Magnificent Everton earn historic away win over Liverpool

Saturday, 20 February, 2021 0comments  |  Jump to last
Liverpool 0 - 2 Everton

Everton's 21½-year wait to taste victory at Anfield came to a glorious end this evening as Richarlison's early goal and Gylfi Sigurdsson's late penalty condemned Liverpool to their fourth successive home defeat.

The build-up to the 238th Merseyside derby was dominated by Jordan Pickford following the controversy around his challenge on Virgil van Dijk at Goodison Park last October and the England international responded with a magnificent performance, pulling off some vital saves to keep the reds at bay.

Starting with Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Allan on the substitutes' bench, Everton had taken the lead after just three minutes when James Rodriguez slipped a perfect ball between two defenders for Richarlison to stride into the box and drill a shot into the far corner.

It set up predictable waves of pressure from Liverpool but they were consistently repelled by an excellent defensive stand from the Toffees. Roberto Firmino's shot deflected narrowly wide off Michael Keane in the 19th minute and a minute after that, Pickford brilliantly tipped Jordan Henderson's volley past the post at full stretch.

The keeper tipped a Trent Alexander-Arnold effort over almost immediately afterwards and after Henderson had been forced off through injury around the half hour mark, his replacement Nathaniel Phillips headed a deep cross into the side-netting.

At the other end, Seamus Coleman came very close to doubling Everton's lead when Lucas Digne dug out a superb cross from the left and the Irishman met it with a diving header from six yards out that Alisson Becker managed to parry away.

The second half began with yet more pressure from the home side and Sadio Mané had as good a chance as Liverpool would get just two minutes after the restart when he met Andrew Robertson's cross with a header but Pickford denied him.

A minute later, the Senegalese popped up in a similar position but planted Curtis Jones's cross over the bar and Keane made a vital last-ditch tackle to deny the same player in front of goal a few minutes later.

Just before an hour had elapsed, Carlo Ancelotti introduced Gylfi Sigurdsson for André Gomes who had been on a yellow card since the 41st minute and then replaced James with Calvert-Lewin and it was the Icelandic international who would eventually kill the contest when the English striker was felled in the box.

Sigurdsson had had a tame half-volley saved a few minutes after he came on and Pickford had done really well to make himself big and first block then gather from Mohamed Salah but Everton picked the hosts off on the counter attack.

The impressive Tom Davies passed forward for Richarlison who spun his man expertly and raced ahead before playing in Calvert-Lewin whose initial shot was saved by Alisson. The striker was looking to tuck in the rebound when Alexander-Arnold felled him trying to make a saving challenge and referee Chris Kavanagh awarded a penalty.

Sigurdsson stepped up and put the spot-kick away with aplomb to effectively guarantee that Everton would collect their first win at Anfield since September 1999.

Firmino had another effort that the officials adjudged to have been deflected wide off Ben Godfrey's boot, Pickford had to palm a Giorginio Wijnaldum's fierce effort over and Sigurdsson lashed the last shot of the match wide before Kavanagh called time on a famous night for the Blue side of Merseyside.

The result pulls Everton level on points with Liverpool (who lost four home games in a row for the first time in 98 years) in the Premier League table and once again revived talks of their European aspirations under Ancelotti after successive home defeats to Fulham and Manchester City in the last week.

More than that, it ends the Blues' enduringly miserable run at their former home and a sequence without a win anywhere over the reds since 2010 and will hopefully provide another massive boost to the players' confidence for the remainder of the campaign.

 


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