid or Barca, but not on this kind of performance. What he does show is that he is a huge fan of Neymar Jr and tries to be just like his idol. He has definitely got the throwing himself to the ground, and holding onto his face pretending to be hurt by a nothing challenge, down pat. The thing is that he does not have Neymar's pace or lightning acceleration, but he does have power and brute strength, which is not being used as he would rather dive instead. It is completely unhelpful to the team cause as he is big and strong enough to just bully defenders, instead he is allowing himself to be bullied. Rating: 4.5.

 

Subs:

Lookman - replaced Walcott in the 63rd minute and made an immediate impact, his pace and skill was a huge threat. If only he had more time then he might have made the difference, as he caused havoc. He has so much potential, he could have been a real problem if he had been brought on a bit sooner. Rating: 8.

Calvert-Lewin - brought on in the 89th minute in place of Bernard as a time-wasting maneuvre. He never had the chance to get into the game as Everton were just happy to hold on to a point. Rating: 5.

Zouma - brought on in injury-time replacing Sigurdsson as another time-wasting effort. It just invited pressure on Everton and put them in a position to lose the game, though none of that was his fault. Rating: 5.

 


Klopp - I really do not care about the last minute run onto the pitch, it is such a nothing moment of passion that should be enjoyed, not ranted and raved about. People take the game far too seriously. That aside, he got the tactics and team selection wrong initially, the team was far too open and allowed Everton to get into the game. After half-time, when he got Wijnaldum to remember his position and stop getting caught up-field, the team were much better. His substitutions were spot on as well. Game-changers. Rating: 8.

 

Alisson - made a couple of crucial saves and was always available to receive the ball when a defender was under pressure on the ball. His calmness is a great boon to the team. Rating: 7.

 

Alexander-Arnold - was a real threat going forward but his defending was not at its best. He struggled to cope with Bernard in the first half but improved massively in the second, though that was partly down to the minor tactical tweaks made at half-time to the Liverpool midfield, when he was able to get forward at will. His setpiece delivery was not at its best. Rating: 7.

 

Gomez - not his best day, a few loose touches and he struggled to cope with their attacks and had to use his pace on a couple of occasions to rescue him. However he also showed a willingness and desire, getting back on the line to clear the ball when it was needed. A very mixed game for the young defender but that goal-line clearance was excellent. Rating: 6.5.

 

van Dijk - another who was not at his best in the first half, his heading was wayward and, even when he got it right, with his long crossfield pass to Alexander-Arnold, his team-mate let him down by failing to control it. Improved massively in the second half and looked much more like the assured van Dijk that is normally there. Great ball to Origi for the winner as well, as I am sure he planned to put just the right slice on it to confuse Pickford. Or something like that. Rating: 6.5.

 

Robertson - a very mixed game, got forward well at times and provided some good quality deliveries which were a whisker away from being converted. Other times he was wasteful on the ball. His defensive contribution was also mixed, at times brilliant, at others he was caught badly out of position. Hard to judge a performance like that! Rating: 6.5.

 

Wijnaldum - poor first half, caught out repeatedly by being too far forward and left Fabinho to try and cover behind him on his own. That left lots of gaps for Everton to exploit. In the second half he took more responsibility and was a good 5 yards deeper which helped Liverpool to look a lot more solid as Fabinho was not being outnumbered. While it was good by Klopp to spot that, it is a worry that Wijnaldum had not spotted the problem himself and dropped in to help without having to be told at half-time. However, once told he was much better for the team and had a decent second half. Rating: 6.

 

Fabinho - was being outnumbered in the first half, though he still broke up a lot of the play and provided some good passes. Was much better in the second half with Wijnaldum alongside him, ensuring that he was not coping with the entire Everton midfield on his own when they attacked. Broke up play well at times and again put some good balls in, but is clearly not quite up to speed in the Premier League quite yet. There were times when he anticipated Everton attempting to hold onto the ball only for a much more direct ball to be attempted. Rating: 7.

 

Shaqiri - another who had a mixed game. At times his creativity is superb, at others he is wasteful and turns over the ball easily, but the quality of his balls in makes up for the risk he takes in playing them. However, he should have done better when one-on-one with Pickford with time to pick a spot and the only spot he picked was the one Pickford was occupying. Rating: 7.

 

Salah - was dealt with fairly well, but still caused Everton plenty of problems and showed signs of his pace once more, especially in a footrace with Mina, he just needed another yard or two on the pass to really give the defender problems. Had a few chances and probably should have done better with them. Rating: 6.5.

 

Firmino - had a poor game, barely getting into it at all. Worked hard as ever, made some good runs off the ball but his touch and passing were off. When he did get a chance to run at the Everton defence, his touch let him down, surprisingly. Rating: 5.

 

Mane - had a really good battle with Coleman, which he edged but, unlike normal, did not totally dominate. Coleman played him really well, but Mane's skill and acceleration are more than a match for any full back and Mane was able to get the better of Coleman on a number of occasions. Everton made sure to have cover and very rarely left him one-on-one though, so his effect was not as pronounced as it should have been. Had one really bad miss, that looked easier to score, in the first half. Rating: 7.

 

Subs:

Keita - replaced Shaqiri in the 71st minute as Klopp looked to take the game to Everton. Keita never seemed to figure out exactly where he was meant to be playing or what his role was. Rating: 5.

Sturridge - was surprisingly brought on in place of Salah in the 75th minute. Never really got involved in the game or had any real positive effect. He was the only other player to follow van Dijk's slice in at the death of the game, showing the difference in thinking between strikers and the rest. Rating: 5.

Origi - came on in the 84th minute as Firmino was taken off. Showed one lovely touch to get a run past Mina, who completely sold himself, then failed to make the most of the space he had. A wonderfully controlled finish right at the end to win the game though...Well, it was a striker's instinct to get there anyway, as he had to be there to profit from the error. So often you see teams that have mentally accepted the game is over just give up on a bad hit and the entire team just head straight back to the halfway line and miss their chance to capitalise on an error. Thankfully from a Liverpool point of view Origi was still hungry for any kind of chance and so was in there sniffing around for just such a mistake. Rating: 6.

Written by Tris Burke December 04 2018 06:11:26

 

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