Defensive debacle at Anfield leaves Everton in the relegation zone

Wednesday, 4 December, 2019 0comments  |  Jump to last
Liverpool 5 - 2 Everton

Everton suffered yet another defeat on the turf of the old enemy across Stanley Park as they were ripped apart in a harrowing first half that was only salvaged to a degree by Richarlison's goal in stoppage time before the interval.

The Brazilian threw himself at Bernard's cross from the left and the ball flew past Adrian off his shoulder to make it 4-2 and send the Blues into the dressing room with a modicum of hope.

Marco Silva's side were effectively shut down in the second period, however, by a Liverpool side that only briefly looked like its own defence might be breached again. Richarlison planted a header straight at the goalkeeper from a corner and substitute Moise Kean squandered a gilt-edged chance to set up a grandstand finish late on but it was left to the reds, who should have been four goals up by the 90th minute, to have the last word through Georginio Wijnaldum.

Hoping to keep at bay a Liverpool attack that looked formidable even without the likes of Mohamed Salah and Robert Firmino in the starting XI in the same his team had for an hour against Leicester on Sunday, Silva deployed an unchanged side with a three-man central defence.

It took just six minutes, however, for Jurgen Klopp's men to slice them open as the home side countered following an Everton corner and Divock Origi received the ball with Jordan Pickford in no-man's and rounded him easily to roll home the opener.

Sadio Mané was picked out by Trent Alexander-Arnold's raking ball 10 minutes later and he took advantage of a seemingly non-existent defence to slip Xherdan Shaqiri in to double the advantage.

Everton threatened to make a serious contest of it shortly afterwards, however. A short corner routine to Gylfi Sigurdsson almost went awry but the Blues retained the ball, Alex Iwobi hammered it low into the six-yard box and Michael Keane picked up a favourable bounce to knock it over the keeper from close range and make it 2-1.

And the away fans were baying for a penalty less than five minutes after that when Virgil van Dijk appeared to illegally impede Dominic Calvert-Lewin but Video Assistant Referee Martin Atkinson failed to give anything.

2-1 became 3-1, though, in the 32nd minute as another ball over Everton's labouring back line found Origi who took one touch to control before half-volleying high into Pickford's net.

Silva's desperation prompted him to withdraw Djibril Sidibe in favour of Bernard with 10 minutes still to go in the half but after Iwobi had side-footed wide and Richarlison almost forced an own goal from Dejan Lovren, Liverpool raced away on another counter-attack in the 45th minute where Mané was on hand to sweep home Liverpool's fourth.

Everton were still chasing the game in vain by the hour mark when Silva took Calvert-Lewin off and introduced Kean but apart from those two good opportunities, it was largely an exercise in futility for the Toffees.

Kean's chance could have introduced some nerves into the Kop had he slotted home when put in cleanly by Iwobi's pass, particularly after Mané had wasted a chance when he just had Pickford to beat, but the Italian fired inches wide.

Mané again found himself in a situation where he looked odds-on to score but a combination of Pickford and Holgate did enough to crowd him out but Wijnaldum did complete Silva's misery with a 90th-minute strike from the angle that crept in the far post.

Everton's ninth defeat of an increasingly worrying campaign leaves in the bottom three following Southampton's victory over Norwich earlier in the evening and puts Silva's position in even more danger with three more daunting Premier League games against Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal to come before Christmas.


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