Liverpool 2-1 Everton: 5 Talking Points
Final score: Liverpool 2-1 Everton
Goal scorers: James Milner 35' (Liverpool), Gylfi Sigurdsson 67' (Everton), Virgil van Dijk 84' (Liverpool)
When Liverpool and Everton lock horns, sparks are bound to fly and that was the case when the two sides squared up at Anfield for the FA Cup 3rd round tie. It was Liverpool who opened the proceedings in the 35th minute when James Milner calmly converted the penalty that was awarded after Mason Holgate was adjudged to have fouled Adam Lallana into the box.
The Reds had the opportunity to improve on their lead but missed the opportunities that came their way and when Gylfi Sigurdsson struck home from the edge of the box, it appeared as if we were going to have a replay.
However, Liverpool’s newest recruit Virgil Van Dijk had other ideas as he rose highest in the 84th minute to head home Liverpool’s winner.
Here are the 5 key talking points from the game between the Reds and Toffees.
#5 Virgil van Dijk begins his Liverpool career with a bang
Van Dijk had been the centre of attention through the opening stages of the game as he made his first ever start for the Reds. After failing to deal appropriately with Bolasie early in the game the Dutchman steadily improved as the game got on and was a leader at the rear end of the pitch.
There was a sense of calmness that existed around the Liverpool defence with Van Dijk at its heart and it was all going well until Everton made things interesting after they equalised with a brilliant counter-attack. That brought the pressure that so often is associated with games at home and Liverpool and Van Dijk were on the lookout for a winner.
However, the costliest defender in the game was not entirely done and after missing an easy opportunity to double his side’s lead midway through the second half, the Dutch international made amends by rising the highest to head home help his side eke out an important win and begin his Liverpool career with a bang.
The fact that he scored he marked his first appearance with the winning goal against Liverpool’s bitter rivals Everton at the Kop end must have made the moment even sweeter for the former Southampton man.
Even the best of players can feel the pressure to perform on their debut and the pressure to do so must have been even higher on Van Dijk, given the kind of money that Liverpool splashed to acquire his services and the Dutch international must be relieved after having helped his side beat their cross-town rivals with the winning goal.