VAR denies Liverpool win in Merseyside derby

Updated 18 Oct 2020

Email

LIVERPOOL: Everton’s Michael Keane (third left) scores during the English Premier League match against Liverpool at Goodison Park on Saturday. — AP
LIVERPOOL: Everton’s Michael Keane (third left) scores during the English Premier League match against Liverpool at Goodison Park on Saturday. — AP

LONDON: Champions Liver­pool were foiled by VAR as they were held to a 2-2 Premier League derby draw with Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday after a late effort from Jordan Henderson was ruled out.

Everton remained top of the table on 13 points, three ahead of Liverpool, after an incident-packed end to the 237th Merseyside derby.

The game was locked at 2-2 after Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 10th goal of the season in all competitions had brought Ever­ton level in the 81st minute.

But in stoppage time, Thiago Alcantara found Sadio Mane with a clever pass and the Senagalese’s low cross was turned in by Henderson, only for VAR to find the narrowest of offsides.

To add to Liverpool’s disappointment, they suffered an injury to key defender Virgil van Dijk which forced the Dutchman out of the game in the 11th minute.

Liverpool were humiliated 7-2 by Aston Villa just before the international break but they quickly set about putting things right when Mane scored in the third minute, firing home a low cross from Andy Robertson.

Liverpool suffered a blow eight minutes later when defe­nder Van Dijk went down and had to be substituted after a reck­less challenge from Eve­rton keeper Jordan Pickford.

Everton took advantage of the Dutchman’s absence, when, from a corner, Michael Keane rose at the near post to power a header past Adrian.

Liverpool were on top for long stretches and Mohamed Salah restored their lead in the 72nd minute, pouncing on a headed clearance from Yerry Mina and drilling a drive past Pickford for his 100th goal for the club. But Everton, determined not to lose their unbeaten record, got back on level terms when James Rodriguez sent Lucas Digne down the left and his perfectly floated cross was headed home by the leaping Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Everton’s Brazilian forward Richarlison was sent off in the 90th minute after a wild challenge on Thiago Alcantara.

Then came the VAR drama that left Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp bemused.

“I’ve seen the disallowed goal at the end and in the picture I saw it wasn’t offside. Can someone explain that to me?,” the German said.

Chelsea also held

Southampton came from behind twice to earn a 3-3 draw at Chelsea despite Timo Werner scoring two skilful individual goals for the home side, his first in the Premier League.

Southampton’s Jannik Vestergaard scored from a free kick in injury time after an entertaining and open game of fluctuating fortunes at Stamford Bridge.

Werner, who joined Chelsea from RB Leipzig in June had earlier lit up Stamford Bridge with a delightful dummied goal in the 15th minute and another in the 28th when he lobbed over the advancing Southampton keeper Alex McCarthy, then headed into the empty goal.

The $60 million striker should have had a third in the 40th minute but he blazed the ball over the bar and three minutes later Southampton pulled one back when Danny Ings rounded goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga after Werner’s compatriot Kai Havertz lost the ball deep in the Chelsea half.

Southampton kept up the attacking pressure in the second half and earned their equaliser in the 57th minute after some shambolic home defending when Kurt Zouma misjudged a backpass and Kepa missed the ball which Che Adams eventually slammed in to the roof of the net.

But Chelsea struck back immediately with a well worked goal, the ever-busy Werner crossing for Havertz to earn his own first Premier League goal with a simple tap-in, only for Southampton to equalise again in injury time.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2020