Mohamed Salah’s opening goal in the first half put Liverpool on their way to victory in a bad-tempered game that ended with the players facing each other on the pitch after a foul by the Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford on Liverpool’s AndyRobertson. While the win boosted Liverpool’s faint hopes of a place in the top four, the defeat left Everton in the relegation zone ahead of Saturday’s crucial clash with Leeds United.
1. Liverpool end winless run to keep Everton in the drop zone
Liverpool finally recorded their first Premier League win of 2023 – and welcomed themselves back to fitness Diogo Jota for his first appearance since October – as Klopp’s team deepened relegation fears for neighbors Everton.
After a sad start to the year for both clubs, managers Klopp and Sean Dyche’s main objective is now to find a way to salvage their respective teams’ seasons. For Liverpool it’s about finding the form to make a late attack on the table to seal a top four result and Champions League Qualification. For Everton and recently appointed boss Dyche, however, the only priority is escaping the bottom three and avoiding relegation.
However, both teams still have work to do to achieve their goals.
Despite this win, Liverpool are still nine points adrift of fourth place Newcastle United, against whom they play at St James’ Park on Saturday. Having played a game fewer than Eddie Howe’s side, a win would give Liverpool real hope of a place in the top four, but anything less than three points will leave Klopp’s side underdogs to clinch a Champions League spot .
Things are even bleaker for Everton, who remain in the last three after the defeat. Dyche’s team that defeated the leaders arsenal In his first game in charge earlier this month, he comes against Leeds at Goodison Park on Saturday, with the unmanaged Elland Road side a place and a point above them in the table.
While this defeat will deal a blow to Everton’s local pride, the reality is that Saturday’s game is so much bigger. If Liverpool and Everton are to salvage their seasons, they both need to do better than they did at Anfield in this game.
2. Nunez and Gakpo are promising
Gakpo and Darwin Nunez have both struggled for goals since moving big bucks to Liverpool this season but the two strikers played a big part in that win over Everton.
Nunez, who went into the game with five goals in 16 league games since his club-record £75m Benficaregistered an assist for Salah’s opening goal, while Gakpo eventually scored his first Liverpool goal since arriving in a £37million move PSV Eindhoven Last month. The two players are both just 23 years old so their careers still lie ahead of them and Liverpool signed them to eventually replace Salah. Roberto Firmin And sadio manethe latter follows Bayern Munich last summer.
It’s no secret that Nunez and Gakpo are both still raw and inexperienced at the highest level and it has shown in their performances for Liverpool, but they are both hugely talented too and Liverpool fans are showing patience with the two they make faltering footsteps at Anfield.
Nunez is never lacking in drive and can wreak havoc in opponents’ penalty areas even when he misses too many chances, and Gakpo is still adapting to the demands of English football and Klopp’s demands on him within the squad system. With Nunez scoring and Gakpo scoring another, it was a good night for two of Liverpool’s high hopes for the future.
3. Everton need a fit Calvert-Lewin – and fast
Everton went into this game with the worst goal tally in the Premier League this season and they never looked like they could add to their meager tally of 16 goals all season. The absence of the center forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin Injury problems have been a key factor in the lack of goals for much of the season, but the England striker has still only scored once in 11 games.
That says everything about Everton’s situation Demarai Gray And Anthony Gordon, now a Newcastle player, are their joint top-scorers in the league with just three goals each. Dyche handed the 22-year-old over to Anfield Ellis Simms his first start of the season in place of the injured Calvert-Lewin and he was completely overwhelmed against Liverpool defenders Joel Matip And Joe Gomez.
signing in summer Neal Maupay (a league goal all season) and Gray started this game on the bench but so lacking in firepower is this Everton squad that Dyche desperately needs Calvert-Lewin to find fitness and form. If he continues to come in and out of the team like he has done all season, Everton will find it difficult to score the goals they need to stay on top.
Calvert-Lewin was unable to replace Gordon following his move to Newcastle in January and is now Everton’s only option as a reliable goalscorer.
Best and worst performers
BEST: Darwin Nunez, Liverpool. The Uruguay Forward was Liverpool’s best offensive player. Full of pace and determination, his escape led to Salah’s 36th-minute opener.
BEST: Andy Robertson, Liverpool. The Liverpool full-back looked back at his best and it was his push forward that started the move to make it 2-0 in the second half.
BEST: Joel Matip, Liverpool. He rarely gets the recognition his achievements deserve, but he does Virgil van Dijk Still unfit to start after injury, Matip once again controlled the Liverpool defense in front of the goalkeeper Alison.
WORST: Ellis Simms, Everton. A difficult task for the 22-year-old Everton striker in just his second Premier League start, but loans at Sunderland and Blackpool were worlds away from the challenge of playing against Liverpool.
WORST: Jordan Pickford, Everton. One of the Everton goalkeeper’s more erratic performances. Only Pickford knows what he did for Liverpool’s first goal as he left a gaping hole for Salah to score.
Highlights and notable moments
Everton hit the post at one end and 45 seconds later Salah had it at the back of the net at the other end. Devastating quick strike ability.
WHAT A LIVERPOOL COUNTERATTACK!
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) February 13, 2023
After the game: What the players/coaches said
salah: “This is a huge win for us. We had a perfect week of training and the players were so excited and we couldn’t wait for the game to turn everything around. Hopefully it was a start.”
dye: “We’ve given the players a lot of information and they have a lot to absorb. There’s still work to be done. We beat Arsenal last week and I wasn’t jumping for joy. No lack of effort or work ethic.” , it’s still hard to get here, but [Liverpool] are a great site.”
Key Statistics (provided by ESPN Stats & Information Research)
– Salah’s goal was his 100th goal contribution (71 goals and 29 assists) in 104 Premier League games at Anfield.
Liverpool: Klopp & Co travel to Tyneside for a Premier League showdown against Newcastle on Saturday.
Everton: The Toffees are also in action on Saturday when they welcome Leeds to Goodison Park in a clash between 17th and 18th in the table, with huge implications for the relegation battle.