*Bumper* Post-Match Analysis: Everton 0-0 Liverpool

*Bumper* Post-Match Analysis: Everton 0-0 Liverpool
September 3, 2022 Andrew Beasley

 

Paul Tomkins, Andrew Beasley, Daniel Rhodes, Chris Rowland and other TTT regulars will give their thoughts on the match for 24 hours after the game, and there’s post-match statistics and videos too.

Post-Match Thoughts

Paul Tomkins

Hitting the woodwork three times away at Goodison, and their keeper being clear man of the match when making eight saves (five of them excellent), says a lot. A draw in the away derby is par for the course, but this was a tad unlucky against a plucky team who felt they had nothing to lose.

The number of efforts the Reds had in the box, as detailed below by Andrew Beasley and Daniel Rhodes, shows a team that just needs things to fall its way a bit more, as well as a bit more zip at times.

Jürgen Klopp still cannot get close to fielding his fittest, fastest, tallest, strongest side, but the reinforcements are returning, albeit very gradually. As I’ve been saying all season, it may be after the international break when players are not only back, but sharp.

The reinforcements are rusty. Diogo Jota (who has barely trained since the Nations League hamstring injury) and Joel Matip will need time, as will Darwin Nunez, if only to adjust. That said, Nunez posed a huge danger to Everton here, after a quiet first 30 minutes, as did the in-form Bobby Firmino when he came on.

I liked the starting XI, but noted before the game that I feared it may struggle away in the derby. It was technical, but not full of physicality. Thiago still feels like the player Liverpool need back, to control games.

My fear was Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho being kicked out of the game, and indeed, Carvalho was. How many Liverpool players have been kicked out of the derby through bad fouls in the last couple of years? It’s hard to keep count.

Maybe in the Anfield derby they’d have got more protection, not that Anthony Taylor had a bad game – but it did feel like he let Everton leave elbows in all over the pitch early on, and then gave every little decision their way after the correctly disallowed late Coady goal, which was only about 1-2 feet offside.

It wasn’t peak yard-dogs (of war) Everton, but this is a side built in the image of the great Tony Pulis, you feel. Real inspirational English stuff: eight or nine Brits including two hoof-merchants at the back, and one absolute giant import stuck in the middle of midfield. They played quite nice stuff at times, without ever looking sophisticated or interesting; just looking to hit on the break with pace. At least they didn’t time-waste for 98 minutes like Newcastle.

The home fans sounded full of fury all game, after someone had vandalised the Liverpool players’ murals before the game (which seems to be a very Everton thing, now – spraying blue paint everywhere, waking up opposition teams at their hotel in the middle of the night, and so on; classy stuff). I’m amazed they didn’t deface the murals before now, to be honest, such is their raging blue hate.

Liverpool, who were excellent in patches and a bit off the pace in patches, still aren’t quite right, with the fittest players not necessarily the best players, and little scope to rotate until the calvary get more minutes under their belts. Still, it was a decent enough display, in fairly difficult circumstances, including the day less to recover and prepare after 98 intense minutes against Newcastle on Wednesday, to the dreaded Saturday lunchtime kick-off. Everton’s extra day was huge, as we all know.

Harvey Elliott has been sensational this season, but if anything, he finally looked a bit leggy. Yet the midfield options are bare, and Arthur Melo, to me, makes most sense as the midweek Champions League option, initially at least, while others are saved for the weekends (given the mad schedule). He can bed-in in games like Napoli away, where he’s used to playing. I’m not sure the away derby a day after signing is ideal.

But this week Joe Gomez has hit top gear, to show that it usually takes most players 2-3 games to even get into any kind of rhythm. Other players – including at least two elite ones – remain strangely subdued, but it’s still early in a strangely scheduled season; one that sends Liverpool on tough away games almost every week until the World Cup, having already gone to both most bitter rivals, Manchester United and Everton.

So, some concerns, as I will go onto, but overall I think the Reds aren’t that far away from hitting top gear.

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