Divock Origi came off the bench to claim a dramatic injury-time winner as Liverpool beat Everton 1-0 in a pulsating Merseyside derby encounter at Anfield on Sunday.
The game looked to be drifting towards stalemate after both teams had spurned opportunities in a lively encounter.
In the first half, Andre Gomes was left holding his head in his hands for the Blues after his close-range glance goalwards was thwarted by an outstanding save from Alisson Becker before Joe Gomez cleared off the line.
Meanwhile, Sadio Mane and Xherdan Shaqiri both had chances to break the deadlock.
The Reds continued to press for an opener after the break, but they were forced to wait until the 96th minute when Virgil van Dijk’s mis-hit volley spun back off the crossbar and Origi nodded in from point-blank range to send Anfield into raptures.
The team news…
Liverpool made three changes from the midweek defeat to Paris Saint-Germain - Shaqiri, Fabinho and Trent Alexander Arnold coming in for the suspended Jordan Henderson as well as James Milner and Dejan Lovren.
The first half…
It was the Blues who created the game’s first opportunity with Yerry Mina meeting a Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick from the left with a downward header that bounced a fraction wide of Alisson’s upright.
But Liverpool made an assertive start – and after Mane had almost released Salah inside the area, the pair combined again to open up their opponents.
This time Salah dinked a pass into Mane’s path. The No.10 hammered goalwards from 10 yards out, evading the top of the crossbar.
The Senegal forward then had an effort parried by Jordan Pickford after being sent into space by Alexander-Arnold’s ball as the Reds cranked up the pressure.
Nevertheless, Everton – who had adopted an adventurous approach - fashioned another fine chance on 21 minutes when Gomes headed Theo Walcott’s nod back into the six-yard box towards goal, but he was denied by a stunning save from Alisson. Gomez then hacked the ball off the line to prevent an opener.
Next, the hosts conjured up a golden opportunity to break the deadlock of their own when Fabinho dispossessed Idrissa Gueye inside his own half. Salah switched play quickly to Shaqiri, who moved in on goal though was eventually thwarted by Pickford’s sprawling stop.
Alisson then foiled Walcott’s attempts to round him after the ball broke for the Blues frontman in the box as an absoribing opening half concluded without a mark on the scoresheet.
The second half…
Liverpool began the second period on the front-foot as they looked to force an opener; Salah collected the ball centrally just outside the area and flashed a curler just wide.
Mane then saw another good opportunity go begging as Roberto Firmino sent him bounding into space inside the box, but he could only prod wide of the near post under pressure. Soon after, he arched a strike off target from a Salah layoff.
Bernard flashed a dipping shot across goal for Everton, with the visitors beginning to pose more of a threat, before Mane went close to turning in Andy Robertson’s cushioned centre at the other end.
With 20 minutes remaining, Naby Keita was introduced in place of Shaqiri, prior to Daniel Sturridge coming on for Salah moments later.
And it was another substitute – Origi – who cracked a close-range volley against the crossbar as the fixture looked set to end level for a second successive season.
However, in the sixth minute of added time, Origi ensured he wrote his name into Merseyside derby history when he reacted quickest to nudge in after Van Dijk’s attempt had spun against the crossbar and dropped back into the six-yard box.
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Fabinho’s work at Melwood and his previously-productive partnership with Georginio Wijnaldum convinced Jürgen Klopp to start the Brazilian against Everton.
The No.3 comes into the Reds’ XI for Sunday’s Merseyside derby as one of three changes from the midweek defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.
And speaking pre-match, Klopp - whose midfield options were restricted by the suspension being served by captain Jordan Henderson - explained why he’d opted to select Fabinho.
“It worked pretty well so far. When the two boys [Fabinho and Wijnaldum] played together they did really well to be honest, so that’s the only reason for that,” said the boss.
“Fabinho is obviously rested and trained really good, Gini is in very good shape. That doesn’t say anything about the other players to be honest - that’s my life, I have to make these decisions and in the best case the other players don’t deserve sitting on the bench.
“In our case that’s how it is in the moment, but we still have to adapt to the specific opponent week in and week out, and that’s what we try.”
Xherdan Shaqiri also returns to Liverpool’s starting line-up, with Klopp prizing the Swiss’ ability to ‘play between the lines’ versus Everton.
“It’s to have players between the lines, that’s where you have to come,” he continued.
“They are really good organised, they are really compact and you have to overplay lines. You can do that if you play through the lines or outside, so that’s the reason for that. Having another player, especially with his skills, we thought could help.”
Xherdan Shaqiri starts as Liverpool make three changes for the Merseyside derby with Everton at Anfield.
The Switzerland international is brought into the XI by Jürgen Klopp, along with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Fabinho.
The trio replace Dejan Lovren, James Milner and the suspended Jordan Henderson, meaning Virgil van Dijk captains the side.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Gomez, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Shaqiri, Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Substitutes: Mignolet, Matip, Moreno, Milner, Keita, Sturridge, Origi.
Liverpool FC Women suffered a 2-1 defeat in their Merseyside derby against Everton Ladies on Sunday afternoon.
Vicky Jepson’s Reds had equalised an early concession through Jessica Clarke at Merseyrail Community Stadium but could not produce a second leveller, with Leandra Little hitting the post late on.
The visitors fell behind in the fifth minute as Inessa Kaagman found the top corner with a perfectly-placed thump from 25 yards out.
They produced a quick response, however, in the 12th minute.
Everton goalkeeper Kirstie Levell made an outstanding save to block a close-range shot after a short corner routine by the Reds – but Clarke was on hand to tap home the rebound.
The Blues restored their lead shortly before the interval, though, courtesy of another long-range strike.
This one came from the right boot of Simone Magill, whose drive from outside the box swerved away from the reach of Anke Preuss and inside the left post.
Liverpool pressed for another equaliser throughout the second half of the Women’s Super League contest and came agonisingly close with three minutes remaining.
Two substitutes combined – Yana Daniels crossing for Little – but the latter’s header struck the post and Everton preserved their slender lead to take the points.
Liverpool FC Women: Preuss, S. Murray, Bradley-Auckland, Matthews, Robe, Fahey (Little, 78), Coombs, C. Murray (Linnett, 58), Babajide (Daniels, 51), Clarke, Sweetman-Kirk.
Unused substitutes: Kitching, Rodgers, Thomas.
Anfield hosts its 100th league Merseyside derby on Sunday, with the home side having won 43 of the previous 99 and the last of the visitors 23 wins coming back in the last century.
It is the most played derby in English league football. In all competitions this will be encounter no. 232 with Liverpool winning 92 and losing 66 with 73 draws.
The teams met 3 times last season. In the first meeting at Anfield the outcome was a 1-1 league draw. Mo Salah netted a goal – voted FIFA Goal of the Year for 2018 – on 42 minutes before the Blues equalised with a controversial Wayne Rooney penalty 13 minutes from time.
The teams then met in the Third Round of the F.A. Cup less than a month later. Gylfi Sigurdsson equalised a James Milner penalty before Virgil van Dijk, making his debut, headed the Reds winner in front of the Kop with 6 minutes remaining.
In the league return at Goodison neither side could conjour up a goal. In that game Nathaniel Clyne made his first Liverpool appearance in almost a year while Danny Ings made his first league start in 916 days and his first under Jurgen Klopp.Premier League record
At Anfield, Liverpool have won 12 of those games and lost 2, with 12 draws.
The Reds have lost just 3 of the last 37 meetings in the Premier League home and away – all at Goodison – and are unbeaten in the last 15.
The 15-game run without defeat constitutes a record between the sides.
Eight of the last 12 league derbies have ended in stalemate, with last season being the second in the last 4 that both games were drawn.
Home and away Liverpool have lost one of the last 23 league meetings – at Goodison in October 2010, with Mikel Arteta and Tim Cahill scoring for the Blues.
At Anfield Liverpool are unbeaten in the last 18 top-flight meetings – both winning and drawing 9.Seeing red
27 players have been sent off in Merseyside derby history – 9 from Liverpool and 18 Everton players. This after only 5 in the first 88 years. The last 4 Liverpool red cards in league matches have come in games they have gone on to win.
21 of those red cards have come in the 52 Premier League meetings between the clubs with 12 being dismissed in the last 27 tussles. The last to see red was Ramiro Funes Mori at Anfield in 2016.
The last Liverpool player sent off in a derby was Sotirios Kyrgiakos at Anfield in February 2010.Current squad
Jurgen Klopp is unbeaten in 6 league and cup meetings with the Blues, winning 4 and drawing 2.
Daniel Sturridge has scored 7 career goals against the Blues in total with 4 coming in 7 games for Liverpool.
Virgil van Dijk is the last Liverpool player to score on his debut – in the F.A. Cup derby clash last January.
Since last Boxing Day, when he failed to register a goal against Swansea, he has found the net in all but 2 of Liverpool’s 15 league games at home, scoring 18 times in that sequence.
A goal from James Milner would see him become the eighth oldest Liverpool player ever to score against Everton (in all competitions) and the third oldest to do so in the Premier League after Gary McAllister (36 years 112 days) and Steven Gerrard (34 years 120 days). Milner would be 32 years 332 days old.
Mo Salah could make his 50th league appearance for Liverpool. He has scored 39 times. No other player in the last 120 years has netted as many goals for the Reds after 50 league games. One goal in his next appearance will see him equal the club record set by George Allan in September 1896.Everton focus
The Blues’ last win at Anfield came in September 1999 when Kevin Campbell scored the winner 4 minutes into the game.
Everton have won 2 of their last 32 league visits to Anfield. As well as that victory in 1999 they also beat Liverpool on this ground in 1995 with Andrei Kanchelskis scoring both in a 2-1 victory.
Home and away Everton have not won in the last 17 clashes in all competitions, including last season’s F.A. Cup tie and the Wembley Semi-Final of 2012.
At Anfield they have not won in 20 visits in league and cup, with 18 of those coming in the league. It is the longest sequence in their history.
Three players still at Goodison were in the Blues team the last time they beat Liverpool. Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka and Seamus Coleman all started that game in October 2010.
Not since 2001-02 have Everton scored in the league at Anfield for a third successive season, while the last time they avoided defeat in a second consecutive away league derby was 2003-04.
Marco Silva is unbeaten in his 2 previous meetings with the Reds as a manager. He won 2-0 with Hull in February 2017 before a 3-3 draw as Watford boss last season.
Everton conceded 11 goals in their first 6 league games under Marco Silva but since then only 4 goals have been scored against them in the last 7.
They have lost one of the last 7 in the league home and away (at Old Trafford), winning 5 and drawing the other.
Salah: This is something different
Mohamed Salah has had just one experience of a Merseyside derby so far - but the Liverpool No.11 already knows exactly what this game means.
"I didn't know much about it before I came here. I just heard about it but in the last game when we played at Anfield, the atmosphere was crazy. I didn't expect it at all.
"I used to play for Roma and they had a derby there but here, it is something different. The stadium was completely full and the fans were unbelievable, the atmosphere was crazy. I like it a lot.
"The passion for the city, the passion for the fans, for them, this is the most important game in the season.
"You must win the derby so it's something that pushes us as players from deep inside to give more. Even if it is two per cent more, that is something that will help a lot during the game so that's the special thing about the derby."
Last Updated: 02/12/18 9:44am
Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says he thinks the Reds will go close in the Premier League title race this season.
Celtic boss Rodgers says he genuinely hopes his Liverpool successor Jurgen Klopp enjoys a long tenure - partly because the German is renting his house!
Rodgers is thriving at Celtic and the Scottish champions are chasing yet more domestic silverware against Aberdeen in Sunday's Scottish League Cup final.
Meanwhile, Klopp has been doing well at Anfield, having led Liverpool to the Champions League final last season.
Klopp's team are arguably the most like challengers to Premier League leaders Manchester City this season and Rodgers told The Mail on Sunday: "I want to see them do well, of course.
"For the supporters, it would be brilliant.Brendan Rodgers has been enjoying a trophy-laden tenure at Celtic
"When you think how close we got that time (Liverpool were second under Rodgers in 2014), it became really emotional in that last five games, and to go that close and not win it was tough.
"They will go close. Jurgen Klopp has done a fantastic job and invested well."
Asked if part of him wanted Klopp to have less success at Anfield than himself, Rodgers said: "It's only human to ask.
"But Jurgen rents my house. I want him to be there as long as possible."Play Super 6
Predict 6 correct scores for your chance to win £250K.
One Merseyside derby was enough for Mohamed Salah to understand its meaning.
The Liverpool forward had his first taste of clashes with Everton just under a year ago, scoring a sensational goal that would later win the FIFA Puskas Award during a 1-1 draw at Anfield.
Salah will run out against the Blues for a second time this evening, in the fixture’s 232nd edition, knowing exactly how crucial the outcome is across the city.
“I didn’t know much about it before I came here,” the Egyptian told Sky Sports.
“I just heard about it but in the last game when we played at Anfield, the atmosphere was crazy. I didn’t expect it at all.
“I used to play for Roma and they had a derby there but here, it is something different. The stadium was completely full and the fans were unbelievable, the atmosphere was crazy. I like it a lot.
“The passion for the city, the passion for the fans, for them, this is the most important game in the season.
“You must win the derby so it’s something that pushes us as players from deep inside to give more. Even if it is two per cent more, that is something that will help a lot during the game so that’s the special thing about the derby.”
Manchester City’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth on Saturday stretched their lead at the top of the Premier League to five points.
Liverpool, the division’s only other unbeaten team this season, will look to respond against the Blues – and Salah believes such demands are bringing the best out of the Reds.
“Man City put pressure on us and we put pressure on them so I think there is something healthy for all of us,” he added.
“Each game, you must win because Man City will go to win and for them, it is the same because Liverpool will go to win. So that is something good for us, both teams.”
Jürgen Klopp is confident Fabinho and Naby Keita are ready to take the opportunities that will come their way in the Liverpool first team.
The manager has to make at least one change to his set-up for today’s Merseyside derby at Anfield with captain Jordan Henderson suspended.
Everton’s visit is the first of eight fixtures for the Reds in December as they aim to maintain pursuit of Manchester City in the Premier League and navigate a way into the Champions League knockout stages.
Asked if Fabinho and Keita can capitalise on playing time, Klopp said: “Of course. But Naby already played really well for us at the start of the season.
“It was a surprise that it worked so well so quickly but then he was injured and hasn’t played a lot since then. But Fabinho had three, four, five games in which he mostly played well, so that is all really good.”
The manager continued: “We don’t need only these players, we need all the players for a very intense period. If we stay fit and we can choose to rest players, that would be great. If not, we will struggle a little bit.
“December, January, you need to be a little bit lucky with injuries. That’s how it is. Then you can build on it in February and so on.
“You always have a few problems but that doesn’t mean anything. It would just be cool if we came through with the right results and a fully-fit squad.”
Liverpool host neighbours Everton at Anfield this evening for the first time since Virgil van Dijk’s last-minute header on his debut decided their FA Cup tie in January.
The No.4 has been an authoritative addition to a Reds backline that has conceded only five goals in the opening 13 Premier League matches this season – a club record.
“Has he been everything I expected? Absolutely. From the first second he was brilliant,” Klopp said of the Netherlands international.
“It is easier for a centre-half coming in and playing, the adjustment to the rest of the team is not that massive. It is much more difficult for a midfielder because there’s more to do and you don’t see the situations that clear.
“But he has been brilliant since he has been with us. I knew long before he signed the contract that he would be outstanding as a player. The mix of both [playing and leadership] makes him outstanding.”
Jordan Henderson knows there’ll be no quarter given when Liverpool and Everton meet on the field this afternoon, but has highlighted the powerful impact the clubs can make to the local community when they unite off it.
The captain, who is suspended for today’s Anfield clash, used his column in the official matchday programme to specifically highlight the work of the Fans Supporting Foodbanks initiative, which was founded jointly by both Reds and Blues.
He wrote: “In the days leading up to today’s game there has been a big push to support the foodbanks, a cause which is always worthy and none more so than at this time of year when the struggle to make ends meet becomes even more challenging for families throughout the country.
“On Merseyside we are both fortunate and unfortunate in this respect. We are unfortunate because the need for this kind of initiative is greater here than it is in other parts, but we are fortunate because the people of this city have no peers when it comes to standing together and sticking up for one another.
“It doesn’t matter whether you are a Red or a Blue, there is something about Liverpool as a city which creates this kind of solidarity. I am not from this area so I can’t claim to be any kind of expert about why this is the case, but in the time that I have been at Liverpool I have seen and heard of enough examples to make me appreciate why this is such a special place.
“The fact that Fans Supporting Foodbanks was founded on Merseyside by supporters of Everton and Liverpool is not a coincidence. I know people long for the return of what was known as the 'friendly derby', but the kind of friendliness that underpinned that era can still be found outside Goodison Park and Anfield on matchdays when the lads from the foodbanks collect on behalf of those in need.
“I am reliably informed that two of the leaders of this campaign are Ian Byrne and Dave Kelly. Today, one will be found on the Kop cheering on Liverpool and the other will be in the away end supporting Everton - if they’ve been able to get hold of tickets anyway!
“I know this isn’t new to Merseyside and there have been countless examples of fans putting allegiances one side to fight for a common cause, none more so than after the Hillsborough tragedy. But it is still worth highlighting at every opportunity because, as I said, it doesn’t happen everywhere. I’ve also been told that these efforts are increasingly crucial when it comes to combating food poverty on Merseyside with as much as 25 per cent of foodbank donations coming from Liverpool and Everton fans on matchdays.
“I shudder to think what would happen if people were not so generous, particularly with so many families in this area experiencing hardship through no fault of their own. That is what makes it so heartening that everyone in Merseyside football – players, clubs, supporters – come together to try to make a difference.
“From the point of view of those of us in the dressing room we are always fortunate to be able to count on your support and it is only right that we return that support whenever possible by giving whatever backing we can for Fans Supporting Foodbanks. I have no doubt the players at Everton feel exactly the same way.
“For 90 minutes this afternoon, though, all of that sense of solidarity will be forgotten and rightly so. Despite not being involved in this specific game today, I know from experience that this is a fixture where friendships have to be put on hold until the final whistle has been blown. There will be mutual respect, but more than anything else there will be an unbelievable desire to win. We have to make sure that we are the team that does so.”
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