EVERTON RIDING HIGH
Everton continued in their rich vain of form as they finally managed to seal victory against local rivals Liverpool. The result was testament to Ancelotti’s footballing philosophy as Everton’s win at Anfield will be remembered for years to come. With their top scorer Calvert-Lewin, starting the game on the bench, the Everton hopeful would have wondered where the goals would be coming from. However, when you have a master-mind such as Ancelotti tinkering and pulling the strings, you’re definitely in great hands.
Richarlison opened the scoring within the first 3 minutes of the game having clinically finished a through ball played by James Rodriguez. Liverpool had a few chances to equalise with club captain Henderson coming close with a volley. Salah had a chance as well but was kept out by Pickford to keep Everton ahead. Sigurdsson put the away side ahead in the 83rd minute after converting a penalty. Calvert-Lewin was brought down in the penalty box by Alexander-Arnold and after a VAR consultation, the referee awarded a penalty. In fairness some pundits feel the penalty should never have been awarded, however, from what I saw, Alexander-Arnold did appear to stick a foot out (I’m just saying!!!!).
The match ended 2-0 and Merseyside belongs to the Blue half. Klopp declared and conceded last week that Liverpool were out of the running for the title and after that performance, you would have to agree. The title is definitely over for Liverpool (YES IT IS!!!), however, they should still do enough to get a top for finish. Anything less than that would be a disaster for the defending champions.
Another derby that took place at the weekend was the London derby between West Ham and Tottenham. The last time the two teams met, West Ham came from behind to earn a draw in a very memorable match. West Ham are currently playing some of their best football in their history (okay maybe their recent history hehehe!!) under David Moyes as they eagerly pursue that elusive top four finish. West Ham forward Antonio returned to the starting lineup and we all know the threat he poses when he’s in the side.
The Hammers were quick off the block as they hosted Spurs at the London stadium and it was Antonio who opened the scoring in the 5 minute of play with a typical striker’s finish (a tap in). Spurs have been nothing short of dreadful in the league recently and were hoping to build on their mid-week win in the Europa League. However, a confident West Ham side presented a different proposition. Spurs would have to be at their best in order to contain the Hammers. After the break West Ham carried on from were they left off, as new on loan signing Lingard found the back of the net in the 47th minute (the Tottenham defenders were hoping it would be ruled as offside).
Spurs looked a lot better in the second half and were unfortunate not to convert more of their chances as Bale and Son had chance that hit the cross-bar and post respectively. Lucas Moura did find the net in the 64th minute for Spurs with the game ending 2-1 to West Ham. Jose Mourinho will need a miracle if Spurs are to finish in the top four this term as the task is now becoming impossible. One positive for Spurs fans and supporters alike is that Gareth Bale looks to be getting fitter and sharper as he gets more game time under his belt.
In the other games, there were win for Manchester City who beat Arsenal away 1-0 and Manchester United who beat Newcastle 3-1 at Old Trafford as both clubs now occupy the top two spots in the premier league respectively. Leicester also registered a 2-1 win against Aston Villa to strengthen their claim on a top finish whilst Southampton drew with Chelsea 1-1. Fulham are fighting for survival and did well to gain another 3 points as they defeated fellow strugglers Sheffield United 1-0 at Craven Cottage.
MERSEYSIDE TURNS BLUE!!!!!!!