Liverpool 1-0 Everton
Liverpool’s kids made it into the fourth round of the FA Cup after a beautiful strike by Curtis Jones sent Everton’s experienced side packing.
As Carlo Ancelotti’s first Mersey derby this clash, FA Cup: Liverpool vs Everton was the tie we were all waiting for, and it didn’t disappoint. Everton dominated the first half and had three big chances to go ahead, but Liverpool’s young team grew into the game and made them pay.
The Reds named three teenagers in their side and Harvey Elliott and Neco Williams starred alongside match-winner Jones.
Highlights of the game
Much of the pre-match Liverpool vs Everton news featured Dominic Calvert-Lewin who is enjoying his best spell at Everton since the arrival of Ancelotti, already hitting eight league goals. And he almost opened the scoring on six minutes, but was denied when Liverpool sub goalkeeper Adrian made a brilliant save. Theo Walcott picked up the ball deep in the Liverpool half and, after a challenge by James Milner it broke to Calvert-Lewin who saw his fierce drive stopped by the keeper’s legs.
Milner pulled a hamstring in the challenge and was substituted, leaving only Joe Gomez as an experienced campaigner in defence, and the Reds were under pressure again when Gylfi Sigurdsson floated over a free kick which Mason Holgate met but he headed straight into Adrian’s hands.
Since his arrival from Red Bull Salzburg Takumi Minamino has had to bide his time, but he made a start today and linked up well with Adam Lallana to win a corner for Liverpool. But it was brief respite for the Reds and Adrian was called on again to save his team after more good work from Walcott, who pulled the ball back for Richarlison and his shot hit the keeper’s legs again.
Walcott created another chance spurned by Calvert-Lewin; then Minamino had a golden opportunity to steal a lead for the Reds when he got on the end of a cross from Divock Origi, but his unmarked header flew wide of the post.
Everton’s Jordan Pickford made the first save of the second half to keep out a drive from Neco Williams which was flying towards the top corner, and the Toffees struggled to get going again as Liverpool pressed with great energy. And when they did break forward Walcott hit a dreadful ball, nothing like the quality he had shown in the opening 45 minutes.
Origi hit a long range shot, bouncing awkwardly in front of Pickford and the keeper pushed it wide; then came a moment of pure quality from one of Liverpool’s youngsters. Curtis Jones flicked a ball over to Origi and asked for the return pass, which he took and then curled delightfully around Pickford and into the top right corner.
Klopp was delighted; his boys were ahead against Everton’s men!
Everton had 15 minutes to chase the game but they were chasing shadows as Liverpool kept the ball and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain stung Pickford’s palms with a long range effort.
The Toffees had one more chance when Djibril Sidibe crossed for Moise Kean in the dying moments but his volley flew well over… and that was that.
Everton went into the break with three shots to one on target, but they didn’t test Adrian in the second period while Liverpool registered another four on target.
Liverpool haven’t lost at Anfield since September 2018; but there is one stat that Everton fans will like – for every trophy Jurgen Klopp has won in his managerial career Carlo Ancelotti has won two.
Liverpool’s Premier League title juggernaut just keeps on rolling but they have two big tests in the next two weeks. An away match against Jose Mourinho’s Spurs is followed by a home game against Manchester United; win both of those and the Reds fans will start celebrating.
Everton have a great chance to continue their climb up the Premier League table with a home fixture against Brighton, and then a trip to the London Stadium to meet an old friend. Former Toffees boss David Moyes has been called in by West Ham (again) to try to steer their expensively assembled team to safety (again).
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