Liverpool 2-0 Everton
Premier League (33), Anfield
April 24, 2022
Robertson 62′ (assist – Salah)
Origi 85′ (assist – Diaz)
Everton went into the game in the relegation zone and spent the first half acting like a lower league team, celebrating basic tackles and blocked shots.
Their game plan was simple, trying to stop Liverpool and little else. There was a 10-minute period where Liverpool had 91% possession.
The first 45 was more memorable for Anthony Gordon being booked for diving, Seamus Coleman and Diogo Jota being involved in a flare-up, Jordan Pickford’s embarrassing timewasting, and Richarlison’s ridiculous play-acting.
The half ended without either side mustering a shot on target.
Everton‘s derisory tactics had worked. Frank Lampard channelling his inner Jose Mourinho 2014 playbook.
The visitors had no interest in playing football, completing just 32 passes, the lowest in the first half by a Premier League side since 2006.
Half time: Liverpool 0-0 Everton
It worked immediately, Origi getting himself into the box, played a return pass with Salah, whose cross was headed in at the back post by Andy Robertson.
Diaz and Origi caused all sorts of problems, the Everton defence unable to deal with the new threat. Diaz, in particular, added that new unpredictability.
Everton were forced to actually attempt to play football and substitute Delle Ali got in behind, only for Robertson to defend superbly to deny a goalscoring opportunity.
But then it was time. The time that almost seemed inevitable. It was Divock time.
Diaz attempted an overhead kick, it bounced up perfectly and Origi headed home from close range. His sixth goal of the season.
Klopp’s double sub was undoubtedly the game changer.
There was still, though, the funniest moment of the match to come when Alisson made a simple save, collecting the ball easily to his chest, then collapsing to the floor to mock Pickford’s ridiculous timewasting earlier in the game.
‘Liverpool are magic, Everton are tragic,’ sang the Kop. Along with Rafa Benitez’s name and ‘going down’ and ‘this is your last trip to Anfield.’
Next up: a Champions League semi-final, back at Anfield on Wednesday night. 9 games from greatness.
TIA Man of the Match: Andy Robertson
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Subs not used: Kelleher, Konate, Gomez, Tsimikas, Milner, Jones
Everton: Pickford; Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Mykolenko; Doucoure, Allan; Iwobi, Gordon, Richarlison; Gray
Subs: Begovic, Kenny, Delph, Branthwaite, Rondon, El Ghazi, Alli, Price
Next match: Villarreal (H) – Champions League – Wednesday, April 27, 8pm (BST)