Everton’s physical derby
With the two teams just 6 points apart going into the game, there was some extra spice to Saturday’s Merseyside derby, but it seems like Ross Barkley took that aspect a bit too seriously.
The Everton man was notably physical, and could easily have been sent off for a pair of dirty tackles; one on Emre Can, the other on Dejan Lovren.
And Barkley has some form for dirty play in derbies – he also did Jordan Henderson in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.
There was also a stamp from Ashley Williams on Emre Can; all considered, it’s incredible that Everton finished the game with the full compliment of 11 players on the pitch.
Wijnaldum accuses Everton players of trying to injure
And their approach didn’t go down well on the red half of Merseyside:
Speaking to Sky Sports today, Liverpool midfielder Gigi Wijnaldum was heavily critical of Everton’s physical approach, going so far as suggesting they set out to injure Liverpool players:
“The tackles, especially those from the players from Everton made on our players, it was hard to see, hard to accept, because I think you can play the game really hard, but not with the intention to give someone an injury.
“For me, my opinion, that is a bad thing, because you have to play the game fair. Of course you can play hard, to win, but not to injure the player, because that’s not part of the game.