Liverpool’s long unbeaten home run against Everton came to a miserable end on Saturday night, as Carlo Ancelotti’s side won 2-0 at Anfield.
Liverpool 0-2 Everton
Premier League (25), Anfield
February 20, 2021
Goals: Richarlison 3′, Sigurdsson pen 82′
Alisson – 6 (out of 10)
Alisson was beaten early on at Anfield, but he could do nothing about Richarlison’s precise finish in front of the Kop.
The Brazilian was generally untested otherwise, barring one big save to deny Seamus Coleman in the first half, and was beaten from the penalty spot.
There were far bigger problems in front of him.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6
Alexander-Arnold has looked close to his best in recent weeks, but he struggled to have the same impact against the Blues.
Defensively, he didn’t always look secure, and he was unable to produce his usual final-third magic at the other end.
Better in the second half, though, and fizzed in one dangerous cross.
Ozan Kabak – 5
Kabak made his first Liverpool appearance at Anfield, but he endured a difficult evening, not helped by the wind.
A nervy early header straight from kickoff was a sign of things to come and he switched off for Richarlison’s opener, watching the ball instead of his man.
Never dealt with the gales on Merseyside, and most worryingly, there were shades of Dejan Lovren about his reckless display.
Jordan Henderson – 6
Henderson has performed admirably in a new defensive role, but his evening came to a premature end at Anfield.
One great volleyed strike was kept out by Jordan Pickford, before his game was halted on the half-hour mark, following a hamstring injury.
When it rains, it pours.
Andy Robertson – 5
Robertson has been lacking a spark by his usual world-class standards and that was again the case on Saturday.
The Scot’s linkup play with Sadio Mane was nowhere to be seen on the whole and he looks like a player running on empty right now.
Switched off when Alisson saved from Coleman.
Gini Wijnaldum – 5
Wijnaldum again anchored Liverpool’s midfield at Anfield, making his 23rd start in the league this season.
The Dutchman played like someone with a huge amount of football in his legs, with his influence horribly lacking throughout.
Thiago – 5
Talk of Thiago supposedly hampering the Reds has continued this week, and unfortunately, this was a match that won’t see those opinions silenced.
The 29-year-old allowed Everton‘s midfield to get the better of him in a physical sense and the creative spark he was meant to bring to the side was sorely lacking.
Much more is required – it shouldn’t be a crime to criticise him.
Curtis Jones – 5
Jones now looks a genuinely reliable part of this Liverpool team, but he was part of a lifeless midfield here.
The youngster curled wide in the first half, but this was not the Jones we saw in midweek and he was replaced in the second half.
No derby heroics this time.
Mohamed Salah – 5
Salah has been electrifying of late and he was looking to add to his 24 goals already this season against Everton.
It was impossible to question the No. 11 when it came to his work ethic, but he was often crowed out by a stubborn Blues rearguard and he wasteful on the ball.
Thwarted by Pickford after the break and went down too easily twice.
Sadio Mane – 5
Mane was finally back in the goalscoring groove away to RB Leipzig and he was looking to take his return to form into the derby.
This was another horribly flat performance, however, as the Senegalese missed two headers and endlessly failed to keep possession.
Grew increasingly frustrated as each minute ticked by and was booked. A long, long way from the Mane of last season.
Roberto Firmino – 4
Firmino led the line for the Reds, but this was an all-too-familiar night from him, with the Brazilian a shadow of his former self for around a year now.
Twice he displayed really poor finishing when he had time to steady himself – one off each foot – and he lacked his usual energy off the ball.
Past his best?
Nathaniel Phillips (on for Henderson, 30′) – 5
The centre-back headed into the side-netting shortly after coming on, but committed himself in the lead up to Dominic Calvert-Lewin winning the penalty.
Xherdan Shaqiri (on for Jones, 62′) – 5
Had no impact on proceedings.
Divock Origi (on for Thiago, 87′) – N/A
No time to do anything of note.
Subs not used: Adrian, N.Williams, Tsimikas, Davies, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Jurgen Klopp – 5
It hasn’t been a good six weeks or so for Klopp, but the win over Leipzig suggested Liverpool were on the road to recovery.
This was another almighty setback, however, as the champions produced an insipid display that warranted the defeat Everton inflicted on them.
Once again, Liverpool’s end product was simply not good enough and this has to be considered a hammer blow to their top-four chances.
Klopp does have injuries as a very genuine excuse, though – frankly, what is he meant to do in this unprecedented situation?