Liverpool and Everton shared the spoils in a fierce Merseyside derby earlier today as a particularly intriguing series of events saw the game descend into chaos in the second half. Everton became the beneficiaries of a highly debatable VAR decision and held on to win a point against the reigning champions.
To their credit, Liverpool dominated most of the game and put in a markedly improved performance against their arch-rivals. Jurgen Klopp's side had a point to prove against the league leaders and will want to build on this performance in the coming weeks.
Liverpool got off to the perfect start at Goodison Park with Andy Robertson's irrepressible dominance of the left flank handing Sadio Mane the opening goal. Jordan Pickford had a particularly nervous moment only minutes later after his collision with Van Dijk but the defender was offside during the build-up.
Everton did make their presence felt on a few occasions with Calvert-Lewin, in particular, tormenting Joe Gomez in the final third. The Toffees found their equaliser after a pinpoint James Rodriguez corner resulted in Michael Keane's header blazing past Adrian and into the back of the net.
Liverpool grew into the game towards the end of the first half and their high press suffocated Everton's midfield. Jurgen Klopp's side was clearly superior in the first half and did fashion a few chances but was unable to take the lead.
Liverpool continued to dominate the ball in the second half but Everton did have their chances to take the lead against the run of play, with Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin making threatening runs on the counter. Liverpool's domination finally bore fruit after an awkward clearance from Yerry Mina saw Mohamed Salah pick out the back of the net.
Everton refused to back down following Liverpool's second goal and Dominic Calvert-Lewin's purple patch hit yet another high as the English striker drew Everton level with an exquisite header.
The game saw plenty of drama after Everton's second goal as Richarlison's rash tackle resulted in a brawl and saw the Brazilian striker sent off. Liverpool pushed for the winner and the game looked set in stone when Jordan Henderson found the back of the net, but his goal was ruled out by a shocking VAR decision.
Both teams had their moments during the game as several Liverpool players stood out for their improved performances. Everton were lucky to steal a point from this game and Ancelotti has plenty to think about ahead of the next match.
#5 Flop - Yerry Mina (Everton)
Yerry Mina did not particularly cover himself in glory with his performance in this game. The towering Colombian was shaky at best in his own half and struggled against wave after wave of Liverpool pressure on the left flank.
The centre-back's dismal clearance in the second half handed Liverpool the initiative as Mohamed Salah took full toll of the loose ball and gave Jordan Pickford no chance with his finish. The Everton defender also misplaced several long balls and will have to work on his ball-playing skills as the season progresses.
Yerry Mina was also left red-faced in stoppage-time as Jordan Henderson found acres of space to find the back of the net. The defender was saved by a dramatic and contentious VAR decision but will need to improve to keep his place in Ancelotti's side.
#4 Hit - Thiago Alcantara (Liverpool)
Thiago Alcantara adds a discernible and undeniable element of control to Liverpool's midfield. The Spaniard was flawless with his ball distribution for Jurgen Klopp and his ability to keep possession launched several Liverpool attacks.
The former Bayern Munich man is already showing signs of a budding relationship with Liverpool talisman Mohamed Salah and easily dealt with a talented Everton midfield. Thiago Alcantara complemented Jordan Henderson brilliantly in the middle of the pitch and allowed the Reds to dominate the game.
Liverpool have added plenty of depth to their midfield this season and Thiago Alcantara's performance will fill Jurgen Klopp with confidence. The Spanish maestro seems comfortable with the pace of the Premier League and is set to remain a fixture in Liverpool's starting eleven.
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