EPL

Mohamed Salah’s double helps Liverpool to another derby-day success

By Sports Desk October 21, 2023

Mohamed Salah became the first Liverpool player since Peter Beardsley 32 years ago to score in Anfield’s opening four league matches with both goals in a 2-0 victory over 10-man Everton in the 243rd Merseyside derby.

Ashley Young, who has played in some of the world’s biggest cross-city clashes in Manchester, Milan and Birmingham, was sent for a second bookable offence shortly before half-time to make the Toffees’ task of ending their woeful record across Stanley Park even more difficult.

Salah converted a 75th-minute penalty after a Michael Keane handball and then converted a counter-attack in added time which meant the Everton fans present were still to see a ‘live’ victory at Anfield since 1999 as their only win in 2021 came behind closed doors during the Covid era.

Egypt international Salah’s penalty was the 15th consecutive Premier League match in which he had either scored or assisted and brought up Liverpool’s 50th goal against Everton at Anfield in the Premier League.

It was also his 200th career league goal, but his second was his 104th at home for Liverpool, taking him past greats Kenny Dalglish and Steven Gerrard into fifth place on the club’s all-time Anfield scorers list.

But despite Salah’s stellar statistics this was far from a classic derby encounter, even it was a predictably typical one.

Young’s 37th-minute red card – the 29th in this fixture and the 13th of the last 16 to be shown to Everton players – was not quite a turning point as Liverpool were well on top even at that stage but it was contentious.

Luis Diaz looked to have somewhat bought the first yellow when he went down after a tackle on the halfway line but once referee Craig Pawson had given that he had no option when Everton’s right-back brought down the Colombia international on the edge of the area.

Sean Dyche’s response at half-time was to replace his two wingers – Jack Harrison and Dwight McNeil – with defenders Nathan Patterson and Michael Keane and switch to a back five.

It did little for striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s prospects, whose only opportunity came just 36 seconds into the game when he headed tamely at Alisson Becker.

After that it was virtually one-way traffic, although Liverpool’s best openings seemed to come on the counter-attack and often from Everton attacking set-pieces.

They had a four-on-two at one stage but when Dominik Szoboszlai released Diaz in the penalty area his delayed shot that allowed Young to block.

Trent Alexander-Arnold drove a free-kick into the wall, Salah muscled McNeil off a 50-50 and curled a shot just over and an Alexis Mac Allister half-volley from 30 yards was claimed at the second attempt by Jordan Pickford.

But Klopp’s side were nowhere near their sharpest in the final third and that played right into Everton’s hands.

Young’s sending-off tipped the balance even further in favour of the home side but they continued to be repelled with Salah’s 52nd-minute shot blocked by James Tarkowski.

Everton’s numerical disadvantage and lack of wingers emboldened Klopp to replace left-back Kostas Tsimikas, making his first start of the season in place of the long-term injured Andy Robertson, with Diaz to allow the introduction of Darwin Nunez and Harvey Elliott.

Konate, whom Everton’s coaching staff felt should also have had a second yellow card for a foul on Calvert-Lewin’s replacement Beto, was also removed for his own good.

Keane must have wished he could have been afford the same courtesy when his outstretched arm blocked Diaz’s cross.

Dawson initially gave a corner but VAR advised him to review the pitchside monitor and he reversed his decision and Salah sent Pickford the wrong way from the spot.

Elliott and Jota both went close as the onslaught continued but it was Salah who benefited from Nunez’s quick counter-attack as he clipped home his second as Liverpool extended their record to one defeat in the last 28 derbies and Everton slumped to a sixth loss of the season.

Related items

  • Pochettino leaves Chelsea after one season Pochettino leaves Chelsea after one season

    Mauricio Pochettino will leave Chelsea by mutual consent after one season in charge, the club announced on Tuesday.

    Despite a poor start to the season, Pochettino led Chelsea to a sixth-place finish, confirming a European place - an improvement on their 12th-place finish in 2022-23.

    He also led them to the EFL Cup final and the semi-final of the FA Cup.

    Speculation surrounded Pochettino's position during the latter stages of the Premier League campaign, though he remained tight-lipped about his future.

    The Argentinian had one year left on his contract but now leaves the club with immediate effect.

    In a club statement, Pochettino said: "Thank you to the Chelsea ownership group and Sporting Directors for the opportunity to be part of this football club's history.

    "The club is now well positioned to keep moving forward in the Premier League and Europe in the years to come."

    Sporting Directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley said: "On behalf of everyone at Chelsea, we would like to express our gratitude to Mauricio for his service this season.

    "He will be welcome back to Stamford Bridge any time, and we wish him all the very best in his future coaching career."

     

  • Southgate envisages central role for 'brilliant' Foden at Euro 2024 Southgate envisages central role for 'brilliant' Foden at Euro 2024

    Gareth Southgate believes Phil Foden's starting position is less important than the spaces he is allowed to attack, pledging to find a way of letting him operate centrally at Euro 2024.

    Foden was included in England's 33-man preliminary squad on Tuesday, and he is expected to be among the first names on the teamsheet after enjoying a fine campaign.

    Foden was named Premier League Player of the Season as he helped Manchester City win an unprecedented fourth straight title, scoring 19 goals and adding seven assists.

    Only three players in the league bettered Foden's goal tally, while he also ranked seventh in the division for chances created (73) and fourth for possession won in the final third (35 times).

    Foden scored two excellent goals as City clinched the title with a 3-1 final-day win over West Ham, drifting infield from the right to find space between the lines and in the penalty area.

    While the presence of Real Madrid's Jude Bellingham and Arsenal's Bukayo Saka has led many to conclude Foden will be stationed on the left in Germany, Southgate is aware of the need to grant him positional freedom.

    "Phil has played off the right, off the left, the key is where he ends up, not his starting position," Southgate said at a press conference on Tuesday.

    "He plays on the left with City, sometimes he stays wide, but he's allowed to drift, and it has always been the same with us. He's allowed to drift. 

    "Then there's where a player has to defend. Jude has played as a 10 all season, and sometimes he has defended on the left for Real Madrid. 

    "It's about where these players arrive and where you allow them to drift, that's the key. I think if you spoke to all of our players, we never pin them to a touchline, that's not how we work so there is that freedom."

    Foden produced a series of talismanic displays for City in the run-in, scoring match-winning hat-tricks against Brentford and Aston Villa and masterminding a vital comeback against Manchester United with two goals in March.

    The 23-year-old stepped up while players like Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland were sidelined through injury, and Southgate has been impressed by his ability to shoulder that responsibility.

    "It's obvious the brilliant season Phil has had, how he stepped up in big games not only when big players have been out but when he's been playing alongside them as well," Southgate added.

    "You want him in central areas as you do one or two others, so we have to find the best way of making that happen."

  • Shaw a 'long shot' for Euro 2024, says Southgate Shaw a 'long shot' for Euro 2024, says Southgate

    Despite including him in his preliminary squad, Gareth Southgate says it is a "long shot" that Luke Shaw will be fit for Euro 2024.

    Shaw has been sidelined since February with a muscle injury but is the only recognised left-back in Southgate’s 33-man squad as Ben Chilwell also misses out due to injury.

    Joe Gomez is an option for the position after filling in for Liverpool at times this season, while Kieran Trippier has also played at left-back for England in the past.

    However, Shaw has been the first-choice left-back for the last two major tournaments, and Southgate admits that he will give him every chance to be fit.

    "[Luke Shaw's] up against it," said Southgate. "He's missed a lot of football.

    "The fact that he has been our first choice in that position, we've probably given him a lot longer than we would have done.

    "I’ve talked with him and the medical team, we’ve been liaising with Manchester United, I'm not sure what's realistic at this time. I have to say, he's a long shot."

    Southgate may have other injury problems on his hands. Harry Kane missed the end of Bayern Munich’s season due to a back injury, while Harry Maguire has not played since April.

    "The job here is to adapt to the hand of cards you're dealt with," Southgate added.

    "The injuries are a very complex thing. Sometimes players have had to play more than they might have done. Some players have come back earlier than they might have done.

    "There's definitely been a lot of matches in the calendar. But it's too easy to say it's just the [fault of a] winter World Cup. It's lots of different reasons."

    Southgate will cut his squad down to 26 players after England face Iceland in their final pre-tournament friendly at Wembley Stadium on June 7. 

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.