Everton 2-2 Liverpool: Match Report – The derby which had it all. Goals, VAR and a red card making fans yearn to return to the stadium.

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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Players of both teams surround Match Referee, Michael Oliver during the Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on October 17, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

In what was touted as a new-look Merseyside derby, the contest certainly did not disappoint. Goals, a red card, high-profile injuries and a last-minute winner disallowed by VAR. The game had everything.

A different derby

Liverpool took an early 3rd minute lead to put their Aston villa woes far behind them. Andrew Robertson, found so commonly far up the left flank, squared the ball across to Sadio Mane to smash high into the net.

Jordan Pickford could have enabled Liverpool to double their lead. A deep Liverpool cross aimed at Virgil van Dijk didn’t meet the Dutchman but Pickford threw himself into the defender and hurt him.

Were it not for an offside, a penalty would have certainly been awarded. Made worse for Liverpool was the impact of the challenge caused the early withdrawal of the Dutchman. Joe Gomez, who had such a torrid time at Villa Park, replaced him.

And inside 20 minutes the lack of aerial security from Van Dijk told. A James Rodriguez corner found the towering Michael Keane to power a header home.

Spanish deputy Adrian got both hands to the ball but couldn’t temper the ferocity of the ball’s flight. Questions will again be asked as to whether Liverpool should have invested in further competition for the back up keeper.

The game settled and both sides had small chances. Everton lost Seamus Coleman to a hamstring injury which could rule the Irish international out for a few weeks. New signing Ben Godfrey came on to make his Toffees debut. Both sides had further chances before the halfway stage but neither team could make a telling effort.

More of the same please

The second half started with a glorious chance squandered from Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Lucas Digne’s curling cross was just missed by the England international. Then Richarlison had a headed effort smash against the post with the Toffees certainly in the ascendancy at the start of the half.

Ancelotti has beaten Klopp with a wide selection of his former clubs and as the halfway point of the second period approached, it appeared Everton could soon be added to the list. The German was showing visual frustration at his sides lack of grip on the contest.

But as is with football, it can all change in a blink of an eye. Mohammed Salah brought up his 6th of the season with an instinctive outside of the boot finish past Pickford into the bottom-right corner. Yeray Mina’s nonchalant backheeled clearance falling straight to the Egyptian.

Liverpool then looked to assert their confidence and build momentum. Joel Matip having a header clawed away by Pickford. The England international keeper, who had been under considerable criticism, was showing his worth.

Then, just as unlikely had Salah’s goal arrived, Everton’s equaliser materialised. Lucas Digne’s fabulous curling cross found Calvert-Lewin who climbed as high as Keane had before for the Toffees’ first to angle his shot past Adrian.

Late hope was revived in Liverpool as Everton were reduced to 10 men. Richarlison scythed into Thiago with a ‘leg-breaking’ lunge and was sent off after the Brazilian received treatment himself for his own wrongdoing.

And that hope looked to be rewarded when Jordan Henderson slotted home in injury time. But once again, VAR dominated and due to the finest of margins Sadio Mane was judged to have been fractions of a millimetre offside in the build up.

The draw keeps Everton top of the league and unable to be caught this weekend. Liverpool up to second, 3 points behind their neighbours. As Premier League games go, this was one of the best.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Everton FC 4 7 12
2 Aston Villa FC 3 9 9
3 Leicester City FC 4 5 9
4 Arsenal FC 4 3 9
5 Liverpool FC 4 0 9
6 Tottenham Hotspur FC 4 7 7
7 Chelsea FC 4 4 7
8 Leeds United 4 1 7
9 Newcastle United FC 4 1 7
10 West Ham United FC 4 4 6
11 Southampton FC 4 -1 6
12 Crystal Palace FC 4 -2 6
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 4 -3 6
14 Manchester City FC 3 -1 4
15 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 4 -2 3
16 Manchester United FC 3 -6 3
17 West Bromwich Albion 4 -8 1
18 Burnley FC 3 -5 0
19 Sheffield United FC 4 -5 0
20 Fulham FC 4 -8 0
Player Team Goals
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 7
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 6
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 6
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 5
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 4
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 4
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 4
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 3
Rodriguez, James Everton FC 3
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 3
Jorginho Chelsea FC 3
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 3
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 3
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 3
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 3
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 3
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United FC 3
Costa, Helder Leeds United 2
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 2
Klich, Mateusz Leeds United 2

Source: 101greatgoals.com