Liverpool edged past Everton to win 2-0 in a feisty Merseyside derby, as Divock Origi’s introduction inspired a vital victory at Anfield.
It was initially looking like it wasn’t going to be Liverpool’s day, as Everton frustrated the hosts and created a tense atmosphere around Anfield. And the visitors even had chances to take the lead, but Anthony Gordon and Abdoulaye Doucoure couldn’t hit the target.
But Liverpool found the breakthrough like they always do as Mohamed Salah teed up Andy Robertson, and Origi headed a second late on to secure the victory, keeping chase with Manchester City at the top of the Premier League. Here Daily Star Sport takes a look at what Jurgen Klopp got right and wrong as Liverpool’s title hopes remain intact…
What Klopp got wrong…
Letting emotions take over
Passion and pride may be a dying trade in football, as the influence of money has taken something away from the game, but Klopp’s side still possess an old fashioned approach. You can see how much his team cares, and especially Trent Alexander-Arnold who bleeds Liverpool.
But although emotions are exactly what you want to see in a derby, it did almost cost Liverpool. Sadio Mane was lucky to escape further punishment as he lashed out at Mason Holegate, and Alexander-Arnold was growing frustrated with Anthony Gordon, and also could have been sent off.
However, that added edge is exactly what you need sometimes to edge tight games, and Liverpool got their reward as their persistence paid off. And then suddenly, all of the time Everton had wasted came back to haunt them.
Sloppy start under pressure
With Everton fighting for their lives, and Liverpool chasing the Premier League title, the Reds needed a strong start to combat the nerves. But they were sloppy, and despite holding more of the ball, they were poor with it.
Their complacency allowed Everton to grow in confidence, and a team that should have felt as though they were on the backfoot actually ended up with a sense of belief. And it made things worse for Liverpool, as they grew frustrated.
It was an endless cycle as the more Liverpool tried to force action, the more sloppy mistakes they made, and it made the game a lot harder than it needed to be. It will also be a huge boost for Everton, as they face some tough fixtures between now and the end of the season, and it’s likely they’ll use similar tactics as they know it can work.
Playing into Everton’s hands
From the first whistle it was clear that Everton had a game plan, and that was to waste time, break up the game and frustrate Liverpool. And it worked, as the hosts began to lose their cool towards the end of the first half, and were even seen arguing with each other.
With so much as stake, Lampard knew that if they could get under Liverpool’s skin then it would give them the best chance at Anfield, rather than attempting to take on the Reds with the ball at their feet. Richarlison was going down at every opportunity, and Lampard set his team up for an ugly battle.
A Liverpool team that usually keep their cool ended up losing their heads at times, and it will be of interest to those they still have to face between now and the end of the season. All Everton were looking for was a reaction, and they certainly got one from their rivals in the first half.
What Klopp got right…
Super sub Origi to the rescue
Origi continues to be used off the bench by Klopp, and the Belgian is likely to depart Anfield this summer. But although this may be his last season, he will surely leave as a Liverpool legend in his own right.
He may not get many minutes, be he has had so many huge moments for Liverpool, and it was his introduction that inspired the Reds yet again. Just moments after coming on, he was strong in the box before playing the ball to Salah, who set up Robertson for the opener which sent Anfield wild.
Liverpool needed a plan B, and Origi delivered like he always does, and he even added a second with a close range header to secure the points. His cameo earned Liverpool a crucial win, and maybe a title at the end of the season.