Some things are just meant to be, such as Everton not winning at Anfield. What looked to be heading towards another frustrating Anfield derby this season turned into a game that put a 75 million pound smile on every Red’s face. Virgil van Dijk got the winner at the Kop end on his debut to win the game for Liverpool, who despite a rather disjointed performance, saw off the near neighbours in the FA Cup third round. James Milner opened the scoring with a penalty, only for Gylfi Sigurdsson to equalise for Everton. But the Reds were not to be denied.
LORIS KARIUS – 6/10
He had no chance with Sigurdsson’s goal and didn’t have a save to make otherwise. Had one shaky moment when he spilt a regulation catch from a cross, but luckily no harm was done.
JOE GOMEZ – 7/10
Gomez was terrific in the first half but tapered off after the interval. His runs forward gave Liverpool the thrust they needed, albeit without the end product. He also missed a golden opportunity to get himself a derby goal after he missed a free header.
JOEL MATIP – 6/10
Calvert-Lewin seemed to have the beating of him in the air, but by hook or crook, he managed to get the job done. He will hope this is the start of a blossoming partnership with Anfield’s new darling.
VIRGIL VAN DIJK – 10/10
Liverpool’s record signing, making his debut in a Merseyside derby. Caps it off by scoring the winner at the Kop end. Fairytale stuff from the big Dutchman, who was commanding while defending aerial balls as well. As promising a start as there could have been.
ANDY ROBERTSON – 8/10
Terrific energy from Robertson. It was a fascinating battle between him and Bolasie and fortunately, the Scot came out on top more often than not. His crossing oscillates between the brilliant and the diabolical, and that needs sorting out.
EMRE CAN – 6/10
He was content to sit in the deepest midfield role and play the simple passes. Those driving runs were not to be seen until the final few seconds, when with the armband on, hair perfectly in shape, he ran down the left and bought some time.
JAMES MILNER – 6/10
You know what you get with Milner in midfield. He made some fantastic runs into the channels but didn’t do anything with it. He could have had a goal before his penalty too, as he volleyed a Gomez cross wide.
ADAM LALLANA – 5/10
Lallana was poor today. His touch let him down, and that doesn’t happen often when he is at the top of his game. He grew into the game as time went on, and won the penalty for the first goal too. He should do much better than to allow Bolasie to run away so easily to set up Everton’s goal.
ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN – 5/10
Can he get rid of all the fancy touches and do the simple things right? When he did do that, in the second half, he showed what a mighty fine player he can be. He got the assist for the winner, so that is another tangible contribution in terms of his end-product.
SADIO MANE – 6/10
He troubled Kenny on and off but looked off the pace again. Even so, he showed some silky skill, and with a little more sharpness, might have made more of the opportunities on a few occasions when he got into the box.
ROBERTO FIRMINO – 7/10
Passing was not up to his usual high standards, but he showed that he could hold the ball up and bring others into play. Gave us the big derby moment after getting in Holgate’s face.
GINI WIJNALDUM – 6/10
Wijnaldum did well after coming on. He mostly doubled up on the left side to help Robertson out against Bolasie and did his job.
TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD – 6/10
There was one crucial defensive contribution from Trent as he headed across away at the far post, but he was troubled by Lookman.
DOMINIC SOLANKE – 6/10
Ran around, showed a few neat touches, but not at decisive moments.
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