The matchup was one that had never got off on the right foot as mistakes proved costly once more and the inability to find the net ensured it was beyond the Reds’ reach.
There will, of course, be frustration simmering for players and fans alike as poor performances are no longer being converted into points like they previously have.
The Dutchman has been an ever-present this season, missing only two of Liverpool’s 37 games, and while clearly pained by the result there is a clear desire to turn it around as soon as possible.
“Losing yesterday was painful. We are in a difficult period where we create a lot of chances but don’t score the goal. And we give away goals too easy,” he penned on his social media platforms.
“We have to deal with the situation and still have a lot of games to turn it around. All injuries don’t make it easier, but can’t be an excuse.
“I strongly believe we still have a squad who can change it around and we have to work harder to change it around soon.
“We should keep the confidence, keep trying to give everything we can and work all together to bring the season to a good end.”
Some will say they are only words and the proof will be on the pitch, but fronting up to take responsibility for current results should be welcomed.
It’s no secret that injuries have caused a nasty knock-on effect throughout the team but the desire not to use it as “an excuse” and to instead unite together is exactly what is needed.
There is still a lot to fight for and the Reds will know better than anyone that is a job they can only do as a collective.
Following Liverpool’s abject 2-0 defeat at home to Everton, three Reds supporters attempt to dissect yet another lifeless 90 minutes at Anfield.
Unfortunately, Liverpool were flat from the moment the game kicked off and would eventually lose their 22-year unbeaten home record against Everton.
Richarlison’s early strike set the Blues on their way to victory before Gylfi Sigurdsson fired home a penalty late in the day.
Here, This Is Anfield’s Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) is joined by Owen Collins (@OGBCollins) and Rory Greenfield (@RoryGreenfield) to discuss another miserable outing for the Reds, including what has gone wrong for them in the final third.The good…
OWEN: I thought Phillips had a decent game, given the circumstances, although he was outstripped by Calvert-Lewin prior to the ‘penalty’. And yes, I am clutching at straws already.
What else was good? Trent sticking it to Richarlison on every Red’s behalf was satisfying, although I can’t help feel he had the last laugh again.
In fairness, there were brief spells of good football on show and in the first half we seemed to have rediscovered the skill of passing into the opposition box rather than aimlessly crossing or blasting at goal, as has been the norm in 2021.
It worked and was when we looked closest to scoring. I’m aware ‘looked closest to scoring’ isn’t saying much these days, though, given there have been games when walking out of the tunnel has been the closest we’ve looked to scoring.
RORY: Only one injury? Another match down, so we’re closer to the end of this miserable season? Jokes aside, let’s be real, there is very little to cheer about right now as a Liverpool supporter.
The only glimmer of hope is that with Keita returning to the bench, we might finally be able to make a long-overdue tactical change.
We’re extremely predictable right now, especially against a low block, and it’s simply not working, especially against a low block.
The Guinean isn’t a player you’d rely on remaining fit, but if he’s available he can make a telling difference. High energy and pressing, purposeful dribbling and intelligent passing – him and Thiago could prove very dangerous together, offering a duel threat that may help to unlock stubborn defences.
I’d love to find more reasons for optimism, to look at the fixtures and see somewhere we can kick-start some form and consistency, but it’s difficult.
The Leipzig game in midweek showed me one thing – the team is scared of the next Premier League match.
They played with more freedom and confidence, scarcely seen of late. There are moments where the quality of these players wins out, then something knocks them back down to square one.
In the past, they’d back themselves to overcome the challenges, but not now. With any luck, however, Fabinho, Jota and Keita returning might just change the odds back in their favour.
HENRY: I think the lads have summed it really – football’s abysmal at the moment.
From the moment Kabak misjudged that high ball and headed it out for a corner, I just knew Liverpool were going to be off the pace. That’s not good, is it?
I agree with Owen that Phillips was just about the only bright spark, but that’s still massively clutching at straws. He was poor in the lead-up to that pathetic penalty decision.
The only other positive I can find is that Everton fans weren’t in the ground to witness that victory. I’m a bitter, bitter man.The bad…
OWEN: Devastating injury, wasteful in attack, laughably nonsensical refereeing – to be honest, I was tempted to copy and paste this section from any one of about five previous articles.
At the same time as being absolutely devastated, in some perverse way, it’s hardly registering anymore.
So yes, Kabak was probably at fault for their first, and yes, Mane gave the ball away too easily and too often, and yes, we haven’t done anything useful with a corner for what feels like two years, but picking these out feels a bit like complaining about the wine list on the Titanic.
This is one of those seasons when nearly everything that could go wrong is going wrong and it’s wearying, and possibly unfair, to highlight individual wobbles in the face of this endless hurricane of misfortune.
That’s not to make excuses. Everton adopted the now-traditional defensive setup typical of bottom-half sides and they executed it perfectly. We didn’t play well enough, and even without Chris Kavanagh’s clueless decision-making, we didn’t look like having enough in the tank to rescue this one.
Everybody’s knackered, nobody is on form and our records are tumbling everywhere you look. Roll on August and let’s start again from the beginning. Doubters to believers 2.0.
RORY: The signs were worrying within the first three minutes of the game when Richarlison capitalised on poor play from, well, nearly everyone in a Reds shirt.
This trait of starting slowly has become synonymous with Liverpool this season. It’s not something new but in years gone they rarely conceded with such a formidable spine. Now, succumbing to an early goal leaves an even bigger mountain to climb.
People will scream about VAR, but the refereeing is equally at fault once more. How that penalty was given in the first instance I’ll never know, let alone once Kavanagh made the obligatory trip to the monitor to watch a five-second clip that might as well have been footage of Mars than the actual incident itself.
He seemed determined to give the penalty, no matter what. It was a disgraceful decision, but in truth, it had little barring on the outcome.
I know the lack of supporters is clearly telling, especially in a derby, but I struggle to remember a Reds team play so timidly in this fixture. The lack of intensity isn’t new this season, but if there was ever a match to compete from the first whistle it was this.
Given the injury to Van Dijk (and Thiago) in the previous game, I expected a response. Maybe not a Dirk Kuyt two-footed lunge, but a strong or over-zealous tackle or two.
Liverpool are clearly lacking leadership on the pitch but also a bite, which was crucial in their recent success. Fabinho’s subtle shithousery or Van Dijk’s utter contempt when anyone attempts to challenge him – even Matip’s wild gesticulation – is badly missed right now.
Meanwhile, Minamino scored another great goal, just for the wrong team. The Japanese player described today as “an artist” by Arsene Wenger no less, has thrived at Southampton.
The decision to loan him out when Firmino continues to flounder in front of goal, is becoming ever more bemusing. Some say he has a future at the club – I would like to believe that, let’s wait and see.
HENRY: I could write an essay on the bad, but I’ll spare you all.
Henderson’s injury was the latest in an endless stream of fitness woes and he is going to be a big loss in the coming weeks. I’ve never seen injuries like this.
I’m with Owen in that I could moan at Kabak’s performance and Mane’s infuriating knack of losing the ball, but there are so many mitigating factors at the moment that it’s hard to get too angry.
Even someone as great as Klopp is powerless to do anything about this kind of misfortune.
Another shocking VAR decision is no shock in the slightest – Liverpool have now had 11 negative decisions go against them in 2020/21, which is more than any team in the WHOLE of last season. That sums it up.
And Rory has nailed it about Minamino, too – what on earth were Liverpool doing letting him go? It makes absolutely no sense to me.And the lack of goals…
OWEN: Somewhere in a parallel universe, Jota has never been to Denmark and Liverpool are top of the league.
In all seriousness, I’m praying that his return to fitness will solve the drought, if nothing else to give one of the front-three a bloody rest – they each look mentally and creatively shot.
I suppose there was always going to come a time when Mo, Sadio and Bobby all fell out of form at once, but when it happened, it seems to have created a self-generating loop of doubt and desperation, despite the occasional moments of utter brilliance in the last few weeks.
Is it as simple as saying there’s just nobody to replace them? Possibly. From memory, we’ve tried to pass the shooting boots to Ox, Shaqiri, and Curtis Jones of late, without success, and it appears our best option is to bring on Divock Origi and hope for something.
If this is the so-called “shop window” then I dread to think what the shop is, other than some sort of fire-damaged Debenhams.
Get Jota back fit and get somebody else in to just give the guys a breather and rediscover some sharpness.
Salah is the only consistent goal threat in the team right now and even he can’t do it alone, despite his best attempts. Without any threat from set-pieces and with Mane struggling to find regular contributions, it’s down to others to step up.
Thiago can and has created but rarely scores, Jones is certainly capable, as is Wijnaldum (in a different coloured shirt) but the midfield isn’t fully functioning.
Without the presence of Fabinho, they’re too deep to impose themselves. The midfield is a much longer and more concerning topic than I have the words or energy to address right now, but I think it’s time to focus on a certain Brazilian.
I’m not going to lie, Firmino is driving me absolutely crazy. Whilst never the most prolific of number 9s, the lack of conviction in his shooting is a major issue now.
While Salah and Mane toil, they’re marshalled heavily in most games. This leaves Firmino with clearer opportunities and he’s simply not taking them.
His goalscoring has always been patchy, but the fact he was such a creative hub, whilst pressing so demonically and effectively, made him the focal point of this side for so long. Sadly, it feels this decline is no longer form but something more permanent.
Jota will take his position in the front-three, once fit, and the team will be better for it. Whether the Portuguese is the long-term answer as a No.9, I’m not sure.
As revelatory as he was at the start of the season, I believe his best position is still off the left of the three or deeper in a 4-2-3-1 or 4-2-2-2. The key difference with Jota, however, is his ability to score from any angle.
He generates strong power from little back lift and shoots early, low and hard. It’s in such contrast to Firmino that he’ll have to play. For a team so low on creativity, those precious few chances need to fall to someone decisive and clinical – a player selfish enough to take that chance and trust he will find the net.
HENRY: I think Owen and Rory have covered it all really.
Firmino is a massive issue for me now. He’s probably been my favourite player under Klopp, but I think it’s simply a case of him peaking as a footballer.
He is 30 later this year and has a huge amount of football in his legs – sometimes a player just drifts past his best and is no longer a fulcrum of the side. It happens.
This doesn’t mean Liverpool should sell him, but I think we’re seeing him reach a stage where he should no longer start every week next season.
I think the front three’s woes as a collective still boils down to injuries, though. I will use it as an excuse until I’m blue in the face because they really have ruined Liverpool’s season single-handedly.
Not having Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip around has a knock-on effect with everything: the Reds can’t play as high a line; the full-backs don’t have the same freedom and aren’t able to provide as much in the final third and the two best midfielders have been playing at the back, taking energy and quality out of the middle of the park.
Bring on August…
Georginio Wijnaldum says Liverpool cannot feel sorry for themselves after losing the Merseyside derby to Everton on Saturday and is adamant they can stop their season falling apart, insisting they have "a lot of games to turn it around".
The 2-0 defeat in the 238th Merseyside derby was the first time the Reds had lost at Anfield to Everton since 1999 but, worse still, their fourth successive home league loss means they are on their worst run since 1923.
Injury to captain Jordan Henderson now leaves Jurgen Klopp without five options at centre-back while the goals have dried up at Anfield with just two goals - one of which was a penalty - in the last eight hours and 48 minutes.0:34 Jurgen Klopp says Jordan Henderson's injury 'doesn't look good'
The defending champions have slumped from top of the table on December 30 to sixth, three points outside the top four.
Netherlands international midfielder Wijnaldum, 30, who is out of contract in the summer and has still not signed a new deal, stressed Liverpool must now stop their season falling apart.
"This is a new situation we are in right now," Wijnaldum, who has been linked with a move to Spanish side Barcelona, told Liverpool's official website.
"In the previous seasons when we created so many chances, we always scored a goal. And now we're in a period where we create a lot of chances but don't score the goal.5:00 Watch the latest addition of Matchday+ with a pitchside view of all the best action from Everton's first win at Liverpool this century
"It's frustrating, especially when you're on the pitch and you're playing. You don't want to feel sorry for yourself and don't want to go into the victim role.
"You just want to deal with the situation and try to bring it to a better end, or a good end, even if you know that you have a lot of injuries. I think that's how we should look at the situation, not be the victims but just try to turn it around.
"We have a lot of games to turn it around - if we're going to look at the situation as victims, it's going to be worse.
"What we can do is just try to give everything, try to keep confident, and work all together to bring it (the season) to a better end."
Liverpool are still alive and kicking in the Champions League, holding a 2-0 lead from the last-16 first-leg tie against RB Leipzig after a midweek performance which stood out as being markedly different from much of what has been seen in the last two months.
Klopp has seen positives in a lot of those matches and knows he must try to build on those elements to prevent the battle for a top-four place becoming even more difficult.
He refused to accept, however, his side had plateaued after three seasons of success.
"Not all the games were the same. We were dominant in most of the games. In the decisive moments, we make either a mistake, or something strange happens," he said.1:11 Graeme Souness says that Liverpool are a shadow of the team from the previous couple of seasons
"That's how it is: if we make a mistake it's pretty much 100 per cent that the opponent scores from it and if we force them to make mistakes, it doesn't mean we will immediately score.
"It's no explanation to say that for three years we are really good and in the fourth, it's normal that we struggle.
"I don't see any relation to the last three years. The boys are still full of desire but to change football games and results you have to be decisive in the offensive and defensive moments and that is what we are lacking.
"I don't like to talk about the good parts of the (Everton) game because we lost the derby but from tomorrow on we have to use it again.
"We cannot change the situation by playing bad, that's not possible, but in decisive moments we have to improve, that's clear."
The media felt Liverpool’s 2-0 Merseyside derby defeat to Everton saw the Reds hit “rock bottom” and left with no obvious way out of this crisis.
A season of nightmares produced the biggest horror yet as the Reds suffered a first derby loss to the Blues at Anfield since 1999.
Richarlison’s strike and Gylfi Sigurdsson’s late penalty condemned Jurgen Klopp’s side to a fourth straight Anfield loss as Liverpool’s miserable home run continued.
The torment didn’t end there as the Reds suffered another injury blow losing Jordan Henderson and were on the receiving end of another woeful refereeing decision.
Here’s how the media reflected on a truly miserable derby defeat.Members of the media assessed that Liverpool have now hit “rock bottom” in this nightmare campaign…
The Mail’s Oliver Holt thinks that, in a season of painful moments, this derby defeat on home soil will hurt the most:
There appears to be no end to the storm that is engulfing Liverpool this season and amid the wreckage of their attempt to defend their league title, this 2-0 defeat to their neighbours may hurt the most.
“Welcome to rock bottom”, wrote the Liverpool Echo’s Paul Gorst, who said that this season will be remembered as the campaign in which everything conspired against the Reds:
Welcome to rock bottom.
In years to come, they might look back at this Liverpool campaign as the one where anything that could go wrong inevitably did.
Rory Smith, of the New York Times, wrote that it feels as if Liverpool are losing pieces of their identity game by game:
It is every week, now, that Liverpool seems to lose another little piece of itself.
Writing for Goal, Neil Jones, summed up the feelings of every Liverpool fan as he said “the summer cannot come soon enough”:
For Liverpool, the nightmare continues. They’ll be glad to see the back of 2020-21, make no mistake about that.
Right now, the summer cannot come soon enough.Reporters are shocked at how far Liverpool have fallen and how Anfield has become ‘a place of struggle’…
First off, Smith made an interesting point on how this nightmare campaign carries many worrying similarities to that of Klopp’s final season at Borussia Dortmund:
Klopp has experienced a run like this — a period when it feels as though nothing goes right — once before, in his last year at Borussia Dortmund. Then, too, his squad was ravaged by injuries. He had, in the previous seasons, dealt with the departure of a raft of key players, too. He refused to compromise his beliefs. Dortmund finished seventh, and he stepped down.
The echoes of that year grow stronger with every passing week at Liverpool, with every new and unwanted record that falls.
The Telegraph’s Sam Wallace described how Anfield now has the feeling of “a place of chaos”:
These are remarkable times at Anfield and after all those months of certainty, every matchday passing with win after win, it now feels like a place of chaos.
The BBC’s Phil McNulty labelled Liverpool’s downturn in form at Anfield as “almost unfathomable”, with four straight defeats following a 68-game unbeaten run:
It is almost unfathomable how Liverpool have declined to such an extent that after Burnley ended a 68-game unbeaten league run at Anfield, three more teams – Brighton, Manchester City and now Everton – have all arrived and gone home with the points.
It is now being laid bare for all to see just how important the home crowd is to this Liverpool team, in the view of ESPN’s Mark Ogden:
Klopp has built a team that rides the wave of noise from the supporters, but that extra ingredient has been missing this season and we are now seeing just how important it is to this team.
Meanwhile, Gorst bemoaned how Liverpool once again lost to the very same blueprint deployed by various opposition at Anfield:
Once more, a visiting team showed a willingness to work hard and wait for their chances before leaving with maximum points. It’s become the blueprint for success here.
Liverpool’s biggest fear might be that this unwanted pattern becomes normal, but it already has given the shocking couple of months at Anfield.
McNulty thinks Klopp’s “frustrated” body language is rubbing off onto the players and is “symbolic” of how the Reds have lost their way:
Klopp’s frustrated body language on the touchline as Everton went ahead and then defended with calm organisation and resilience, while still posing a threat, was symbolic of a Liverpool team who have lost their way.Journalists thought Kabak had a tough Anfield debut but sympathised with the situation he has walked into…
The Guardian’s Jonathan Wilson thinks Kabak has stylistic problems in playing a high line, but understood that coming in without a senior partner is far from ideal for the Turkish defender:
This was not a convincing display […] The doubt is his capacity to play as far up the field as Liverpool demand.
Kabak, though, after being spared the defeat to Manchester City has been thrust into the maelstrom, partnering neither the player he revered as he broke through at Galatasaray, Virgil van Dijk, nor even a central defender, but Jordan Henderson who, for all his application and promise, is learning the position himself.
Kabak looks only middle-of-the-road steady.
Decent on the ball, strong enough in the tackle, Kabak might pick up the pace of the Premier League before the pubs open but don’t bank on it.
Holt was more ruthless with his criticism, labelling Kabak a “weak-link” and assessing that “he looks a long way off the pace”:
It is a tough task for Kabak, who arrived last month on loan from Schalke 04, to step into the Liverpool defence and adapt quickly to the demands of the Premier League and he looks a long way off the pace.
He looks uncertain. He looks vulnerable. He was brought to shore up the Liverpool back four but the reality is that he looks like its weak link. He needs to improve fast.
Wallace sympathised with Kabak and indeed Nat Phillips, noting that this is just not a situation either player should be subjected to:
Those two [Kabak and Phillips] are not bad champions, to borrow the phrase of the moment – they are just the kind of understudies who never expected to be placed in this position.
Where once there stood a defence that dictated games, now there is one that has its fate imposed on it, as Kabak found in the third minute of the first half when his weak clearing header went straight back to Abdoulaye Doucoure.The media can’t see the Reds finishing in the top four as there seems no way out of the crisis…
Ogden just can’t see a way out of the “tailspin” for Liverpool, which ruins any real chance of competing in the top four race:
This was a huge win for Everton, but the impact of defeat is arguably bigger for Liverpool because they are now in a tailspin and there is no obvious way out of it.
Dunn can only see the tough times continuing with the centre-back crisis only worsening following Henderson’s injury:
For now, Klopp will have to rely on centre-halves who are conventional but not up to elite standard. The struggles will go on.
Finally, Karl Matchett, writing for the Independent, feels the Reds face a “huge task” just to get back into contention in the top four race, let alone win it:
For Liverpool, there’s a huge task on to even get back into contention for the top four at this point.
The champions hosted their local rivals in what was a must-win game but they fell to pieces yet again at Anfield, suffering a fourth straight league defeat.
Liverpool tried their best to find a spark in the second half, but the performance was always lacking and chances were few and far between.
Gylfi Sigurdsson sealed the visitors’ win with a late penalty – it was another bizarre VAR call – as they finally prevailed at Anfield for the first time since 1999.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (5.8) was seen as Liverpool’s best player overall – that says a lot considering he was distinctly average.
The 22-year-old enjoyed a better second half than the first, but there were too many aimless crosses that Everton dealt with easily.
The Echo‘s Ian Doyle described Alexander-Arnold as the “most creative outlet after the break,” also saying he was “unlucky to concede the penalty.”
Jordan Henderson (5.6) actually earned the second-highest average, which is again telling with the skipper lasting just half an hour at Anfield.
TIA’s Henry Jackson praised a “great volleyed strike” that Jordan Pickford tipped wide and he won both of his duels during his short time on the pitch, as highlighted by FotMob.
Alisson (5.5) completed the top-three, doing nothing wrong during the game and Andrew Gamble of the Independent lauded the “good save” to thwart Seamus Coleman.
Roberto Firmino (4.6) was deemed the worst player on the night, as the Brazilian continues to look a shadow of his former self.
Jackson bemoaned some “really poor finishing” from Liverpool’s No. 9 and Gamble stated that “you’d be forgiven for forgetting Firmino was on the pitch.”
Ozan Kabak (4.7) also had a below-par game, with Doyle correctly pointing out that he “struggled badly with the conditions.”
Liverpool now have an eight-day break before their next game, with bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United hosting the Reds at Bramall Lane next Sunday evening.
Has there ever been a collapse like it? A year ago, we ran out of superlatives for Liverpool. 12 months on, and with the memory of the champions topping the table at Christmas still fresh, it's ways of expressing our shock that have been exhausted.
After 68 unbeaten matches at Anfield, Liverpool have now lost all of their last four home games - their worst run in almost 100 years. This is a collapse for the ages.
If the mystery is why and how, the unanswered - and unanswerable - question is whether it was actually the first Merseyside derby of the season, when Virgil van Dijk suffered his season-ending knee injury, that ultimately ruined their bid for back-to-back titles. But as Jamie Carragher rightly observed during commentary, Liverpool's issue of late hasn't been at the back but up front. "Going forward is as big a problem as what we're seeing defensively from Liverpool now," noted Carragher. "Very rarely do you see Liverpool play now when you expect them to score."
On that basis, it could be argued that Diogo Jota's injury is what really did for Liverpool's season, although whether the champions ought to have been so instantly dependent on a late-summer recruit expected to play a reserve role is a scenario difficult to rationalise and difficult to defend. Anyone can play manager with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, but Liverpool's over-dependence on their 'fab three' should have been insured against over the summer with recruitment beyond just Jota. Since being crowned champions, Liverpool have signed Jota, Thiago and three defenders - Ozan Kabak, Ben Davies and Kostas Tsimikas. Some would say not enough, others not good enough. Both sets of dissenters would be right.
Against Everton, Liverpool's display felt neither good nor bad. It's only noteworthy characteristic was the absence of any fight. "It didn't look like they had any aggression, or fight or energy about them," concluded Graeme Souness. "Liverpool used to be horrible to play against. Now everybody wants to play against them. They are an easy touch."
It was, at best, a flat display. A display of a team which has simply run out of steam after an exhausting three years. What happened to Liverpool? The answer is that nothing happened - they tried to go again with the same team and more or less the same squad, only to find that this has been a season too far for a group running at full-pelt since 2018. Where once there were superlatives, now there is only shock. But after the shock, there may be some sympathy too.
"Viva Tom Davies" - the Everton fans would have sung in the away end at Anfield. And I'm sure many were boogying around their living room to the Elvis Pressley tune.
The Everton midfielder certainly had Liverpool all shook up with a destructive and tactically astute performance in front of his expertly organised defence. No player made more tackles than Davies (5) and no Everton player gained possession for their side on more occasions (8). Jurgen Klopp's side couldn't find Roberto Firmino in the pockets because of Davies' sublime positioning.
The 22-year-old is another example of Carlo Ancelotti's ability as the top man. Many had written off Davies when Everton snapped up Allan in the summer but instead of casting him aside, Ancelotti has kept Davies part of his plans and he's now receiving the benefits for persevering with the midfielder.
In the absence of Allan, who had looked an impressive piece of business on his performances since signing from Napoli, Davies has slotted in perfectly to that role to the extent that the Brazil international won't be getting back in the side with Davies in this type of form.
No one likes getting hooked having only just come on as a substitute, but Thomas Tuchel hopes his young forward Callum Hudson-Odoi will learn from the chastening experience at St Mary's on Saturday lunchtime.
The new Chelsea head coach brought on Hudson-Odoi at half-time with his side trailing 1-0 to Southampton on Saturday, replacing Tammy Abraham.
However, despite the visitors equalising, the German then raised eyebrows on the south coast when removing the 20-year-old with 14 minutes to go.
Tuchel later confirmed Hudson-Odoi was not injured and that his substitution was down to the player's attitude.
The German did, however, hold out an olive branch to the England international ahead of Chelsea's next match against Atletico Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday night.
"You know I trust him a lot as he plays every game for us, but today I was close to him and… I do not know, maybe it was unfair, but I did not get the normal feeling with him today that he can be decisive," Tuchel said.
"So it is a hard decision today, but nothing that will stick between us, or stick for long. Tomorrow it will be forgotten and we prepare for Atletico.
"But now it's forgotten and he has step up, learn from it, swallow it, and there's no problem."
So, all eyes on the team-sheet in the Spanish capital come 7pm on Tuesday…
"Let's try and rack up some wins and put pressure on the other teams. That's the main focus," said Fulham boss Scott Parker after another crucial win for his side.
Fulham's 1-0 win over Sheffield United means it is now seven points from a possible nine this week and it's got a few clubs looking nervously over their shoulders.
Parker's men went into the game six points adrift of Newcastle but victory over bottom side Sheffield United means they have closed the gap to just three, ahead of the Steve Bruce's side's trip to Manchester United on Sunday.3:47 Scott Parker says he is very proud of his players after recording seven points from a possible nine after a 1-0 win over relegation rivals Sheffield United.
"I'm really proud of this team because it's a huge moment," Parker added. "Not just this game but this week. It's been massive. We need to rest now; we've had a tough week. We'll get back to it on Monday ready to push again."
Parker will be hoping his words ring loud in his player's ears as the job is far from done for Fulham.
They have another huge game next weekend against Crystal Palace before the fixtures take a more difficult turn with games against Spurs, Liverpool and Manchester City on the horizon. However, to be right on the heels of the likes of Newcastle and Brighton in the fight for survival will give Parker and his players all the fuel they need for their next big push.
After a run of three wins from five games between mid-January and early February which hinted at a late-season rally, it seems Sheffield United's slim hopes of Premier League survival may finally have been extinguished.
The 1-0 reverse at Fulham was their third consecutive defeat and leaves them 14 points from safety with only 13 Premier League games remaining. By the end of the weekend, the gap could stand at 17 points.
Chris Wilder knows what's coming.
"There's always something to play for," he told Sky Sports after Saturday's game. "I won't accept relegation until it happens - and even then I still won't accept it. But I can't mug everybody off by saying we're going to have a miraculous recovery."
Not when they perform as poorly as they did at Craven Cottage. The meeting with a relegation rival was an opportunity to close the gap on the teams above them but for all their endeavour, they only mustered four shots on goal over the course of the 90 minutes.
"It looks like next season we'll be in the Championship," added Wilder afterwards. The achievements of last season will not be forgotten but the spectre of what happens next has become impossible to ignore.
Many sides in a more favourable position than the one West Brom find themselves currently in the Premier League would have folded at Turf Moor.
With half an hour on the clock, the Baggies were reduced to 10 men when Semi Ajayi's handball was penalised by referee Mike Dean after consolation with VAR.
While the decision to give Ajayi his marching orders for denying a goalscoring opportunity followed the letter of the law, with the infringement occurring some 50 yards from goal, it could also have been considered harsh.
But with time ticking down on West Brom's bid to avoid relegation, there was no time for self-pity. Instead, the decision seemed to galvanise the Baggies, and swift reorganisation at the back set them on their way to another encouraging performance.
Sam Allardyce's career in management has been built, first and foremost, on clean sheets, so to secure the first of his tenure at West Brom having played an hour with 10 men spoke volumes of his work to date at The Hawthorns.
Those foundations alone, however, look unlikely to maintain Allardyce's record of never being relegated from the Premier League, with the Baggies' failure to convert a host of chances at Burnley stopping them from securing a morale-boosting victory and cutting the gap to safety.
The Baggies have 13 games to bridge the current 11-point gap to safety, but in recent weeks they have demonstrated they have the defence and stomach for the fight that lies in front of them. Big Sam's challenge now is to unearth the quality.
Boss Marcelo Bielsa refused to blame bad luck after Illan Meslier's own goal condemned Leeds to a 1-0 defeat at Wolves on Friday night.
But while his goalkeeper unwittingly turned in Adama Traore's shot after it came back off the bar to decide this cagey contest, Leeds will take solace from another bewitching display from Raphinha.
The Brazilian winger, signed from Rennes for £17m plus add-ons last October, has sparkled since his debut in the reverse fixture at Elland Road and was unfortunate to be on the losing side at Molineux.
Three times his wicked set-piece deliveries found Liam Cooper unmarked but on each occasion the Leeds defender was unable to find a way past Rui Patricio.
Bielsa said: "Luck is not a factor in the result. It's clear the result was defined by their efficiency. Luck and what you deserve is not always the same.
"Look at the chances we had, we had double they did, and we defended well, we attacked well. There were only a few moments in the game where we didn't dominate.
"We had 10 chances and we weren't able to score a goal, they had five and scored one. That explains the game."
No player provided more than Raphinha's six key passes across the 90 minutes, which bodes well for the remainder of the season. It was a game of fine margins, and Leeds will have the opportunity to bounce back quickly when they host Southampton on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports.
Jurgen Klopp was left frustrated with Liverpool's inability to score after a performance he called "90 per cent positive" in the defeat by Everton.
Everton ended their 22-year wait for a Merseyside derby win at Anfield with a 2-0 victory which consigned Liverpool to their worst home league run in almost a century.
Victory, their first in 23 derbies, saw Everton draw level on 40 points with their sixth-placed hosts and with a match in hand.2:58 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Everton's win over Liverpool in the Premier League
The last time Liverpool lost four league games in a row at home was in 1923. Klopp saw his team fail to score at Anfield for the fourth time in their last five matches with Jamie Carragher particularly scathing on Liverpool's attacking players, saying "they got everything they deserved."
Klopp told Sky Sports: "The first goal, which we have to defend better, gave the direction of the game. It was unnecessary.
"There were plenty of good football moments so we did well from a creative point of view but we had to chase the game and were not calm enough.
"Everton defended deep and full of passion but there were still moments where we were completely free in the box but we didn't finish.0:26 Klopp says his side are 'really critical' over their performance during their first loss against Everton at Anfield since 1999
"In the second half, we changed formation a little because we wanted to cause them more problems. Immediately we had big chances. Sadio [Mane] twice in the box and Bobby [Firmino] was twice in promising positions, so we had all these moments.
"The penalty was late and wasn't really decisive so we don't have to talk about that too much.
"We could talk about this for an hour in detail and you would realise what you were talking about would be 90 per positive but 10 per cent was not and we have to change 10 per cent because it makes the difference result wise.
"We stand here having lost 2-0. I know how important it is. We feel it deep inside. But from tomorrow on I have to use all the good stuff. These good situations are the guarantee that we can change it but the decisive moments we have to change as well."Ancelotti praises Everton spirit 2:43 Carlo Ancelotti says that he is really happy for the club and the supporters after Everton beat Liverpool at Anfield for the first time this century
Everton boss Ancelotti has now beaten Liverpool in his managerial career with five different clubs: AC Milan, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Napoli and now Everton.
"I'm really happy," Ancelotti said.
"What it means, this victory, is that we can compete. Using our quality, which is not the same technical quality of Liverpool, but we have a strong spirit in this period and our belief is improving.
"The performance was good, it was difficult, but the spirit of the team was good.
"We competed really well and were clinical in front. We didn't have a lot of opportunities but the opportunities we did have we were able to convert them really well.
"We worked hard defensively. The performance of Jordan Pickford and the back at the back was really, really good. We were then clinical in front with James and Richarlison."Image: Liverpool have failed to score at Anfield in four of their last five games Analysis: Liverpool's problems deepen
Sky Sports' Nick Wright:
Liverpool dominated possession and territory but the lack of cutting edge at Anfield was striking.
Their only meaningful chances in the first period came from long-range efforts and when they did find themselves in more dangerous positions after the break, the finishing was woeful.5:00 Watch the latest addition of Matchday+ with a pitchside view of all the best action from Everton's first win at Liverpool this century
Carragher summed it up. "Even though Liverpool have dominated possession, it means nothing if you create nothing," he said. "That is a big problem for this Liverpool team at the moment.
"We keep talking about Virgil van Dijk and the problems at the back but very rarely when you see Liverpool play now do you expect them to score a goal.
"Going forward is as big a problem as what we are seeing defensively from Liverpool now."
The lack of composure in front of goal was summed up by Firmino, who blasted horribly over when presented with a clear sight of goal on the edge of the Everton box in the 73rd minute, then dragged another effort wastefully wide in the closing stages.
Jordan Pickford deserves credit for his performance in goal, of course, but Firmino was not the only one to waste opportunities.
Mane was well-placed to score on more than one occasion and Salah's one-on-one miss in the second half was also a big moment.
The Reds succumbed to their fourth successive league defeat for the first time since 1923 as Everton put two unanswered goals beyond Klopp’s men.
It was another outing where mistakes were punished and the inability to find a breakthrough proved damning, with Liverpool now having scored only two goals in their last six league games.
After the game, Klopp let his disappointment show but there remained a clear focus on what has to improve in the weeks to come.
“We conceded a completely unnecessary first goal and that’s a big part of the game,” Klopp told reporters.
“There are two big parts, you have to defend and you have to score. In one situation we didn’t defend well enough and they could score and we didn’t use the things we created.
“In the decisive moments we either make a mistake or just something strange happens, for the opponent, if we make a mistake, it’s 100 percent that they score from it and if we force them it doesn’t mean we will score.
“I think if everybody who saw the game tonight and watched the game without the goals they would say, ‘who can that happen’.
“But it’s not the first time and we are really critical with ourselves.
“We cannot change the situation by playing bad, that’s not possible but indecisive moments we have to improve, that’s clear.”
The boss also touched on the questionable penalty decision and how he was unable to follow up on the call with referee Chris Kavanagh, ensuring he could not hold a firm opinion as he had also yet to rewatch the incident.
And the groin injury to Jordan Henderson was another “massive blow” as a quick turnaround is not expected despite now having an eight-day break before travelling to Sheffield United next Sunday.
The Reds were already coasting to a first Merseyside derby loss at Anfield since 1999 when Dominic Calvert-Lewin bundled into Trent Alexander-Arnold in the box to win a spot-kick.
Replays clearly showed Liverpool’s right-back was not culpable, but referee Chris Kavanagh was not of the same opinion as he very briefly consulted the pitchside monitor on the recommendation of VAR Andre Marriner.
Gylfi Sigurdsson stepped up to make it 2-0 and secure the win for Everton, with the result clouded in controversy due to the decision.
But asked about the situation after the game, Klopp turned questions back to reporters, rightly pointing out that, given they were asking him, they were simply looking for validation that the penalty was the wrong call.
“I really think that it’s unfair to ask me because everybody asks me that question, which means everybody thinks it was not a penalty,” Klopp said.
“But that’s not really important because the referee thought it was a penalty.
“I wanted to talk to him after the first few interviews I had but they left already.
“I just wanted to ask what did he see because the way VAR calls him over in a situation like that, then I think he is in doubt about the decision but he needed only a second.
“He went there, watched from three or four yards and then turned and penalty. He, obviously, saw something that all other people didn’t see.
“I haven’t seen it back yet but everybody tells me the same, ‘how can it be a penalty?’.”
Klopp is right to point out the strange custom of journalists asking players and managers questions when they already know the answer, and his comments on Kavanagh’s decision are telling.
It would not change the result, but the referee appeared to have already made his mind up before heading over to the monitor, seemingly not interested in assessing the other camera angles available.
This is just another in a string of baffling calls from officials in this season’s Premier League, and incredibly, ESPN’s Dale Johnson has revealed that Liverpool have suffered from more negative VAR decisions this season than any side in the whole of the previous campaign.
Liverpool have now had more negative VAR decisions (11) this season than any team in the whole of last season. #LIVEVE
— Dale Johnson (@DaleJohnsonESPN) February 20, 2021
That should come as no surprise given the narrative unfolding this season, and it only compounds the miserable luck Liverpool have been dealt on the back of their first-ever Premier League title.
Jürgen Klopp acknowledged Liverpool were not clinical enough in attacking moments after they were beaten 2-0 by Everton at Anfield on Saturday night.
A strike inside the opening three minutes from Richarlison put the Blues in front before the Reds lost Jordan Henderson to injury midway through the first half.
Victory was secured for the visitors in the closing stages, with Gylfi Sigurdsson netting from the penalty spot.
Afterwards, Klopp addressed the media in his post-match press conference. Read on for a summary of what he had to say…
On how much the result hurts...
A lot, a lot. But, we conceded a completely unnecessary first goal and we should not forget that. That's a big part of the game. There were two big parts. You have to defend and we have to score. In one situation we didn't defend well enough, so they could score, we made a mistake if you want. And we didn't use their mistakes or we didn't use the things we created. And that's why we have the result.
On the decision to award Everton a penalty...
I really think it's unfair to ask me because everybody asked me that question. That means everybody thinks it was not a penalty. But that's not really important because the ref thought it's a penalty. I wanted to talk to him now after the first few interviews I had but they left already. I just wanted to ask what did he see because the VAR calls you over in a situation like that, then I think he is in doubt about the decision. But he needed only a second. He went there, watched it from three or four yards, turned and penalty. So he obviously saw something that all other people didn't see. I didn't see it back yet but everybody who speaks to me tells me the same, 'How can it be a penalty?'
On whether he can rationalise losing four games in a row at home or whether it's too big a picture to do so...
Not all the games were the same obviously. [We were] dominant in most of the games if I am right, we lost an away game as well where we were really dominant against Leicester. That means in the decisive moments we make either a mistake or just something strange happens, so that's how it is. If we make a mistake, it's 100 per cent they score from it and if we cause them to make mistakes that doesn't mean immediately we will score. I think everybody who saw the game tonight would say, 'OK, if we watch the game without the goals, how can that happen?' But it happened and not the first time, so we are really critical with ourselves there. How I said, the first goal was our mistake and we don't finish the situations off. It's about us as well, it's not who can we criticise for that, that's clear, we know that. I said it already in other interviews, I don't like to talk tonight about the good parts of the game because we lost the game and we lost the derby. But from tomorrow on we have to use that again, that's how it is, because we cannot change the situation by playing bad, that's not possible. But in decisive moments we have to improve, that's clear.
On how the players are handling this period...
We had some problems, you know them, and again if you saw an attitude problem today on the pitch, for example, then you have to write it. If you didn't see that then you cannot write it. We have to play but we have to force it as well, that's how it is. In the decisive moments, we have to be calmer, that's how it is – like in the finishing situations and I don't mean now the headers from Sadio, which were really tricky with circumstances we had tonight, or the chance from Mo where it was super play with Shaq and Trent when Mo is alone and that's then really difficult because Pickford is in front of him, short distance. But we had other situations where we had really finishing opportunities and we didn't finish the situations off. So, the only way I know is to try it again and again and again, and I don't see any relation to the last three years. That we were champions last year, that was already a month after we were champions, it didn't feel like it was a month ago – that has nothing to do with that. The boys are still full of desire, I see that. But to change a football game, a result, to get the result you have to be decisive in the right moments defensively and offensively – and that's what we are lacking.
On Liverpool's defensive options and how difficult the recurring injuries are…
We have options, of course, but how difficult it makes it… it makes it really difficult. But, for example, Nat was for sure not for one second our problem and even Hendo in the beginning of the game was really dominant, especially offensively. So, yes, it is a massive blow losing Hendo again. Massive. But Nat played a super game. Again, we meanwhile unfortunately got used to it that we have to change things and we just try to set up again for the next game. As long as we have 11 players we will do that.
The Reds headed into their Anfield meeting with the Blues buoyed by a 2-0 win over RB Leipzig in midweek, but an unchanged side were drastically worse on their return.
Everton used the strong winds to their advantage early on, with Ozan Kabak struggling to deal with their long-ball approach on his home debut, and finding himself guilty of ball-watching as Richarlison struck a third-minute opener.
That shaky start paved the way for a tough evening, and ultimately a first Merseyside derby defeat since 2010, in the view of Wijnaldum.
“Of course, we didn’t start well,” the Dutchman told LFCTV.
“In the first minute with the long ball, the corner we gave away when we didn’t have to give it away.
“I think if the communication was better we wouldn’t have to give it away.
“I think two or three times in that period of the game when you shouldn’t take risks and just clear the ball away to get higher up the pitch, we tried to control the ball.
“We lost it and one pass through our defence and they score a goal.
“After that I think they had one more chance, with Coleman, the bigger parts of the game we were the better team, we created chances but we didn’t score the goals.”
Liverpool suffered yet another costly injury in the first half, as stand-in centre-back Jordan Henderson suffered a groin problem that forced him off and led Klopp to admit “it doesn’t look like a small one.”
But while Wijnaldum agrees it is a damaging situation for the Reds, he insisted they cannot “be the victims,” and instead urged them to face up to their issues and “try to turn it around.”
“When you think about it after the game, you don’t want to feel sorry for yourself and you don’t want to go into the victim role,” he continued.
“You just want to deal with the situation and try to bring it to a good end, even though you know that you’ve got a lot of injuries.
“That’s how we should look at the situation. Not be the victims and just try to turn it around.
“I don’t know how many games we still have, we have a lot of games to turn it around, so if we look at the situation as victims it’s going to be worse.
“All we can do is just try to give everything, try to stay confident and work together to bring it to a better end.”
Georginio Wijnaldum sees hard work as the only way for Liverpool to emerge from their run of form in the Premier League.
The Reds were consigned to a fourth consecutive defeat in the top flight on Saturday as Everton claimed a 2-0 win at Anfield.
Jürgen Klopp’s side created several chances over the course of the 90 minutes but goals from Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson, at the beginning and end respectively, took the points.
“This is a new situation we are in right now,” Wijnaldum told Liverpoolfc.com post-match. “In the previous seasons when we created so many chances, we always scored a goal.
“And now we’re in a period where we create a lot of chances but don’t score the goal. It’s frustrating, especially when you’re on the pitch and you’re playing.
“But we just should keep the confidence and just do what we’re doing right now because one time it will turn and we will score the goals again.”
Liverpool’s disappointment on the evening was compounded by the loss of Jordan Henderson, who was forced off in the first half with an injury that will require a scan on Sunday.
But Wijnaldum insisted the players cannot afford to let circumstances negatively affect them as they seek to improve their fortunes in the league.
“You don’t want to feel sorry for yourself and don’t want to go into the victim role,” said the midfielder. “You just want to deal with the situation and try to bring it to a better end, or a good end, even if you know that you have a lot of injuries.
“I think that’s how we should look at the situation, not be the victims but just try to turn it around. We have a lot of games to turn it around – if we’re going to look at the situation as victims it’s going to be worse.
“What we can do is just try to give everything, try to keep confident and work all together to bring it [the season] to a better end.”
Liverpool must await the results of a scan to determine the severity of the injury sustained by Jordan Henderson during the Merseyside derby on Saturday evening.
The captain was forced from the field in the 29th minute of the Anfield defeat by Everton and will undergo further assessment on Sunday.
Jürgen Klopp told his post-match press conference: “It’s the groin/adductor region and nobody in the medical department was positive about it.
“It doesn’t look good, but we have to wait, of course, for the scan tomorrow, hopefully.”
Liverpool suffered a 2-0 defeat at home to Everton in the Premier League on Saturday evening.
Richarlison gave the Blues the lead in the contest after three minutes as the hosts lost Jordan Henderson to injury during a frustrating first half.
Carlo Ancelotti's side then secured the three points when Gylfi Sigurdsson converted an 83rd-minute penalty.
Jürgen Klopp named an unchanged side to the one that beat RB Leipzig in the Champions League earlier on in the week.
Naby Keita started on the bench having been absent since December through injury.
Everton came out of the blocks quickly and took a very early advantage in the encounter.
James Rodriguez played a through ball in behind the Liverpool backline, with Richarlison on the end of it to finish beyond Alisson Becker.
Liverpool responded well, though, and went close to equalising on three occasions within a two-minute period.
Roberto Firmino's side-footed finish inside the area was deflected by Michael Keane in the nick of time, before Henderson hit a first-time volley that was turned behind by Jordan Pickford.
Trent Alexander-Arnold's fizzing shot from distance was then tipped over by the Everton stopper as the Reds enjoyed a strong spell.
But they were dealt a blow when Henderson was forced off injured in the 29th minute – after initially trying to play on. Nathaniel Phillips was the captain's replacement.
Liverpool needed Alisson to push away a Seamus Coleman header from inside the box following Lucas Digne's ball in from the left.
Phillips then headed into the side-netting from an Andy Robertson out-swinging free-kick in the Reds' final opportunity of the first half.
Liverpool started the second period well, with Sadio Mane going close twice early on. The No.10 headed just fractionally over on the stretch before being denied by a last-ditch Keane challenge.
Klopp's side kept applying the pressure and Pickford was forced into another intervention.
After good link-up play with Firmino, substitute Xherdan Shaqiri slipped Mohamed Salah through on goal, with the Egyptian's close-range effort kept out by Pickford.
Having survived those chances, Everton then grabbed their second of the game from the penalty spot.
Following a counter-attack, Dominic Calvert-Lewin was thwarted by Alisson but then adjudged to have been brought down by Alexander-Arnold when following in on the rebound.
Sigurdsson stepped up and converted the spot-kick to give the visitors a two-goal lead and their first win at Anfield since 1999.