The Merseyside derby lived up to its expectation as Everton and Liverpool played out an entertaining 2-2 draw as Everton maintained their unbeaten run to remain top of the table.
Everton made two changes to the line up by bringing in Allan and Andre Gomes in place of Tom Davies and Gylfi Sigurdsson, while Liverpool handed Thiago Alcantara his first Premier League start.
The defending champions got off to a flying start when Sadio Mane scored as early in the 3rd minute after a good work from Robertson left Pickford with no chance to save. Liverpool’s full backs were in attacking mode as Robertson and Alexander-Arnold were able to find spaces behind Everton’s defence. Pickford was lucky not to be sent off for a reckless challenge on Virgil van-Dijk as Mane was adjudged to be offside in the build up. However, van Dijk who came off worst from the challenge couldn’t continue the game and was replaced by Joe Gomez as Liverpool continued to dominate possession.
Michael Keane equalised for Everton in the 19th minute when he rose above Firmino and Fabinho to plant his header into the net. Everton had their share of injury when their captain Coleman had to be replaced by the big-money signing Ben Godfrey who blocked Thiago’s screamer in the added minute of first team as both teams went into the break at 1-1.
Everton started the half brightly as Allan, Doucoure and Gomes were in control of the midfield and started enjoying more possession. Salah, who was very quiet until then scored a beauty in the 72nd minute to notch up his 100th goal for Liverpool when Henderson’s cross was half cleared by Mina. Everton manager Ancelotti replaced Gomes with Sigurdsson as the Toffees searched for an equaliser. The equaliser arrived in the 81st from a familiar source, Dominic Calvert-Lewin who rose highest to score his 7th goal of the campaign after heading Digne’s cross. However, things got worse for Everton as Richarlison was rightly sent off for a dangerous challenge on Thiago Alcantara in the 90th minute, and the 10 men Toffees had to see out 4 minutes of added time.
Henderson thought he had won the game for Liverpool in the final minute of added time when he scored from Mane’s cross. However, VAR controversially adjudged Mane to be marginally offside in the build up as both teams had to settle for a point each.
Jurgen Klopp was unhappy with the VAR decision that denied a stoppage time winner for the Reds, stating “The only decision I saw back was now, only briefly in the dressing room, the Henderson goal and the pass for Sadio, and I didn’t see offside, sorry. Maybe somebody can explain it to me because the picture I saw was not offside. But it was offside because somebody decided it was.” However, he was happy with his team’s performance as they dominated most parts of the game against current table toppers. Klopp confirmed van-Dijk could be out for a few games and Thiago might be sidelined as well after Richarlison’s reckless tackle.
Ancelotti was very happy with his teams’s performance as they came from behind twice in the game to earn a point agains the defending champions. He admitted it was a good test to compete against the best team in the league. Seamus Coleman who sustained a hamstring injury is expected to be sidelined for a few games.