Liverpool maintained their dominance over local rivals Everton to claim the top spot in the Premier League on Saturday. However, they enjoyed a stroke of luck as Mohamed Salah’s two goals secured a 2-0 victory at Anfield.
The match was marked by controversy as Everton expressed frustration with referee Craig Pawson’s decisions. Ashley Young received a second yellow card and was sent off just seven minutes before halftime for two bookable offenses, while Ibrahima Konate narrowly avoided a second booking in the second half, with the scores still level.
Liverpool struggled to capitalize on their numerical advantage, but they eventually broke through 15 minutes from time when Salah scored from the penalty spot after Michael Keane handled the ball.
In the dying moments of the game, Salah was set up by Darwin Nunez to secure the victory.
This win elevated Jurgen Klopp’s team to the top of the table, overtaking Tottenham and Arsenal on goal difference.
Liverpool has been a formidable force in Merseyside derbies, with just one loss in their last 29 encounters and an unbeaten record at Anfield against Everton since 1999.
The clashes between these two teams have seen numerous red cards in the Premier League era, and another sending off played a pivotal role in this match.
Everton had posed a threat but was left frustrated when Ashley Young received his second yellow card for a challenge on Luis Diaz. At the same time, Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s early header was too close to goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
Liverpool faced challenges, including a quick turnaround after some of their players represented their countries in South American World Cup qualifiers. Despite having an extra man in the second half, they appeared fatigued.
To counter Liverpool’s advantage, Everton’s manager, Sean Dyche, introduced Michael Keane at halftime, adopting a back-five formation. This adjustment limited Liverpool’s clear chances, much to the frustration of the home supporters.
Everton was further dismayed when Ibrahima Konate was not shown a red card after a foul on Beto, despite having received a yellow card earlier. This decision led to protests and a yellow card for Dyche.
Liverpool had faced issues with officials recently, with a controversial VAR decision in their only defeat of the season against Tottenham. However, in this match, VAR awarded Liverpool a penalty after Diaz’s cross struck Keane’s outstretched arm. Salah converted the penalty.
In an unrelated note, Mohamed Salah had recently posted an emotional video on social media, calling for an end to conflicts in the Middle East.
As Everton pushed forward in search of an equalizer, they were caught on the counter-attack deep into stoppage time, with Nunez assisting Salah for a straightforward finish.