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Reds Column II

Premier League 2020-21 Summary: Liverpool vs Everton

In the 238th Merseyside Derby, Liverpool Fc (The Reds) were beaten 0-2 by the visitors Everton Fc in the Premier League.

After recovering from an unspecified muscle related issue, Naby Keïta returned on the bench as Jürgen Klopp decided to field an unchanged side that faced the hosts RB Leipzig in the First Leg of the Champions League 2020-21 Round of 16.

The unchanged line-up for the Everton Fc (The Toffees) home clash meant that Ozan Kabak continued to partner with the skipper Jordan Henderson at Centre Back.

Ben Godfrey came close to scoring the opening goal for the visitors but his missed shot following a corner kick from Lucas Digne in the opening minute of the game.

The Toffees however got their dream start in just the 3rd minute as James Rodríguez laid a perfect weighted pass in behind Kabak.

Richarlison quickly pounced on the ball and then drilled it past the outstreched Alisson Becker in to the bottom left corner of the net to make it 0-1.

Georginio Wijnaldum missed his header to the right side of the net following a corner kick from Trent Alexander-Arnold in the 11th minute.

In the 20th minute; Captain Jordan Henderson had his well struck volley blocked by Jordan Pickford.

Following a tussle with Abdoulaye Doucoure, the skipper sustained what appeared to be an adductor injury and was replaced by Nathaniel Phillips in the 25th minute.

The Toffees surely felt more confident to face an inexperienced and fragile Reds backline, after Henderson was taken off.

The visitors (like most defensive minded sides that Reds had faced this Season) looked content to defend all day and tried to score Goals on the counter.

The Reds lacked their usual drive, attacking ferocity and pace but that has been one of the many concerns this Season.

With the Reds trailing behind and history beckoning for the Toffees, the First Half ended at 0-1.

After the Second Half began, the Reds started much better by pressing more and made better use of their dominance in possession.

In the 50th minute, Mané headed just bit too high after an assist from Curtis Jones with a cross.

Xherdan Shaqiri was brought on to replace the ineffective Curtis Jones in the 62nd minute.

Alisson made a relatively easy save to stop the shot from Gylfi Sigurdsson after being assisted by Abdoulaye Doucouré with a headed pass in the 64th minute.

Pickford again denied the Reds of an equaliser after the shot from Mohamed Salah was saved after an assist from Xherdan Shaqiri in the 69th minute. Salah should have done better with that effort.

The Toffees got a Penalty in the 82nd minute as it looked like Dominic Calvert-Lewin jumped over Alexander-Arnold who slid to stop the initial shot.

Referee Chris Kavanagh quickly pointed to the spot and without spending too much time verifying, Kavanagh quickly confirmed his decision to award the Penalty for the Toffees.

This looked very harsh decision but the game in fairness was never looked like the Reds were going to win anyways!

Despite diving in the right direction, Alisson Becker was beaten as Gylfi Sigurdsson converted the Penalty to the bottom left corner of the net.

The resulting Goal was more than enough to end their long awaited wait to beat the Reds at Anfield since 1999!

The Reds struggles to find the back of the net continued especially at home and Roberto Firmino in particular is clearly looked out of form.

The return of Diogo Jota simply cannot be soon enough!

Jürgen Klopp made the final throw of the dice as Divock Origi was brought on to replace Thiago Alcântara in the 87th minute.

The Toffees went on to seal a memorable 0-2 win by beating the Reds especially at Anfield and this painful loss will surely run deep in the hearts of everyone connected with the Reds.

Besides racking up awful records, the Reds has lost 4 successive losses at home and became the first defending English Champions to do so since the 1920s’.

 

Reds Team Performance Ratings

Liverpool (4-3-3 Formation)

Defence:

Alisson Becker – 6: Made few decent saves but could not anything with either of the Goals conceded.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6: Looked threatening going forward and defended well. The decision to award the Penalty was harsh!

Ozan Kabak – 3: Looked troubled throughout the game and picked a Yellow Card during the First Half. Struggled to deal with the pace of Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin. Very poor performance but the youngster (however) did not have much time getting acquainted with the Reds tactics.

Jordan Henderson – N/A: The Captain defended well but was substituted after sustaining what seems to be an adductor injury.

Andrew Robertson – 5: Despite his decent defensive performance, the Scot’s overall performance was jaded and could not get in to attacking positions.

Midfield:

Curtis Jones – 4: Just one wayward cross which Mané could not connect well with a header. Offered almost very little going forward, dispossessed at times and hardly shielded the defence! The blind persistence of Klopp to name the youngster is seriously affecting the team’s overall chemistry!

Georginio Wijnaldum – 5: Hardly any creativity can be expected from the Dutchman besides his energetic displays and clearly lacks the vision to provide razor sharp passes in to final third.

Thiago Alcântara – 4: Very poor performance. Partly responsible for the build up of the First Goal as the Spaniard did not mark Rodríguez properly. Overall, the Spaniard had very little impact on the game. Perhaps the Spaniard is best suited to play as an attacking Midfielder in a 4-2-3-1 Formation!

Forwards:

Sadio Mané – 6: The only Reds forward that looked threatening to score but again failed to score.

Roberto Firmino – 4: Looks clearly out of form and this has been happening for quite a while. Jota’s return as understated it may sound, simply cannot be any sooner! The Brazilian simply never looked like scoring and produced another subdued performance!

Mohamed Salah – 4: Missed a great opportunity to level the score and besides that poor effort, his overall performance has been quiet.

Substitutes:

Nathaniel Phillips – 5: Defended reasonably well in place of the injured Henderson but was caught out of pace for the Second Goal that was conceded.

Xherdan Shaqiri – 6: The Reds looked much better as an attacking side once the Swiss International was brought on but the argument would be that he should have been brought on the beginning of the game!

Divock Origi – N/A: Playing for minutes and nothing much can be expected.

Coach:

Jürgen Klopp – 3: The lack of Senior Centre Back Options is understandable but the decision to persist with Curtis Jones, when better midfield options were available for Klopp itself was beyond baffling!

After racking up losses which some of them could have been preventable, now seriously begs the question whether Klopp is really up to the challenge!

Perhaps the mental strenuousness of the job and his unfortunate situation to attend his Mother’s funeral, is taking a mental toll on Klopp which thereby clouds his judgement!

With Chelsea Fc and Leicester City Fc most likely looking to finish much stronger than the Reds, the chances of securing a Champions League spot is quickly disappearing for the Reds!

Anyone who expects the Reds to win the Champions League this Season and secure their next Season’s Champions League spot as European Champions is clearly out of touch with the reality!

 

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