The first Merseyside derby of the season produced enough entertainment to keep the neutral stuck to the game but it was not a game that produced too many goals. A solitary goal from Sadio Mane, in stoppage time, was enough for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool to take all three points from a game that never seemed to have settled down. Everton started the game in a fine fashion keeping Liverpool pinned in their own half but late in the first half, the visitors started to get a foothold in the game and took it to extra time to break the hearts of the fans at the Goodison. Klopp will be happy that his side has kept the gap at the top of the table to 6 points and will hope to keep up the good work. Here are three talking points from this game:
Sturridge the saviour:
Though missed the last few games with a calf problem, the English international was back in action for this game against Everton and started the game on the bench. Klopp loves to delay his substitution till late in the game and with Sturridge just returning from injury, 10 minutes under his belt seemed to be reasonable.
But that is all he needed as he bought himself some space at the edge of the box to drive a low shot on to the post which eventually led to Mane’s late winner. Though Origi has been decent, Sturridge provides that cutting edge that can make Liverpool even better and it was evident in the few minutes he got on the ball at the Goodison Park. Surely, he has an important role to play at Anfield in years to come.
Liverpool are dominating:
Derby games on enemy territories are some of the toughest games a club will ever have to play and Liverpool learnt all about it in the first 25 minutes of this clash at the Goodison Park. With thousands of fans bouncing all over the stadium, Liverpool, at times, found it hard to even get a foot on the ball. They grew into the game late in the half but a stern half time talk from Klopp stirred their senses as they seemed to have stepped out with a purpose in the second half.
They managed to turn around the possession stats and put 68% of the ball throughout the game at the end, showing their dominance yet again in a traditionally difficult game. Not too many games will be tougher than this for Liverpool which shows that they have now grown into one of the most dominating sides in the league.
Christmas at Merseyside was Red and will be Red!
After Roberto Martinez failed to win any of his Merseyside derbies when in charge of Everton, Ronald Koeman was expected to break the trend. But the former Southampton manager failed to take even a point from this home game and gave Liverpool yet another victory, stretching their record in derbies to 12 games. This is currently their longest run in this fixture as they keep Everton without a win in 20 games and over 6 years. It gives every Scouser a genuine bragging right over their close friends and families that are divided by the two clubs making this victory all sweeter. Surely, Christmas in Liverpool has been Red for a while now and will remain Red!