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Dublin: 12°C Tuesday 18 May 2021


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Good evening, everyone. Feels a while since we’ve had a good derby, doesn’t it? Here’s hoping we get some quality tonight.

Everton pulled off that comeback win against Arsenal midweek and a win tonight will move them up to the cusp of the top-six.

For Liverpool, they’ll return to second-place with three points though they’ll still be six behind runaway leaders Chelsea.


Everton team news: 

Just one change and it’s enforced. Phil Jagielka is suspended so Ramiro Funes Mori comes into the centre of defence.


Liverpool team news: 

Klopp decides to stick with the same side that impressively dismantled Middlesbrough 3-0 in midweek. That means Simon Mignolet retains his place in goal and Loris Karius must make do with a place on the bench.

I watched Liverpool closely against Boro and Sadio Mane was absolutely unplayable at times. Adam Lallana received plenty of plaudits because of his brace but Mane’s movement and touch and energy just gives Liverpool such a platform. He can turn in tight spaces and open up defences with his running. Crucial for Everton to try and stop him this evening.

It’s been six years since Everton last won one of these. Mikel Arteta and Tim Cahill were on the scoresheet that day. Maxi Rodriguez and Paul Konchesky were on the team-sheet for Liverpool.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Everton v Liverpool - Goodison Park Source: Nick Potts

Only two players who featured for Everton on that day are still with the club. Answers in the comments section, please…

Mike Dean is in charge here. From the Wirral and he’s refereeing his very first Merseyside derby. There’s a subplot.


It sounds absolutely electric at Goodison. The noise is incredible. Plenty of zip early on here – hopefully we get some decent fare.


Decent cross from Coleman on the right and Lukaku was hovering. Liverpool get it clear but Everton are up for this – closing down the red shirts very quickly.


Lukaku drives down the right and takes on Klavan. He whips in a superb cross but there’s absolutely no-one there to avail of it and he looks up to question the lack of movement from his team-mates.


End-to-end so far. For a split-second, Barkley has a chance to open up the Liverpool defence after Coleman picks him out. But there’s a mis-communication with Lukaku and it comes to nothing.


Mignolet miscues his kick after a back-pass is absolutely leathered at him. Lennon cracks a shot in and it’s blocked. Barkley sniffs around too and this is good pressure from the hosts. They have a free-kick as Valencia is taken down by Firmino and then, after the whistle is blown, McCarthy dives in on Klavan. A bit of heat here – which is always good. Decent position for the Toffees here.


Absolutely zero pattern to this so far. And it’s magnificent. Tackles flying in, no midfield play, it’s essentially like watching a game from 1983.


Coleman has been involved a lot for Everton so far. They’re trying to make the space for him along the flank and it’s worked a few times.

Flag 24Mins

CHANCE! This time it comes from the left as Barkley slips it to Lennon. The low cross is a good one and Lukaku looks to pull the trigger but Klavan gets a great foot in and makes the block. Vital.


The big issue is whether Everton can actually make this count before they grow a bit flat and jaded. The pressure is all very well for a certain time but there will be a lull, probably on this side of the break. And Liverpool have the counter-attacking talent to punish them. At the moment, they’re just sitting back and taking the body shots. Klopp would, no doubt, prefer a bit more in the final third, though.


And that’s better. They work the left side before switching it to Clyne. It’s worked to the edge of the area and Wijnaldum has a chance to hit one. It’s a hopeless attempt, though. But encouraging.


Everton have done well to keep Mane and Lallana quiet. They’re crucial in opening up space and allowing Origi to find gaps in the area. But Liverpool finding some momentum here now.


Clyne is giving Lennon something to worry about on the right flank and he’s got up in attack a few times in the last 10 minutes. A defensive tactic as much as an offensive one. Pen Everton’s wide-men back and you greatly reduce their biggest strength.

Flag 38Mins

CHANCE! Oh! Huge moment! Clyne gets up in support on the right and it’s a great dummy in-field to catch Everton in the transition. The full-back sends in the low cross for Origi but it’s just slightly behind him and he snatches at it. He just can’t wrap his foot around it and it’s harmlessly wide. Let-off for the hosts.


James McCarthy is down here and receiving treatment. He seems to be clutching his thigh after clashing with Firmino but he seems okay to continue.


The Irish midfielder is going to try and run off the problem with only a few minutes to go until the break. But Gareth Barry is warming up along the touchline.

Flag 44Mins

CHANCE! Funes Mori lets out an angry scream and it’s justified. He rises highest at the corner and he’s left completely unmarked, sneaking between a couple of players. But he gets it all wrong once he’s in the air and the effort is well-wide. That was a really decent opportunity.


That was a decent half. Fast and furious early on but Everton couldn’t muster any real chances so they don’t have much to show for their pressure and intensity. As the half wore on, Liverpool gradually found some footing and Nathaniel Clyne has been prominent on the right side while guys like Lallana, Mane and Origi began to get some touches in the final third.

Klopp will be happier. They won’t be as passive after the break and Everton seem to have played all their cards already. Koeman has some decisions to make. Does he get the players to try and replicate the first 15 minutes of the game? Or does everything become more careful and considered and will they sit back and absorb?

Flag 45Mins

SUBSTITUTION! Barry (on) – McCarthy (off)

So, after that collision with Firmino at the end of the half, McCarthy is forced off. The experienced figure of Barry replaces him.


Liverpool begin brightly here. Straightaway, both full-backs have pushed high. Milner causes problems and cuts inside onto his right before sending in a teasing cross. At the far post, Lennon makes a mess of his clearance. However, the guests can’t make anything of the resulting corner.

Flag 50Mins

CHANCE! What a sequence of play and how Everton are still level is beyond me. Milner is in a deep left-back position and launches a ball forward for Firmino to chase. It bounces awkwardly and suddenly he’s in on goal. Stekelenburg saves the initial effort but it’s still there for the attacker. The angle is difficult so he lofts the loose ball to the far post where Origi flings himself in the air and attempts the spectacular. It eventually breaks for Clyne and his shot is blocked.


Nasty collision between Baines and Stekelenburg as the left-back races to cover Sadio Mane’s run into the area. It’s excellent stuff from the defender to hook the ball away but his momentum sent him crashing into the keeper who’s still receiving treatment.


The keeper is struggling here and may have to come off. He’s hobbling in his goalmouth and Ashley Williams is going to take the goal-kick. For the moment, he stays put but Liverpool would be minded to test Stekelenburg at the first opportunity.

Flag 63Mins

SUBSTITUTION! Robles (on) – Stekelenburg (off)

Joel Robles is taking the tracksuit top off and Stekelenburg won’t be continuing. That’s going to irritate Koeman who was planning a different change. Now he’s going to have to re-think things with one substitution left.


The Everton fans try to rally their team with some immense noise but they’ll need more than that. It’s been a tough slog for them for the majority of this and it seems unlikely they can unlock Liverpool from open-play.

Flag 69Mins

BOOKING! Ross Barkley has picked up a yellow for a challenge on Henderson and he’s lucky to still be on the pitch. He’s incredibly late and it’s studs-up. It’s very nasty. There’s a bit of afters. Coleman gets a talking-to and is also shown a yellow. Major let-off for Everton there.


Quite a bit of needle here after that Barkley challenge. And there may be some retribution between now and the full-time whistle.

Flag 73Mins

SUBSTITUTION! Calvert-Lewin (on) – Valencia (off)

Another big moment for the youngster, who was also introduced against Arsenal. Can he step up and provide Everton with a bit of impetus?


Here’s that challenge from Barkley. It gets worse every time you see it.


Clyne has the pace to beat Lennon on the right and he lofts in a cross to the far post. Firemen jumps into the air and attempts the overhead but it comes off his shin and it’s harmlessly wide.

Flag 80Mins

CHANCE! Firmino pulls away from Barkley at the corner and side-foots a volley towards the near post. Robles gets down and beats it away.

Flag 83Mins

SUBSTITUTIONS! Sturridge and Can (on) – Origi and Lallana (off)

Klopp is going for it now with about 8 minutes to go.

Flag 87Mins

BOOKING! Gana is the latest player to get a yellow but Liverpool waste a relatively decent position from the free-kick that follows.


Barkley is very fortunate and he still continues to race around the pitch seeking out some trouble. He’s right on the line and Klopp is increasingly angered on the touchline. We will certainly be hearing more about that challenge on Henderson after this is over.

Flag 90Mins

CHANCE! Another Liverpool corner and Robles is nowhere near it as he races to the near post. The flick-on causes some mild panic but there are enough blue shirts in the area to get it clear.

Flag 91Mins

There will be EIGHT minutes of injury time due to the Stekelenburg/Baines collision and a few more incidents. Plenty of time for some late, late drama.


Barkley has had an absolute nightmare tonight. He stands over a free-kick in a really good position with lots of players to aim at. Instead, he goes for the overlap buts undercuts the pass. Barry has to hustle to keep possession and does well to send it back to Barkley. His cross is horrendous and goes straight out of play. His stock is arguably at an all-time low.


Well, that’s the winner. Klopp reacts with clenched fists, bowed head and gritted teeth. It’s Sturridge who pops up as the key to it all. He gets on the ball on the edge of the area, turns onto his left and doesn’t catch the shot properly. It rolls towards the bottom corner – almost agonisingly – and past the fingertips of Robles. It hits the inside of the post and trickles out but there’s Mane to tap home.

Flag 90Mins

CHANCE! It should be 2-0. Everton’s defence is all over the place and the ball breaks for Firmino, the goal gaping. He drives to towards the net but there’s Coleman to get back on the line and despairingly clear for a corner. Superb stuff.

Flag 90Mins

SUBSTITUTION! Lucas (on) – Mane (off)

Time to tighten up and Klopp sends on the Brazilian to shore up midfield.


Wow. What a finale. The game didn’t have much but the ending more than made up for it. Some unsavoury scenes after Mane grabbed the goal – bottles thrown onto the pitch and a smoke bomb let off too.

But Everton didn’t create anything of note and should’ve had Ross Barkley sent-off after a horrible challenge on Jordan Henderson.

Liverpool were frustrated for long spells but got there in the end – arguably showing title credentials in the way they grounded out that victory.

They’re back to second in the table and six points behind Chelsea with the frenetic Christmas spell ahead.

Thanks for staying with us – lots more reaction to come on the site throughout the night.

About the author:

Eoin O'Callaghan