EVERTON 2-2 LIVERPOOL
- Goals: Michael Keane (£5.0m), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.6m) | Sadio Mane (£11.9m), Mohamed Salah (£12.3m)
- Assists: James Rodriguez (£7.9m), Lucas Digne (£6.1m) | Andrew Robertson (£7.0m)
- Bonus: Digne x3, Robertson x2, Keane
A thrilling Merseyside derby brought second-half goals from Mohamed Salah (£12.3m) and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.6m), with points shared thanks to an injury-time winner being ruled out by VAR.
The second half was an already entertaining affair until a Richarlison (£7.9m) red card was shortly followed by the dramatic Jordan Henderson (£5.4m) goal that was controversially deemed to have had an offside in the build-up. VAR decided that Sadio Mane’s (£11.9m) arm may have strayed marginally behind the line.
It denied Liverpool the win which would have put them joint top with Everton, despite their 7-2 humiliation at Aston Villa a fortnight ago. They started this march brilliantly and with a desire to rectify that. Instead, Carlo Ancelotti’s impressive Toffees eased into the match and remain undefeated.
“I’m not surprised about the reaction, that’s what I wanted to see but it’s still only a draw. But the game, the performance and the reaction, I think everybody who is with us thought today that was pretty good.” – Jurgen Klopp
VAN DIJK INJURY
Going into the match, it was difficult to know what to expect. Both sides entered proceedings with the league’s highest xG (expected goals) tallies but the previous three Goodison Park derbies had all finished 0-0. However, continuing the absurd attacking festival of recent weeks, it took less than three minutes for this streak to end.
The returning Mane put Liverpool ahead by converting a pull-back from Andrew Robertson (£7.0m), smashing into the roof of the net past Jordan Pickford (£5.0m); we are still without a goalless draw in this Premier League season.
Minutes later came a potentially season-defining incident.
A shocking tackle from Pickford felled the offside Virgil van Dijk (£6.5m) and whilst the goalkeeper was lucky to avoid a red card, van Dijk wasn’t so fortunate, limping off to be replaced by Joe Gomez (£5.4m). If the scan results for his knee injury come back with bad news, that will further diminish the defensive prospects of Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m), who are outstanding in attack but already have to cope with the unconvincing Adrian (£4.5m) behind them in goal instead of Alisson (£6.0m).
Klopp’s comments above suggest Liverpool fans should be preparing for the worst, with beIN SPORTS reporting after the game that van Dijk could be out for up to eight months with ACL damage – but it should be stressed that this has yet to be officially confirmed.
BIG HITTERS DELIVER
Four of the five most-owned FPL players participated in the weekend’s opener. James Rodriguez (£7.9m) was the first to deliver, with a through ball to Calvert-Lewin forcing a save from the nervous Adrian. The Colombian’s resulting corner was met by a towering Michael Keane (£5.0m) header to make it 1-1.
With an ownership of over 40%, Rodriguez has scored three and assisted three during his first six league games in English football. Going into Gameweek 5, his xA (expected assists) total of 2.02 was only bettered by Harry Kane (£10.6m) and he looked dangerous again here.
In the 59th minute, his inswinging left-footed cross was met by a close-range Richarlison header that hit the post. Soon after, Rodriguez himself had a low shot that was saved by Adrian. It’s a shame for his owners that a first-half yellow card meant he only finished on four points.
On the other hand, Salah had a fairly quiet game until his goal put him on a higher seven points. An Alexander-Arnold cross was poorly cleared by Yerry Mina (£5.5m), straight to Salah who lashed it in with his left foot in the 70th minute. That was the sixth of the season for a man who still managed to emerge from Liverpool’s out-of-character shaming at Villa Park with 13 points.
Yet if Mane started at a lower price – rather than both initially costing £12.0m – there is an argument that he might be the better pick of the two. His six points here ended up being relatively disappointing, considering he was denied a late assist and therefore possible bonus points. Mane was also booked for a high foot on Lucas Digne (£6.1m).
The early opener was his fourth strike so far and he nearly replicated it after another one-two with Robertson, this time just missing the far post. Being priced similarly to penalty-taker Salah was always going to count against him but he is an interesting differential who was seemingly moved to centre-forward once Diogo Jota (£6.3m) replaced Roberto Firmino (£9.3m).
Fresh off an England debut goal that was quickly followed by two more caps, Calvert-Lewin has been deemed ‘Calvert-Lewandowski’, such is his goal-scoring form. Forgiven by many for his infamous barren spell that plagued Project Restart, he has had six price rises and will surely get more after his 80th-minute equaliser.
He rose high to meet Digne’s cross, once again showcasing his aerial dominance to bury his header into the bottom corner and score in his fifth successive league game. Everton’s next opponents are Southampton (a), Newcastle (a), Manchester United (h), Fulham (a) and Leeds (h). Perhaps they are a mixed bag but, with an affordable price and such high ownership, Calvert-Lewin has become a no-brainer pick in FPL squads.
“The second goal, we avoided pretty much all situations like this over the 90 minutes but one time we let Digne cross. I heard already when the ball was in the air from the Everton bench, ‘That’s it’, because they know he is really strong in these situations and he scores that goal. Good goal.” – Jurgen Klopp
RICHARLISON SEES RED
If it wasn’t for his late dismissal, Richarlison would have been a good alternative option for those wanting Everton coverage. Priced £0.3m more than Calvert-Lewin, rather than the initial £1m difference, he is on penalty-taking duties and his 28 penalty box touches (before Gameweek 5) had only been topped by Salah and Raheem Sterling (£11.5m).
His header was agonisingly close to putting Everton into the lead but the upcoming three-match suspension quickly ends his potential and rules him out until after the November international break. His bad challenge on Thiago’s (£6.0m) leg was a clear red card and may have caused the midfielder an injury, with Klopp saying:
When I left the pitch, Thiago told me in the red card situation with Richarlison he thinks he got injured. We will see if it’s true or not, but if the player felt like this then we need to have a look.
The match had other several injuries and knocks, with Robertson’s ankle in pain after a collision with Allan (£5.4m). He soon shrugged it off, unlike Seamus Coleman (£5.0m). The full-back was unable to partake in last week’s international duties because of a hamstring injury sustained against Brighton and it was the same problem this time, replaced by debutant Ben Godfrey (£5.0m) after 31 minutes.
FULL-BACKS GET FORWARD
Liverpool again failed to keep a clean sheet but their rampaging full-backs continue to deliver attacking points. Robertson outdid Alexander-Arnold, adding an assist to his recent goal against Arsenal. Similarly to Salah versus Mane, knowing which of these to proceed with is a tough call.
Alexander-Arnold has amassed nine shots to Robertson’s four, yet the Scot has far more touches inside the penalty box. Although Robertson bagged the assist today, Alexander-Arnold went very close with a first-half free-kick. His set-piece duties are a very important factor.
Up next for the champions are home games against Sheffield United and West Ham, before a trip to Manchester City.
Everton XI (4-3-3): Pickford; Coleman (Godfrey 31′), Keane, Mina, Digne; Allan, Doucoure (Iwobi 78′), A Gomes (Sigurdsson 72′); Rodriguez, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.
Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk (Gomez 11′), Robertson; Fabinho (Wijnaldum 90′), Thiago, Henderson; Salah, Firmino (Jota 78′), Mane.
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