Frustration rings around the Liverpool fanbase as the Merseyside derby ends 0-0 at Goodison Park. A below par performance from the Reds sees them drop into second place, one point behind new leaders Manchester City.
With Man City clawing a 1-0 against Bournemouth, Liverpool were under pressure to clinch the win and leapfrog back into first place.
The reverse fixture at Anfield ended spectacularly for the Reds after Divock Origi netted the winner in the sixth minute of stoppage time. This time around, Everton looked determined to keep their rivals out and held them to a goalless stalemate.
Jurgen Klopp stuck with his chosen XI that pulled off an electrifying 5-0 win over Watford. Origi kept his place over Roberto Firmino who was featured amongst the substitutions.
The Reds started the match looking positive as they steadily built up their attack. Mohamed Salah’s one-on-one with Jordan Pickford was the first big chance of the game. In yards of space, the Egyptian looked sure to put the shot away but uncharacteristically fluffed his lines.
Salah struggled for the rest of the game to do any real damage in front of goal. His pace, as usual, was outstanding but he took too long on the ball and Everton made quick work of dispossessing him.
The Toffees proved a tough nut to crack – with the likes of Michael Keane making some great tackles in the box. However, Salah’s insistence to try too many clever dribbles made it easy for Marco Silva’s side to defend.
The wrong choices?
Klopp’s first changes of the match came in the 65th minute. The double substitution saw Roberto Firmino come on to replace Origi, and Georginio Wijnaldum make way for James Milner.
Fans are questioning Klopp’s tactics here, wondering why one of Liverpool’s most creative midfielders of late was taken off so early.
The final substitution for the Reds was made through Adam Lallana, who took the place of Sadio Mané. The Senegalese had a fantastic game against Watford but failed to really make a mark on the derby.
After all three changes, Klopp’s decisions left Liverpool with just two forwards on the pitch and three defensive-minded midfielders. An odd shuffle for a side desperately looking to reclaim their place atop the Premier League table.
Liverpool are now trailing to City by one point – their derby disappointment tallies their fourth draw in seven games. The Reds have earned just ten points out of a possible 18 in their last six games.
The title race is still very much alive, with the pressure now resting on Pep Guardiola and his men. Will the reigning champions slip up and let the Reds sneak ahead once more?