Premier League • England

Pundits marvel over ‘world class’ Jordan Pickford as Rio Ferdinand names two reasons why Liverpool are struggling for results

Jordan Pickford of Everton celebrates during the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool

Pundits Rio Ferdinand and Peter Crouch were both in awe of Jordan Pickford after his Man of the Match display in Saturday lunchtime’s goalless draw against Liverpool at Goodison Park.

Both teams had their chances in the game with Everton hitting the post through a clever Tom Davies poke with the outside of his boot. Conor Coady, meanwhile, thought he had grabbed a winner when poking home from a yard out, only to be denied by a narrow VAR call.

Liverpool also had plenty of chances too with Pickford producing several outstanding saves. He denied Fabinho and then Roberto Firmino three times in the second half. He then produced a sublime save from Mohamed Salah at the death. The England keeper was deservedly named Man of the Match.

The Reds also hit the woodwork through Luis Diaz; that came after an outstanding Pickford save from Darwin Nunez’s volley.

In total, Pickford made eight saves in total – and it was his one from Salah at the death that most caught the eye.

“He’s a big-game player,” former Everton No 2 Duncan Ferguson claimed. “He’s done it for England over the years, he was absolutely outstanding today. He kept them in the game with that performance.

“Some of those saves were world class,” Crouch told BT Sport. “He gets a lot of stick, but he showed today that he’s still a top-class goalkeeper. He’s showed today why he’s still England’s No 1. Some of those saves today were world class, they really were. The one at the death from Mohamed Salah was an incredible save.”

Ferdinand added: “There will be one man outside Liverpool rubbing his hands together and that’s Gareth Southgate. If you are going to do anything in tournaments and big games, you need your goalkeeper performing at his best. The one from Salah at the end was his best one.

“In a World Cup year, you want your best players to be on form.”

Jordan Pickford earns Klopp recognition

Questioned about Pickford’s display, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp commented: “Wow. What more can we do?”

“It’s been a super intense week for us. It’s always difficult here and was difficult again today.”

The draw lifts Liverpool up to fifth ahead of the rest of the weekend’s games.

Worryingly for them, however, they only have two wins from their six matches so far. And they could be as many as nine points off the top of the table if Arsenal win at Manchester United on Sunday.

Similarly, a win for City will also see Pep Guardiola’s side with a seven-point advantage already over the Reds.

Summing up their struggles, Ferdinand had two reasons why things are not quite going their way this season.

“A draw feels about fair, Liverpool had the better clearer chances, though,” Ferdinand started. “They will be more frustrated, but they did not have that luck in front of goal. Jordan Pickford today was exceptional, eight great saves.”

Assessing why it’s not quite clicked for them, he added: “Injuries play a big part, and that midfield has been a big factor. That area of the pitch, Klopp’s not been able to put his best three in there.”

He added: “Salah is not firing on all cylinders either. Previously, if Salah wasn’t doing it, [Sadio] Mane would. He’s not there now, so they have to live with that.

“They’re a great team though and you know they are going to be around again at the end of the season.”

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