Salah double gives Liverpool derby win over 10-man Everton

 

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-0 during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC at Anfield on October 21, 2023 in Liverpool, England. 

Two goals from Mo Salah maintained Liverpool’s strong start to the Premier League season although victory, against the 10 men of Everton, was not without controversy.

Veteran defender Ashley Young was dismissed in the first half, for a second bookable offence, before Jurgen Klopp’s side needed VAR to claim the opening goal, from a spot kick.

A Luis Diaz cross from the left struck the arm of substitute defender Michael Keane and, after consulting his pitchside monitor, referee Craig Pawson awarded the penalty which Salah converted comfortably for his sixth goal of the season.

Salah wrapped up the win, with his seventh, in the 98th minute as Darwin Nunez broke upfield and slipped in a perfectly-timed pass for the Egyptian star to finally put Everton out of their misery.

Young had been dismissed, for a second yellow card, on 37 minutes; a decision which the Everton bench vehemently protested.

The former England full-back had been booked earlier for a trip on lively Liverpool winger Diaz but failed to learn from the experience when he dived in on the same player on the edge of the area.

It left Craig Pawson with a decision to make, which he duly did, reducing Everton to 10 men.

The game had been finely poised to that point, with Everton coping well with the glut of Liverpool possession and, in fact, missing a chance inside the opening minute when Dominic Calvert-Lewin headed a Dwight McNeil cross straight at Alisson.

But, thereafter, Everton required some desperation defending to keep the hosts at bay, particularly when Young blocked from Diaz and Amadou Onana made a saving tackle on Diogo Jota.

Jordan Pickford needed two attempts to save from Alexis Mac Allister, while Trent Alexander-Arnold and Dominik Szoboszlai both cleared the Everton bar with strong shots from outside the area.

Everton manager Sean Dyche switched to a five-man defence at the interval, conceding yet more territory to the Reds although, initially at least, without conceding many more chances.

And, by the 52nd minute, after another good block had kept out an effort from Ryan Gravenberch, Klopp was turning to the home support to try and prompt them louder backing, such were Liverpool’s growing frustrations.

Everton could feel hard done by when Ibrahima Konate, booked after the interval, escaped a second yellow when he tripped Beto - a point conceded by Klopp who substituted him soon after, rather than run the risk of his defender being dismissed.

But the Diaz cross that brought the penalty proved one attack too many for the visitors and Jota might have doubled the lead from an 81st minute corner which he headed straight at Pickford.

The England keeper also did well to tip over a shot from Liverpool sub Harvey Elliott late on.

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