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Liverpool 1 Everton 1 (Dec 10 2017)

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Dave Usher at Anfield
 
 
 

We’ve dropped a number of needless points this season but this was by far the biggest failure when you take into account just how bad the opposition were. We won’t play a worse team all season yet somehow we’ve allowed them to escape with a point. Better Everton teams than this have been beaten by four so it’s incredibly frustrating not to hand them their arses. 

 

Part of it was down to the team selection, part of it was wastefulness in front of goal and the rest of it was just plain old bad luck. Some will also say it’s Lovren’s fault but I’m not on board that runaway train. If anything, I’m stood in the middle of the track trying to stop the thing, but I’ll get to the penalty incident in due course as I’ve got some strong thoughts on that and the reaction to it. 

 

Klopp’s rotation is the biggest talking point as it always is when the result isn’t what we want. If we get the win then Klopp is hailed for being able to swap his players around and still get the job done, as indeed he has been several times in recent weeks. If we don’t win he’ll get hammered for it. He knows that better than anybody and is more than willing to take the blame. Is this result his fault though? Well yeah, partially I suppose, but I don’t really want to make too much of it as it’s such a difficult call getting the rotation thing right. 

 

I wanted to see our strongest side go out there and fucking destroy Everton. Just winning the game wasn’t even enough for me, I wanted to completely humiliate them and show them up for the fucking bums they are. So yeah, I was disappointed when I saw the team but at the same time I get it and I’m not mad. 

 

To me this team selection was the knock on effect from blowing a 3-0 lead in Spain and then having to play everyone in midweek against Spartak. That denied Klopp the chance to rest everybody ahead of this one and ultimately it’s cost us. 

 

Last year Klopp overplayed some players and their form suffered in the second half of the season because of it. Now he’s taking steps to avoid that. Who’s to say what is right or wrong? It’s not a black and white issue and there are so many things that go into it that those of us on the outside are not privy to. 

 

Klopp knows his players and how their game time needs to be managed during this busy period better than I do, so although I may not like or understand some of the decisions I’ll reluctantly get on board with it because he’s on a hiding to nothing really. He’ll probably leave out Salah or Mane this week against West Brom and if it doesn’t work he’ll get slaughtered for that too. It goes with the territory. 

 

We all think it’s madness to send out the same players twice a week every week, yet when a manager takes steps to prevent his players becoming fatigued or injured, we go mad if points are dropped. Basically, we all agree that rotation is necessary. Until it backfires, and then we moan! It’s magnified because it’s Everton, but if we’d lost at Brighton last week the same arguments would be getting trotted out because Mané was left on the bench. 

 

A popular argument seems to be that Klopp should have brought his star players off earlier against Spartak. Well Firmino was actually brought off after an hour yet still didn’t start against the Blues. That was surprising, but leaving Coutinho out made sense because he played the full game in midweek and apparently hadn’t trained since due to picking up a knock. 

 

Besides, Ox and Solanke are playing well so it’s not as though we were bringing in players who are no good. They both had decent games, with Ox arguably the best of the front six. The team Klopp picked dominated the game from start to finish, restricted Everton to zero chances and should have won by three or four. On another day they would have. In fact, if this game were played ten times we’d win nine of them even with the two Brazilians on the bench. Unfortunately this was that one in ten exception. 

 

As I say it we just need to take it on the chin and move on. Not everyone sees it like that of course and any time we don’t win there’s a massive inquisition as we look for someone to blame. It’s exhausting and you can tell how much it pisses Klopp off. We’re terrible for it and getting worse every year. Always looking for the reason we didn’t win and to say “it’s his fucking fault”. Sometimes though it’s no-ones fault, it’s just that shit happens and you don’t get the rub of the green. 

 

Don’t get me wrong, I hate that we didn’t win this game. Absolutely hate it. It’s pissing me off and I feel a deep sense of frustration, especially as that fat cunt Allardyce is now swanning round like he’s Rinus Michels. It hasn’t changed how I feel about our team or the direction we are headed, it’s just one of those things. We will occasionally drop points, even to terrible teams, but if we’re playing well and dominating games then I can live with it as more often than not we’ll win these games. 

 

From a fans point of view, we don’t want to see players rotated for a derby because of how much he game means to us, but - rightly or wrongly - Klopp has obviously looked at this much more objectively. To us it’s a must win game because it’s a derby. To him, it’s yet another bum team who will just sit back and try to keep the score down. Everton, West Brom, Bournemouth, Brighton, what’s the difference? In terms of what it means to the fans, a lot. In terms of the actual football side of it, nothing. 

 

Whereas I would have happily risked playing all of the big guns in this one even it caused us a problem in the next couple of games, Klopp is taking a longer term view and trying to minimise the risk to his players. That was a selection made with his head, not his heart. 

 

Putting the emotion of the occasion to one side, the derby isn’t really the derby anymore. The stakes are higher than your average league game and beating Everton means more than beating other teams of their level, but the actual game itself is no longer anything out of the ordinary. 

 

It used to be and those who played in these games back in the day would tell you that they are like no other. The intensity of the match and the pressure of the occasion were off the scale. Derby games were always blood and thunder, tackles flying in, no time on the ball. They were tense, nerve wracking affairs. It’s not like that now. 

 

Football has changed and the things that made the derby different no longer apply. You can’t kick the shit out of the opposition anymore, there’s no place in the modern game for the ‘dogs of war’ approach and gone are the days of McMahon and Reid booting lumps out of each other and then going for a bevvy afterwards. 

 

Derby games used to be completely frantic for 20 minutes and nobody was able to put their foot on the ball and play. Eventually it would settle down but the manic nature and intensity of those games was like nothing else we would have to play in. Now? Ask the players if this game was any different to playing Burnley, Newcastle, Brighton, Huddersfield or whoever and they’ll surely tell you that other than the importance of the occasion, it’s exactly the same. 

 

There wasn’t a bad tackle in the game. In fact, there were barely any tackles in the game. As for time on the ball, our lads were able to just knock it around unchallenged until they got near the penalty area. I mean fucking hell, Henderson had more passes in the first half than the entire Everton team. In the past that could never, ever have happened as he’d have had an opponent in his face every time he got the ball. Now Everton just sit on the edge of their own box and let us have the ball as much as we want. The derby game as we knew it is dead and the only way it’s ever coming back is if Everton become strong again. So yeah, it’s dead. 

 

So from Klopp’s point of view, this was a game where we would be facing a packed defence, lots of long balls, a ton of time wasting and opposition who even at 1-0 down would be quite happy to just sit back and avoid a bumming. That’s who Everton are these days. This wasn’t a local derby, it was essentially a minnow travelling to a giant and just wanting to not get battered. And it will only get worse with Allardyce there. 

 

It looked like an FA Cup 3rd round tie with a league one side travelling to one of the big boys and just hoping to not have their pants pulled down in front of the nation. Then they’re shamelessly celebrating a point that they basically stole as though they’ve pulled off some famous victory. I mean fucking hell, Phil Neville was actually tweeting about how the ‘city is now blue’, because they got a fucking scabby draw thanks to a bullshit penalty in a game where most of the time they were literally just kicking the ball into touch. 

 

It’s funny really given all their spending last summer and proclamations of the balance of power on Merseyside shifting. This was as bad an Everton team as I’ve ever seen and as I said in the opening, in that context this has to be our worst result of the season. We have to be beating a team as bad as this, and I fully expect us to wipe the floor with them in the cup in a few weeks. Rotation be damned for that, these need putting back in their box and I get the feeling Klopp and the players are so angry about this one that they’ll be going for the throat next time. 

 

That won’t make up for the two points we dropped here, but results elsewhere this weekend at least restricted the damage somewhat. We’re playing for second place anyway, and in that context we haven’t lost any ground with this result. I’m more annoyed at Everton escaping with a point than I am with the two we dropped. 

 

Still, this trend of not holding onto leads is worrying. I’m not especially concerned about conceding equalisers in close games, as goals can often come out of nowhere and sometimes there’s not a great deal you can do about it. We were unfortunate against Chelsea and also in this one. The key is to get the second goal which gives you that margin for error. We didn’t get that, and we ended up paying the price. 

 

That said, it was never a fucking penalty in a million years. Poor old Lovren is getting pelters again but for what? What exactly did he do wrong? “He gave the referee a decision to make”. No, he didn’t, that’s a last argument not backed up by replays. “He shouldn’t have put his hands on the player”. Behave. Ever tried defending without actually putting your hand on someone? 

 

It wasn’t a good look for Klopp the childish way he handled the questions about the penalty but I totally get where he was coming from and I’d have been exactly the same. He was incredulous that so many people thought it was a penalty. So am I. I can’t believe it. People whose opinions I respect are saying it was a pen. So many of them are saying it was a pen that I keep watching it to see what I’m missing. 

 

Yet the more I watch it the more adamant I am that not only was it not a penalty, but Lovren could not have done anything whatsoever to avoid what happened. He got screwed. We got screwed. I actually feel bad for Lovren this time. He’s an easy target though and a lot of that is his own fault. Even the day before the game he was going on about being in the best form of his life or something. Just shut up and play, because every time you open your mouth you end up looking a tit. 

 

In real time I didn’t think it was a penalty but I did feel that Lovren had given him a little nudge. Not enough to be penalised, but a nudge nonetheless. So I don’t have a major issue with the ref awarding a pen because he only gets one view of it and from his angle I can see why he thought it was a push. You win some you lose some. We got away with murder at Stoke and this time we were on the wrong end of one. C’est la vie. 

 

Having watched replays from various angles since, I’m totally with Klopp on this. How are people looking at this and blaming Lovren? Honestly, my mind is blown here. I get that he doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt because of his history of fuck ups, and if this were 50-50 or even 60-40 in his favour people would still want to blame him. I understand that. I don’t understand how so many are looking at this and blaming him and suggesting that he deliberately shoved the lad. 

 

I don’t see this as one of those debatable decisions where there are two viewpoints that have varying degrees of legitimacy. That would be the case if we had one look at it from one angle like the ref had. But with the benefit of replays it’s staggering to me that there are people still saying it’s a pen. There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s 100% NOT a foul by Lovren. 

 

Calvert-Lewin has pulled a Shane Long there. He runs away from the path of the ball and jumps into Lovren. He initiates the contact and there is literally no way for Lovren to avoid coming into contact with him. His hand does go on the striker’s back and from behind it does resemble a nudge, but again, it’s unavoidable and besides, just putting a hand on someone doesn’t constitute a foul. 

 

He doesn’t deliberately move his arm towards the player and shove him. His arm is in that position naturally as he runs, and the only reason he comes into contact with Calvert-Lewin is because the little fucker jumps into him. I’ve seen some suggest that Lovren was too tight to the player and he made it easy for him to initiate the contact. So what would you have him do, stand off and allow him room to get the ball and turn? 

 

No matter what way I look at this I keep coming back to the same conclusion, and it’s the same as Klopp’s. Lovren did nothing wrong other than not deal with the initial long ball better. If it were Gomez or Matip on the receiving end of that decision I’m fairly sure the perception of it by many would be massively different but it’s Lovren and bad situations follow him round like a big dark cloud. 

 

Personally I’m not looking to apportion blame on anyone for this. It’s just one of those unfortunate days really. The only criticism I have of anybody is that Mané didn’t square that ball just before half time. I thought that was a massive error of judgement on his part. We all love Sadio though and because of that he’s getting away with a lot of criticism. It’s a ‘reverse Lovren’ really. 

 

One of the great things about our forward line has been how unselfish they are and the pleasure they take from creating goals for each other. Yet Mané had THREE unmarked players to cut the ball back to and any one of them would have had a sitter. Instead he shot with his weaker foot from a difficult angle and made a horrible mess of it. I can’t defend that, it was terrible. 

 

I suspect complacency played a part though. The confidence of our forwards is sky high right now and not only did Mané fancy his chances of scoring, subconsciously he was probably thinking that it wasn’t that big a moment in the game anyway because we were ahead and we would surely create plenty more chances. 

 

As it turned out, it was a pivotal moment because if we had gone 2-0 up that’s basically game over because there is no way on earth that terrible Everton side was scoring twice. Go 2-0 up just before half time and it would have been a case of how many more we are going to get in the second half, so that miss was massive in the end. 

 

Ultimately, not getting the second goal was what cost us in this game. As I’ve said, there was very little that could be done about the goal we conceded but had we killed them off sooner it would have been immaterial anyway. We had chances, most notably when Mo headed inches wide after a brilliant right wing cross. 

 

Overall though we didn’t turn the dominance into clear cut chances and too many great crossing positions were wasted with a poor ball. Robertson’s delivery is usually great but he was patchy I thought. 

 

Taking Mo off was a little surprising but he wasn’t sharp in that second half and had over ran the ball a few times and lost possession with some heavy touches. That suggests there was a bit of fatigue setting in so I can see why he was replaced. It must have given Everton a big lift though as he’s such a fucking menace. His goal was absolutely brilliant, Dalglish-like in fact. 

 

It should have set us on the way to a convincing win but it didn’t. We just can’t seem to ever win 1-0 can we? I think we’ve had more 7-0 wins this season than 1-0 ones, which says it all about this team. Still, we’re entertaining and exciting and I look forward to every game we play. That’s something, surely? I guarantee that United fans wish they felt that way about their team. 

 

We need to go and beat West Brom and Bournemouth and put this one behind us. We’re on a long unbeaten run and we need to keep it going and solidify our place in the top four and chip away into the lead United have over us. And the next time we face Fat Sam and his alehouse team let’s make sure they get exactly what they deserve. 

 

Star man is Gomez, who was top drawer. Ox played very well too. 

 

Team: Mignolet; Gomez, Lovren, Klavan, Robertson; Henderson, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Coutinho); Salah (Firmino), Solange (Ings), Mané:



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Basically how many of us on here reviewed the team selection, the game itself and the penalty decision. Fully agree on your point about the Derby not being what it was. I think a huge part of that is down to the sheer gulf in the pedigree of managers over the last decade or so, OK we had Hodgson for a while, but even he didn't lose a game against the bitters. On the other hand Everton have been managed by men who are frightened to get in a war against us, they are always looking at not losing rather than actually thinking they might have a chance. A derby game used to be a leveller, regardless of who had the better players. Now it is just Everton trying not to get hammered and killing the game in key areas. Their keeper was wasting time from minute one whilst taking goal kicks, fucking about with the ball etc. 

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Wasn't a bad tackle in the game? Thought sigurdson on Henderson was pretty nasty. Not Barkley or that other goon that did origi bad, but a nasty one.

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Basically how many of us on here reviewed the team selection, the game itself and the penalty decision. Fully agree on your point about the Derby not being what it was. I think a huge part of that is down to the sheer gulf in the pedigree of managers over the last decade or so, OK we had Hodgson for a while, but even he didn't lose a game against the bitters. On the other hand Everton have been managed by men who are frightened to get in a war against us, they are always looking at not losing rather than actually thinking they might have a chance. A derby game used to be a leveller, regardless of who had the better players. Now it is just Everton trying not to get hammered and killing the game in key areas. Their keeper was wasting time from minute one whilst taking goal kicks, fucking about with the ball etc.

One of the owls most infamous moments as manager of us was an absoulute surrender at the pit that the turkey necked cunt had the neck to call 'our best performance of the season'

 

Maybe you have erased it from your memory for which i can't blame you!!

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One of the owls most infamous moments as manager of us was an absoulute surrender at the pit that the turkey necked cunt had the neck to call 'our best performance of the season'

 

Maybe you have erased it from your memory for which i can't blame you!!

 

Ah fuck, yeah, forgot about it being Hodgson in charge when we last lost a derby, in fact the only loss in 11 seasons. Should have just stuck at the (OK we had Hodgson) bit. Apart from him though, the quality in managers between the two teams has had a lot to do with how most derbies have panned out. Fucking Turkey necked chin stroker. (not you mate, Woy...)

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If we so much as draw with West Brom or Bournemouth and the resting rotation debate becomes unbearable.

 

Rotate one or two, but not, what was it? 5? 

 

It pains me to say it, but the players arent good enough techncally for that level of rotation.   

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If we so much as draw with West Brom or Bournemouth and the resting rotation debate becomes unbearable.

 

Rotate one or two, but not, what was it? 5? 

 

It pains me to say it, but the players arent good enough techncally for that level of rotation.   

 

Moreno and Coutinho were forced changes mate, whereas Mingolet came back as usual after Karius played his usual CL game. The rotation has been working, and you could say it worked again V Everton to a certain extent. Better decision making by one of our better players and we'd have won that game easily. I also thought Salah could have done better with that header at 1-0, although I might be a tad harsh on that one. 

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Think I was more anoyed with Mane than the ref at the end of the game. I simply just don't get why he doesn't square it there. Had it gone to 2-0 I think we'd have finished up putting 4 or 5 past them. They were absolutely terrible - even worst than I was expecting them to be. The comparison with a lower league FA cup team is spot on and in fact most of those teams would try and play more football than Everton did.

 

Ridiculous that they were saying on Sky afterwards that it was a penalty. I think it just fit into their narrative for this match. Plucky Everton getting battered against superior opposition but thanks to their genius new manager Big Sam (a close friend of most Sky Sports pundits) they come away with a point. They love to focus on our defending too so yeah let's say it was a stupid mistake by Lovren rather than a disgraceful decision by the referee then we can have another long segment about Klopp's inability to sort out his defence.

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Moreno and Coutinho were forced changes mate, whereas Mingolet came back as usual after Karius played his usual CL game. The rotation has been working, and you could say it worked again V Everton to a certain extent. Better decision making by one of our better players and we'd have won that game easily. I also thought Salah could have done better with that header at 1-0, although I might be a tad harsh on that one. 

 

I know what you mean, its difficult to strike the balance. If Coutinho had a knock, fair enough. Id prefer the other type of rest of getting the game won early then taking them out of the firing line.

 

I just wish it hadnt happened to be them of all people. Dreadful tactics and performance that may actually end up galvanising them into some kind of form.     

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I know what you mean, its difficult to strike the balance. If Coutinho had a knock, fair enough. Id prefer the other type of rest of getting the game won early then taking them out of the firing line.

 

I just wish it hadnt happened to be them of all people. Dreadful tactics and performance that may actually end up galvanising them into some kind of form.     

 

Hopefully not, I'm really holding out that fat Sam will have them in a relegation dog fight, because most of their players haven't got the bottle. He's probably gonna bore them to enough draws though, with the odd win against similar shite. Then he'll be lauded as the Messiah by all and sundry, instead of the bent fat useless cunt he is. 

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Hopefully not, I'm really holding out that fat Sam will have them in a relegation dog fight, because most of their players haven't got the bottle. He's probably gonna bore them to enough draws though, with the odd win against similar shite. Then he'll be lauded as the Messiah by all and sundry, instead of the bent fat useless cunt he is. 

 

I want him to have his arse handed to him the ear piece wearing twat. The money that gets chucked at him (both legally and otherwise) astounds me.

 

That said, they could be a match made in heaven

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If we so much as draw with West Brom or Bournemouth and the resting rotation debate becomes unbearable.

 

Rotate one or two, but not, what was it? 5? 

 

It pains me to say it, but the players arent good enough techncally for that level of rotation.   

 

Yet Klopp has been slaughtered over the last two season for running his team into the ground and burning them out. Seems to me he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. 

 

That aside, a 'weakened' Liverpool team played Everton team off the park. The issue for me were the players missing, not the missing players.   

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Yet Klopp has been slaughtered over the last two season for running his team into the ground and burning them out. Seems to me he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. 

 

That aside, a 'weakened' Liverpool team played Everton team off the park. The issue for me were the players missing, not the missing players.   

 

To be honest, I dont remember Klopp getting stick for running players into the ground (I could have just missed it), We went out of the cups early last year and had even less squad options so the argument to rotate was weak. He got a bit of stick for injuries put down to training methods?

 

Two of our most potent goalscorers didnt start the game at the weekend, who, in my opinion, wouldnt have missed quite as many as we did (some misses were atrocious, Henderson  having his usual smashes into the stand)

 

I take your point though, but still think West Brom was the game for wholesale changes- as pointed out above, some changes were forced upon us 

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I think Henderson might disagree that there were no bad tackles in the match!

 

Forgot about that one. It was so late that I didn't see it, I only saw Hendo in a heap afterwards.

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Great report Dave, cheers.

 

I’m not completely down on Lovren, but I still think he should have jockeyed the player and remained half a yard off him. Had he tried to turn and face Lovren then get your foot in and tackle and don’t let him turn.

 

Still, the point is well made about Lewin stepping across Lovren, on a different tranjectory to where the ball was going, drawing contact, and then making the most of it to win a penalty. It was very harsh indeed.

 

I’m frustrated to not hammer them as we are so much better. Mane culpable for not squaring it, possibly a bit too much rotation from Klopp for that one, a dodgy penalty and some iffy finishing all conspired together to see it end 1-1.

 

Time to get some more wins on the board and put this behind us. We’ll see them again soon enough, and hopefully next time we hammer them off the park.

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