It was another fantastic Saturday of action in the Premier League and it all kicked off at Goodison Park where Everton hosted Liverpool in the Merseyside derby. The blue and red half of the city went to war in a game that many were calling the most important derby in years and when looking back on the game, it’s pretty hard to argue against that.
The pace was relentless from the word go and within just a few minutes Liverpool were able to take the lead through a nice Sadio Mane finish and shortly thereafter, it appeared as if they were really going to put their foot on the neck of their neighbours when Virgil van Dijk went down under nasty challenge from Jordan Pickford. Alas, England’s number one wasn’t punished for that as van Dijk was offside when the incident took place, with the Dutchman going off just minutes later with an injury that could keep him out for up to seven months.
That wound up being a crucial moment as Michael Keane was able to head home an equaliser for the Toffees before we’d even hit the 20 minute mark, setting us up for a really interesting shootout between two of England’s finest attacking teams. It took a while for the next goal to come as Mohamed Salah rifled Liverpool back into the lead with 72 minutes on the clock, but Everton weren’t done yet as Dominic Calvert-Lewin rose high to nod home a fantastic header and make it 2-2.
The game approached injury time and Liverpool were pressing hard with everything they had, and then, Jordan Henderson found an open space and scored with Pickford failing to keep the ball out. Unfortunately for the captain, though, VAR checked the decision and determined that Sadio Mane was slightly offside as Everton fans celebrated a priceless point against their rivals.
We’ve seen an awful lot of complaining on either side ever since the full time whistle blew, and in reality, the situation is actually quite simple. We all agree that it’s ridiculous to determine someone is offside by such a narrow margin and we also agree that van Dijk being offside doesn’t mean Pickford should’ve gotten away without punishment for that horrendous challenge he committed.
However, what it comes down to is the actual law. If they change the law and realise that these margins just simply aren’t worth the trouble, incidents like this wouldn’t happen. Liverpool fans will rightly feel upset about this but we all know they’ve had their fair share of decisions go their way in the past with VAR, and on this occasion, it just didn’t quite fall their way.
This should set both clubs up nicely for a really interesting end to the calendar year because while Everton will still be riding high, Liverpool have a point to prove. They need to remind the rest of the league why they’re the champions and that should lead to some entertaining encounters as the hectic winter schedule looms large.
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