Everton snap 22-year streak to pile more misery on stricken Liverpool

Date published: Saturday 20th February 2021 7:25 - Steve Pearson

Richarlison.Everton.TEAMtalk

Everton secured their first league win at Anfield since 1999 to heap more pressure on the ailing top four hopes of Liverpool.

Everton capitalised on a fast start in blustering conditions to snatch an early 1-0 lead inside three minutes.

James Rodriguez slipped Richarlison in after evading the attentions of Ozan Kabak, and made no mistake with his low finish tucked into the bottom corner.

Liverpool soon settled, and came close to restoring parity through Roberto Firmino. The ball ricocheted back and forth off a number of bodies before falling to the Brazilian.

His resulting effort deflected away for a corner from which the Reds again came close.

After the set piece broke down, Jordan Henderson almost equalised with a rasping long-range volley that produced a superb diving stop from Jordan Pickford.

An all too familiar site for Liverpool fans then occurred – a centre-half going down injured.

Henderson went down holding his groin. The captain gritted his teeth and attempted to play on, but his race was run as he was eventually replaced by Nat Phillips.

The Toffees almost took advantage of the defensive switch immediately when a divine cross from Lucas Digne picked out Seamus Coleman ghosting in at the far post.

The full-back met the header powerfully, but his effort was too central and allowed Alisson Becker to palm to safety.

Liverpool emerged with renewed vigour after the break, with Sadio Mane forcing another Pickford stop from a header.

The Senegalese had a greater intensity and purpose in his play and was proving a difficult threat to contain for the Everton backline as another chance went begging.

However, Everton continued to look dangerous on the break as Liverpool pushed for an equaliser. Dominic Calvert-Lewin was introduced to the action on the hour to aid their cutting edge in the final third should the opportunity to put the game to bed arise.

That scenario played out 20 minutes later when the forward raced past Trent Alexander-Arnold to win a penalty after being felled by the full-back.

Replays showed Alexander-Arnold was perhaps a touch unlucky to be penalised, but the decision survived a brief VAR check.

Gylfi Sigurdsson assumed the responsibility and rolled the ball into the bottom corner to make it 2-0.

Liverpool huffed and puffed as the game drew to a close but lacked incision in the final third as time ran out on a historic day for the blue half of Merseyside.

 

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