Liverpool welcomed city rivals Everton to Anfield for the 228th Merseyside derby as the first of the two big fixtures in the Premier League this weekend, with Arsenal playing Manchester City tomorrow. Sadio Mane opened the scoring for Liverpool before Everton’s young Matthew Pennington equalized. However, Philippe Coutinho immediately restored the lead and the Reds carried the lead into half-time.
Divock Origi came on for Sadio Mane in the second-half and scored to build a two-goal cushion for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Everton had a couple of half-chances but never looked likely to score and Ronald Koeman’s side lost the match 1-3 to their city rivals.
Here are the 5 talking points from the match.
#1 Both teams hampered by injuries
Every international break is dreaded by clubs and especially if there is a big match right after it. Matches do not get fiercer than the Merseyside derby and it was unfortunate for both managers to not have their full squad for selection.
Liverpool lost their midfield spark Adam Lallana during national duty to a thigh injury and Lucas Leiva, a defensive midfielder, came in for the Englishman. This change meant Emre Can, who has been phenomenal in recent weeks, moved further up front where he is not as effective as Lallana. Further Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson suffered a setback in his return to fitness and is expected to miss more games.
Everton lost in-form right-back Seamus Coleman and midfielder James McCarthy while playing for the Republic of Ireland in the international break whilst defender Ramiro Funes Mori picked up a knee injury playing for Argentina. Morgan Schneiderlin could not recover from his calf-injury in time for the derby and defender Matthew Pennington, right-back Mason Holgate and midfielder Dominic Calvert-Lewin started in place of the injured trio.