If you live by the sword, ultimately you’re going to die by the sword, & finally Karma seems to be catching up with LFC. It may not last, but for today it paid them a timely visit.
Both teams at full strength, Klopp paying this Everton team the compliment of starting Thiago, Mane & Salah.
Less than 3 mins in & we’re 1-0 down, our right side the obvious target exposed & that horror Robertson squares for Mane & it’s passed Pickford. It was just a good goal, that’s it, how do you react?
The problem with International breaks is that it flattens players, it flattens their form & it flattens their energy levels due to all the travelling. There was evidence of that all over the pitch on both sides, I think if this game was played 2 weeks ago, the result would have been very different.
The elephant in the room before Everton’s equaliser was Pickford’s challenge on VVD, for the record I thought it was a red card, before you stop reading hear me out! In the VAR age that we live in now, there was every reason to give that as dangerous play, Pickford could have been found guilty of reckless endangerment, all things being equal, he was recklessly endangering VVD. But!!!!! The sins of Kuyt, Gerrard & Suarez were always going to have to be paid for & this was it, this was the catalyst of what would post game cause LFC to cry & moan to the Premier League about everything that has given them what they’ve lauded themselves around world football for this past 2 years. It was a wonderful reintroduction to reality.
VVD off with a suspected ACL injury, replaced by the still shell-shocked Gomez & Everton get a corner. James swings it in & Michael Keane puts it straight through Adrian’s arms. 1-1. Coleman off, Godfrey on at right back. There’s fight in this team. In derbies gone by when Everton went behind, Jagielka’s rocket aside, heads, shoulders & hearts would slump. Why should we feel inferior, we’re top of the league & unbeaten?
The remainder of the first half was scrappy, LFC the better team truth be told. Thiago is a gift for this league, much the same as James is. He pulled the strings, even half-fit he’s in the elite. In stark contrast Andre Gomes was having a derby to forget. Anyone that’s ever read anything I’ve written will know I’m a fan of Gomes, but today he was 3/10. The Jordan Pickford show continued with a great save from an Alexander-Arnold free kick. There would be more to come. 1-1 HT
There wasn’t any changes made by Ancelotti, as the second half started Allan & Doucoure were now starting to get a say in the midfield battle. The upto now very quite Richarlison was finding space on the touchline. For the opening 25 mins of the second half it had the sense of maybe, just maybe we could get a result, we’d not played well but we weren’t losing, the worlds greatest ever defender had gone off & the best keeper in the league wasn’t playing. DCL had the chance to put us 2-1 up but he misses his kick. That’s it isn’t it, we know what happens next.
And as sure as night follows day, the invisible Salah scores and they take the lead. Mina must do better than just flick a heel at the ball in our area, but the finish was world class. Pickford no chance. 2-1
More LFC pressure, a corner that Matip gets a firm connection with is clawed away by Pickford in what was nothing short of a spectacular save. Credit were it’s due because everyone thought it was in. The ever impartial Steve McManaman was literally running up & down the gantry & kissing ‘Fletch’ in celebration. Sit down Steve, *****.
In the games real moment of stand out quality the wandering James, now on the left plays the ball forward to Lucas Digne who put the ball into the box. DCL is Europe's leading goalscorer, DCL has a leap like an NBA player & he met Digne’s cross whilst being 2 feet above a cowering ‘Robbo’ & an on looking Gomez who still is baring the scars of the chasing Ollie Watkins gave him. It was the highlight of the highlight reel of DCL’s goals so far this season. 2-2
The drama would come in injury time, both sides looking to win the game. Richarlison went into a 50/50 with Thiago & his foot was up, it was a red, even with my blue tinted sunnies on, it was a red. I fully believe that there was no intent to hurt Thiago, but we’ll miss him now for 3 games. His header that had hit the post earlier may have changed his afternoon, but it does open the door now for Iwobi, Bernard or Gordon.
Mane crossed for Henderson who scuffs a shot towards Pickford, it’s moving away from him but he can get a full hand on it, but it rolls over his wrist and bobbles up over him & in. 2-3, I feel sick. The impartial McManaman off down the gantry again, by the time he’d gotten back to ‘Fletch’ VAR had done it’s job & the goal was correctly ruled offside. Pickford was out of jail, the full positives & negatives of him in 93 mins. But VAR did it’s job & just for once it went against the team who it has benefited more than anyone else since it was brought in. The disappointment on the faces of the LFC players & staff was pure food for the soul, genuinely heartwarming. Sit down Steve, *****.
One final chance to win the game for Everton. Iwobi left ‘Robbo’ for dead with a fabulous piece of skill & the Mark Renton lookalike could only foul him. James, who has now played more minutes for Everton this season that he did for Madrid in the whole of last season, put the free kick on the head of DCL at the far post, his header was straight to a shaking Adrian rather than back across the box. FT 2-2.
Obviously the biggest talking point will be Pickford’s challenge on VVD, but it was reviewed by VAR & no foul was given, regardless of opinion that was the officials verdict.
Just for once the Karma Police paid a visit to our neighbours & they didn’t like it. Like most bullies when the tables are turned they run for cover & scramble for excuses & blame. I hope that the PL do give LFC a hearing about the correct use of VAR, because I’d love to hear their defence of ‘Robbo’ raking his studs down Allan’s calf, I’d love to hear their defence of Mane tripping up Mina whilst on one of his many visits to the floor.
For us it was a display of fight, guts & heart to comeback twice & not be overawed like so many games against them in the past. The past is exactly that. This is new Everton & we’re top of the league & still unbeaten.
I thought first half we were pretty lethargic, and our midfield wasn't what we've been used to.
We were playing the best team in the country, so I expected a lot of adversity, and you're not going to get it all your own way against a team like Liverpool. However, I think Gomes is very much a weak link in our midfield, and has been all season, so don't expect him to keep his starting place for very long if things don't improve.
Richarlison looked tired yesterday, and another who didn't have as big a contribution as he normally does, and the challenge suggested the same. Allan too was off the pace and didn't look fit.
Midweek, I'd questioned if we had a fit right back, and clearly we don't.
Some big saves from Jordan Pickford, but he (and we) got away with one there, and we could have been down to 10 men, facing a penalty, and game over within the first quarter, so he has to start keeping a calm head.
I expected a draw, and a draw it was, but we'll need to play better.