Liverpool rescued a late victory in the dying moments of the Merseyside derby as Divock Origi's bizarre 95th minute winner sealed all three points for the Reds.
Despite the open nature of the game, it took until the 21st minute before the first real chance emerged. It was Everton who threatened first as Andre Gomes' header was saved spectacularly by Alisson before it was heroically cleared off the line by Joe Gomez.
In the 34th minute, Liverpool manufactured an opening of their own as Xherdan Shaqiri was played one-on-one with Jordan Pickford, but the English goalkeeper came out on top and kept the scores level.
The second half was uneventful on the whole but Liverpool rescued the situation in the 95th minute as Virgil van Dijk let loose a belter that seemed to be going nowhere, yet headed sneakily towards the woodwork. Jordan Pickford misjudged the effort and knocked the ball vertically, giving Origi the opportunity to head the ball home and deny Everton a point.
YYESSSSSSSS YESSSSSSSSS!!!! GETTTT INNN!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/b3WwSaFqnV— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 2, 2018
Key Talking Point
Liverpool went into the game with two things in the back of their minds. The first was their 2-1 loss to PSG in the Champions League, a game in which they performed relatively poorly. The second was the fact that Manchester City had won yet again and were five points clear going into the game.
Liverpool are meant to be title challengers by the way from this performance their is no chance they're winning this league.— Harry (@Harrylcfc123) December 2, 2018
Liverpool had to react on both fronts and, on the whole, this did not come to fruition. Whilst the Reds were by no means poor, they often seemed disjointed in their attack and the front three which was so scintillating last season is still struggling to click. Whilst they ultimately won the game, if Liverpool want to win the title they cannot afford to perform like this anymore.
Starting XI: Alisson (8), Alexander-Arnold (7), Gomez (7), Van Dijk (7), Robertson (6), Wijnaldum (6), Fabinho (7), Shaqiri (6), Firmino (5), Mané (6), Salah
Substitutes: Milner, Keita (6), Sturridge (6), Moreno, Mignolet, Origi (7), Matip
STAR MAN: Having struggled with the goalkeeping position since Pepe Reina's departure, Liverpool seem to have finally found their man in Alisson. The Brazilian shot-stopper was instrumental in the result on Sunday, making save after save.
ALISSON YOU LOVELY MAN, THANKS FOR SAVING US AGAIN— . (@VintageSalah) December 2, 2018
Of particular importance was his remarkable save to deny Gomes in the first half. Whilst the Portuguese midfielder's effort was not destined for either corner, Alisson had to show superb reflexes to keep it out. The former Roma keeper's distribution was also calm and assured.
WORST PLAYER: Roberto Firmino
Firmino worst striker in the top 6 and that takes some doing— (@FlicksLikeEden) December 2, 2018
Whilst Firmino's work-rate is still of a high calibre, Jürgen Klopp will surely be questioning whether this is enough to justify the striker's place in the starting XI. Whilst Liverpool's entire front three has struggled for consistency this season, Firmino has struggled the most.
Key Talking Point
Everton came into this Merseyside derby without a win in their last 15 fixtures against Liverpool. Despite the Toffees good run of form, the odds were heavily stacked against them against a side competing for the title.
Everton's defence has been too good.— HK. (@HammaaadKhan) December 2, 2018
Therefore, the question was how long could Everton stay in the game for? On this front, they did this expertly. Where in previous derbies the Toffees have been blown away in the first 60 minutes, they were defensively resolute on this occasion and created ample opportunities of their own. Marco Silva's Everton certainly seem to have more steel about them than in recent weeks, bu they were terribly unfortunate to have lost the game in such bizarre fashion.
Starting XI: Pickford (6), Coleman (7), Keane (7), Mina (7), Digne (7), Gomes (8), Gueye (6), Walcott (7), Sigurdsson (7), Bernard (7), Richarlison (7)
Substitutes: Baines, Zouma (N/A), Tosun, Stekelenburg, Davies, Calvert-Lewin (N/A), Lookman (6)
STAR MAN: There were multiple impressive performances in the Everton team but it was Andre Gomes who stood out the most. The Portuguese midfielder put in an all-action performance, breaking up attacks and then driving forward to orchestrate attacks for the Toffees.
Andre Gomes makes this Everton side click. Links defence and attack very well.— Nathan Carnegie (@NathanSmallwood) December 2, 2018
WORST PLAYER: All of Everton's players performed at a good level but Idrissa Gana Gueye was probably their worst player on the day. Whilst he did bite into challenges and break up Liverpool's attacks, Gueye's distribution was poor at times.
Is it me or is gueye not quite at the races tonight?— TheArtetaMoney (@Snagman75) December 2, 2018
However, it was by no means a dismal performance and Gueye's role in the team cannot be underestimated in these types of performances.
Pickford also deserves an honourable mention, as despite making top saves all night, it was his costly mistake that gave the Reds all three points.
Liverpool next face a trip to Burnley midweek, as the Christmas fixture list starts to kick in. Klopp will be relieved by the result against Everton but disappointed in the performance and he will expect his side to bounce back emphatically on Wednesday.
Everton, meanwhile, face a home fixture against Newcastle on Wednesday. The Toffees will be expected to win this game and continue their good run of form.