Wayne Rooney’s first Merseyside derby goal earned Everton a 1-1 draw at Anfield as Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s selection gamble backfired.
It was a moment the 32-year-old had dreamed about ever since making his Toffees debut way back in August 2002 but, having had to wait after more than a decade at Manchester United, when it came it was something of a gift.
The pent-up frustration was evident in the way he smashed home a 77th-minute penalty – awarded after Dejan Lovren needlessly fouled Dominic Calvert-Lewin – to cancel out Mohamed Salah’s brilliant first-half strike and his celebration in front of the visiting fans was equally as exuberant.
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Star man – Mohamed Salah
Only on the pitch for 67 minutes but his terrific first-half finish should have been enough to clinch the three points. It was noticeable that Liverpool’s performance tailed off when the Egyptian was substituted.
Lovren’s moment of madness
Liverpool were coasting against a side offering no attacking threat until Lovren handed them a route back into the game 13 minutes from time. He was out-foxed by a player eight years his junior as Calvert-Lewin, moving away from goal, was pushed to the ground in a needless act that conceded a penalty and cost the hosts dearly.
Klopp’s tactical gamble backfires
Having left half of the ‘Fab Four’ – Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino – on the bench initially, it looked like Liverpool still had the requisite attacking firepower to get the win thanks to Salah. And, when he was withdrawn, the hosts had been untroubled. Yet it was still a slender lead and when Liverpool were bidding to regain the lead, their talismanic forward was already off the pitch in what looked like a strange call from Klopp.
Who’s up next?
Liverpool v West Brom (Premier League, December 13)
Newcastle v Everton (Premier League, December 13)