The Merseyside derby this past weekend was a back and forth match full of drama, one that ultimately ended in a draw. The historical soccer matchup features Liverpool and Everton, both Premier League teams based in Liverpool who share an intense rivalry. Everton was seeking their first derby win in over 10 years, falling just short with a draw.
From the start to the very last minutes of stoppage time, this match was filled with back and forth competitive play.
The first moment of excitement came just under the three-minute mark when Liverpool’s Sadio Mané scored the opening goal, providing his side with an immediate pressure advantage. In the fifth minute, Liverpool had an opportunity for a second goal with a cross intended for Virgil Van Dijk. Determined to prevent that from happening, the Everton goalie, Jordan Pickford, came off his line to tackle Van Dijk. For all the spectators, it seemed as though Pickford would draw a foul, granting Liverpool a penalty.
But after consulting the video assistant referee (VAR), the referee deemed that Van Dijk was offside before the tackle, so that call took precedence. This was fortunate for Everton because Pickford likely would’ve received a red card since Van Dijk reached the ball first. If this had happened, Everton would’ve been at a one-man disadvantage for the rest of the game. Van Dijk, on the other hand, was injured but was able to walk off the field. Pickford went on to make some incredible saves to keep Everton in the game.
Not long after this incident, Michael Keane scored the first Everton goal in the nineteenth minute of play off of a corner kick. Pickford, whom VAR had allowed to stay in the game, also made a critical save off a free kick, allowing Everton to enter half-time relatively unscathed, with a draw at hand and only a single yellow card.
The first goal of the second half was scored by Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah. A cross was sent in by Jordan Henderson, and Salah had a left-footed finish off of a clear by an Everton defender. Liverpool came close again on a corner kick that was saved by Pickford just a few minutes after they had put themselves ahead.
The pressure was put back on Everton, who still needed an equalizing goal with nineteen minutes left to play. But Dominic Calvert-Lewin brought the score to a tie for Everton after scoring a goal with a header in the 81st minute. This was an important goal for him, and made him the first Everton player to score in the first five league games of the season since 1938.
In the 90th minute, when it looked as though the excitement was over, Everton’s Richarlison had a slide tackle that got him a red card. This was a critical moment, as he left the field with both an injury and a red card, leaving Everton to play the final five minutes of stoppage time with only 10 players.
If all this wasn’t enough, in the final minutes of the game, Henderson scored off a cross from Mané, to put Liverpool in the lead with almost no time left to play. It appeared that Liverpool had won the game, but the goal was recalled, as VAR determined Mané’s arm to be mere centimeters offside. The game ended in a draw, leaving Everton still searching for that elusive victory against Liverpool.
Derby matches can always be expected to be exciting and this Merseyside derby was no exception, keeping both Liverpool and Everton fans alike on the edge of their seats.