Liverpool 2 – 0 Everton. Mohamed Salah was the Merseyside derby match-winner with a second-half double as Liverpool defeated 10-man Everton in the Premier League.
Salah’s confident penalty in front of the Kop End following Michael Keane’s handball ended a frustrating 75 minutes for the home side and he added a late second as the Reds went top of the table on Saturday lunchtime.
It took the Egypt international’s tally to 201 career league goals and victory maintained Liverpool’s recent dominance over their neighbours in this fixture.
Jurgen Klopp’s side searched for a way to break the deadlock in the second period after Ashley Young was sent off for two bookable offences, with both fouls coming on Luis Diaz.
The hosts had been finding it difficult to make in-roads despite having a man advantage, with many of their efforts from long range comfortable for Jordan Pickford to deal with.
The England international smothered Alexis Mac Allister’s rasping effort and Darwin Nunez’s strike, while dipping drives from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Dominik Szoboszlai both dropped narrowly over.
Everton maybe should have gone ahead in the opening couple of minutes but Dominic Calvert-Lewin could only divert his header straight at Alisson.
Dwight McNeil’s curling effort was also deflected over the crossbar, but they were finally breached with 15 minutes to go and again in injury time, leaving Sean Dyche’s side with only two wins in nine league games this season.
The two sides have had contrasting campaigns so far, with Liverpool looking to challenge for the title while Everton are languishing close to the relegation zone once more.
The 263rd Merseyside derby was a close affair but it was the Reds who came out on top once more, courtesy of star man Salah’s thumping penalty and close-range finish in injury time.
The home supporters needed a lift and someone to stand up and provide the impetus for the result, and it was Salah who again provided it – although Liverpool may have had luck on their side.
The penalty was given after referee Craig Pawson came to the pitchside monitor and adjudged that Keane had handled the ball, while the official did not send Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate off following a foul on Everton forward Beto while already on a booking.
Reds boss Klopp reacted by immediately substituting Konte and bringing on Joel Matip as he successfully looked to hold on to a clean sheet.
Liverpool have a stranglehold on results in this fixture and have now lost just one in 28 meetings against the Blues, that solitary defeat coming at Anfield in February 2021.
But Liverpool’s home form is formidable and it was always going be a big ask for a struggling Everton side to travel the short distance home with anything, as Klopp’s side have lost just one of their last 45 matches on their own turf.
The German boss also surpassed former Liverpool and Everton boss Rafael Benitez as the manager with most derby wins in the Premier League with nine.
After Salah’s opener, substitute Harvey Elliott forced Pickford into a fine save, tipping a vicious effort onto the crossbar, before Salah sealed victory in the 97th minute.
It could have been a very different result had Calvert-Lewin’s early chance gone in, and it turned out to be their only shot on target in the game.
But the gameplan had to change after Young’s red card, with the former England international failing to keep his cool in the pressurised situation of a derby.
Already on a booking, the full-back lunged in on Diaz for a second mistimed challenge and was dismissed on 38 minutes, much to the anger of Dyche.
The Everton manager will also point to Reds defender Konate doing similar in the second period when the match was goalless.
Everton were unable to spring a surprise after coming into the game in buoyant mood on the back of a 3-0 win over Bournemouth, and they return the short distance home across Stanley Park empty handed.
source – BBC