A Merseyside Derby to Remember!

21st October 2020

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Unlike last season's drab 0-0 result at Goodison Park this past weekend's derby game was one to remember. It lived up to expectations and had everything. Everton so long in Liverpool's shadow lost their 100% record but gained a lot more as they came back twice in the game to draw 2-2.

Sadio Mane was back in the Liverpool set up and he scored after just 3 minutes, at this point you would have been forgiven if your thoughts would turn to Everton crumbling - past teams would have. However Michael Keane equalised soon after, he has scored a few goals this season and has started very well for the Toffee's.

Liverpool then took a 2-1 lead through the ever dangerous Mohamed Salah and with less than 10 minutes remaining it seemed as if Liverpool despite good play from Everton were going to inflict a first defeat of the season on Carlo Ancelotti's team. Man of the moment Dominic Calvert-Lewin had other ideas though and scored a superb header to level the game at 2-2. Liverpool had blown their chance and Everton had showed a new side to their play but of course this game cannot stop at just the result, like many derbies before them there were the incidents.

It started early on when Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford went for the ball and clashed with Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk. This ended the Dutchman's game and the sad news is that he could miss the remainder of the season with cruciate ligament damage. Pickford wasn't cautioned as the move had been offside, but should he have been? In short in an ever changing rule system the game continued and Pickford wasn't even cautioned but does that mean if a player punched another but the move was offside that player wouldn't be punished? In an ideal situtaion Pickford deserved a yellow card and a warning from the referee. The challenge wasn't a great one. However in Pickford's defence he was going for a very high ball and his eyes were fixated on the ball both players were going for it. Pickford's challenge did not seem to be of intent to injure another player, with that said we should move on but of course everyone will wish Van Dijk the best of luck and a speedy recovery.

Later Richarlison was sent off for his tackle on Thiago Alcantara, which in truth could have bene more serious for the new signing. It didn't look good and the Brazilian was given his marching orders - again though was any intent really behind it? In a derby passions flare and let's not forget Andrew Robertson could have also seen red in another game for his lunge. Finally to make matters worse from a Liverpool point of view they had appeared to score a last minute winning goal which was ruled out for offside - it looked fine. VAR strikes again, but unlucky for Liverpool the goal was disallowed. Now the club want a full review of VAR and an investigation but doesn't this sound a tad rich given that there have been well over a hundred different instances when VAR has ruled an odd decision since its inception in 2019/20. Do we have teams screaming for investigations because a decision went wrong for them? In the days when Project Big Picture blew up in their faces this has been a forgetable week for the red half of Merseyside.

Jose Mourinho was quick to blame his players as he saw his side blow a 3-0 lead at home to West Ham, to see the Hammers come back to 3-3 with just 8 minutes remaining. Maybe some tactics from Mourinho back fired though. Bringing off the excellent Heung-Min Son, which instantly drove West Ham's front three forward was a big mistake. As for West Ham, take out their first game against Newcastle and they have been very good this season. The only club still with a 100% record is Aston Villa who stunned Leicester with a last minute Ross Barkley goal. A credit to Dean Smith who has really helped turn the clubs fortunes around.

Chelsea have continued their bumpy start to the season as they let Southampton back in to draw 3-3 at Stamford Bridge. Though it was good news for Timo Werner who finally scored his first league goals for the club. And finally, Manchester City had to put a workmanlike performance into beating Arsenal, but they did it with a 1-0 victory at home.

Team of the week: Marintez; Mings, Targett, Walker, Dias; Barkley, Zaha, Sterling, Fernandes; Kane, Werner



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