Everton secured a historic Merseyside derby victory over Liverpool this evening, but it is a penalty decision to have gone in the favour of the Blues which has since taken centre stage in the post-match chatter.
Richarlison & Sigurdsson on target
Rivalries were renewed at Anfield a short time ago.
Jurgen Klopp’s champions welcomed their cross-town rivals to the red half of the River Mersey, for a highly-anticipated Premier League showdown.
The hosts headed into proceedings with their tails up, buoyed by a morale-boosting Champions League win at RB Leipzig during the week.
When all was said and done this evening, however, to say that Liverpool were brought firmly back down to earth would be something of an understatement.
Another disappointing display on the domestic front, during which the club’s attacking stars again struggled in front of goal, eventually resulted in the Reds being downed by two goals to nil.
The game’s scoring was opened inside three minutes, when James Rodriguez’s pinpoint through ball was lashed home by Richarlison:
🎙 | “What a start from #EFC!”
A superb finish from Richarlison gives Everton the lead at Anfield!
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 20, 2021
The evening’s crucial 2nd, though, was not forthcoming until a full 80 minutes later.
On this occasion, substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin was set free towards the Liverpool goal, before producing a save from Alisson.
In his attempts to get to the ball before the hosts’ no.1 on the rebound, though, Calvert-Lewin was grounded by Trent Alexander-Arnold, resulting in a penalty being awarded by referee Chris Kavanagh.
Gylfi Sigurdsson stepped up to slot away the ensuing spot-kick in confident fashion, securing Everton’s first Premier League victory at Anfield in over 20 years in the process.
24 – Everton picked up their first win over Liverpool in 24 meetings in all competitions (D12 L11) – ending what was Liverpool’s longest ever unbeaten run against a single opponent. Finally. pic.twitter.com/fpEqMwX5Ki
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 20, 2021
As outlined above, however, on a momentous evening for all associated with the Toffees, unfortunately, the post-match chatter has since widely honed in on the late penalty awarded to Ancelotti’s men.
This comes amid widespread debate regarding whether or not Alexander-Arnold’s lack of intent in taking down Calvert-Lewin should have seen the decision overturned.
Chris Kavanagh took all of about 5 seconds in checking the incident on the pitch-side monitor, another aspect of the eventual call to have thoroughly angered the Liverpool faithful:
“I’m not sure what he’s supposed to do!?”
Dominic Calvert-Lewin runs over Trent Alexander-Arnold and Chris Kavanagh awards Everton a penalty! 👀
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 20, 2021
Whilst discussion surrounding whether or not the right call was, in the end, made, will no doubt rumble on for days to come, though, it must be said that, when taking into account the clash as a whole, it is somewhat difficult to feel sorry for Liverpool.
This comes with the champions’ attacking stars, on more than one occasion this evening, having been guilty of attempting to con the referee into securing decisions over their own.
Mohamed Salah was the chief offender, with the Egyptian wide-man having theatrically gone to ground on a pair of occasions on the edge of the Everton box, under absolutely minimal contact.
— awbmasterclass (@Awbmasterclass) February 20, 2021
Another incident in the visitors’ area late on, with the score at 2-0, then saw Sadio Mane hit the Anfield turf in ridiculous fashion, under what could barely be described as a challenge from Michael Keane.
Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, was involved in his latest touchline fracas late in the first-half, after getting into it with Duncan Ferguson over another apparent penalty claim:
Argument Duncan Ferguson – Jurgen Klopp on the touch line after the Liverpool penalty shout. « Why are you laughing? » Klopp shouted at Ferguson who had a big grin on his face! « We are allowed to talk or is it just you Jurgen? » intervened Seamus Coleman!
— Julien Laurens (@LaurensJulien) February 20, 2021
Has luck been on Liverpool’s side of late? For the most part, no.
But as long as the Reds’ stars, and manager for that matter, continue to act in the desperate manner they did this evening, it will remain altogether difficult to feel sorry for the faltering champions.
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This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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