Everton vs Liverpool: player ratings from Merseyside derby
In their first game back, Everton and Liverpool played out a goalless draw in an empty Covid-affected Goodison park. Who shone, who flopped, find out here.
The 236th Merseyside Derby was always going to be an unusual affair without fans in attendance and the game never quite lived up to the intensity of previous fixtures. Liverpool controlled the game in the first half, dominating possession and moving the ball around sharply with Naby Keita breaking through the Everton lines well. However the Reds struggled to create any meaningful chances with Roberto Firmino’s scuffed shot from the 12 yards the best either side managed before halftime.
Everton created second-half chances
The match continued in a similar vein after the break but a spate of Liverpool substitutions seemed to rejuvenate Everton and stem Liverpool’s flow. Keita was substituted and Joel Matip, who had been one of Liverpool’s best performers, was replaced by Dejan Lovren due to a foot injury. The Croatian’s introduction led to Everton’s best spell of possession with both Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin drawing good saves from Alisson.
In the end it seemed that neither team was too disappointed with a point on their first game back and neither was willing to risk the ignominy of a derby defeat. Liverpool now need Manchester City to drop points against Burnley tomorrow if they are to win the league against Crystal Palace on Wednesday. For Everton, becoming just the third team to take points from Liverpool this season will give them something to build on in the remaining games.
Everton player ratings
Jordan Pickford – Made sharp saves from a well-placed Alexander-Arnold free kick in the first half and from Fabinho’s effort in stoppage time, but his ambitious kicking never really found its intended targets. 6/10
Seamus Coleman – The Everton captain brought the work-rate and defensive determination that his side required, standing up to the explosive Mane commendably. 8/10
Mason Holgate – Marshalled Firmino well and his pace was vital to stifle the visitor’s threat on the break. Stood up to late pressure as Liverpool resorted to long balls. 7/10
Michael Keane – Booked early on after a late challenge on Mane and looked to have his work cut out against the Senegalese winger but grew in confidence. 7/10
Lucas Digne – It was never going to be a day to showcase his offensive talents and he looked the least comfortable of Everton’s defence with their more pragmatic approach. 6/10
Anthony Gordon – Brought energy from the left wing in the early stages but struggled to make any mark on the game. Substituted after an hour with Alexander-Arnold beginning to get the better of him. 5/10
Andre Gomes – Largely bypassed for much of the game but was calm in possession when it did arrive. 6/10
Tom Davies – Everton’s two-man midfield sat deep and Davies’ work-rate prevented the visitors overrunning them in the first half. Thought he had put his boyhood side in front towards the end but his follow-up effort struck the post. 7/10
Alex Iwobi – Offered nothing going forward but stuck to his task well to stifle Liverpool’s left side before being substituted. 6/10
Richarlison – Created Everton’s best chance of the first half and looked the most dangerous player in a blue shirt. Blazed a second-half effort over the bar under pressure but nearly created the game’s opening goal with ten minutes to go. 7/10
Dominic Calvert-Lewin – Was starved of possession but created the best chance of the opening hour with an intelligent ball lofted through to his strike partner. A clever flick towards the end would have been a deserved reward for his evening’s work. 7/10
Gylfi Sigurdsson – Introduced on the hour to add some physicality to the midfield in place of Gordon. 5/10
Bernard – Rarely involved as a late sub. N/A
Moise Kean – Brought on for the final seconds. N/A
Alisson – Had nothing to do for the first 80 minutes but excelled in the final stages with two sharp stops to deny both Everton strikers in quick succession. 7/10
Trent Alexander-Arnold – Was not his usual assured self in the early stages but grew into the game in the second-half. Looked less effective offensively without Salah to link with. 6/10
Joel Matip – Found himself with little to do for much of the game with Liverpool so dominant but stepped into midfield well on occasion. Took a stud to the foot with 20 minutes to go and had to be replaced. 7/10
Virgil van Dijk – Looked composed on the ball and dealt with what little aerial threat there was adequately. The Dutchman was let down by Lovren late on as Everton twice came close. 7/10
James Milner – Filling in for Andy Robertson the ever-dependable Milner kept Iwobi quiet and won back possession with his work rate. Withdrawn before halftime due to a hamstring injury. 6/10
Jordan Henderson – Kept the ball ticking over nicely but struggled to do anything more than that. Was not quite at his dynamic best and struggled to make anything happen despite Liverpool’s overwhelming share of possession. 6/10
Fabinho – Performed his usual holding role fairly well on his return to the side and came close with a late free-kick that Pickford had to tip over the crossbar. 6/10
Naby Keita – Was Liverpool’s best player in the first half and brought the inventiveness that is sometimes missing from Liverpool’s midfield. Faded slightly in the second but can count himself unlucky to have been subbed with half an hour remaining. 7/10
Takumi Minamino – Worked hard in the opening stages but never quite found his place in Liverpool’s fluid forward line. 5/10
Roberto Firmino – Not as sharp as his brilliant best and squandered Liverpool’s best chance of the first half when he had Keita in a better position. 6/10
Sadio Mane – Was given more creative license in Liverpool’s asymmetrical front three and caused problems with his trickery and movement in the first half. Seemed to tire slightly and looked far less effective when pushed up front. 7/10
Joe Gomez – Brought on in the unfamiliar position of left-back the Englishman showed willingness going forward but looked decidedly right-footed, never bringing the width required to stretch a compact defence. 5/10
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Struggled to get involved in the inside right channel for much of the game but showed neat footwork to win a late free-kick. 6/10
Georginio Wijnaldum – Replaced the impressive Keita but looked like a downgrade on this performance, seemed like an overly-cautious decision by Jurgen Klopp. 5/10
Divock Origi – Barely involved despite playing nearly half an hour and never looked like repeating last season’s derby heroics. 5/10
Dejan Lovren – Introduced to replace the injured Joel Matip but struggled to get up to pace and was immediately targeted. Was turned twice by Richarlison for one of the best chances of the game and needed his keeper to rescue him. 4/10
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