Three Things Learned from Liverpool 1-1 Everton

Ragnar Klavan of Liverpool and Dominic Calvert-Lewin of Everton battle for possession during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield on December 10, 2017 in...

After a largely one-sided Merseyside Derby at Anfield, Liverpool and Everton somehow played out a 1-1 draw. What did we learn?

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool takes a shot during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield on December 10, 2017 in Liverpool, England.

1. Mohamed Salah is Liverpool's leading light

Philippe Coutinho might be Liverpool's best player, but increasingly the man that the Reds all look to as their leader on the pitch isn't the Brazilian or even actual captain Jordan Henderson, but Mohamed Salah.

With Coutinho's future in doubt as Barcelona hover over Liverpool like a Sword of Damocles, and Jordan Henderson's lack of quality being rapidly exposed by his ever-improving team-mates, the Reds need someone to step up.

Against Everton once again, that man was Mohamed Salah. He stood tall when his team needed him. With Coutinho on the bench, Salah drove them forward, carried the attack on his back.

It was Salah who conjured a goal out of almost absolutely nothing to give Liverpool the lead and it was Salah leaving the field that saw Everton build confidence, fight their way back into the game, and equalise.

Ragnar Klavan of Liverpool and Dominic Calvert-Lewin of Everton battle for possession during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield on December 10, 2017 in...

2. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is the game-changer in attack

In the first-half Dominic Calvert-Lewin played as part of a two-man strike-force but with something of an onus on getting wide. It didn't work. Second half he was put up front and from there he dominated again.

Since Sam Allardyce was confirmed as Everton boss, Calvert-Lewin has been playing as a lone striker and thriving. He has the pace and dynamism to "do a job" out wide, but he is absolutely on top of his game as a centre-forward.

When in attack for Everton, Calvert-Lewin pushes up against the centre-backs, haranguing them, leading them into uncomfortable situations and basically winding them up so much they make mistakes (such as Lovren when he shoved Calvert-Lewin over, conceding a penalty).

No more nonsense. This kid is a striker. Play him there or bench him.

Dejan Lovren of Liverpool reacts during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield on December 10, 2017 in Liverpool, England.

3. Liverpool will never win anything with that defence

Dejan Lovren made a big mistake and Liverpool didn't win a key game. That's a familiar refrain, isn't it? Social media is already rife with criticisms of the Croatian defender. And sure, he's a bit of an error-prone goofball, but it's not entirely his fault.

Liverpool go through long stretches of being defensively solid, and then a mistake happens that makes people question the individuals involved. But consider that even the supposedly "good" defenders like Joel Matip have occasionally looked like error-prone goofballs... maybe the problem runs deeper?

Obviously Liverpool could do with better centre-backs (Virgil Van Dijk, for instance) but part of the problem is that Jurgen Klopp's helter skelter football will always lead to defenders getting exposed and put into positions where they can end up looking like error-prone goofballs in the biggest games.

And until they're address (a quality defensive midfielder would be a good start) those errors will continue to hold Liverpool back from glory.

 

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