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New signing Van Dijk's header wins it for Liverpool

09 January, 2018, 02:03 | Author: Glenda Knight
  • Klopp was typically coy when answering questions about the possible transfer of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool to Barcelona

It was a fine finish to a game that was otherwise low on quality, as Liverpool, clearly tired from their Christmas travails, sank to the level of a boring Sam Allardyce Blues side, gifting a sloppy equalizer to Gylfi Sigurdsson after a first half penalty from James Milner had put Jurgen Klopp's team ahead.

"What a night", said the Dutch defender. The goal is very special for me and my family.

"Playing at Anfield for Liverpool is a dream for every player".

However, after Everton were given a controversial penalty in the Premier League fixture between the sides last month, Klopp acknowledged that his team were fortunate on this occasion.

Brazil playmaker Philippe Coutinho was again ruled out with a thigh injury as speculation continues to mount over his future amid interest from Barcelona, while top-scorer Mohamed Salah was missing with a groin problem.

On to the stats sheet, Van Dijk's dominance in his aerial duels against Everton was perhaps one of the most glaring facets that stood out from his performance, having won all eight of his defensive aerial jousts; the most of any other player on the pitch, with the next best being Everton's Phil Jagielka (six).

In a typically high-octane derby, Wayne Rooney picked up an early booking for a crude tackle on Joe Gomez and was substituted in the 52nd for his own good, moments after escaping a second yellow card for shoving Emre Can.

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Chances, though, were at premium in the first half as Liverpool dominated possession.

The German manager said he did not feel his side deserved a penalty for Mason Holgate's challenge on Adam Lallana in the first half. Still, a penalty was awarded and Milner deftly clipped the ball down the middle.

Klopp felt it was not a spot-kick.

"There is contact and the referee used his whistle. Exactly the same situation". Gylfi Sigurdsson equalized in the 67th but Everton's winless run at the home of its great rival extended to 21 games, dating back to 1999.

Rather than shoot himself the defender laid the ball off for Sigurdsson, who calmly stroked the ball into the bottom corner of the net past the flat-footed Loris Karius.

The 84th minute goal provided a relief in what had been a pulsating Merseyside derby.

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