The latest edition of the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park ended in a 0-0 draw, and it hurt the title ambitions of Jurgen Klopp’s side. The Reds had to keep winning their matches to put pressure on the champs, Manchester City, but they yet again failed to do so and bottled another opportunity to go top of the Premier League table. The Merseyside outfit is now trailing the Citizens by a single point, with just a few games left to go. They were once again not up to the mark and couldn’t break down Marco Silva’s side.
Both teams had quite a few good chances, but could not finish them off. The balls in the final-third lacked quality and things just did not work out for them. The Toffees were not as threatening as the visitors, but they too could have sealed it with a single goal. Nothing just clicked for the two teams, and Klopp blamed the “wind” yet again. However, here are three reasons why Liverpool actually failed to beat Everton.
1. Poor Link-up Play and Finishing
The link-up play of the visitors was not at the level that is generally expected from the German manager’s side. The attackers were kept rather quiet by the defensive players of the home side who went head-to-head against them and did a great job.
Further, when the play was better in the final third, the finishing was really poor. Salah had an off-day yet again and he just could not do what he loves to do best. Mane and Origi weren’t at their very best either, and nothing seemed to click for the Reds. The end result of the game was that the visitors failed to capitalise on any of the moves they created, and there were no goals at all.
2. Unimpactful Substitutions
The Kop boss used all three subs to help his team create better chances and finally break the deadlock, but that just did not seem to be happening for him. He brought on Firmino and Milner together and eventually tried adding Lallana towards the end to get that one goal for his side. However, despite all the changes that were made, none of them stood up to be counted and there was no end-product. Firmino was one of the key players from last season, but he has failed to live up to expectations this term.
3. Salah is not a big match player anymore
This was another prime example of him failing to make any sort of impact in the match. The overall failure of the subs to make any sort of impact on the game was also a reason Liverpool lost two more points. Had the substitutes made any sort of major impact against the tiring Everton stars, things could have surely been different, and they could have won the match. The argument from the Liverpool fans has always been that Mo Salah is not a “one-season wonder”. However, he has failed to have any sort of major influence on most of the big games this term, whether the Kops like to accept this fact or not.
Neither in the Premier League nor in the Champions League has he made an impact when it comes down to the bigger games. Mane and even Firmino have done better in those matches, and that is a fact. This is a problem Romelu Lukaku is said to have – “big-match syndrome”, and it seems the Egyptian international has caught it too. With that said, he was once again missing from the Merseyside derby and was not his usual self. He had a few really good chances, including a one-on-one to score, but it just didn’t happen for him. Hopefully, this doesn’t cost the Reds more titles this term.