Liverpool keep pressure on Manchester City after derby win over Everton

Goals from Robertson and Origi earns Klopp's team victory at Anfield

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Goals from Andrew Robertson and Divock Origi earned Liverpool a Merseyside derby win over Everton at Anfield on Sunday.

Both efforts came in the second half and means Jurgen Klopp's team are once again just one point behind Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

Everton's day was looking bleak even before a ball was kicked after Burnley's 1-0 win over Wolves dumped Frank Lampard's team into the relegation zone.

And Liverpool's 12th consecutive home league win means the Toffees are deep in trouble two points from safety as they try to avoid dropping down to the second tier for the first time since 1954.

“It was tough, we started playing their game and not our own game,” said Roberton after the match. “We weren't at our best. We had to focus on ourselves and be patient and create chances.

“Everton are fighting for every point they can get. We didn't create anything first half. We had to be patient and fortunately we got the goals.

“My first at the Kop end, it was an amazing feeling, I'm really pleased with all our contributions today and now we've got a tough week ahead.”

This was far from the humiliation many predicted as Everton showed they can be organised and put up a fight but the one thing manager Lampard could not bridge was the gulf in class.

An injury to Ben Godfrey in the warm-up meant the visitors took the field having changed both centre-backs from the midweek draw with Leicester.

Michael Keane was the late replacement alongside Mason Holgate with Yerry Mina rested completely following his comeback against the Foxes after two months out with a thigh problem.

But that did not alter their tactics, which were understandably evident from the off: get behind the ball in a 4-5-1, eat up as much time as possible at restarts and frustrate the life out of their opponents.

It certainly worked for 45 minutes as they limited Liverpool to just three shots, none of which were on target, despite 86 per cent possession.

The fact Everton completed only 32 passes in the first half – the fewest by a team in the opening period of a Premier League game since Watford’s 30 in November 2006 – was inconsequential to the overall game plan.

Richarlison, who was frequently on the floor, and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who collapsed to the floor every time he collected the ball in two hands, drew most of the ire from Anfield. But it was all part of the ploy to disrupt and disturb and their hosts fell into the frustration trap.

Youngster Anthony Gordon also trod a fine line, with his booking for a dive in the penalty area from a Naby Keita challenge his worst offence. “I don't think it's a booking,” said Gordon. “I felt contact so I went down. I can see why he didn't give a penalty but it wasn't a yellow card for me.”

The game had a more old-school derby feel about it, with Diogo Jota and Seamus Coleman involved in one confrontation which saw the Liverpool player pushing a hand towards the defender’s face in retaliation to a challenge, and Sadio Mane in the middle of a melee of 21 players after Abdoulaye Doucoure was booked for chopping down Fabinho.

Surprisingly, Everton had the better chances early in the second half as Gordon and Alex Iwobi both directed attempts wide.

Prior to that, Joel Matip’s tangle with Gordon inside the area looked like it could have risked a penalty but referee Stuart Atwell was not in the least bit interested.

Klopp sent on Luis Diaz and Origi just before the hour and the latter, who has made a habit of making his own personal derby history, combined with Mohamed Salah for Robertson to head home unmarked at the far post.

The deluge looked like it would start with Diaz and Salah, who volleyed over, having chances before Demarai Gray whistled a shot past Alisson Becker’s right-hand post to show the visitors were not yet done.

Robertson then proved his worth at the other end with a vital block to prevent an Iwobi equaliser.

Fittingly Origi, who has barely played this season, finished things off with a close-range header five minutes from time for his sixth goal in 10 Merseyside derbies. “It is a nice record,” said the attacker. “I just think about playing football, but it was a tough game and we needed it.”

The party rolls on at Anfield, with a Champions League semi-final first leg at home to Villarreal on Wednesday, but things do not get any easier for Everton with Chelsea up next at Goodison Park.

Updated: April 24, 2022, 6:10 PM
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