Football News

Liverpool 2-0 Everton: Gakpo opens Reds account but Bajcetic steals show in Merseyside Derby

By Harry Edwards

Published: 22:01, 13 February 2023

Liverpool moved back up to ninth in the Premier League thanks to their 2-0 win over Everton in the Merseyside Derby.

Jurgen Klopp’s side had dropped down to 10th over the weekend in what has been a season on struggle, and faced an Everton team which will have been boosted by their victory against Arsenal last time out.

But goals from Mohamed Salah and Cody Gakpo either side of half time were enough to secure the three points and bragging points for Liverpool.

Here’s how the players rated at Anfield:

Liverpool

Alisson – 6 – A spectator for most of the match.

Andrew Robertson – 8 – Another very good performance from the Scot, who gave Coleman a rough ride. Made a fantastic run through the middle of the pitch in the build up to Liverpool’s second. Single-handedly wound up the entire Everton team late on.

Joe Gomez – 7 – Really didn’t have too much to do defensively but was a safe presence at the back for Liverpool.

Joel Matip – 7 – Had a shaky moment at the start but quickly pushed that behind him. Was the man to bring the ball out from the back for Liverpool, helping to get the attacks goal.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8 – A good all-round performance, keeping Everton’s left flank on lock defensively and getting forward well. Put in a beautiful cross for Gakpo’s goal, teasing the Everton defence.

Stefan Bajcetic – 8 – The third youngest Liverpool player to start a Merseyside derby in the Premier League, the 18-year-old looked as though he had 18 years of experience behind him, absolutely bossing the midfield. He did not look out of place alongside Fabinho and Henderson, and sprayed a fair few passes across the field in Steven Gerrard fashion (but we’re not comparing their abilities at all).

Fabinho – 7 – A solid presence in the midfield, without writing his name in lights. But that’s where Fabinho thrives, out of the limelight and quietly ticking through.

Jordan Henderson – 7 – Like Fabinho, his performance was understated slightly, especially when compared to the headline-stealing Bajcetic but he did exactly what was needed of him.

Cody Gakpo – 7 – On the periphery in the first half but in the right place at the right time to make it 2-0 with his first Liverpool goal. Looked more confident after and Liverpool fans will be hoping it grows from there.

Darwin Nunez – 8 – A real nuisance for Everton with his powerful, driving runs. It was fitting that his main contribution for the game came through a run, breaking on the counter from an Everton corner before setting up Salah for Liverpool’s opener. But he was so much more than that and would have deserved any goal that may have come his way.

Mohamed Salah – 8 – He’s still not his potent self but this was Salah getting closer to his peak ability. Gave Mykolenko nightmares and made a smart run in front of Pickford to poke Liverpool ahead, reading the goalkeeper’s poor positioning.

Substitutes:

Diogo Jota (for Nunez 70) – 5 – Making his return from injury, Jota had a quiet game as Liverpool looked in full control.

Roberto Firmino (for Gakpo 80) – N/A – A late sub.

James Milner (for Henderson 80) – N/A – A late sub.

Harvey Elliott (for Salah 90) – N/A – A late sub.

Naby Keita (for Bajcetic 90) – N/A – A late sub.

Everton

Jordan Pickford – 4 – For most of the first half he was dealing with everything thrown into the box but Pickford has to hold his hands up for the Liverpool opener. He was caught following the ball across the box to Gakpo, virtually giving Salah an empty net to score in. Good save on Salah late on to keep it at 2-0.

Vitaliy Mykolenko – 3 – After thriving against Bukayo Saka last weekend, the Ukrainian struggled vs Salah and will want to move on as quickly as possible. He is much better than this.

James Tarkowski – 4 – Hit the post with a looping header from a corner in the first half which unfortunately led to Liverpool’s goal. The stronger of the two Liverpool centre-backs but he still struggled, particularly with his passing which could have cost Everton.

Conor Coady – 3 – A night to forget for the boyhood Liverpool fan at Anfield. Looked shaky throughout and was poor for the second goal, letting the ball go across him to Gakpo. Showed the occasion got to him when he was unnecessarily rattled by Robertson late on.

Seamus Coleman – 3 – Had his work cut out for him against Robertson and he wasn’t up to the task.

Alex Iwobi – 3 – Usually one of Everton’s best players but here he was another who failed to show up, really poor throughout. Did put in a good cross for Davies’ chance but other than that he struggled.

Amadou Onana – 4 – Showed some signs of his quality later in the first half but really struggled to make his mark on the game and it hurt Everton. Got more involved after coming off, looking intent on fighting Kostas Tsimikas.

Idrissa Gueye – 4 – Needed to bring more to the midfield battle but was overrun by his Liverpool counterparts.

Abdoulaye Doucoure – 4 – Pushed forward and often out wide to cover for McNeil but he could not get any form of control.

Dwight McNeil – 3 – Not in the game at all and when he had the ball on set pieces, his delivery was poor.

Ellis Simms – 4 – Recalled from Sunderland loan, making only his fourth first-team appearance for Everton but it was one to forget. It wasn’t entirely his own doing, as he was left isolated, but he needed to be better at holding the ball up to relieve the pressure.

Substitutes:

Demarai Gray (for Simms 61) – 4 – Added very little after coming on but he was also let down by his teammates.

Neal Maupay (for McNeil 78) – 4 – Did not make much of a difference to Everton’s toothless attack.

Tom Davies (for Onana 78) – 5 – Had a chance almost immediately after coming on but his header at the far post was poor.

READ MORE: